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Flirted (and more) with boss


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I became somewhat involved (flirting, texting, kissing) with my boss after the project we'd been working on fell through (and my job was essentially over). He felt bad about the deal going dead and said it was his responsibility to offer me a job at his firm when i moved home next summer. After our last meet up, something happened, and he went radio silent. I do know that during this time he had a medical issue and was in the middle of litigation (on the deal that tanked) plus he has an investment company to run...he's on the board of multiple companies, so to say he's busy is an understatement.

 

I got a little freaked out thinking I'd f'd up a perfectly good job opportunity by falling into something I wasn't emotionally prepared for. His texts stopped and so did mine - it was a palpable shift, at least to me. I decided it was time to clear the air so I texted him - he called the next day and sounded as if nothing had happened, very cool and casual, and reiterated the job offer to me again. We talked about a few different things but all very positive, like old friends connecting. What was I worried about I told myself...clearly he isn't thinking about what happened in the same light as I am. My friends say I'm way too in my head on this and all is well. Truth be told, I would be open to having a relationship with him - and find a different job.

 

Did I commit the ultimate sin, as a female in business? Would he even waste his time leading me on if he didn't mean that the job was still mine? I get there are other implications to deal with in a work setting, but I've know him for 25 years, and our paths have crossed more than once...this is the first time anything flirty ever happened. Just sucks that now when I'd like to work with him again, my heart is involved. Do I believe him and take it at face value? Do I lay low and re connect closer to when I move home? I was the one to reach out last...he knows how to reach me, so ball in his court. Last thing I want to do is come of as pining and needy.

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Is he married?

 

Anyway, by the very limited info, to me it looks like he's just going to lay low until you are home and able to take the job and then he'll try to et you in bed then.

You'll correct me if I've misread the situation, I'm sure but he's not pursuing a dating situation at all.

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I'm a bit confused.

 

Did you "clear the air" by acknowledging the proverbial pollutants that you wanted addressed, or by sending a vague text and gauging how he responded? There is a difference. Regardless, it certainly seems that he's putting up a pretty hard wall: back to business, no more footsie, in short. If that's not something you feel you're capable of doing, it might be best to find work elsewhere since you'd be taking a job under conditions where your ability to be professional is compromised.

 

I'm not going to read you a riot act about the perils of mixing business and pleasure. Whatever happened, happened. Not the "ultimate sin," but not the wisest of choices. I would take him at face value right now, meaning the job offer (and only the job offer) remains on the table. Along with that take yourself at face value, meaning being honest about whether this job is one you can take with zero thoughts about it leading to more footsie or knotting up the heartstrings.

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I'm a bit confused. Did you "clear the air" by acknowledging the proverbial pollutants that you wanted addressed, or by sending a vague text and gauging how he responded? There is a difference.

 

Good question and I'm sorry to say that I was so caught off by his manner of speaking and the tone of the call (he truly sounded happy to speak with me, said I sounded great, etc) and we went off on so many tangents about his other projects, holiday plans, etc, that I hung up without saying the very things I'd rehearsed: "sorry if that put you in an uncomfy position, i'd never want to jeopardize us working together" yada yada. So that was my chance and I blew it. Hence this mental drama I keep putting my self through and my concern that he just called me back to keep stringing me along but he's done on all fronts. But if that was the case, why not just text vs call, why reiterate the job offer, why go through all those hoops, as a man who has a million things coming at him every day and no time for that stuff. And now, it would be bad to reach out again, as too much time has passed to address it now.

 

He's not married.

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Whether this guy is married or not, involved with somebody else or not, you are very naive if you are treating this as a potential relationship. There is all sorts of power imbalance at play here, so unless you are perfectly okay with sleeping with him to get ahead in your career, then pursuing anything with this man is a very bad idea. Chances are that likes to use his wealth and power to have fun with women who work under him, and you are just the latest target. If you get your job this way, you will forever be at his mercy in your career, and everyone in the office will dismiss anything and everything you do because you are literally in bed with the boss.

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Time to put a stop to the mental drama by admitting it is just that: mental drama, self-stirred.

 

He called you back because...he called you back. He was kind because...he was kind. He reiterated the job because...the job remains on the table. These are the facts, no need to editorialize them or turn them into smoke signals because you'd like the facts to be different.

 

In your shoes, I would consider the matter addressed—passively, tacitly. No, that's never the most ideal period to end a sentence, but life is sometimes a bit murky.

 

The obvious solution here is let this simmer, and simmer down, which means keeping some distance and seeking job opportunities elsewhere. It's not romantic, it's potentially a drag, but it puts sanity and reason first. Next solution is to take a cold shower, literally and figuratively, and then go back to a cordial, professional relationship. Many adults have crossed such lines and found ways to gracefully step back in the history of humanity. It's not so romantic either, but sometimes responsibility has to be sexier than romance.

 

Can I ask how glaring the divide here is between you guys on both a professional and age level?

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Blue - appreciate your thoughtful response. He's 14 years older and very successful, I'll leave it at that. I've known him since my 20's when I worked for him then, but I left the company to move away internationally for some time. Over the years, our paths have crossed more than once for different reasons, but it was just this last re-connection where we both realized that something might be there between us...it was kind of serendipitous really, and I hope the job is still mine if I want it. But I think you're right - face value it is, and play it straight.

