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You Asked: I Slept With a Co-Worker and Now Things Are Weird

Dear Sugar,

I recently hooked up with a male co-worker who also happens to be my good friend. We had been dancing around a mutual attraction for about a year and finally slept together after having a few too many drinks one night. Because we're such good friends, it felt safe and comfortable. Neither of us are looking to be in a relationship right now, so it seemed like a good opportunity to have some fun with no strings attached. We decided that it was probably best to leave it as a one-time thing, though I made it clear that I was open to the possibility of it happening again.

Before we had sex, we agreed that we wouldn't let things get weird between us as friends. Well, that lasted about a day. I've been trying to play it cool, but now he's treating me like a clingy ex-girlfriend he's trying to ditch. He never accepts my invitations for group outings anymore, and he avoids situations where we might be alone together. I've tried giving him space, which is hard because we work together, but he still gives me the cold shoulder. I feel really hurt by this. I hate trying to walk a fine line between seeming too clingy and avoiding him. I'm still attracted to him, but most of all, I miss his friendship, and I want things to go back to normal.

I feel like if I talk to him about his behavior, it might make things even more awkward. But I'm worried that if keep my mouth shut, I'll risk losing his friendship altogether. How can I fix this?

—Things Are Awkward Now Nancy

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Things Are Awkward Now Nancy,

I know you guys were friends before you slept together, but there was obviously more going on between you than just a casual friendship. I think this guy must have gotten scared off or nervous and that's why he's acting so immature.

You can't keep going on like this. I would approach him and say that you'd like to get together and talk about things. You have no idea what he's thinking. Does he like you but is nervous to start a relationship? Is he not interested in starting a relationship but afraid to tell you because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings? Or maybe he doesn't want to act like your friend and give you the idea that he likes you, so he's acting like a jerk instead. You'll have no idea unless he tells you.

He could also need a little time to sort through his feelings and may not be ready to talk about it yet. So just be patient, go about your business, and have as little contact with him as necessary. I'm sure with time, the weirdness will subside and you'll be able to talk things out. If not and he continues to act childish and different then you'll know that this guy definitely isn't worth your time.

