Cubicle Crushin': Should I Let Him Know?
Ask Demetria: Proceed with caution when navigating a potential office love interest.
Before you go chatting up your co-worker, consider the consequences. What if he is in a relationship or is just uninterested? Are you OK with being rejected by someone you see daily? If you two actually do date, are you ready to see him every day if the relationship just doesn't pan out or, worse, ends disastrously?
Several years ago, I was in situation similar to yours. I was the new girl at the office, and there was a guy who was well-read, charming, witty and dressed as if he had a stylist. Of course, I was interested.
One day I saw the office manager looking extremely tense. As we were talking, I caught a glimpse from his window of four of my co-workers arguing on a street corner: one man, three women.
That suave guy I was so interested in? That was him. He was in relationships with all three women, literally one lady in each corner of the office. Somehow they had figured out what he was up to and staged an impromptu confrontation in a conference room. The stressed manager had caught wind of the situation and broke it up shortly before I'd encountered him. He had instructed everyone involved to "take it outside!"
While I was looking out that window, suddenly one of the women threw a cup of water on the playboy, soaking his pristine suit. I heard a bunch of gasps and looked up to see the whole back row of the office watching the scene, too. That incident -- and all the juicy rumors surrounding it -- supplied the leading office gossip from that day until I switched jobs months later.
A "boys will be boys" attitude allowed the guy to get off pretty much unscathed. The women were viewed as irresponsible, naive and "emotional." I heard he was promoted eventually. Those women languished at the same tier until they left.
I hope by now you have a deeper understanding of what you could be walking into. If you're still going to pursue your interest, hope for the best, and be over-prepared for the worst.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.