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UK Relationships/Is it a mutual interest or a one sided crush? And how can I make it more?

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Hi,



About two and a half years ago I started working for a Restaurant chain as a run of the mill cashier/staff member. This was a part-time/summer job to get me through college. About ten days into it I started to notice that my boss smelt incredibly good. When it hit me like a ton of bricks that I fancied him. At this time we were both single and we both have a good sense of humor, so we got on well together, it also helps that I am very good at my job. After a while I started to notice that he seemed interested in me. He was watching me and listened more intently to me and asked me more about myself. He also asked me on a number of occasions how old I was? This seemed to occupy his mind a good bit. There is a bit of an age but nothing insurmountable. I have always gone for older men, living by the rule if they could have fathered me, then their to old for me. By that mark he's not too old. But maybe the fact I was in college was part of it. In actuality nothing happened. Probably in no small part due to the fact that I lived in a distant county for college 5 days a week and with my parents the other two. After about a year he suddenly cooled on me. He wasn't mean or hostile, it was just as if something had change. I suspected then and had it confirmed a month later, that he had in fact acquired a girlfriend. My heart sank in my chest. 7 months later I had a fleeting relationship of my own. Around the end of that relationship I had finished college and was promoted out of that restaurant. He was delighted for me on my promotion, but was certainly not happy to see me leave. Though that may be due to the fact that I am an easy going, but hard worker. More that the manager was going to miss the staff member, more than the man the woman. Then after having been working in my new restaurant for 7 months now. I was covering a shift in his restaurant and the chat and the banter automatically pick-up where it left of. I have thought about him allot in the time since leaving his restaurant, and I still have feelings towards him. Two days later I bumped into a former colleague of mine who basically confirmed he is once again single. I can't help but wonder if I should approach the subject of a date, but I wouldn't know how or where to begin. I have never been out with him in a social context, it wasn't the done think in my old restaurant to do staff nights out. And now I personally tend to avoid going out with the staff and that seems to be his rule of thumb as well. I don't drink and I know he only drinks in moderation, so no chance of a couple of drinks after work. I have his phone number as a requirement from when I was a staff member, but I know for a fact he doesn't have mind in his phone, if he called me it was from the office phone. I txted him maybe three times since I left the restaurant, but mostly just a joke or two about of the higher ups or a congrats on a good work result, it would be a pretty big leap to coffee sometime? There is also about a 30% chance that we will end up working together again in the next 6 months, one of his assistant managers is due to go on maternity next month and my restaurant is over staffed by one. But two of our managers are due to leave early next year and my current boss would fight to keep me. Though our Area Manager is known to be unpredictable in these situations, I am the logical choice for the job. Another possibility is that he may be moved to my restaurant for a host of different reasons it would mean a drop in title but because mine is the biggest restaurant in the company its not a demotion, it takes two strong heads at the top to run. But the gap between us then would be one increment, not as terrible a match as staff member and store manager. But if we were to work together again, I would not want to have ruined a good working relationship by the post being shot down awkwardness. So my question is: does he fancy me? If so, do I pursue it and how?

Sorry to be so long winded,
Thanks so much,
Mia

Answer
Hi Mia

Thanks for the mail. Okay.....does he fancy you? It goes without saying that , if you dont know that , having worked with him and spoken to him, then some random guy on the end of a computer keyboard is not going to have a clue.
Does he think highly of you....it sounds like it. Does he like you.....almost certainly. Does he think you're good at what you do......it sounds very much like it. Fancying though is one of those things where you have to try and read the signals, the behaviour and the inferences, impossible to do from a recounted email.
To be honest with you I was never that good at knowing when somebody was interested in me so second hand its even worse.
What I would say is this........50% of the mails I get on this site are of the "does he / she like me and how can I find out" variety. There's no doubt that the world would be a much easier place if we gave some sort of visible sign when we were interested in someone, our eyes changing colour or or hair standing on end. Then there would be no doubt and we could all go off hooking up with people that we knew liked us.
Sadly, it doesnt and so the answer is always the same.......talk to them.

Look Mia, I know you say that you dont drink and so you cant catch up for a drink , and casual work conversations are too big a stretch to "do you want to cacth up for a coffee". And you're right, there are a million perfectly valid reasons why you cant catch up with him on your own, but if we're honest, the biggest reason is old fashioned trepidation.

We'll turn ourselves inside out looking for the tinest clue to attraction. We'll spend months years even, smiling at people we like and missing opportunity after opportunity to spend more time with them because we're terrified, absolutely petrified that we might ask they may say thanks but no thanks.

Mia, if you really cant ask him out for a coffee, then make it semi-professional. Text him and ask if you can have an hour or his time to talk about this change thats coming up , ask for some career advice, whatever, the subject matter is relatively unimportant, even a little white lie to get him in the door is fine but you should use that common ground to get his attention and some one on one time. If it goes well, and the conversation is natural and friendly then at the end of it, or shortly afterwards, ask again.
If he gives you advice offer to take him out to luch as a thankyou. Make it casual and light hearted as you want but the truth is, this will not fall in your lap and if you want it progress you will have to risk a little something.

He sounds like a decent guy so I'm quite sure that if you did suggest a lunch , and he wasnt up for it for whatever reason, professional / personal / relationship , whatever then you;re both big enough to deal with it without embarassment of any kind.


Good luck

Steve

UK Relationships

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Steve Wilson

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Any questions on families or relationships are welcome. As are any issues or problems that you have with communicating or simply being understood by those around you. I have voluntarily worked as a counselor in the past, both with individuals and families. I cant promise to have an answer to everything but will help as and where I can, without making judgements.

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Both a former telephone counselor with a well known international support organisation and a former police officer within a major UK city. I've helped with numerous issues and worked with individuals and family towards conflict resolution.

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Bachelor of Arts (Honours). I've received training in family and teenage counselling.

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