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kythera kythera 8 years
Hate to say this: You made your bed.... One of the many unspoken rules of dating: NEVER DATE A COWORKER!
kythera kythera 8 years
Hate to say this: You made your bed....One of the many unspoken rules of dating: NEVER DATE A COWORKER!
meanbean meanbean 8 years
Oh dear. Your guy sounds like he feels nervous about you reading too much into things/leading you on and is acting very immature. As everyone else said - give it time, give it space. If he doesn't start treating you normally again he was never that much of a friend to begin with. I've been in a very similar situation with a coworker, except that we weren't super close friends beforehand. I tried the "let's talk about it being awkward" thing -- but he denied any awkwardness which just made me feel like an ass. I ignored him for awhile, tried to act normal and after a bit of time we were back to being fine. We also ended up hooking up again a few months later, which as you can imagine wasn't one of my best decisions... ah girls. When will we learn?
meanbean meanbean 8 years
Oh dear. Your guy sounds like he feels nervous about you reading too much into things/leading you on and is acting very immature. As everyone else said - give it time, give it space. If he doesn't start treating you normally again he was never that much of a friend to begin with. I've been in a very similar situation with a coworker, except that we weren't super close friends beforehand. I tried the "let's talk about it being awkward" thing -- but he denied any awkwardness which just made me feel like an ass. I ignored him for awhile, tried to act normal and after a bit of time we were back to being fine. We also ended up hooking up again a few months later, which as you can imagine wasn't one of my best decisions... ah girls. When will we learn?
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
I think I'll be the voice of minority here, but I think he's acting like he's trying to shake a clingy ex because you are acting like a clingy ex. In your own words you said that you both agreed that you both didn't want a relationship or anything and it was a one night stand. Then you go back and say that you "made it clear that you were open to the possibility of more" you don't say that he was as well. Now it seems that you have some sort of feelings for him when he made it clear from the beginning that this was a one night stand to him.Sounds to me like you were saying one thing, but feeling another..
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
I think I'll be the voice of minority here, but I think he's acting like he's trying to shake a clingy ex because you are acting like a clingy ex. In your own words you said that you both agreed that you both didn't want a relationship or anything and it was a one night stand. Then you go back and say that you "made it clear that you were open to the possibility of more" you don't say that he was as well. Now it seems that you have some sort of feelings for him when he made it clear from the beginning that this was a one night stand to him. Sounds to me like you were saying one thing, but feeling another..
BalancedBabe7 BalancedBabe7 8 years
I disagree... maybe he's treating you like a clingy ex-girlfriend because that's what he's perceiving your invitations as. You said you two had been drinking and you agreed that it was a one time thing.. then you said you weren't opposed to more times... did he said he was??? Guys freak out easily, don't know how to deal and think all women are born from movies like "a fine line between love and hate" and "fatal attraction". Maybe for him it was just a drunken good time that he may be regretting but doesn't want to face you or hurt you. The more you pester him the more you will push him away. He may be avoiding "alone time" with you because you said you could handle more fun times and he doesn't want anymore fun times. Guys have a hard time going back from just sex to friends or relationships to just friends... if he was this wonderful friend before - give him space- quit pestering him and just act "normal". You said you're attracted to him.. sneaking suspicion says its more then that and that's whats clouding your judgement of how "normal" you are acting. When you stop acting like a clingy ex-girlfriend and act normal he will come around. If he doesn't come around then it's his loss and move on.
BalancedBabe7 BalancedBabe7 8 years
I disagree... maybe he's treating you like a clingy ex-girlfriend because that's what he's perceiving your invitations as. You said you two had been drinking and you agreed that it was a one time thing.. then you said you weren't opposed to more times... did he said he was??? Guys freak out easily, don't know how to deal and think all women are born from movies like "a fine line between love and hate" and "fatal attraction". Maybe for him it was just a drunken good time that he may be regretting but doesn't want to face you or hurt you. The more you pester him the more you will push him away. He may be avoiding "alone time" with you because you said you could handle more fun times and he doesn't want anymore fun times. Guys have a hard time going back from just sex to friends or relationships to just friends... if he was this wonderful friend before - give him space- quit pestering him and just act "normal". You said you're attracted to him.. sneaking suspicion says its more then that and that's whats clouding your judgement of how "normal" you are acting. When you stop acting like a clingy ex-girlfriend and act normal he will come around. If he doesn't come around then it's his loss and move on.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 8 years
This is always a tough situation because you don't know if he'll react favorably and want to talk or if he will just get freaked out thinking that you are thinking too much about it. The problem is that in any case, you probably are thinking harder about it than he is. Some things to consider: if he's having a particularly busy time at work, if there are other things stressing him out, etc. There is the possibility that it's not you or at least not just you. Office relationships are so tricky since both people work in close proximity and it's all about the interactions that come out..not just what you are thinking independently or him as well. Definitely give it time, but think about how you would approach situations that don't involve all this complication since that would require you to be your natural self, which always makes things a little easier.
yes-jess yes-jess 8 years
Asia84: you made me lol.
yes-jess yes-jess 8 years
Asia84: you made me lol.
frieddumpling frieddumpling 8 years
I say just leave him be as well. Also, either he really can't handle it or the harsh truth that he doesn't care for you that much as a friend or as anything more for that matter. Your friendship is already lost by the way he is treating the situation. Give him some time and see what happens. Take it as a lesson learned and move on.
mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 8 years
I don't think he likes you. He probably slept with you because you are attractive and he was horny. I would go back to how you acted before, like professional coworkers. This is exactly why EVERYONE says not to have casual flings at work. It's what bars/Internet dating/friends with benefits are for. I would pretend like it never happened.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
It's obvious you now know it wasn't a good idea to sleeep with your friend.My advice to you would be to not to bother anymore with the invites, keep your distance,say nothing more about what happened and maybe he'll relax and finally get that you don't want anything more than friendship.If not,then consider it a huge lesson learned.......Oh and your friend sounds like an idiot and not much of a friend if he couldn't at the very least think enough of you to treat you better than some stranger that he had a one night stand with.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
It's obvious you now know it wasn't a good idea to sleeep with your friend.My advice to you would be to not to bother anymore with the invites, keep your distance,say nothing more about what happened and maybe he'll relax and finally get that you don't want anything more than friendship.If not,then consider it a huge lesson learned....... Oh and your friend sounds like an idiot and not much of a friend if he couldn't at the very least think enough of you to treat you better than some stranger that he had a one night stand with.
Asia84 Asia84 8 years
He's a loser . . .NEXT! This is why you don't gap your legs open . . .because at the end of the day, YOU look clingy, and he goes about his business. Sleeping with anyone from work is a big NO-NO. But if you're gonna do it: F*ck up, not down. Can this guy even get you a new desk stapler or an upgraded flat screen for your office??? Dang girl, did you atleast get some new Post-its??? You got HOSED!
Asia84 Asia84 8 years
He's a loser . . .NEXT!This is why you don't gap your legs open . . .because at the end of the day, YOU look clingy, and he goes about his business.Sleeping with anyone from work is a big NO-NO.But if you're gonna do it: F*ck up, not down.Can this guy even get you a new desk stapler or an upgraded flat screen for your office???Dang girl, did you atleast get some new Post-its???You got HOSED!
BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 8 years
This is a good reason not to hook-up with guys from work. Awkwardness can affect your job performance.
Marci Marci 8 years
ooopss. JenniFer! Sorry :p
Marci Marci 8 years
Jenniver777 puts it perfectly. Read her advice twice. :)
Marci Marci 8 years
Jenniver777 puts it perfectly. Read her advice twice. :)
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 8 years
Don't try & corner him for a "talk." It's not gonna get you anywhere. Just stay normal and ignore him. Stop inviting him togo out cause he obviously cannot deal with it right now. With any luck he will grow up a little and you will be able to resume your friendship...you gambled ona lost..it happens.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
This is why you don't mess with friends. You were aware of what you were doing and it's silly to act as if things will go back to the way they were. Y'all have potentially screwed up a friendship here. Perpetually asking him out to places does seem clingly.
trixiefire trixiefire 8 years
Ignore him completely. That might be exactly what he wants, but doing the opposite will only make him think even worse of you. Anyone who would be that immature isnt worth your time or friendship. Cut your losses and move on. Obviously the thrill of the chase was what he liked, and now that he's had you, you're useless to him. Get the point across to him that he's as worthless and disposable to you as you were to him and maybe you'll get a shred of respect back. And count yourself lucky he didnt tell everyone in the office!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Back off and let him come to you to talk. I think you are over compensating a bit by inviting him to do things. The one time thing needs to blow over.
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