Has your boss been giving you special attention lately? Do you catch him staring at you? Have you been wondering if your boss likes you romantically? Do you find yourself wrestling with the dilemma of how to tell if your boss likes you? Have you been asking yourself, “Does my boss have a crush on me?” If your answer to all questions above is yes, then my friend, this article is for you.
In an email by one of our readers, Jocelyn, she says, “I keep catching my boss looking at me. He has changed my desk to the one near his cabin and keeps sending me personal DMs. He never engaged in anything that would make me uncomfortable, but these little things make me wonder if my boss is in love with me. My colleagues keep asking me if I have a crush on my boss. I don’t think so. I am so confused. What if I am reading the situation wrong?”
With all those work hours and extra shifts, the line between professional and personal relationships gets blurry. Feeling close to people you spend so much time with is natural. This also opens doors for work relationships to transcend into romantic territory. That is all okay but how does one tackle the possibility of office romance with the boss? Now, those are tricky waters.
There are so many variables involved. What if your boss likes you romantically but you don’t like them back? What if you like them but they don’t like you and all the signs your boss is attracted to you are just in your head? Uff, brain-freeze alert! Relax, we’re here to help you gauge the situation. Let’s look at the signs your boss likes you romantically and how you can handle it if he/she does.
17 Signs Your Boss Likes You Romantically
Navigating a potential romantic interest from your boss can be a tricky situation with professional implications. Misreading signals or handling an office romance well could lead to nightmares from the HR department and office gossip. If your boss has romantic interests in you, he/she will drop some hints consciously or unconsciously. Just be on the lookout for signs that your boss might have a crush on you.
Firstly, it’s crucial to be discreet about your observations and avoid sharing them in the office. Remember, in this cutthroat world, most people wouldn’t have your best interests at heart and your doubts in the wrong ears could ruin a potentially great future you’d have working there. In this article, we’ll discuss 17 signs that your boss is into you:
1. They are being too helpful
If your boss is finding excuses to interact with you and help you out more in comparison to the other coworkers, it could be one of the telling signs your boss likes you romantically. You may feel that your boss is being a good mentor, but is that all that’s prompting this behavior? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your boss let go of your errors easier than others?
- Are they more patient with you and give you extra chances?
- Does he give you extra attention, some of which could be unwanted?
Wondering, “How do I tell if my boss likes me?” Here’s your first clue. When someone goes out of their way to help (at the cost of their own time and energy) and does it often, it could mean that you mean something more. Beware, don’t encourage this overly helpful behavior as your boss can interpret it as a sign that you reciprocate their feelings (unless you want to).
Related Reading: 15 Signs A Female Coworker Likes You
2. Your boss gets you gifts
Navigating the tricky territory of romance with your boss can leave you feeling like you’re stuck in a workplace rom-com. Especially if they are married or are in a committed relationship. Look out for any special attention, from receiving unexpected gifts (hello, fancy printer!) to enjoying exclusive perks like flexible hours or a little hike in your pay grade while your teammates watch in disbelief. These could be signs your boss is attracted to you.
And if your boss goes the extra mile and gives you presents, but wants to keep it on the down low, you’re not wrong in wondering if these are signs your married boss likes you but is hiding it. They may not be a people pleaser but they sure like pleasing you. Beware, dating your married boss makes for some juicy office gossip topics. With that being said, partiality in the workplace can cause a number of issues, so be very careful while dealing with your boss’s exclusive generosity.
3. Your boss is constantly flirting with you
I, too, was caught in the “I think my boss is attracted to me” conundrum at one point. Owing to my suspicions, I asked my friend, “How to tell if your boss is flirting with you? I keep catching my boss looking at me. Healthy flirting is fine but she compliments me too much, I think my boss is in love with me.” I tend to be quite reactive in situations like this. “Isn’t this one of the most evident signs your female boss likes you but is hiding it? Lucky you!” she said and we laughed it off. But these thoughts pushed me to pay attention to my boss’s behavior and come to the following understandings:
- Flirtatious comments from your boss can be a sign of romantic interest. This may include compliments, teasing, unnecessary private meetings, and personal conversations that go beyond professionalism
- Physical contact or attempts to be close to you are also indicators of interest
- Your boss may show a heightened interest in your personal life and love life
- Another sign is when your boss prioritizes your needs and goes out of their way to please you. They may offer special privileges or assignments tailored to your interests
- Your boss might excessively compliment your work and become protective or possessive of you
These actions suggest that they are trying to form a deeper connection with you beyond the professional sphere, indicating potential romantic feelings.
