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How to get over work crush


Fluffymomo
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Never thought I would fall for someone at work. I am in my late 20s and he’s in his early 40s. He was the VP of our department and recently got promoted to the C-suite. He’s married with kids. Earlier this year my parent passed away two months after I joined the new company. Mentally I wasn’t in a good place and I had to travel overseas for funeral and took care of the aftermaths. I gave no notice and turned in my resignation letter. 

To my surprise, he was the one who reached out to me.He was very understanding and shared some very personal things with me. I was vulnerable and I opened up to him.. He told me even though my parent has passed, the memories would never fade. He convinced me to stay and offered me a month off with full pay. He also sent me a plant which I thought was very kind of him..My direct manager hasn’t reached out to me even once during the whole time. And I felt like he could easily find a replacement given my duration in the role.

I returned to the office a month later. I sensed a stand off ish vibes from the other coworkers of me taking the time off. He was the only one who’s nice to me in the department.When I first returned, he was very attentive. He would come to check on me often and tried to initiate conversation. He would always ask about my dogs and nagged me to bring pictures of them and even offered to print out the pictures for me when I told him I am too busy.He would ask me if my leg hurts from standing too long and told me I should get one of those standing mat and expensed on the company credit card. He skipped an interview with a candidate to join my welcome back lunch.. He would assign projects for me to directly work with him and always praise my work.

Shortly after my return, he was promoted to C-suite. He’s even busier and our company is a one of the big public traded tech companies. He would still came to me and try to initiate conversations about my dogs or sometimes he would very awkwardly try to start a conversation of weather…A little awkward but I also find it’s cute. Not sure if I am seeing him filling in the father figure that I wanted or if it’s something else.

Slowly I found myself developed feelings for him. I noticed he would check me out sometimes but I told myself it’s all just in my head.. One day I dyed my hair, none of my other male colleagues said anything. But he noticed and asked if I changed my hair color and told me it looks good. Part of me thinking he’s being friendly but the other part was saying hey he notices changes on you. He would go around my direct boss and boss’s boss to assign project for me to work with him directly.. Although this ended up backfired, because my boss basically told him to back off from my day to day work management. When we walked by each other in hallway, I felt he always give me this meaningful glance with a smile.

I found my feelings extremely unhealthy. I tried to avoid him these days because I can’t even function normally when I am around him. There are times we are in a group setting, he was talking to others. I purposely look at my phone to avoid conversation with him but he walked up to me and asked about my dogs for the 1000 times again. On Halloween, when he came to our area. He asked what my Halloween costume is ) a pretty obvious one actually) and I noticed he looked at me up and down and paused on my boobs..There’s a company event where his wife was present and I bought one of my guy friends, he had a big smile when he saw me.. Told me he’s glad to see me and teased me a little.. 

I think he’s a good boss. I think my feelings for him is probably because I felt he’s the only person at work likes me while others have been very cold and distant. He’s my outlet and someone who made me feel comfortable. I also kind felt a vibe of our office environment where he was the only alpha male in the department and  most of the supervisor/managers are female and all fighting for his attention/approval.

I started kept distance from him because I the work environment was too toxic and I am planning to leave. I no longer engage in conversation with him when he comes to our area and just pretend I have earphones on. I also avoid any eye contact with him at all. Gradually I see him also stopped engaging me in conversation and turned his attention to other colleagues. Sometimes I still felt a little bit uncomfortable when I saw him joking around with other female staff.

 

I have been applying for jobs and can’t wait to restart my chapter fresh. I felt I should never agreed to come back to this job and found myself in this hot mess. Everyday I still can’t help wondering if he had any kinds of feelings towards me or this is all just office politics game that he plays.. Either way it’s making me very depressed 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forget about feelings.  He's married with kids.  He obviously does not respect and love his wife, the mother of his children and his children. 

It's good that you finally came to your senses and maintaining a cool attitude towards him. 

Good luck with your job search.  In the meantime, act natural.  There is a way to remain professional while keeping a safe distance.  Those are your new enforced healthy boundaries. 

I'm sorry about your frosty colleagues.  Do the best you can at any job while remaining respectful.  It's all you can do.  Never feel insecure and desperate to the point of being well liked by the wrong people.  Keep your standards high.  You will be fine.

