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Male Work Colleague Sending Mixed Messages:


Candle

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I recently exchanged emails with a guy I work with whom I like very much. I was venting about various work frustrations, which is not something I ordinarily do with anyone in emails, but I suppose that day it reached a point where letting off some steam helped. It was the friendliest we have been with each other in months, and we talked about a few personal matters too, like how he's going to be a first-time dad soon.

 

All of 2020 we have generally only said hello on passing, or a quick conversation about something work-related on a break, but by and large, we tended to avoid each other and it became quite awkward for me (and probably him too). Also, strangely, sometimes when he would talk to me, he would not look me in the eyes but stare at a wall whilst chatting. It made me feel weird, like he didn't like me or something?

 

We did used to get on much better at work, but I started distancing myself from him when I noticed he no longer interacted much with me on social media. He'd 'like' or comment on mutual colleagues' posts, but ignore mine. Some of my posts were of a similar nature to other colleagues, yet he'd give me no response, which I found hurtful. I figured it best I move on and forget about trying to connect with him. I deleted him off my friends list, but continued to be polite whenever I saw him at work.

 

Eight months after that event, and I recently talked freely to him again in work emails, where he raised how he'd lost me on Facebook, and emphasized it definitely wasn't him that removed me. So he'd noticed what I had done at that time, and I explained it by saying there were a few people I needed to get rid of, which was true, including my own manager who I did not want accessing my personal business anymore. He never probed for the reason he was removed, although I would have told him had he asked.

 

He asked if I use Snapchat and I told him I don't. He also asked me to flick him my number, which took me by complete surprise, and said I could vent to him anytime. I never gave my number, as I felt awkward about it, and prefer not to connect with him outside of work only to vent! He ended up giving me his number and said that was the best way to reach him if I wanted to vent. I still would not contact his phone only to grumble about work and explained that to him, however I did thank him for his kind gesture.

 

Do work colleagues hand out their personal phone number to people just so they can vent to them? He did say that a lady in the office comes to him often for advice. She is older than me and I can guarantee there would be no funny business going on there. I doubt he considers her a 'friend'? That makes me wonder if he views me in the same light, which I personally find weird that anyone would want to give their phone number out to another work colleague unless they had a friendship motive in mind?

 

My question is: is he just being a nice, sympathetic guy, or did he give me his number because he genuinely likes me, perhaps as a friend, and wants to mend fences between us? I honestly can't tell, because he confuses me with his mixed messages.

 

He is ultra popular with males and females, and could be considered an Alpha male that everyone hangs off. I feel silly approaching or reaching out to him. We are both in relationships, and there is a significant age difference between us, with me being the older party. He is quite mature for his age and even made mention of his maturity in one email. What causes me great anxiety though is in the past I've felt like I've been the one to initiate and try to be friendly to him, only to have him put the brakes on and stop anything advancing to a friendship level beyond work. This naturally left me feeling foolish, so I backed off big-time. Yet now, here he is, handing me his phone number and reeling me back in again!?

 

We also seem to have reverted back to only saying hello to each other in the office. He hasn't tried to catch me on a break to talk further, and talks more to other male colleagues, many of whom are his personal friends too. I feel ultra confused with how to proceed. My heart wants to connect with him, but my head tells me to be careful in case his intentions are not what I would hope for.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic? Thank you in advance for your help if you do.

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What would your bf think and do if he read this e-mail? Whatever you have to keep secret means it's not ethically right. Beginning an emotional affair is just as harmful to your relationship with your bf as would be a physical affair. Start pouring all of this sort of extra time and emotions into your bf, not a taken man. How would you like it if your bf was exchanging numbers with a woman at work and they were engaging in close personal discussions?

 

Save your venting and personal discussions with someone you don't have a crush on.

 

I've always felt a sisterhood with other women, including strangers, as in even if I was single, a taken man would be off-limits to me. Why don't you feel the same? And the fact that he is reeling in women at work as confidantes shows he's not good relationship material, anyway.

 

If you're lacking an emotional connection with your bf, work on that or break up and date someone you can be crazy about. When you are unethical, that also the type of person you will attract and it will come back and bite you in the butt. Keep business separate than your personal life. If you don't think anyone at work notices your inappropriate behavior, you're quite naive. Nip this in the bud now.