4. Your boss invites you for dinner/drinks
If your boss has feelings for you, he/she may want to spend time with you outside of office hours. They may stay late to help you with work, and then casually ask you out for late-night drinks or dinner at places they know you like. They’d make the smallest of things seem like a cause for celebration and you’d be the first person they’d invite.
While they may not want to straight up ask a coworker out on a date, these actions suggest your boss is attracted to you and wants more than just a work relationship. How you respond depends on your own feelings. If you too are falling for your boss or are simply interested in exploring the relationship, then such rendezvous can be great for getting to know them. Oh, and one more thing to consider before jumping into the romantic boat is your boss’s current relationship status. Be especially aware of the signs your married boss likes you but is hiding it. It can get really messy, really soon.
5. They compliment you often
It is common for bosses to appreciate their employees’ work and professional abilities. However, if your boss appreciates you beyond the realm of work and starts focusing on your physical characteristics, it may indicate that your boss has a romantic interest in you. Statements like “You light up the office space” or “The mauve looks very nice on you” suggest that your boss is observing your appearance and may be attracted to you. To confirm your suspicions, you can try an experiment.
- Make subtle changes to your appearance, such as getting a new haircut or buying some new clothes and trying a different dressing style
- Pay attention to how your boss reacts
- If they not only notice these changes but make a point to comment on them, it could be a strong indication that they have more than just professional interest in you
- Remember to proceed with caution and consider your boundaries and workplace dynamics before taking any further steps
Related Reading: 15 Examples On How To Respond To A Compliment From A Guy
6. They try to spend time with you privately
You take a coffee break, they appear for theirs, you go for a smoke and they join you. They ask you to stay back or come on weekends, for which you are duly compensated monetarily. They go the extra mile to take care of you and even help you learn new things saying, “It would help you move up the corporate ladder.” This is because your boss wants to spend time with you and is using work to get some private time with you.
“Does my boss have a crush on me?” If you’re still asking this question, it’s time to look closely at the lengths to which your boss goes to get some alone time with you. If they’re truly going above and beyond, it becomes quite obvious, doesn’t it?
7. There’s physical contact
If your boss consistently exhibits behaviors like standing too close, engaging in unnecessary physical gestures such as hugs or arm touches, or frequently leaning in close to you; the attraction alarm should go off. To confirm, observe body language signs of attraction, such as blushing when you notice their physical proximity. These signs can be strong indicators that your boss is romantically interested in you.
Pay attention to whether this preferential treatment is exclusive to you. If you’re interested, you can consider reciprocating, but if these advances make you uncomfortable, remember that they can be considered workplace sexual harassment, and you have the right to take action.
8. You catch your boss staring at you
Have you ever said to yourself, “I think I caught my boss staring at me”? If your boss is romantically attracted to you, you might have caught him/her making googly eyes at you. When someone is attracted to you, they tend to stare at you simply because they can’t get enough of you. Staring at a crush is normal.
Think about how you played hide and seek with your eyes with your first crush. We are all human, and romantic feelings do make us do weird things. So, if you see your boss doing weird things like this, you can deduce that they might have romance on their mind.
Related Reading: 8 Signs That Say You Are Being Sexually Harassed At Work
9. Calls/texts you for no reason
When a person has feelings for someone, they feel the urge to talk to their crush more often. “I called you to submit that thing. I just forgot what that thing is.” If your boss calls you out of nowhere and blabbers something along similar lines, it means that he/she wants to talk to you but doesn’t know what to say.
He/she will first make work-related excuses to call you and when those finish, they will look for ways to prolong the conversation. That is the real reason they’re calling. It is like the oldest trick in the book. If he/she spends more time thinking about you than managing the team, it is one of the clearer signs your manager likes you.
