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Co-Worker Flirting

"I'm Married, and My Co-Worker Keeps Flirting With Me"

This week's confession comes from our anonymous Confession Booth group in the TrèsSugar Community. Weigh in with your advice below.

I started a new job about three months ago and I can't tell if my co-worker is hitting on me or not. Either way, the whole thing makes me really uncomfortable because I'm married. One day I walked into his office, and he told me how pretty I looked. He has a really hot accent, and of course, I was flattered — turned red and everything — then walked away.

Another day, he had to show me how to do something on my computer and he sat superclose to me. He's a very subtle flirt, but it's happening more and more often. Why does he do this? He knows I'm married, so is he just friendly? Am I reading way too much into this? What are a guy's motives to subtly hit on a married woman?

There are lots of important things going on in our community. Join it, check it out, and share your posts or advice in the great groups, and maybe we'll feature you here.

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henna-red henna-red 5 years
I've worked with europeans before, and so I understand what you're saying isse, about the difference in boudaries. I think, for me, the OP saying that this is happening more and more often is the key. This fellow is looking for a response, and encouragement.....also, I wonder how long he's worked in the states.....whenever we work in other countries, it's important to pay attention to local customs and local taboos. But it's also important here, for the op to understand what kind of reaction she needs to have to get the result she wants....
Isse Isse 5 years
I'm European and Europeans have way bigger boundaries then Americans. Just saying....
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 5 years
People who are looking for side dishes do not care about your marital status. Why would they? I hear married people make the best lovers because of the forbidden aspect. They're looking for people they're attracted to and then they go about discovering if they have a chance to have sex. If it's at work they especially have to work carefully at the seduction, but that can be part of the thrill. He might be slowly, carefully checking your boundaries to see how you respond. If you respond favorably and with interest he'll probably increase the openness of his flirting until you're bonking. Your husband is your problem, not his. In fact your husband might keep you safely just bonking instead of wanting 'more'. As for your husband, yeah, it very much sounds like he's doing the same thing with the other girl. Some people say look at the numbers, almost half of married people cheat, it's just human nature. I say those people should be married *to each other*. What it really comes down to is this the kind of partnership you can live in comfortably?
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 5 years
So you say he has an accent... is he foreign?  I ask because if he's European he may have different space boundaries.  Americans love our "personal space" and have a much larger idea of how much space we should leave between people when interacting.  Also, culturally there are different boundaries so you guys might still be figuring out how to work together.  The pretty comment is pretty mild, I'd have to know what other things he was saying to know if he's really flirting.  From what you've said here it seems he may just be being friendly.  If the compliments keep coming and are distracting I would just say something like "I appreciate all of your compliments, but can we keep it professional from now on?" He should respect that because the next step is going to HR.  
henna-red henna-red 5 years
The behavior you describe, that is making you uncomfortable, comes under the definition of sexual harassment....I suggest you google sexual harassment to get the eeoc's definition and the legal definitions. There are many sites that give adivise about how to deal with this situation. A lot of people, (not just men) who sexually harass others have gotten very subtle, as you describe. It's not all just blatant f me or else kinds of situations. What you describe is and has been forever, a common issue in the workplace, and an issue that so many companies prefer to ignore, when possible. I'm not going to advise you about what to do in your situation....I am going to adivise you to go to a site that specializes in this issue to get suggestions and a plan of action for addressing this. I DO know that you must address it to make it stop....but I don't know the best way to do that. There are a lot of people who do, who make this kind of issue their work or primary focus. As for your husband.....his actions are disturbing you, his tone is disturbing you, you understand what about it is disturbing you, so you need to talk to him and tell him how you feel and why. Don't sweep it under the rug, address it. I don't necessarily mean an angry confrontation, but definately an honest and upfront statement and questioning of his actions and how they affect you. Our opinions about whether or not you have something to worry about are not nearly so important as the fact that you are already worried. Always address your feelings, whether they are discomfort at work over inappropriate touching and attention or an inappropriate question of your husband's to a co worker. (yes, I think it's inappropriate.) good luck OP
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