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I'll be blunt: Have you met his partner? If you have (like he's actually introduced her to you) then maybe this whole friendship thing is genuine.

 

However, most men don't insist on obtaining your number or giving out theirs unless they are interested in you. The keyword here is insist. To what degree he is interested in you, is another matter altogether.

 

Both of you are in relationships. So to what degree he is interested in you, doesn't matter. Best course of action is to not do anything. If he asks, be straightforward about both being in a committed relationship.

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He is in a relationship AND going to be a first-time dad soon. What intentions are you hoping for here??? What do you want of him??? This guy sounds at best immature, at worst a creep for seeking out your number while he is in a relationship and expecting a child.

 

You sound no better for encouraging this malarkey. It sounds like you are missing excitement in your life and are looking for it in a very WRONG place. Going after this douche is unethical and idiotic. Stop. Focus on fixing whatever is missing in your own relationship or break up with your partner and seek someone new who is unattached.

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Some harsh advice there, but I take it onboard. I don't see how any of my behaviour at work has been 'inappropriate'? We exchanged some work related emails and friendly discussion about our respective families. It's not like I've slept with him, or bared by most private secrets only to him! And we both have been maintaining professional boundaries, not advancing things outside of the scope of our jobs. I deleted him from my Facebook and kept distance from him for many months. I wasn't encouraging anything after I thought I'd misread that he wanted to become friends.

 

I have contact with other male staff via social media platforms, but there is definitely no hanky panky going on. Some of them have wives and families too. I do think females can be platonically involved with males they work with. And it doesn't mean I am trying to hide my activities/conversations with male work colleagues away from my partner.

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He is in a relationship AND going to be a first-time dad soon. What intentions are you hoping for here??? What do you want of him??? This guy sounds at best immature, at worst a creep for seeking out your number while he is in a relationship and expecting a child.

 

You sound no better for encouraging this malarkey. It sounds like you are missing excitement in your life and are looking for it in a very WRONG place. Going after this douche is unethical and idiotic. Stop. Focus on fixing whatever is missing in your own relationship or break up with your partner and seek someone new who is unattached.

 

I know it sounds bad him asking for my number and giving me his number, when he is in a relationship. But he doesn't strike me as a creep. He's a perfect gentleman with the ladies and held in high regard by everyone. He offered that method of communication to me as an alternative in case I didn't feel comfortable venting via work emails.

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It would be best to keep it more professional. Don't engage in office gossip or venting.

 

If you want to vent about work consider talking to a therapist about it.

 

If you need this much male attention, reflect on what's missing in your relationship.

 

Wiseman2, very good points. I told him I won't be contacting him to vent about work, nor do I like to get involved in office gossip. If I was ever to develop a genuine friendship with him, I wouldn't want it to be based on those sorts of things!

 

Even though he may be quite mature for his age, unfortunately he associates with other male colleagues that aren't as mature, who engage in gossip. So I think those influences might be sadly rubbing off on him. But I feel better for at least stating my boundaries and not being interested in hearing office gossip from him.

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I know it sounds bad him asking for my number and giving me his number, when he is in a relationship. But he doesn't strike me as a creep. He's a perfect gentleman with the ladies and held in high regard by everyone. He offered that method of communication to me as an alternative in case I didn't feel comfortable venting via work emails.

 

- Yeah well be careful.. tread carefully with this.

do not view him as anything more than a friend..

Remember.. respecftul Boundaries.\Respect yourself & your bf.

 

You should not even be seeing this guy as anything more than a work colleague.

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Boundaries Google this term learn about it understand what it means and how to practice it.

You have crossed it.

Crushes, office romance, all happens but it is us who draw a line.

Office colleagues are just that part of your life needs to be strictly professional

Your personal life is your business dont let any of your office colleagues be part of it. Same goes with relationships never vent it out with others.

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Thank you Soosad33 and Spawn. Crossed a boundary for wanting to be friends with a guy I work with? I suppose it is a very murky area and I need to tread with caution. Friendships are so common in my workplace that it seems like an acceptable and natural thing to do. I'm glad I came here to get other's opinions. It is helping me see clearer all sides to it.

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Crossed a boundary for wanting to be friends with a guy I work with?

 

Girl, stop lying to yourself.