10. Your gut feeling says so
Your gut can pick up the signs someone secretly loves you. Questions like, “Is my boss attracted to me?”, that have been weighing on your mind aren’t just coming out of nowhere. It’s the result of your sixth sense picking on signs of unspoken attraction at work. Remember, gut instincts are not whims. It is your inner intelligence piecing together their body language, tone, and words, and laying it down for you.
When you realize that your boss has feelings for you, it can be a dilemma whether or not to do something about it. If you misread your boss’s body language and behavior, it can be embarrassing and cost you your job, or the boss theirs! It is important to be observant yet sure that your boss is really into you before you take any steps.
11. They seem interested in your personal life and ask personal questions
When your boss demonstrates a genuine curiosity about your personal life, it goes beyond simple small talk about your work life.
- They may delve deeper into your hobbies, passions, weekend plans, or relationship status, showing a sincere interest in getting to know you as a person
- This can involve asking about your favorite activities, discussing your goals outside of work, or even inquiring about your family
- They’d remember everything you’ve told them about you and might shrug it off by saying they just have a good memory
By taking the time to ask about personal things, your boss is signaling that they value you beyond your professional capabilities and are interested in establishing a deeper connection. And on top of that, if your boss appreciates you and your perspective on personal matters and other things, it is quite evident how they feel about you, isn’t it?
12. Your boss finds excuses to engage in non-work-related conversations
It’s not uncommon for colleagues to engage in casual chit-chat from time to time but when your boss consistently initiates conversations that go beyond work-related topics, it suggests a desire to create a connection on a personal level. These conversations may revolve around shared interests, hobbies, or even personal experiences.
They might share stories from their own life or ask for your opinion on non-work-related matters. By fostering a relaxed environment, he/she is trying to make you feel comfortable, build rapport, and strengthen the connection between the two of you. If it’s an occasional occurrence, it’s no biggie, but if he/she keeps finding excuses to be around and chat, then you know you need to pay attention to the signs your manager likes you.
Related Reading: Hooking Up With Co-Workers? 6 Things You MUST Know Before Doing So
13. They make an effort to find common interests or hobbies
When your boss actively seeks out shared interests or hobbies between you, it shows a genuine effort to create common ground and establish a stronger connection. They might discover that you both enjoy similar activities, have a passion for a particular sport, or appreciate the same type of music or movies. In conversations, they may highlight these shared interests, recommend related content, or even suggest engaging in these activities together.
- You might have told them that you like a certain genre of music or movies or a certain artist or director, and they start listening to that artist or watching that movie so they can have something to talk to you about
- You might have mentioned how you like a certain food and they bring that food to the office and offer it to you in hopes to bond over your common taste in food
- They might join the same gym or yoga studio as you
- You might have mentioned you like to party and he/she has been inviting you to one party after the other
14. Your boss becomes defensive or jealous when you interact with others
When your boss exhibits signs of defensiveness or jealousy, especially in situations where you interact with other colleagues or receive attention from others, it indicates that they might have developed romantic feelings toward you. They might become protective of your time and attention, showing subtle signs of discomfort or annoyance when they perceive others as a potential threat.
Their behavior may include making possessive remarks, trying to monopolize your conversations, or displaying signs of discomfort when you engage with others. Maybe you have noticed this behavior and wondered, “Is my boss attracted to me?”, and shrugged it off. Pay attention, these actions demonstrate that your boss sees you as more than just a coworker and has a vested interest in maintaining a closer connection with you.
Related Reading: Want To Make Someone Blush? Here Are 12 Adorable Ways!
15. They show signs of nervousness when around you
In the presence of someone they are romantically attracted to, it is common for people to display signs of nervousness such as fidgeting. Similarly, your boss may exhibit these behaviors when you are around. They might find it challenging to maintain steady eye contact, appear restless or jittery, or display physical indicators of being on edge.
These signs suggest that you have a significant emotional impact on them, leading to heightened romantic interest that affects their composure. Their nervousness could be a result of wanting to make a good impression or being unsure about how to navigate their feelings toward you in a professional setting.
