Dealing With A Crush At Work – How To Handle A Crush On A Coworker

Work crush

Do you linger around in the breakroom, hoping for that one, particular person to walk in so you can have a chat? Perhaps you’re willing to drive 5 miles off your route, to be able to carpool to work with this colleague. Are you wearing your best clothes to work all of a sudden? A crush on a coworker can do that to you. 

And if you’re working from home, you and I both know that the only person you’re staring at during the entire Zoom meeting is this work crush you’ve got. All of a sudden, turning your cameras on at a work meeting doesn’t seem like the worst thing ever. 

Is this the start of something new? Or is it something that’s going to get you demoted? Navigating the murky waters of developing feelings for a coworker can often leave you perplexed. Let’s take a look at what you need to do, so you don’t end up getting a letter from HR about being unprofessional.

Signs You Have A Crush On A Coworker

Hold it for just a minute. Before we discuss how we can turn receptionist-at-work Pam into wifey Pam, you first need to figure out how serious this work crush of yours is. 

“I have a crush on my coworker, I think he smiled at me yesterday when we were crossing paths,” you might think, cooking up a little rom-com in your head. Even though you’re not a teenager anymore, infatuation is not an ailment that affects only the young. Perhaps you just watched Jim and Pam finally kiss after endless seasons of a will they/won’t they situation, and now crave the same thing.

A crush at work might just be something you get over pretty quickly, like that time you forgot to add an attachment to your Email three times in a row. Or, they can be intense enough to make that important, upcoming meeting seem like it barely matters anymore; all that matters is this person you’re pining for. 

To make sure it’s not just infatuation you’re feeling and is in fact a proper crush on someone, let’s take a look at some of the signs you have a crush on a coworker. 

Related Reading: 15 Signs Your Male Coworker Likes You

1. It’s not based on superficial reasons 

If you think you have a crush on a coworker because they wear that perfume you like or because they always have their hair done a certain way, think again. What separates a fleeting crush from something that has more substance is what you like about the other person’s personality. 

If it’s just because they look good and wear nice clothes, it might not be the strongest crush. However, if you like multiple aspects of their personality and love spending time with them, you might have something on your hands.

2. If your sexual curiosity is supplemented with adoration 

Of course, you’re going to have a few dreams about this person that don’t involve much clothing. But if you want to know whether your office crush is more than it seems, figure out if it’s fueled only by sexual curiosity or if there’s an added aspect of adoration. 

When you can confidently say you admire and respect this person’s personality, there’s definitely more to all those dreams you keep having. 

3. You genuinely know them

Have you ever been in a relationship or even dated someone, only to realize three months later that they’re not who you thought they were at all? We can often make up an idea of what people are like in our minds, only to end up having them completely crushed. 

If you haven’t idolized an image of this work crush in your head and you actually know what they are like, then it definitely sounds like the real deal. If you want to spend time with them even after knowing they sometimes annoyingly chew food with their mouth open, this workplace crush is here to stay. The difference between love and infatuation can be that simple to spot.

4. You can imagine a relationship together 

And we’re pretty sure you already have. How’d that fantasy trip to Venice with your work crush, that you made up in your head, play out? Are you dreaming about lying down next to this person, watching Netflix on a Sunday afternoon? You’re smitten, and not the fleeting kind. 

Are you already daydreaming about your crush at work?
Are you already daydreaming about your crush at work?

5. You want your office crush’s attention 

We’re pretty sure you’ve bought a bunch of new clothes, your shoes are sparkling clean and you’re always wearing that new perfume/cologne. Your wardrobe has definitely benefited from this crush on a coworker (though your bank account might not be too happy).

You might even try getting into that thing your workplace crush is into, so you always have something to talk about. When you’re trying to get their attention so intently, it’s definitely a sign you have a crush on a coworker. 

So, now that you’ve figured out if there’s something more to those raunchy dreams you had or if they were just a one-off, we can move on to the things you can do about it. 

How To Handle A Crush On A Coworker

Let’s cut straight to it: you’ve got two options here. You can either try to pursue this crush at work, or you can figure out how to get over it. To make a decision on what you want to do going forward, you need to ask yourself a bunch of questions: 

  • Is there mutual attraction?
  • Did the above signs that you have a crush on a coworker apply to you?
  • Are you convinced it’s not a temporary infatuation?
  • What’s your workplace’s policy on office romance?
  • Will your job be in jeopardy if you pursue it?
  • Is this workplace crush negatively affecting your productivity? 
  • Do you think you and this person can be a good match? 
  • Are they single and available? 
  • Are you two compatible? 

Based on the answers you gave, you probably have a better idea of what you should do next. Whether you’ve decided to start getting over a crush on a coworker or if you’re mustering up the courage to ask them out, we’re here to help. 

Related Reading: How To Date A Girl At Work? Follow Our Tips!

How To Pursue A Crush On A Coworker

So, you’ve decided that this workplace crush isn’t something you can just get over too quickly. You want to take the risk and jump in with both feet. You’re going to ask out the person you work with, despite how awkward it can potentially be later on. But there’s just one problem: you’re not sure what the first step is. 

Don’t fret, this is where we come in. Let’s figure out what you need to do, so that you’re not the reason the whole office has to spend a Saturday afternoon at a seminar about inappropriate relationships at the workplace. 

1. Watch out for the signs they like you 

First things first, try to look out for the signs your coworker likes you. Not only will this give you a better idea of your chances, but you’ll probably also feel a lot more confident when you approach them the next time. 