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1 hour ago, Cherylyn said:

Forget about feelings.  He's married with kids.  He obviously does not respect and love his wife, the mother of his children and his children. 

It's good that you finally came to your senses and maintaining a cool attitude towards him. 

Good luck with your job search.  In the meantime, act natural.  There is a way to remain professional while keeping a safe distance.  Those are your new enforced healthy boundaries. 

I'm sorry about your frosty colleagues.  Do the best you can at any job while remaining respectful.  It's all you can do.  Never feel insecure and desperate to the point of being well liked by the wrong people.  Keep your standards high.  You will be fine.

Thank you!!

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2 hours ago, Fluffymomo said:

I am in my late 20s and he’s in his early 40s.  He’s married with kids. 

^ That, right there, is what you should be focusing on.  He is married. That's your cue to back off and stay off.  You have no business there. Ever.  He's taken and belongs to someone else. AND has children.  All the more reason for you to head in the opposite direction.  No flirting.  No encouraging. No sending personal messages etc etc.   No matter what HE is doing, or coming onto you, you don't engage.  All he shows you is that he is disrespecting his wife and children and his marriage.  He's no prize.

That said, it would be best for you to look for another job and lose his name and number and all contact. This would be a good way to save your self-respect and keep your dignity in tact.  Meanwhile, when he's around you remain courteous and polite and stick to the business at hand - be professional.  And always remember, ALL your colleagues would be aware if there is any flirting going on between the two of you.  To outsiders it is always pretty obvious, no matter how much the guilty parties believe they are hiding it. (Could this be why your other colleagues are frosty towards you?  Something to think about).

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29 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

^ That, right there, is what you should be focusing on.  He is married. That's your cue to back off and stay off.  You have no business there. Ever.  He's taken and belongs to someone else. AND has children.  All the more reason for you to head in the opposite direction.  No flirting.  No encouraging. No sending personal messages etc etc.   No matter what HE is doing, or coming onto you, you don't engage.  All he shows you is that he is disrespecting his wife and children and his marriage.  He's no prize.

That said, it would be best for you to look for another job and lose his name and number and all contact. This would be a good way to save your self-respect and keep your dignity in tact.  Meanwhile, when he's around you remain courteous and polite and stick to the business at hand - be professional.  And always remember, ALL your colleagues would be aware if there is any flirting going on between the two of you.  To outsiders it is always pretty obvious, no matter how much the guilty parties believe they are hiding it. (Could this be why your other colleagues are frosty towards you?  Something to think about).

I didn’t flirt with him….Nor did I try to make any moves on him.. He always come to me and initiate the conversation. 

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5 minutes ago, Fluffymomo said:

I didn’t flirt with him….Nor did I try to make any moves on him.. He always come to me and initiate the conversation. 

In that case you simply don't engage, unless of course it's business related.  I am guessing that by now he is very aware that you have a crush on him, it's all in the body language and responses.

Business = fine.  Anything else or personal = back off and don't engage.

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When I read the initial, first parts of your post, I saw a good leader and someone who takes initiative and motivates staff. It is not unusual to make small talk with staff. However singling you out consistently and teasing you or making any inappropriate comments is not a sign of a good boss and towards the end it seemed like sexual harassment. 

You did the right thing distancing yourself slowly but don't isolate yourself too much or let it affect your work. Would this not also be a work reference for you? How is your relationship with the boss you report to? Your immediate boss, the one you report to, seems wary of this other person's behaviours because he shut down any issues regarding your work or prevented this other higher up from usurping your time which might have resulted in poor performance on your part and you eventually being fired or let go due to confusion and overloaded with too much work. 

Focus on finding a better place to work and advancing your career. I'm sorry for your loss too. Lean on friends and family.

 

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5 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

My vibe is that of a married man trying to get into his colleague's pants (sorry to be crude).

Yeah it’s strange I noticed he never really approached me to initiate conversation around work for some reason but I have seen him done that with other colleagues. One time he bought his laptop and came to my desk, I thought he wanted to go over work related tasks. Turns out he wants to stop by and talk about weather… Anyways I don’t know if my other female colleagues dislikes me because of this.. And particularly my two direct managers have huge issue of him approaching me directly and pretty much stopped talking to me.. so in a way it’s a negative cycle that I ended up trying to use him as an outlet to feel safe and not being singled out at work.

