Gay/Lesbian Issues/Coworker

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Hi Michael,

I have a few questions about a guy I work with. Ok first off, I am 25 and he will be 21 this month. I am looking for a life partner and I have been debating whether or not he is capable of that kind of commitment. I know he is still young so he may still want to play. This is all assuming that he is gay.

Ok, the second issue is that from the first time we saw each other there was this intense connection between us. When he first saw me as we were working together, he gave me this long intense gaze going past socially appropriate , which he still does occassionally. From then on as we spoke more he would always touch as I am seated at my desk and he is walking past me. He sometimes touches me on my ear, on my neck, or my side alittle above my waist. On Fridays he would ask me what I am doing over the weekend. I never really have much to do but he has a very active life. I started to feel like he was attracted to me but he never would invite me anywhere. So I thought he was only interested in an office romance. Eventually he asked me for my number to play this game on our phone and later that day he had invited me somewhere (to hang out with him over a girl's house he liked..strange). Also, next week me and him are hanging out for the first time going to a bar. I sorta don't know why I suggested to him we hang out because of this girl being in the picture.

So my questions are first is he capable of long-term commitment, do you think he's gay, and should I still receive his flirting advances even though he is supposed to be liking this girl?

Answer
Dear Quentin:

It's difficult for me to evaluate your current situation given that the guy who has been rather flirty has disclosed being interested in a woman.  That could be cover, he could be straight, or he could be bisexual.  Since he has not specifically come out or expressed a sexual/relationship interest in you there is no way to tell whether he is gay let alone whether a long-term commitment is possible.  He could just be a touchy guy OR he might be flirting.

For what it's worth the bigger downside in my mind is that it is a workplace relationship.  Those are ALWAYS a bad idea because if things take a turn for the worst someone is going to lose their job.  Also, there is always the potential for either being outed at work or worse, a sexual harassment complaint.  Due to the work-related complications and the disclosure of a girlfriend, I would recommend against a sexual relationship.

If you want to develop a friendship, then by all means meet him at the bar and see where he leads the conversation.  Listen, but try not to read to much into anything that is said.  If he wants to drink and blab, let him.  But be careful what you disclose while the alcohol is flowing.  In other words, stay in control of your faculties.  If it's too hard to separate attraction from friendship, then you may want to pass.

Best of luck.

Regards,

Michael

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Michael Hernandez

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding gender issues having lived as both lesbian and gay. I can also address relationship questions being in a 14 year polyamorous relationship.

Experience

I am a trans (Female to Male) and have been in that community for the past 17 years and have presented in College/University classes as well as maintaining a website with links and information regarding gender issues [http://www.otherbear.com]

Organizations belong to
National Writer's Union, FTM Alliance of Los Angeles, Inc.

Publications
I've written articles for gender publications and have contributions in Bears on Bears by Ron Suresha (Los Angeles: Alyson Publications, 2002), Academy: Tales of the Market Place by Laura Antoniou (New York: Mystic Rose Books, 2000), "I Am Neither Man Nor Woman" Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, ed. Leslie Feinberg (Boston: Beacon Press, 1998), "Holding My Breath Under Water" Looking Queer , ed. Dawn Atkins (Hayworth Press, 1998), "Boundaries: Gender and Transgenderism," The Second Coming , eds. Pat(rick) Califia and Robin Sweeney (San Francisco: Alyson Publications, 1996), and "Packing, Passing & Pissing," Dagger , eds. Lily Burana, Roxxie, and Linnea Due (San Francisco: Cleis Press, 1994). Appearance in Transmen & FTMS: Identities, Bodies, Genders & Sexualities by Jason Cromwell (University of Illinois Press, 1999), etc.

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