Dating someone from work is…. Messy. To start off, if you happen to be reading the vibe wrong and pursue someone who isn’t interested then things at work will definitely get awkward with that rejection. The next obstacle is work’s policy about relationships. You may have to sign forms or it could be forbidden depending on the department or if one of you holds a superior position. Signing a document two weeks into a relationship would make just about anyone nervous. Or if work relationships are forbidden there’s added pressure on the relationship to know if it’s really worth losing your job over. Lastly, if your position titles are unbalanced any career achievements could be judged as ‘sleeping to the top’.
If I haven’t stressed you out enough yet then let’s skip right into the relationship. You’re starting a new relationship already spending the majority of the week with this person. So after spending the whole day together now you’re going to go have dinner or some other date plan. A relationship like this can definitely burn out quickly.
So say the relationship has burned out. Now you still see that person EVERYDAY at work. Maybe you’re both part of coworkers that all get lunch together every day, now what? Does the group split in half, are you left all by yourself, do you suffer through a group lunch with your ex every day? Dating a coworker is extremely complicated and there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Of course, all relationships have their obstacles so a relationship with a coworker isn’t all that different.
So if you’re going to pursue this guy then the first thing I would work on is one on one time. Whether it be texting, lunch at work, or a light hearted hang out outside of work you want to build a special bond between the two of you. You can test the waters on how he may be feeling about you and express that you are interested in a relationship with him. Once you two have talked about those romantic feelings and are on the same page, you can progress in the dating stage.
There’s a lot of uncertainty for the two of you, so not knowing if he loves you or not is very stressful. Since he is your crush I imagine you’ve been paying a lot of attention to him. Does he make an effort to talk to you, ask you about your days and hobbies? Does he ask if you’ll be at that party this weekend or try to find ways to be around you? If the answer so far has been mostly No then maybe he’s not good at expressing his thoughts verbally and you need to see his actions instead. Does he find ways to be near you? Does he do little things that make your life easier?
If the answer is still No then a lack of maturity could be the issue or sadly, he just might not be that into you (link older article). One last thing to keep in mind though is have you made it obvious to him that you like him? Could he read those questions and mostly answer Yes? Have you been honest and straightforward “I like you, I would like to date you, what do you think?”
I know it’s scary to put yourself out there like that but this not knowing will fill you with doubt and destroy your peace of mind from the inside out so even if it’s not the answer you’re hoping for, it’s better to know for sure than always wonder.
For a relationship:
It’s very possible you might have a different love language than your significant other. That’s very common and nothing to fear. The way in which you show love and expect it to be shown back to you might be very different than the way your significant other naturally shows their love for you. For example, you might be vocal about your love, writing love letters, showering them with compliments, and always ending an exchange with ‘I love you’. Your significant other might be quiet or reserved and you may be hurt that they never compliment you or say I Love You first. This is where it’s important to 1. Figure out your love language and your SO’s love language and 2. Directly communicate to your SO that you need to be shown some love in your love language (to continue the example, you might ask them to write you a note of appreciate or love or to make the effort to compliment you more).
It’s important you find out the love language of your SO other because this can help you notice the ways in which they ARE showing their love. For example, they might show love by spending quality time together. No matter how busy their schedule is, they make sure that they are home to spend every dinner with you. And sure, you are capable of walking the dog by yourself, but they walk with you every time for that extra one on one time. This extra effort may have been going by unnoticed to you. You may have even gotten annoyed when they asked you to check your social media apps after dinner but now you’re realized how much they cherish that time of undivided attention and connection.
Aside from realizing all the ways you are being shown love, you can also make the effort to show them love in that same way as well. You’ll feel connected again when you start making this effort along with seeing them make the effort to speak your love language too.
I’ve been on probably two non-date coffee dates. One time with Stubborn in which I believe he was unsure about us and didn’t want to commit to an hour -long meal and a heftier bill. Ironically, that coffee lasted longer than nearly all of my dinner dates. The other coffee date was with some guy I didn’t want to see but he said I judged him too quickly and in order to not look like the bad guy, I agreed to coffee (he was as wrong for me as I originally thought).
When I choose that coffee date with the second guy, I wanted it to come off as noncommittal. I wanted to chug my hot cup in 25 minutes and call it a day no matter the taste bud burns. I didn’t want to be trapped waiting for the waiter to come back and take our meal order. I wanted an easy out.
I’ve also been on two “Let’s get drinks” non-date dates. Now I, personally, am not much of a drinker so the fact that these men suggested drinks means they don’t know me every well nor did they really care to. Those drinks also lasted the noncommittal hour and then they would ask, “Hey, wanna get out of here?” Yes. Yes, I did want to get out of here but sure as hell not with you!
Those were not a ‘let’s get to know each other’ drinks, they were ‘let’s see if you’re interesting enough to want to hook up with’ drinks. They didn’t want to waste time or money truly wooing me. They were lazily looking for something quick and fun. It was their way of ‘sampling the product’ without having to put in the proper amount of time and effort of a real date.