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4 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

When I read the initial, first parts of your post, I saw a good leader and someone who takes initiative and motivates staff. It is not unusual to make small talk with staff. However singling you out consistently and teasing you or making any inappropriate comments is not a sign of a good boss and towards the end it seemed like sexual harassment. 

You did the right thing distancing yourself slowly but don't isolate yourself too much or let it affect your work. Would this not also be a work reference for you? How is your relationship with the boss you report to? Your immediate boss, the one you report to, seems wary of this other person's behaviours because he shut down any issues regarding your work or prevented this other higher up from usurping your time which might have resulted in poor performance on your part and you eventually being fired or let go due to confusion and overloaded with too much work. 

Focus on finding a better place to work and advancing your career. I'm sorry for your loss too. Lean on friends and family.

 

I guess at first I kept telling myself I was delusional until that day he made comments on my hair.. Found it a little odd.

unfortunately my manager and her boss seem dislike me and basically slowly sidelined me from all the meetings and projects. The more he tries to get me involved, the more they disliked me. Most of my work day I have nothing to do because my responsibilities have been taken away and i just sitting there feeling resentful and sorry for how the female colleagues treated me and became even more attached to him.

I have been looking for jobs but things kinda slow down with holiday season. Can’t wait to get out..

Still hope maybe it’s just all in my head. He’s just a decent boss who wanted to give me a chance out of kindness 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Fluffymomo said:

. One time he bought his laptop and came to my desk, I thought he wanted to go over work related tasks. Turns out he wants to stop by and talk about weather… Anyways I don’t know if my other female colleagues dislikes me because of this.. And particularly my two direct managers have huge issue of him approaching me directly and pretty much stopped talking to me.. so in a way it’s a negative cycle that I ended up trying to use him as an outlet to feel safe and not being singled out at work.

^ This is exactly what I meant when I said that all your colleagues around you will notice what is going on.  They are all aware.  This guy is showing no boundaries and is crossing the line.  He needs to back off.

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1 minute ago, Capricorn3 said:

^ This is exactly what I meant when I said that all your colleagues around you will notice what is going on.  They are all aware.  This guy is showing no boundaries and is crossing the line.  He needs to back off.

But I didn’t try to go around them and approach him… Yet they retaliated and take out their frustrations on me…

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9 minutes ago, Fluffymomo said:

But I didn’t try to go around them and approach him… Yet they retaliated and take out their frustrations on me…

Probably because they sense that YOU have a crush on him, and it's pretty obvious to all of them  what he's doing too.   You did say:  "so in a way it’s a negative cycle that I ended up trying to use him as an outlet to feel safe and not being singled out at work. and became even more attached to him."  .  Outsiders can always sense it from miles around what is going on.  You guys are probably the hot office gossip.

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10 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

Probably because they sense that YOU have a crush on him, and it's pretty obvious to all of them  what he's doing too.   You did say:  "so in a way it’s a negative cycle that I ended up trying to use him as an outlet to feel safe and not being singled out at work. and became even more attached to him."  .  Outsiders can always sense it from miles around what is going on.  You guys are probably the hot office gossip.

But I would never approach him first and in all of our conversations I never flirted with him… 

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It's a better investment at this point to look into support or grief counselling for losing a loved one (your parent). Don't bother with what the gossips are doing at work. Negativity, unprofessionalism, they all come back to haunt people. You don't have to stick around for that. Keep your eye on the ball finding a new place to work.

It doesn't matter what that boss crush is or who he is as a person. I've never found a ladies man, least of all at work, attractive. Accept the compliments at work but try not to read into it. I think you are in a vulnerable place losing your family member. 

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33 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

It's a better investment at this point to look into support or grief counselling for losing a loved one (your parent). Don't bother with what the gossips are doing at work. Negativity, unprofessionalism, they all come back to haunt people. You don't have to stick around for that. Keep your eye on the ball finding a new place to work.

It doesn't matter what that boss crush is or who he is as a person. I've never found a ladies man, least of all at work, attractive. Accept the compliments at work but try not to read into it. I think you are in a vulnerable place losing your family member. 

Yeah in some way I felt like I let myself to be vulnerable and opened up to him. Looking back I found it’s stupid for me to just let him in like that..