 

You have a crush on this guy and you like him as more than a friend. It's clear that you hope he returns your affection. He probably knows it, too. If you genuinely only wanted friendship, you wouldn't be so put out by his social media activity or describe him as 'reeling you back in." You know this guy means more to you than a friend. At least be honest with yourself and stop trying to pretend this about developing friendships in the "modern workplace."

 

A lot of other things wrong with this picture for you to think about:

1) Using work email to complain about work? Not smart. Don't do that. Even he knows that or he wouldn't have suggested moving the convo elsewhere; he's trying to give you a hint to be more careful.

 

2) He is in a relationship and about to become a father. Whatever intentions he has, this should be a no-go situation for you. He also likely has a lot on his plate with the upcoming delivery and isn't really thinking about you or paying as close attention to your behaviour as you are to his. And if he is? Then he is sleazy for entertaining the idea of another woman when he's got one at home and a child on the way.

 

3) You are in a relationship. Ask yourself what's missing there. Something is, or you wouldn't be crushing on this guy so hard and feeling so hurt when he doesn't pay attention to you. Are you bored in your relationship? Lonely? What's happening at home that's compelling you to seek out the charms of another man?

 

For clarity, how old are you and how old is he?

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"I recently exchanged emails with a guy I work with whom I like very much. "

 

No, you are not trying to network with a work colleague who just happens to be male. You like him very much.

 

This is a dangerous and inappropriate path to go down.

 

Find excitement in your own relationship. And when crushes happen you don't have to act on them. Just acknowledge it to yourself and then move on.

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I started distancing myself from him when I noticed he no longer interacted much with me on social media. He'd 'like' or comment on mutual colleagues' posts, but ignore mine. Some of my posts were of a similar nature to other colleagues, yet he'd give me no response, which I found hurtful.

 

If he were just a co-worker you spoke to in passing, you couldn't care less about him "liking" you on social media. Nor would you write a 10 paragraph post on a forum about him. Read articles on emotional affairs and you will see yourself there. You look forward to seeing him in particular at work. You look for signs from him in how he's looking at/not looking at you. Your "heart" wants to connect with him. You yearn for a "friendship" outside of work. You find him attractive and have chemistry with him. That's the person who you should most avoid developing a friendship with when you and another are already attached to others.

 

My husband and I have relationship rules about opposite sex friendships. It's important to have boundaries to maintain the strength of our partnership. Yes, I do chat with male colleagues and am Facebook friends with some of them, but I don't have the intensity of feelings that clearly come across in your post. If I did happen to share chemistry with any of them, they are the ones who I would totally steer clear of in developing a friendship with and would definitely not exchange numbers with them. Join Meetup.com if you're interested in making new friends or start a new hobby to meet new people.

 

Again, turn the tables and think of your bf writing the same about a female colleague. How would you feel about that? Treat your partner how you like to be treated and you can't go wrong.

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My question is: is he just being a nice, sympathetic guy, or did he give me his number because he genuinely likes me, perhaps as a friend, and wants to mend fences between us?

 

I think he probably gave you his number so that you stop using your work email to complain to him about your job.

 

I think he mentioned Snapchat and Facebook for the same reason.

 

I think it's a polite hint for you to communicate your complaints through a more appropriate platform.

 

Work emails can be read by your employer, and he may not want to appear as though he is in agreement with your frustrations about work.

 

I feel ultra confused with how to proceed.
If you must complain to him, I suggest you do your complaining via text, snapchat, or facebook and stop using your work email.
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I am going to be real...

 

I recently exchanged emails with a guy I work with whom I like very much. I was venting about various work frustrations, which is not something I ordinarily do with anyone in emails, but I suppose that day it reached a point where letting off some steam helped.
Not professional at all... Why are you using work email to rant about multiple frustrations related to work?

 

We did used to get on much better at work, but I started distancing myself from him when I noticed he no longer interacted much with me on social media. ... I figured it best I move on and forget about trying to connect with him. I deleted him off my friends list, but continued to be polite whenever I saw him at work.
Insert facepalm emoji

 

We are both in relationships, and there is a significant age difference between us, with me being the older party. ...My heart wants to connect with him, but my head tells me to be careful in case his intentions are not what I would hope for.
Yikes, lady. Not only are you a lot older, you cared excessively about your social media status lacking likes from him, and you want there to be something more than a professional relationship between you guys. Surely, you do know how unprofessional and desperate you are appearing?
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You're plain rude and not here to give genuine advice, but more interested in passing ill-thought out judgement on someone you know nothing about!

