Wondering if that guy who sits next to you has a crush on you? Or maybe it's the woman you always end up sharing your lunch break with, the one who always makes sure to bring extra cookies so she can share them with you. If you feel like you're picking up vibes from a coworker, check out these seven signs of a secret crush at work to know if they're crushing on you for sure.
7 signs of a secret crush at work.
1. They're your constant work buddy.
Somehow, you two always end up sitting together at meetings or being in the same group going to lunch. Even if you work in different areas, departments or on entirely different floors, you still end up seeing them with a higher degree of frequency than most of your other coworkers. This could be by design because they want more face time with you.
2. They remember tiny details about you.
This is one of the classic signs that someone likes you. If your coworker remembers the name of your beloved childhood pet (which you only mentioned once), as well as the date of your work anniversary, this tells you that they're paying particular attention to everything you say. This is one of the most solid signs of a secret crush at work.
3. They do more favors for you than any other coworker.
A coworker who always seems willing to jump in and help you deal with a particularly difficult task or even customer is clearly prioritizing you. This means you're special to them in some way. Most people enjoy helping those they care about, so lending you a hand could be a sign of some serious feelings on their part.
4. Your schedules have begun to synch up.
If your job involves shift work, then you know how variable that kind of schedule can be. You usually end up working a little bit with everyone. Yet if you suddenly find yourself working every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon with the same person, chances are high this could be by design as well. They might be switching shifts with other coworkers or even requesting to be scheduled on those days specifically to work with you.
5. They linger over work chats.
So, maybe they come to your desk with a simple question about the work you're both doing... and then find a way to draw the conversation out and stay a while. And this has happened often enough that they now know all about your hobbies and interests and even remember to ask about your nephew's birthday party this weekend. They obviously want to spend more time with you, making this one of the most reliable signs of a secret crush at work.
6. They often invite you to after-work get-togethers.
You might even be the first person they approach before inviting anybody else, and they check with you to see if you're going before committing to someone else's invitation. This could definitely be a sign of a secret crush at work and also mean they're working up the nerve to maybe ask you out for a one-on-one drink. If you're still not sure, take note of their reaction the next time you can't attend. If they're notably disappointed or even outright chooses not to go, this is a good sign of some strong feelings as well.
7. Other coworkers start asking about you and your best work buddy.
Because it might seem to them like you're a little bit more than just work buddies. You might take for granted the fact that you grab coffee or lunch together, that you share and vent about work together because hey, you're buds. But if your coworkers are sensing that there's more to it than that, pay a little more attention to just how your best bud acts around you. Those coworkers may be right about the fact that there are more than just friend vibes happening here.
What to do about a coworker's crush.
If you're into it...
- Return their attention by being an active participant in all of your conversations.
- Get to know them as much as they've tried to get to know you.
- Invite them out for an after-work drink and, if you're feeling bold, make sure it's just the two of you.
- Let them know how you feel, while also establishing some "while we're at work" guidelines before moving forward.
If you're not into it...
- Be friendly but not too friendly since this will only encourage your coworker's efforts.
- Try to avoid accepting special favors.
- Always do after work activities in a group.
- If they become overt in their affections, have a private conversation letting them know "thanks but no thanks."
What if you're the one with the crush?
Office romances are tricky beasts. For one thing, you're at work, a place to do your job first and socialize second. For another thing, many employers explicitly state in their employee handbooks that they discourage or outright ban certain types of workplace relationships. This is especially common with relationships between superiors and their employees but may also be noted for coworkers as well. Employers may give a number of reasons to justify these rules, but what it all boils down to is the fact that, again, office romances are notoriously sticky. So, what to do about your crush?
Crushes happen, and that's the first thing to recognize and accept. It isn't wrong for you to develop feelings for someone you interact with on an almost daily basis. Don't feel bad for having these feelings; they're only natural. What you do about them is up to you, and there's no straight right or wrong answer. The only advice relevant across the board is to take things slowly and feel your way through this situation with as level a head as possible. Try to get to know your crush a bit more, and let them get to know you as well. Pay attention to how they respond to you. Do you get a sense that they maybe like you in the same way you like them? Then, it might be time to be bold: ask them out or at least have a conversation about that possibility, while at the same time addressing any work-related issues doing so might cause. If they don't return your feelings? Keep your cool and do your best not to let how you feel about them (and any disappointment you may now be dealing with) interfere with your working relationship with this person or your professional performance overall.