Are they finding excuses to meet you? Perhaps they’re making eye contact with you while you’re in a group. Do they initiate conversation and ask to “hang out” later? If the answers are all pretty positive, your crush on a coworker might just be mutual (fingers crossed!)

2. Don’t go in all guns blazing 

Meaning, be subtle in how you approach this. If you burst into their office and ask them on a date without establishing a relationship with them first, all you’re going to get is a termination letter, not a coffee date with your work crush. 

There’s a lot to lose here (let’s not forget that this place pays you, and you need money to stay alive). So don’t make any abrupt decisions; try to establish a relationship with this person first.

3. Set the groundwork and establish a connection

“Establish a relationship” sounds easy on paper, but it’s much harder when put to practice. If you’re not on talking terms with this work crush, it’s vital to get there first before you can take the next step. 

Figure out the things they’re interested in, and strike up a conversation by the water cooler. Is he the biggest Star Wars fan? You better know the dimensions of the Death Star by heart. Is she all about Game of Thrones? It’s time to study the map of Westeros and know it even better than your hometown. 

office affairs

4. Say it with your body language 

When you’re attracted to a coworker, your body will do the talking for you. But if you want to make it a bit more obvious, there’s a lot you can do with your body language. Instead of blatant flirting, try to ease into it by displaying positive body language signs. 

Lots of eye contact, genuine smiles, uncrossed arms, and inviting postures can do a lot more for you than you know. If you’re always standing in front of them with arms crossed arms and a frown on your face, let’s just say you’re not getting a text back. 

Try not to be over-friendly out of the blue, and definitely don’t be physical unless you want to be reported. Body language mistakes at work can be a deal-breaker. Make sure you seem as non-creepy as possible.

5. Ask them out 

You’ve established communication, gotten in on their likes and dislikes, displayed only the best body language you can and all the signs look promising. Great, there’s only one thing left to do now: ask them out. 

We know, we know, it seems like the hardest thing in the world. And for good reason, too. There’s a lot at stake here, given how awkward things can get if your work crush declines your offer. 

To give yourself the best possible chance, don’t ask this person out prematurely. Give it time, establish a great rapport – inside jokes and all – and try to ask them out for a casual drink after work at first. Who knows, everything might just fall into place.

Related Reading: Hooking Up With Co-Workers? 6 Things You MUST Know Before Doing So

Getting Over A Crush On A Coworker

If you’ve come to the conclusion that there’s too much at risk here and the only way to deal with a crush at work is to get over them, you’ve got more maturity than most. It might be the case that yours is just a one-sided crush (as it often is), or you might’ve developed a crush on a coworker in a relationship. Let’s look at the things you need to do hereon: 

1. Accept that it’s not going to happen 

Telling yourself “it’s not going to happen” while also completely obsessing over this person when they smile at you for a second isn’t going to do you much good. When you’ve decided that you need to start getting over a crush on a coworker, accept that fact in its entirety. 

Unfortunately, you can’t be “open to whatever happens.” That’s just going to leave you dangling while your work crush tries to figure out why you’re being so weird. 

2. Talk to a friend

Sometimes all you need is a bit of tough love. And who better to get a dose of tough love from but your best friend, who had been warning you about this crush at work since you spilled the beans?

It’s a hard pill to swallow when your best friend goes, “I told you so,” but it will also give you a different perspective on things. Talk to people who don’t have a biased view of the situation, it’ll make things easier. 

Get over a crush at work by talking to a friend about it
Talk to a friend, it’ll help

3. Distance yourself from your work crush

If you, unfortunately, work in close proximity with this person, distancing yourself from them can be a bit challenging. Even so, try to not engage in conversation with them until and unless you have to. Resist the urge to sit next to them in the cafeteria and definitely don’t text them after work. 

4. Maintain professionalism 

You know what’s hot? Playful flirting, maybe a few touches on the lower back. You know what isn’t hot? “Good afternoon, Jacob. I hope this email finds you in good health.” 

The simplest way of getting over a crush on a coworker is to be extremely professional with and around them. Eventually, they’ll get the hint and realize that you’re here simply for that promotion, not to make friends. 

5. Get back out there

Are you figuring out how to deal with a crush? Want to get over them and move on with your life? There’s this wonderful thing that was designed for finding love, but is usually used by people looking for rebounds and a few bad first dates: dating apps. 

If you can deal with the photos of people with dogs they don’t own and the incessant “Hey!” messages, putting yourself out there can be a great way of dealing with a crush on a coworker. Maybe you’ll even find someone better.

Getting attracted to a coworker is something most people go through. The interesting part is what comes after they realize they’re crushing on this person. Whether you decided to say screw it and ask them out or you decided to back off, we hope this article helped you out. See you again, the next time you have a crush on a new coworker.

FAQs

1. How can I tell if a coworker is attracted to me?

You can tell if a coworker is attracted to you by looking at the signs. Are they trying to initiate a conversation with you? Do they make eye contact? Have they tried to “hang out” with you after work? It’s usually not as hard to tell as it’s made out to be; you just need to know what to look for

2. Are workplace crushes normal?

Yes, workplace crushes are extremely normal. According to a survey, half of the workers in the U.S have admitted to having had a crush on a coworker at some point in time. 

3. What is the body language of a man that likes you?

The body language of a man who likes you is largely going to be positive and inviting. He will make plenty of eye contact, with a smile plastered on his face. When he’s interested in what you’re saying, he will lean in to hear you better. 

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