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To have feelings for my junior colleague

(78 Posts)
TheWayOfTheWorld Sun 12-Jun-16 14:24:05

Regular poster but have name changed for this. Background is that I am a line manager in a professional services industry, new guy joined the team last year and I was assigned to be his mentor. I am a decade older. We have worked closely together on a number of projects since he joined and have clicked like I have never clicked with anyone before (including my estranged husband).

We have a lot of the same interests and same viewpoint on many things. I could spend hours talking to him and generally I can't stop thinking about him. People in our team make comments about us being like a married couple.

I think the feeling is mutual from the way he:
- makes eye contact and looks at my mouth
- stands too close to me
- leans in close, nearly touching my hand when we are working through a document together
- looks at me when he thinks I am not watching
- remembers the tiniest details of things I said months ago
- apologises for something he didn't get right and says he is not sleeping, his head is in a mush (and then stares at me "meaningfully")
- comes to talk to me even when there is nothing work-specific he needs to see me about
- completely ignores me when we are out at work social functions (but I can see him watching me)
- one of his female work friends periodically makes comments to me about what a great guy he is (probably not explaining it well, but she isn't very subtle and is clearly digging for what my opinion on him is)
- is very competitive with me over stupid things (in a humorous not aggressive way).

He has a girlfriend. From what he has said, I don't think he is actually that keen on her eg he is meant to be staying at hers but doesn't want to go; he's not overjoyed that he received an invitation to an event with a plus one which she saw so he had to take her; his dad has commented that it isn't good to stay with someone if you are not really into them, etc. He goes out to things with her and then says to me that when he was there he was thinking that I should go as I would enjoy it, I would have got the jokes etc etc.

So what's holding me/him back? Well, I'm his boss, so that's difficult for both of us. The thought of making a move and being rejected makes me want to curl up with shame. Assuming I am reading all the signals correctly, I expect there is a similar issue for him. I have wondered if some of the things he has said have meant to be cues for me to be the one to make a move, but I have always chickened out. I think because despite everything I have typed, I find it hard to see what he would see in me - I look pretty good for my age (which he had commented on a number of times) and my figure is ok but I am no great beauty! This is my own insecurity talking, I know. I need to remind myself that actually I would be a pretty darn good catch!

The other thing is that he really wants children and I worry he thinks that I don't want any more and/or I'm too old. But I'm not, I've got a few good years left in me!

Sorry for the essay, I suppose I have downloaded everything as it is not really something I can talk to anybody about in real life. I fully expect to be told to get a grip, stop behaving like a lovelorn teenager etc. I am also hopeful that there will be some success stories out there too, whether that be success in getting over it or success in getting together. Leaving my job or moving teams is not a feasible option.

Queenbean Sun 12-Jun-16 14:25:40

You're his boss. You're reading in to things which aren't there. You're his boss. Get over it. You're his boss.

AuntieStella Sun 12-Jun-16 14:30:25

You need to start polishing your CV.

Because if you act on any part of this, you'll probably need to move jobs. If there are no other jobs in your field, then start thinking about how to change fields.

Beware of 'confirmation bias' in looking for even the tiniest detail that could support the idea that he's interested.

He's your direct junior. He has a girlfriend.

Nothing you have posted suggests he sees you as anything other than as a person who can advance his career.

Evergreen17 Sun 12-Jun-16 14:30:40

He has a girlfriend. That alone should be holding you back!
What is holding you back? Morals??
And yes, you are in a position of power, if the male was the boss it would not be ok, so what should it be ok with you
Do your job and stop daydreaming please

Evergreen17 Sun 12-Jun-16 14:32:54

Also can I add he sounds like a twat? He has a girlfriend but comments on your looks and tells you he is not that bother about seeing her?
And you find this behaviour attractive??
I think you need to boost your self-esteem.

Birdsgottafly Sun 12-Jun-16 14:37:51

So he thinks that it's ok to treat his girlfriend as an inconvenience and needs his Dad's permission to finish with her?

He's not emotionally mature to be in a relationship and certainly not nice enough.

He sounds like the type who needs to be in a relationship, but is always on the look out for something new.

""So what's holding me/him back?""

He's playing you like a fiddle. He wants either a bit of fun, or a payout for a sexual harassment claim.

Back right off, see if he finishes the relationship that he supposedly isn't enjoying and then see how things are.

maisiejones Sun 12-Jun-16 14:54:18

What are you thinking? You have a crush on him, you're feverishly imagining all sorts of signals on his part and you're thinking about whether he wants children! You certainly do need to be told to get a grip. He's playing you ffs! If you don't get a grip you'll end up with no job and making an utter fool of yourself.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 12-Jun-16 14:57:44

If he was that unhappy with his girlfriend he would dump her. He hasn't. Speaks volumes.

happypoobum Sun 12-Jun-16 15:02:38

I think OP sees it like this - but he sounds like an immature sleaze, stringing his poor girlfriend along.

maisiejones Sun 12-Jun-16 15:03:10

Also, he's probably laughing with his mates about how he's got this older woman eating out of his hand and there's a good chance that the rest of the office is taking the piss behind your back.

