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Question
Hi

I have this co-worker who i dont know likes me more than just a person.We are not friend hardly speak to me but when she does she says nice things.Like the other day she called my little love at the end of our conversation on the phone or she was doing me a favour and said to me :see you are always in my mind.Sometimes she looks at me and making really strong eye-contact,but sometimes ignores me and dont even look at me.What do these mixed signs mean??Please help me as i dont know what to do,and how to behave around her,dont like akward situations.I am shy she is not at all.By the way she has been married before,so she cant b lesbian,right?

Answer
Greetings and sorry for the delay in answering your question.

I can imagine how awkward it may feel if you aren't sure what the messages are from someone you hardly speak to at work. I always advise the importance of communication and honesty so that both of you are on the same page so there are no assumptions, misunderstandings or minimum awkwardness. Honestly also helps relationships grow, including work relationships.

Reading through your message, terms of endearment like "little love" or "You are always on my mind" can mean something friendly or something more. Eye contact can mean something simple as just noticing you in a friendly way or can mean something more. Not acknowledging you or ignoring you may mean that something else in their life has distracted them from their daily routine and has nothing to do with you. Again, best to communicate directly rather than take guesses because no one can read a person's mind. Even our best guesses can be incorrect.

I would recommend asking your co-working the following to find out why they make strong eye contact. For example you can say something like, "I notice you looking at me from time to time. Is there something on your mind you want to share with me? / What are you thinking about?"

I would also recommend talking about how you feel to your co-worker in a private conversation to minimize awkwardness as well as setting some boundaries for your work relationship. Consider this example: "Thank you for the favor. I really appreciate our work relationship."

Both examples are gentle yet are clear and concise.

I understand that you are a shy person but no one has the right to create a difficult work environment especially if comments and stares are unwanted and uninviting.

If you have a human resources officer, a staff advocate or a manager that you trust, you have the option of approaching them explaining that you aren't sure how to address the situation.

Lastly, we cannot make assumptions about a person's sexual orientation. Many people have been married to the opposite gender and cannot disclose or "come out" as their true selves for many legitimate reasons such as fear, rejection, religious values, etc. Some people are bisexual and marry the opposite gender.

I hope this message has provided you with some options. Try your best to communicate with this person so that you are no misunderstandings. Perhaps this person may admit that they actually do like you more than just a work-mate way. Should this be the case, it would be a great opportunity for you to be honest and upfront about how you feel and what is most comfortable for you.

Kind regards,

Dr. Reece Malone

Gay/Lesbian Issues

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Reece Malone

Expertise

I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.

Experience

I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit: http://www.reecemalone.com

Organizations
American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Publications
Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Education/Credentials
Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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