You might be wondering why I continue to call these dates ‘non-dates’ and that’s because the lack of commitment. Coffee or drinks is casual, quick, and easy. It’s kind of like if you just ‘hang out’ with a guy. You’re not really dating him if you’re never seen together in public.
If you really like someone, you probably won’t suggest coffee or drinks as the first option. You’ll be thinking “I really like this person and want to spend as much time with them as possible” and let’s face the facts, coffee just wouldn’t cut it.
I have been on quite a few dates over the years. There is a debate about when to say No to a date/guy. Should you say yes to every guy? Give a fair chance to everyone? Will it burn you out to always be saying Yes? When is the time to say No?
I mentioned before being nudged into a coffee date because I was being called out for judging this guy too quickly. I didn’t want to seem like a judgmental bitch to this stranger (why I would care is another post for another time) so I agreed to coffee. See, I knew I was right that this guy wasn’t a good match for me.
That doesn’t make him a bad person or me a better one. It bugged me that I couldn’t say No. Actually I had already said No! It was when I originally said No that he called me judgmental and it’s really quite difficult to say No twice.
So we get coffee and he wasn’t the guy for me. We didn’t have much in common, we didn’t have any chemistry, things he considered fun were things that sounded like my personal nightmare. We were just too different and there wasn’t anything pushing us to make it work anyway. And you shouldn’t have to try to make it work with every person you meet. You’re allowed to be picky. You’re allowed to have standards.
I gotta admit, this post isn’t really for any of you. It’s for me. I’m here to tell myself that it’s okay to say No. It’s okay to stick to your guns. It’s okay to say No as many times as you want! Whenever you want!You don’t want to go out on a date, don’t go. You like this guy but you don’t want to go back to his house yet, don’t. You went back to his house and the clothes are falling to the bedroom floor, You’re allowed to change your mind and say No.
No matter where you are in the relationship or in the moment, you have the freedom and the right to say No. You don’t owe him anything. But you do owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself. Be your own Advocate. Be your own strength.
I have definitely said, “You can do better” to a friend before and I have also had it said to me. I realize it is a friend trying to support, compliment, and look out for you. That’s how I meant it when I said it, along with “You deserve so much better” and “Forget him, he’s nothing but bad news anyway”. What I’m also willing to admit is that I’m passing along a lot of judgment while saying these ‘encouraging’ comments (read: critiques).
I’m judging her taste and ability to choose lovers/boyfriends by calling them ‘bad news’. I’m telling her that she has no authority over her own life and I’m going to make better decisions for her since she can’t seem to pick the right guy for herself. I’m judging her self -confidence and worth by telling her what I think she deserves; how much I think she is worth.
All in all, I’m criticizing her personal choices.
I’m also telling her that our friendship is no longer a safe place to openly be herself. I’m telling her that this friendship is about me. I am not here for her to voice her concerns and lessen her burdens. I am here to praise myself for not making the same foolish mistakes that I am judging you for from where I sit on my high horse. I’m telling her to not trust me with her vulnerability.
She knows any other girl would try and leave him, but her feelings are outweighing her logic. And Love is rarely logically. She doesn’t need her friends pointing out the logical and less ’embarrassing’ option. She needs support so that she never feels trapped or shamed.
She needs support so that she can finally come to a new decision on her own in due time. Or she might never change her mind! And then she has to choose between you and him. Trust me, you’ll lose her then because she will always choose Love.
So when I tell her “Wise up, he’s no good for you” I’m also telling her “Wise up, I’m not much better.” Because if a friend needs to tear you down in order to build themselves up, then that’s not a friend you need to be around.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve been on tons of first dates. More than any person would ever want to, I’m sure. I kept going on first dates though because I was ‘picky’. I needed a palpable connection and a list of criteria to be met. It was meaningless first date after first date when I finally met my long term boyfriend.
Finally, someone I just connected with. The beginning was easy, I felt alive, and he was good to me. I finally picked the right one! Even his mom was excited about our future!
But time passed and he stopped treating me right and eventually he became my ex. I should have left a lot earlier than I did and now it’s hard to trust myself.
I’m really picky and I still didn’t pick the right guy. How can I trust myself now?
I’m wondering if I should go about picking partners differently now since clearly, I’ve been getting it wrong all these years. I don’t think I’m too picky honestly, but however I am picking must not be working. Do I need to stop putting so much weight on that feeling of connection?
Maybe with the information I knew at the time, I was picking right? And eventually as time goes on, someone who was right for you can stop being right for your future.
We all know love has a way of blinding us so maybe I need friends and family to pick the right match for me. People who know and love me and have my best interests at heart. But we probably all know someone we would have picked differently for and who’s to say that they made the wrong choice?
Maybe with the new lessons I learned from my dating experience, I will pick the right one next time and I can trust myself. I can trust myself by being self aware. By knowing I’m a hopeless romantic and where my weak spots are. By listening to red flags when I first see them and by understanding the type of men I gravitate towards.