16. Your boss blushes or becomes visibly flustered in your presence
When you notice your boss blushing or becoming visibly flustered in your presence, it is a strong indicator of their romantic interest. Blushing is a natural physiological response that often occurs when someone experiences strong attraction or heightened emotions. Say you see a noticeable difference in your female boss’s behavior and comment on it, causing her cheeks to turn pink instantly, it’s a clear indicator of the kind of impact you have on her.
In the past, there may have been subtle signs she secretly likes you but is hiding it, but this makes it all pretty evident, doesn’t it? If your boss blushes or becomes flustered around you, it suggests that your presence has a profound effect on them, confirming their romantic interest. It signifies that they may feel a sense of vulnerability or excitement around you, revealing their emotional connection and attraction.
17. They initiate or respond positively to flirtatious conversations
How to tell if your boss is flirting with you, or is just being playful? Flirtatious conversations that go beyond the boundaries of typical professional relationships can be a clear sign of romantic interest from your boss. They may initiate playful teasing, use double entendres, or engage in witty banter with you. These interactions often involve a lighthearted and sometimes suggestive tone, hinting at a desire to establish more intimacy in the relationship. By engaging in such conversations, your boss is testing the waters and indicating their interest in taking the relationship beyond the professional realm.
Related Reading: 12 Ways Office Affairs Can Spell Trouble For You
What To Do If Your Boss Likes You Romantically
If your boss does indeed like you romantically, you cannot just turn a blind eye to this reality or wait for their feelings to die down. If left unattended though, things could go out of hand. So, here are some things you can do if your boss likes you romantically.
- Maintain professional behavior and boundaries: It’s crucial to prioritize professionalism and set clear boundaries when dealing with a boss who has romantic feelings for you. Avoid any behavior that could be interpreted as reciprocation or encouragement if you’re not interested in them. Continue to conduct yourself in a respectful and professional manner, focusing on your work and treating your boss as you would any other colleague or supervisor. Identify healthy boundaries and maintain them at all costs.
- Communicate your boundaries clearly: If you feel uncomfortable with their behavior toward you, it may be necessary to have a direct conversation with your boss to communicate your feelings and boundaries. Express that while you appreciate their feelings, you do not share the same romantic interest. Emphasize the importance of maintaining a professional working relationship and ask them to respect your boundaries. Be firm but polite in your communication, and try to find a balance between honesty and tact
- Seek support from HR or a trusted supervisor: If the situation begins to affect your work environment, it is essential to seek support from Human Resources or a trusted supervisor. Explain the situation and provide any evidence or documentation that may be relevant. They can provide guidance, mediate the situation, and take appropriate steps to ensure a respectful and harassment-free work environment. It’s crucial to document any incidents or interactions that make you feel uncomfortable to support your case if necessary
- Proceed with caution and transparency: In case, you too have feelings for your boss and want to take things forward, the situation needs to be handled even more delicately, and with the utmost professionalism and transparency. Begin by considering the implications of your relationship within the workplace and the potential impact on your colleagues and team dynamics. If it is permissible within company policies, have an open and honest conversation with your boss to discuss the situation, establish boundaries, and determine how to maintain a professional working relationship while also pursuing your romantic interest in each other
- “Why is my boss being extra nice to me?”, “My boss compliments my appearance all the time, is that normal?” – Questions like these swirling in your mind are the first indicator that you need to pay attention to how your boss feels about you
- If your boss frequently engages in personal conversations, shares personal details about their life, or seeks opportunities to spend time alone with you, it could indicate a romantic interest
- Pay attention to any signs of special attention, compliments, or personal interest beyond the scope of work-related interactions
- If you sense that there is a romantic undertone to your interactions with your boss, it’s important to take your own intuition seriously and consider the possibility
- Reflect on your own feelings towards your boss. Determine if you have any romantic interest or if you prefer to maintain a strictly professional relationship
- Clearly establish and communicate your boundaries if you feel uncomfortable with any romantic advances
If you find yourself in a situation where your boss’s romantic interest is becoming undeniable and your doubts have shifted from, “How do I tell if my boss likes me?”, to the certainty of, “My boss is attracted to me”, it’s time to ask yourself, “What am I going to do about it?” It only makes sense that you make up your mind and take the necessary actions. Ignoring it might lead to a never-ending cycle of awkward interactions while taking action opens up a world of possibilities.
This article was updated in June 2023.