 

How am I a homewrecker for talking about topics we have in common, such as family and work? Nowhere have I said I plan to steal this man from his partner or have my way with him in the office broom cupboard! Sheesh! We simply talked and shared a few thoughts, as men and women are known to do in a modern workplace. Calm down and stop being so judgemental. Men and women with partners CAN and DO successfully establish friendships which form in a workplace, that has nothing to do with being a snake or a homewrecker!

 

Nope, you don't want to share thoughts in a "modern workplace" type thing when you say this:

"My heart wants to connect with him, but my head tells me to be careful in case his intentions are not what I would hope for.

 

You want something more. The hot young guy at work has your attention and you're hoping the interactions you've had with him indicate he wants something more too. Dangerous ground here. Way too much at stake including his career, your career and both your relationships.

 

There will always be hot guys at work. Enjoy the view, have some "private time" while fantasizing about him, then LET IT GO. For your own good.

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Some of the remarks have been really harsh. Lucky I am resilient or it could be soul cutting having come here for advice.

 

I believe you can 'think with your heart' about someone of the opposite sex, without it meaning something sexual. Sure, he's attractive. And people in relationships can get attracted to other people. It's actually natural and part of being human. It's what you do with those feelings and the boundaries you choose to set that make the difference.

 

I am no homewrecker. I know that, even if you guys don't. I have been incredibly restrained and professional with this guy for years at work. Like I said, I deleted him from my social media and moved on when I realised he was showing no interest in any social interaction online. I remained on cordial, but distant terms with him at work, so why I received a facepalm emoji response for doing that I fail to understand. How was I supposed to react? Ignore him outright, be a total cold cow to him, and make working together even more awkward and unprofessional by refusing to get along?

 

I think I have conducted myself with him in a very cautious manner overall. I never gave him my number. He offered his. I had no control over that and didn't make him give it to me. I don't plan on ever contacting him via it. But yes, the venting in hindsight was a mistake to do. Something I don't plan on doing with him again.

 

It never occurred to me that he may have offered his personal number in an attempt to disassociate himself from venting at work. I guess that is a possibility? Although I never twisted his arm to agree with some of my sentiments.

 

There is a lot for me to consider and I do thank those of you who have given me some constructive feedback. It has been appreciated. Personal attacks aren't warranted though.

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Separate work colleagues and personal life/friendships and you will no longer be confused. They don't mix, nor should they ever mix.

 

Be professional, do your work get your paycheck, go home. If you need a friend, like others said, go to meetup.com, or some other chatline on the internet.

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Separate work colleagues and personal life/friendships and you will no longer be confused. They don't mix, nor should they ever mix.

 

Be professional, do your work get your paycheck, go home. If you need a friend, like others said, go to meetup.com, or some other chatline on the internet.

 

Probably very wise advice. Boundaries don't get blurry that way. It doesn't help when your own manager friend requests everyone on social media as well. I deleted her off my friends list at the same time as the male co-worker. She is not exactly setting an appropriate example of professionalism and separation from the top of the chain down! I also won't be searching for friends on chat lines lol. I have my own good friends. I did feel some rapport with the male colleague, but understand it is not a straightforward situation to navigate. And I don't want to compromise my professional reputation or his, so will continue maintaining a respectful distance from him at work.

 

Thanks for your advice.

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The thing is, when you blur work and personal feelings, it can get messy. It's in your best interest to remain polite but at arms length.

 

I mean, at the end of the day, it is your choice, but I've always found that I don't like messy, so work is work, personal life and friends are separate.

It just makes life easier.

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. I believe you can 'think with your heart' about someone of the opposite sex, without it meaning something sexual. Sure, he's attractive. And people in relationships can get attracted to other people. It's actually natural and part of being human. It's what you do with those feelings and the boundaries you choose to set that make the difference.

 

Yes, fair enough.

 

But it's also your reaction to his apparent indifference that is telling. You are troubled more than you should be, for a woman in a relationship. That's not a personal attack, but rather the chance to reflect on what is underlying your disappointment about this guy.

 

How's your relationship going? Why do you think you've been affected by this guy to this degree?

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