General Dating Questions/Coworker interest

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QUESTION: Heya Dennis,
There's a gentleman at work whom I am quite attracted to and I find myself coming up with reasons to talk to him throughout the day. I am having a little trouble reading him though.

Nearly every morning he invites me to share his thermos of coffee with him and we talk for awhile. If he sees me drinking other coffee he says, "I have real coffee, if you want." I have told him I don't expect him to share his coffee with me, but he still offers.

Almost every time I walk by he is occupied in a conversation with someone who has gone to his work area to chat with him (usually vendors or customers), i.e. he's popular. I like to tease him about his adoring fan club, which he doesn't seem to believe exists. I was going to ask him out the other day and then decided not to because I thought he was on the brink of asking me himself.

Nope. Then I started watching his behavior a little more closely. He always seems happy to talk to me, but hardly seeks me out in comparison to how often I approach him. The other day I wanted to test this observation, so I decided to avoid any interaction with him during the last half of my shift. I didn't hide or anything. He could have easily found me if he wanted to. Towards the end of my shift I finally walked up to him and he said, "I was bummed. I thought you went home sick." Yikes! I think I am approaching him too much.

Due to the natue of my job sometimes there is literally nothing for me to do except shoot the breeze with my coworkers. I spend a lot of time chatting. Not a bad problem to have, honestly. However, I don't really want this guy to think I'm orbiting him. I kinda am and I can't help it. For one thing I'm bored outta by skull and for another he's hot! It's too tempting.

Anyway, I have given it a week and he still hasn't asked me out. I was SO sure he would. Maybe I am just full of myself. Whatever the case, I think it's time to lay off approaching him so much and that would be a lot easier if I knew whether to write him off as 'Not interested' or keep some hope going.

Any wise words?

ANSWER: Hello Tina!

"Wise words"? You know it's me, Dr. Dennis, who you've asked this question, right?

If a guy you like asks you to share his coffee or his food or his time or whatever, why in the hell would you ever tell him "I don't expect you to..." Tina! What sort of message do you think that sends to him? What are you trying to do - misdirect and confuse him? Do you actually think that is somehow attractive to men? Let me be absolutely clear here: NO IT ISN'T. It has the opposite affect - and message - of being repellent.

OF COURSE you don't expect him to share anything or do anything. OF COURSE you can buy your own damned coffee. I know that and he knows that. That's not the point! I'm singling out this one issue because it's likely a symptom of other problems (and mixed messages) you have with this guy. It's also the very likely reason why he hasn't pulled the trigger! Stop being so obtuse!

Stop and consider these events. Why does he bring enough coffee for the two of you every day? Why did he recognize that you weren't around that one day?

This isn't a problem of "approaching him too much". It's a problem of these dumb mixed messages and obscure, irrelevant "tests". Do you really think this guy can read your mind? (Don't answer that - obviously you do!) Let me assure you: you cannot. No man can read your mind and that isn't any sort of indication of how connected you are or how attracted he is or whether the stars have aligned just right for you to fall in love.

Tina, do you get what I'm telling you here? Your actions and words don't at all match what you want. Guys aren't going to figure out all this misdirection. They are going to take it as a lack of interest (at best), a lack of respect or at being standoffish and bitchy (at worse). Is that really the message you think will attract him to you?

Now, rather than going directly for what you want you figure that you'll get even more scarce and that is somehow supposed to make him come chase you. No Tina, it won't. This ridiculous belief in scarcity only causes guys (yes, including him!) to go find better, easier (and frankly, smarter!) targets! That's exactly what he's going to do. He's not going to chase you to the ends of the earth because you want him to.

Let me put this in another context. Let's say that you met a girlfriend at work who you really connected with. Would you go into hiding hoping that she'd chase you around in order to make you her friend? She might ask once about what's up but that's as far as it will go, right? Further, she'd think you were fucking nuts!

