I’ve been speaking and emailing with a guy from our IT department. He’s awesome and thoughtful. Does not have a social media presence, go to the gym, have a sense of humor, likes the count on Sesame Street, works very hard and is very helpful to everyone. If things were not so complicated in my life right now I would definitely see where this could lead.
I must confess that I have been flirting with him and selfishly gave the impression that I am interested. He has now asked to meet over a “beverage” but has thoughtfully said that he’s happy to make a site visit at my work so that I can see if he’s someone I would like to have a “beverage” with (we have never met each other). I like him but I don’t want to hurt him. I would be keen to know what you think of him from what little information I have provided and any advice on what I should do.
Thanks for writing to me. Let me say this upfront. In most cases, I oppose office romances. The risks of what can happen should an office romance not work are usually detrimental enough that I say they aren’t worth it. While there are definitely real-life examples of people meeting their soulmate at work (i.e. President Obama and Michelle and Bill and Melinda Gates), these examples represent the rarities in life, not the norm.
Now from what you wrote, it sounds like you are indeed attracted to this guy from the IT department. However, based on your own words it doesn’t sound like you’re ready to date anyone because of things being “complicated” in your life. Given that’s the case, and trying to date this guy would classify as an office romance, it doesn’t sound like you have overwhelmingly compelling evidence to risk the comfortability in your professional life. But I think you know that already. So, the only thing left to do is to break the news to this man.
In this circumstance, the best approach is a straightforward one. The next time he contacts you and asks for “beverages”, simply tell him that while you think he is a great guy, you’re just interested in friendship (if friendship is something you’re interested in). Make it clear you can’t see him romantically. He should respect you for being upfront. And if he still wants to meet, aim to have coffee with him rather than “beverages,” because alcohol has a tendency of blurring lines.
Suggestions going forward
- I get how flattering and enticing it can be to have someone shower you with attention and flirt with you. But don’t string this guy along. Tell him the truth. And again, after making it clear that you can’t be involved with him romantically, I don’t see the harm in meeting him for coffee as a potential friend.
- And I’m not sure what is complicating your life at the moment, but continue working on clearing that up so you’re ready for your future partner.
As always nothing but love,
Oh, and make sure you check out my new scripted show, Majoring in Me the Podcast.