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How do I approach an old crush I rejected by accident? We now sometimes see each other in a place i work

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My past self was very stupid. We only met briefly at some college collaboration (we don’t attend the same university) and got along well at first and had some awkward/flirty moments. We had a similar type of humor and some outlooks on life and I really appreciate him as a person. One day he was trying to ask me out but I didn’t realize this and I didn’t take his question seriously. After this he started to back off a little and at first I didn’t know why. When I realized that he might have thought I don’t like him the project was already over. We don’t have each other’s socials (I wanted to ask him for his number and tell him I’ll miss his jokes but I chickened out because I thought he didn’t really like me due to him being a bit cold towards the end. I never really got him out of my mind since then, even though we haven’t seen each other in a while.

Now he sometimes comes in a place I work part-time, but there’s not much time to talk since I’m quite busy so I only have like 5-10 seconds to say anything else than a hello. He seems happy and suprised to see me, but doesn’t initiate further conversation and could just be polite. I don’t think I could expect him to do anything though, since I find it understandable to not pursue the person who rejected you in the past again. I mean some people do try again, but it’s probably risky. That’s why I think the ball’s in my court.

Also, I’m still not completely sure he actually liked me, but if he did, he most likely moved on already. And even if he still has some feelings, he might not act on them. So maybe it’s just not a good idea to do anything?  And I’m also not sure if he even wants to talk to me or is just being polite.

So, what’s there to do? I’m pretty awkward and unsure when it comes to this. Should I do nothing because I might have already hurt his feelings in the past? Should I directly ask him to grab a coffee (that might be a bit weird and pushy, I don’t even know if he’s still single).

My only idea is to quickly tell him “oh you’re here often” or “nice to see you again” (that’s also what my friends suggested). But I think it would be a bit too much to say “Hi! Nice to see you again” since we aren’t even acquaintances and telling him “you’re here often” is a bit passive?

Any ideas what to do in this type of situation?

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1 hour ago, helicopter_helicopter said:

My only idea is to quickly tell him “oh you’re here often” or “nice to see you again” 

Ask to grab a coffee together to get a read on the situation. That way if there's nothing there, you're being friendly and if there is...you'll sense it.

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I'd say something like: Hi, I've been wondering how you've been doing since college. Any chance you'd like to meet up for coffee?

You'll immediately or soon find out all you'll need to know: if he's single or not, interested or not.

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