ClopySow Sun 12-Jun-16 15:07:10

I'd never want to be with someone who spoke about their partner like that.

What's stopping you is the fact that he chooses to be in a relationship with someone else.

You're reading too much into it.

Cheapthrills Sun 12-Jun-16 15:09:56

Would you really need to change jobs? In my workplace everyone is having it off with each other and it is quite accepted. Lots of couples, liaisons and affairs.

I think it sounds as if he likes you. Why don't you casually ask him to a non-work related thing?

The most off-putting thing is how he talks about his girlfriend. Not nice. Sounds like a coward but he might be saying it for your benefit.

ClopySow Sun 12-Jun-16 15:10:14

Sorry, didn't mean to sound so blunt.

In the kindest way possible, i think you need to do yourself and his girlfriend a massive favour and back off.

He may well fancy you, but it's not a goer.

CamembertQueen Sun 12-Jun-16 15:12:18

I think you are reading far too much into it. You have a crush, you need to deal with it. FWIE my previous boss just before he was leaving propositioned me. I was shocked, he listed all the ways he thought I had given him a green light. I was just being nice, he was my boss! I wanted him to think I was a good worker. I even got married during my time there and he believed I wasn't happy. He soon made a swift exit, I could see he was embarrassed but I was mortified he actually thought I wanted him.

YoureSoSlyButSoAmI Sun 12-Jun-16 15:18:59

He's playing you and I also think you're seeing things that just aren't there. Why would he ignore you at the work function if he liked you?

Also - well, mainly - he's got a girlfriend. Would you like it if he talked about you in the same way he talks about her?? In fact the chances are that behind your back he's saying things like "Yeah my boss fancies should see the way she looks at me. I wind her up a bit by sitting really close to her haha". After all he's got no problem slagging his girlfriend off so he's not actually much of a catch is he?! 🙄

BringOnTheSarsons Sun 12-Jun-16 15:32:50

Sorry op I think your just a bit of fun to pass the time at work, he probably knows you have a crush on him and he's playing you.

You said he completely ignores you on work nights out but if he was falling for you wouldn't he make a bee line for you? It would be the perfect opportunity.

If he treats/talks about his girlfriend like you said he does, what do you see in him he has it in him to treat you the same if you became involved with him.

EveryoneElsie Sun 12-Jun-16 15:38:27

He's playing you. Its very possible he wants you out.
He ignores you outside of the office.

He had a GF. He's playing you.
Back away and keep your job.

branofthemist Sun 12-Jun-16 15:43:56

So he is still with his girlfriend but isn't that bothered about her? Presumably sees her enough to sleep with though?

Wow what a catch!

That alone should put you off, the boss but should have you shutting down any inappropriate behaviour. Ask him if he has ever heard of personal space.

Euripidesralph Sun 12-Jun-16 15:56:54

Listen op in my previous job one of the managers who worked for me behaved extremely similarly......he went all out.....he only just stopped short of directly propositioning me and I suspect it wouldn't have been long

However fortunately a. I'm happily married and wasnt interested remotely and b. It's not the first time it's happened so those things allowed me to see that he was playing around because he thought if the boss fancied him he would get special treatment

He was a very good looking guy and had pulled this in workplaces before (small industry so I did some checking before I handled it)

I'm completely sure if I had fancied him and mov3d on it ....I'd have ruined my career and he wold have loved using me for as long as he could

Don't do it op the authority imbalance totally prevents you don't fall for have no doubt you are attractive and have lots to offer but run like helfrom this

EveryoneElsie Sun 12-Jun-16 15:59:58

he only just stopped short of directly propositioning me

Thats a known manipulative technique. Its a hard one to counter as only comes out when the shit hits the fan, and then he states you came on to him.
Its a way of blaming you for the whole thing after it all goes tits up.

AnyFucker Sun 12-Jun-16 16:02:32

I am cringing for you sad

Queenbean Sun 12-Jun-16 16:03:27

He's playing you

Or the OP is playing us

TheWayOfTheWorld Sun 12-Jun-16 16:04:48

I will come back properly later, but this is the hard dose of straight talking reality that I need.

Just want to add that I am not the sort to either think people are attracted to me or have crushes on people. Has sort of knocked me for six... confused

ErNope Sun 12-Jun-16 16:04:53

You come across like a desperate middle-aged woman. ''If he is willing to cheat with you he will cheat on you''
by some standards this man has not yet crossed the line of ''cheating'' irrespective of that the point still stands.
Would you be happy if he treated you like he treats his girlfriend?
He's showing you who he is OP.

TheWayOfTheWorld Sun 12-Jun-16 16:06:52

Queenbean life would be a lot easier for me if I was playing you but sadly not.

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