Get this through your head: guys aren't any different in this way. We begin thinking the same things too with all the mixed messages, misdirection, rude behavior (like not returning phone calls, being unavailable, etc.), inconsistencies, etc. We begin actually feeling relieved that nothing happened with you because we instantly see you as a drama-queen who has to manipulate everything to get what she wants. She can't be straightforward, up-front, direct or clear about anything she does.

If you actually want to have more than a staggered, uncomfortable, suspicious pseudo-friendship with this guy you're going to go to him the very next time you see him and say, "You know, you always bring in that nice coffee to share. How about I take you out to lunch this week to reciprocate?"

Then, when he says "yes" you set something up clearly and specifically - the day and time. You don't go back into hiding waiting for him to chase you down for you to set up this "date". You don't throw any more dumb mixed messages or road blocks at him about not knowing your schedule or having to get back to him or needing to check into something or getting permission or anything else so ridiculous. You also don't invite three other friends from work or take him to a place where you know you have friends waiting around who will join you - or any of the 1001 other dumb little games some of you girls like to pull as "tests".

Instead, you take him to lunch (or even better - drinks one evening after work) and you find out about him and express your interest in him to get things moving in the right direction. Then, when he asks YOU out, you go back and re-read this entire message and start acting like the person who wants to be with this guy.

Are we clear here???

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok, so, let me clarify.

The only reason I mentioned telling him that I didn't expect him to bring me coffee was so you would know I never told him to bring me coffee or created an expectation that he continue doing so. Honestly, i don't really appreciate things like this because I feel obligated to reciprocate and I don't necessarily want to. There is no way he thinks I'm standoffish and bitchy. If anything he probably thinks I'm clingy or in love with him. I seek out his company so often that I even annoy myself! I realized one day that it was always me approaching him and hardly ever the other way around. That made me think maybe I was going overboard, hence my desire to cut back on approaching him. Not because I wanted him to chase me because I didn’t want to be annoying. So many women circulate around him already and sometimes a person needs some space. I found it interesting that he thought I left work just because I didn't talk to him for a couple hours.

It really shouldn't require any mind reading for him to realize I am interested. It's blatantly obvious. I do not see what is confusing here. I am always friendly and I talk to him alot. We work the same shift and take lunch at the same time everyday. We've eaten lunch together a couple times.

When you say "express your interest in him" what do you mean because I thought I already did that.

ANSWER: Hello again Tina!

Well, you obviously know a LOT more about men - how we think, act and perceive women - than I do. You also obviously know a LOT more about dating and relationships than I do.

Thus, there isn't anything else I can offer you. You're obviously on the right path so go get scarce and do all the things you want to do (with all the great knowledge and understanding you obviously posses) and for all the great reasons you stated and I'm sure you'll have exactly what you want.

It's "blatantly obvious" that I'm way, way outmatched by your skills here.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I wasn't trying to be rude I just don't understand. I think it's obvious. Clearly, he doesn't. What am I missing?

Answer
Hey Tina!

If you come here seeking help and then proceed to tell me how to do my job or that my help is wrong, it's rude - ESPECIALLY when "everyone knows". No, everyone does NOT know. Belief isn't fact.

Your belief that it's "obvious" is the very problem here. Sure, it's obvious to you but you're right there inside your own head. Not a single person outside your own gray matter knows what you're thinking. No, not anyone.

This is ESPECIALLY true when you pull this dumb shit like getting scarce. You think you're sending a message that he needs to come chase you. What every other person on the planet thinks (well, at least every single one I've ever encountered) views this as is you LACKING interest in them and (very likely) being a rude, stuck-up, self-centered bitch.

Just because YOU do a thing and it's obvious to YOU means absolutely nothing. His ACTIONS are what I'm going on. You (and many other women) think this same dumb thing - that it's "obvious" and no, IT IS NOT. Then, when the guy doesn't respond how YOU want him to because, well, it's "obvious" you blame HIM as though he's trying to play you or something!

THAT is what you're missing.

If you've had lunch with him scale it up to drinks or dinner or going to do something fun. Buddies have lunch. Business associates have coffee. Potential romantic partners DATE.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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