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Hi all. 31 year old male, gay. A couple months ago I started a new job and there's a couple 18/19 year old guys that work there. Since coming out at 24 I've only been interested in other people around my age. One guy in particular at this new job caught my eye from day one, however he's only 18, which is so unusual for me. I really don't want to be that older man that creeps on young guys.

 

Initially it was only a "wow, he's kind of attractive" and it ended there, but after working with him quite a bit my infatuation for him has begun to develop and grow. I have flirted with him here and there and he's always given it straight back to me. Quite frequently I'll catch him looking at me and smiling or he'll give me a "hard time" in an effort to induce a response from me. Sometimes he'll stand really close to me, especially when I'm sitting down and his crotch is right in front of me. I don't think I'm being overly forward with my actions towards him and sometimes I play it off as being coy. I am not flamboyant by any means and I haven't "come out" in my work environment. Recently I mentioned to him about going on a date with someone but omitted any pronouns to identify who or what gender it could be. His eyes got very large and he called me out on being so vague about who I was meeting. I played it down and tried to drop a hint by saying "maybe once I know you a little better I'll fill you in."

 

The other guys at work joke about how they need to get [this guy] laid and quite frankly now I think of it I've only heard him mention girls with me once and that was to say "oh there was a hot girl that worked here last year." It's hard to pin-point but I am very confused about his demeanor towards me at times. Of course being 18 he's still young and about to go through college and he'll probably find himself there.

 

This post isn't about how I can approach him about asking for a date, but rather vent my frustrations over this. I've started having these fantasies about making a move on the occasions that we find ourselves alone. Working different shifts doesn't help because they all overlap and I'm guaranteed to see him at least four days a week. I've even gone so far as to start applying for new jobs because I'm really finding myself distracted by all of this. His attitude towards me can either really make or break my day and lately I try to avoid him and he's been asking me if I'm in a bad mood.

 

How can I stem this whole thing?

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I would keep your physical distance from him at all times, only interact when needed professionally and since you are the adult in the room if he gets too close or is inappropriate do not respond and move away. You could get in really big trouble if you respond and go even a bit too far. Nothing to do with your sexual orientation. What do you do about your crush? What all adults do -you make the choice to be an adult who behaves appropriately at work and you choose not to react. He's off limits completely. If people at work make sexually suggestive comments deflect/walk away. Is it worth getting fired over and possibly worse?

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His brain won't even be fully formed until another 7 years, in the decision making area--the pre-frontal cortex. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing right now. I think back on some of my decisions at his age, and would have definitely not done the same with an adult brain.

 

Just as with someone who is taken, but finds they have chemistry with a co-worker, you'll have to make changes for your own good. Stop talking about your personal life with him. If he begins a long chat with you, cut him short, but pleasantly, explaining you have to get back to work. If he's asks if you're in a bad mood or ignoring him, explain you like to keep business, business, and separate from you personal life. I'd treat him as you would any other co-worker, and begin thinking of him that way. You can train your brain to do anything you want it to do.

 

Don't be the target of office gossip. Everybody can clearly see what's going on. I know in my job, people speak with disdain about office affairs and inappropriate behavior. And the last thing you want to do is see someone at work where it's really awkward between you two because of things going south, which has a high risk of happening in this instance.

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His brain won't even be fully formed until another 7 years, in the decision making area--the pre-frontal cortex. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing right now. I think back on some of my decisions at his age, and would have definitely not done the same with an adult brain.

 

Just as with someone who is taken, but finds they have chemistry with a co-worker, you'll have to make changes for your own good. Stop talking about your personal life with him. If he begins a long chat with you, cut him short, but pleasantly, explaining you have to get back to work. If he's asks if you're in a bad mood or ignoring him, explain you like to keep business, business, and separate from you personal life. I'd treat him as you would any other co-worker, and begin thinking of him that way. You can train your brain to do anything you want it to do.

 

Don't be the target of office gossip. Everybody can clearly see what's going on. I know in my job, people speak with disdain about office affairs and inappropriate behavior. And the last thing you want to do is see someone at work where it's really awkward between you two because of things going south, which has a high risk of happening in this instance.

I second this post. OP, stay away from office romances and stick to your own age. Also, I wouldn't approach him for a date when you don't even know for sure whether he's straight or gay. I say back off and quit flirting with him.

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I'm anti office romance. I always look at work as an escape from my personal life. keep work simple. focus on the work. its fun to joke and be cool with everyone. period. nothing more.

 

There is no faster way to ruin your life than to become the subject of office gossip, to disturb your inner peace, to damage your reputation and jeopardize your livelihood than to get involved in an office romance.

 

the above is bad enough when it's a mutual attraction and relationship... throw in the whole creeper aspect and you are really putting yourself in a bad situation.

 

Recognize that an 18 year old is legally an adult, but mentally? emotionally?

 

Do this guy a favor and yourself... find a guy outside the work place and this will fade.

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This post isn't about how I can approach him about asking for a date, but rather vent my frustrations over this. I've started having these fantasies about making a move on the occasions that we find ourselves alone. Working different shifts doesn't help because they all overlap and I'm guaranteed to see him at least four days a week. I've even gone so far as to start applying for new jobs because I'm really finding myself distracted by all of this. His attitude towards me can either really make or break my day and lately I try to avoid him and he's been asking me if I'm in a bad mood.

 

How can I stem this whole thing?

 

Unfortunately once fantasies develop and your mind starts creating images and stories it's usually very hard to reverse. Practically speaking this never should have gone on as long as it has. In future you'll know better. Simply telling you to shut it off won't work unless you can actively put distance between the both of you or transfer to another building or office and that is unrealistic without drawing attention.

 

The most you can do right now is to start engaging in healthier interactions with peers who are more at your age or level of experience. This means searching for meaningful ways to connect even if via online or Zoom platforms with others who challenge and engage with you in ways that you find more meaningful or rewarding. I'm not talking about a hook up or dating app either. Look at local organizations and other communities that speak to you or that you may have an interest in.

 

Leave work at work. Your post to me reads more of loneliness than hitting on someone or actually acting out on an office romance. Tackle the bigger issue at play which is your loneliness.

 

The more you start expanding your range and introducing hobbies and interests and other individuals, I think you'll probably find the gaps in age and understanding a little more apparent. Dust yourself off of this and start getting back to the things that make you feel good, not these work crushes and fantasies. You'll feel a lot better later.

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Find something else to excite you. Yes, difficult to date right now. But whenever I got a crush that could go nowhere, I just took it as time to get something going in my romantic life. Don't ignore it, just redirect it. He's not magic, you are just craving some zing.

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I originally met my husband at work. We dated for 6 months while we worked there. We didn't work in the same department, or on the same floor of our large company and never risked working together. i think work is a great place to meet a potential partner if the circumstances are appropriate. Yours are inappropriate, OP.

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IMO gay dating and straight dating isn't really the same, dating very young IMO is normal. So if the law states he's legal age to have adult relationships then he's fair game. I doubt people don't know you are gay...people just can tell. As for this guy, he could be bi. No one recommends dating coworkers. If things go bad, it would end up a hostile work environment, a trip the HR office, losing your job....those are the risks.

 

Yes you need to get a grip. Obsessing is a slippery slope. Already this person feels bad because you are avoiding him and he doesn't know why. So finding a new job is one option, or you can take the risk, or you can carry on, be professional with everyone you work with including your crushes.

 

I don't know your work environment/coworkers/boss...they could be very supportive and dating this individual may not be an issue or they simply don't real care what you do ......unless it interferes with productivity.

 

You are a big boy you can figure this one out....just remember to keep happy and positive no matter what.

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