Although relationships often bloom in the workplace, sometimes the attention from those who are interested in you is unwanted and uncomfortable. A good way to avoid these romantic entanglements is to stop it before it goes any further. I can't tell you how many times my girlfriends have had to deal with this, and although some are skilled at dodging these awkward situations, there are some that don't realize it until the later stages. Not dealing immediately with the issue can lead to a lot of embarrassment for the other party and possibly disrupting your career if he's your supervisor or an important client. Here are some ways to tell if a professional contact is eyeing you as a love prospect:
- Your gut is telling you. Your gut is the best indicator of whether his attention towards you is getting a little inappropriate. If something feels off to you, there usually is something wrong with the situation. Listen to yourself and if you're still uncertain, talk to friends about what you're feeling to see what kind of feedback they'll give you.
- Asking you to meet up too many times. My friend was telling me about someone she works with who keeps asking her out for lunch and trying to make their appointment last as long as he can. This sometimes signifies that he has more than a professional interest in you.
- Praising qualities that are irrelevant to your work. Telling you that you're attractive or mentioning that you must get a lot of dates can be a sign that he's into you. After all, this is very personal information, and he might be trying to test the waters before pulling more obvious moves on you.
- Divulging too much personal information. If you start hearing really private stories or information, he's probably attempting to connect with you on a more personal level, which can mean that he's trying to inch towards starting some sort of relationship with you.
- Complaining about love life. Be wary. Some men don't let their relationship status get in the way of chasing prospects so don't let his married or serious relationship state lull you into a sense of security. If he starts confiding in you about his love life, you need to be on guard, particularly if what he has to say about his partner is negative.
These are just some general warning signs and aren't by any means surefire ways of detecting your contact's interest. Have you ever had to deal with a work pal hitting on you — how did you resolve the situation?