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For better or worse, I have some experience here and there with navigating blurred lines. Not quite in a professional context, or at least in the employer/employee paradigm, but I know a bit about the dance of crossing them and uncrossing them—along with that moment when you just need to draw the straight line, in red pen, over the squiggly line in pencil. This is that moment. You'll thank yourself later.

 

One thing I always come back to: the beginning of romance, no matter the circumstances, should not feel like navigating a minefield. When it feels like that, or takes a turn where it becomes that, something is amiss. Better to call that out than become conditioned to equate mine defusing with romance. There are better ways to get a sweaty brow out there in the world.

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Blue - appreciate your thoughtful response. He's 14 years older and very successful, I'll leave it at that. I've known him since my 20's when I worked for him then, but I left the company to move away internationally for some time. Over the years, our paths have crossed more than once for different reasons, but it was just this last re-connection where we both realized that something might be there between us...it was kind of serendipitous really, and I hope the job is still mine if I want it. But I think you're right - face value it is, and play it straight.

 

Please stop allowing another to fool you , you are already fooling yourself?

You are about 50 yrs old and he is 60+?

 

He is in a position of hiring and firing and you are in a position of needing a job.

 

Serendipity is not the case here!! He dropped contact with you because he wasn’t interested. His offer of a job was only to temporarily get what he wanted.

 

Serendipity is romantic!! This is anything but !

 

Stop wasting your time and start applying for jobs !?

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Which would you like to see unfold? A romance or a professional connection? He does not seem to want more than whatever happened as far as romance. If he did it would be crystal clear, not..."oh he's busy, oh he hasn't called because...". Keep in mind you have never been on a date, no less is there any indication of a budding relationship.

 

If you can work for him under those circumstances, great. However be prepared for neither anything but the flirtation nor any career advancement. He may have someone and/or is not interested in a relationship and he can hire anyone. Are you recently divorced or broken up with someone? What is the sudden interest after 25 years of knowing him?

I'm going to be extremely careful as this unfolds.
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Please stop allowing another to fool you , you are already fooling yourself?

You are about 50 yrs old and he is 60+?

 

He is in a position of hiring and firing and you are in a position of needing a job.

Serendipity is not the case here!! He dropped contact with you because he wasn’t interested. His offer of a job was only to temporarily get what he wanted.

Serendipity is romantic!! This is anything but !

Stop wasting your time and start applying for jobs !?

 

I am already employed in a different city. There is no wasting of time. My life is moving forward either way. And if what you say is indeed the case, so be it. My hope was that I hadn't ruined the chances of working with him again - and based on our last phone call, it felt to me like it was water under the bridge-no harm/no foul. He pursued me as much I as reciprocated. Then it trickled away after the deal fell through and I started working with another company. Natural progression of things. He's doing his life and I'm doing mine. Guess I'll see what happens when I move back next year.

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Oh, we call that a pity date/relationship.

 

Edit: I've had something happen like that before. I had a not too serious long distance relationship once. I found myself in the hospital one day, I almost died. My girlfriend was not calling me - but my lady friend, whose relationship was on the rocks, was!

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What actually happened between you two, physically?

 

Is he married?

I asked and she answered: No he's not married. They kissed and made out a little, that's all she's admitted to.

 

(see opening post and post #4 for her responses)

 

Guess I'll see what happens when I move back next year.
Sounds like your best bet. What else are you gonna do? If he's interested in either a romantic, platonic or professional relationship with you, he'll let you know.
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The only other option I've considered is contacting him after the new year (if he hasn't contacted me first)...we've known each other long enough that I can speak honestly and say "look I'm starting 2020 off on the right foot...not proud of what happened...appreciate you bringing me on the project initially and look forward to the new opportunity...etc etc." I'm guessing the majority of you would think that's a bad idea. I just need some closure, and I don't know how to get that unless I say my peace once and for all. I have a great professional trajectory and this is new territory for me. If I don't contact him (and he doesn't me) then I must take him at face value and do nothing until next summer...but that still doesn't change the fact that I know I made some unwise decisions and I'd like him to hear that from me.

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.but that still doesn't change the fact that I know I made some unwise decisions and I'd like him to hear that from me.
What? You don't think he made any "bad decisions?" It WAS mutual, right... you didn't force him to kiss you.

 

What "closure" will you get from telling him you think you're a right arse? Whats it going to give you or him for that matter? Don't second guess your decisions. You acted on a pursuit that I'm assuming he initiated so own it and don't be ashamed of your decision.

 

Not "being proud" of what happened is not only showing that you aren't sure of your decision but it also puts him down at the same time for his.

 

and based on our last phone call, it felt to me like it was water under the bridge-no harm/no foul.
Then let it go.
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Agree. If you regret whatever amorous things took place, simply let it be forgotten. There is no reason to elaborate on this. Having relationship talks after a brief encounter makes no sense. If he contacts you great, if not move on. However it does not seem like he wants a relationship with you if he has never asked you on a date.

Some things are better left unsaid. chi :eek:
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we went off on so many tangents about his other projects, holiday plans, etc, that I hung up without saying the very things I'd rehearsed

 

All those tangents, but he didn't ask you out on a date.

 

So decide what you want from this man: a strictly professional relationship where you keep your eyes on your own paper and build a potential career--and never mix business with pleasure outside of a group of colleagues, OR, a professional and emotional mess where you keep setting yourself up to steal intimacy with a man who's willing to go there with any number of people while your professional focus gets derailed by your preoccupation with trying to land the guy.

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