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1 hour ago, Fluffymomo said:

Yeah in some way I felt like I let myself to be vulnerable and opened up to him. Looking back I found it’s stupid for me to just let him in like that..

Yet please don't let shame or guilt or fear paralyze you. Take a deep breath, plan something for the evening, relax and get back into your groove. Put this behind you. 

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17 hours ago, Fluffymomo said:

Are you saying he’s aware and even kind of exploiting it…All the nice gestures are just part of the acts?

 

I would say that he saw a young women in lower position at work. And that he wants to get into her panties. He really doesnt care if you are interested or not(or for your dogs when we are on that matter), he will push until you either give in or blow him off. As one hated politician would say "many such cases". I am sorry OP, but that is a company work dynamic you need to learn exists and that you can avoid it. Bosses want sexual favors, you get "special benefits", other people(especially women) hate you for it. It doesnt even matter nothing is going on between you, they will still notice such stuff and think it does. Sorry that you got caught into something like that. And I think the best thing for you is to get a way out, meaning to find a different position at other company as you planned. Because giving in to somebody like that wouldnt be good for you. And blowing him off(telling him that it wont happen) would probably get you, well, fired or just replaced with somebody else.

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One of the ops managers at my former workplace had a big crush on one of my employees. He even left her what was basically a love note on the computer in our department. He was giving her all kinds of perks and special treatment and allowed her to work whatever hours she wanted, completely messing up the schedule I'd created.  I showed the love note to my ops manager. He said "Well, I don't blame him for trying to get into her pants but I do blame her for taking advantage." I was like, say what? This is HER fault??  Unfortunately that is how these things are viewed, whether it's fair or not.

You do admit you like the attention and have a crush, so you were probably pretty transparent to your coworkers. And that's why they are reacting this way.

I think finding a new job is a good idea if you can't reign in your crush.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Fluffymomo said:

Are you saying he’s aware and even kind of exploiting it…All the nice gestures are just part of the acts?

It seems that way to me.

18 hours ago, Fluffymomo said:

my other female colleagues dislikes me because of this..

Don't do this. Don't pit yourself against other women as if he's a prize. You are in that contest all by yourself. I guarantee that your female coworkers think you're crazy for letting this guy come within 10 feet of you. They see what you don't: an old married creep putting the moves on easy prey. A young girl acting like a fool for (what she thinks is) a 'powerful' man, convincing herself that he's her savior.

Don't confuse their raised eyebrows and frustration for jealousy. Normal women don't want gross married men who ogle their boobs. Managers don't like when their employees get poached by other managers. You would be annoyed too if your employee kept traipsing off with the pied piper.

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4 hours ago, Jibralta said:

It seems that way to me.

Don't do this. Don't pit yourself against other women as if he's a prize. You are in that contest all by yourself. I guarantee that your female coworkers think you're crazy for letting this guy come within 10 feet of you. They see what you don't: an old married creep putting the moves on easy prey. A young girl acting like a fool for (what she thinks is) a 'powerful' man, convincing herself that he's her savior.

Don't confuse their raised eyebrows and frustration for jealousy. Normal women don't want gross married men who ogle their boobs. Managers don't like when their employees get poached by other managers. You would be annoyed too if your employee kept traipsing off with the pied piper.

Actually to the opposite, they were all eager to please him and try to get his attention whenever he’s around. They would even go beyond the point showing the clothes they bought, their new shoes etc 

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4 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

I would say that he saw a young women in lower position at work. And that he wants to get into her panties. He really doesnt care if you are interested or not(or for your dogs when we are on that matter), he will push until you either give in or blow him off. As one hated politician would say "many such cases". I am sorry OP, but that is a company work dynamic you need to learn exists and that you can avoid it. Bosses want sexual favors, you get "special benefits", other people(especially women) hate you for it. It doesnt even matter nothing is going on between you, they will still notice such stuff and think it does. Sorry that you got caught into something like that. And I think the best thing for you is to get a way out, meaning to find a different position at other company as you planned. Because giving in to somebody like that wouldnt be good for you. And blowing him off(telling him that it wont happen) would probably get you, well, fired or just replaced with somebody else.

I don’t think he will demand sexual favors as this would be seen as a huge scandal. We are large public traded firm, this will sure end his career.

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