So, someone asked us this question. And I answered it.
“Hi Miss Elle. I found this post as I was searching for advice on being more than friends. You seem to have some sensible views on most things, so I thought I would ask you. I have fallen for a co-worker. I have been working with her for a few years, but I am not sure what happened recently. Maybe it was strong pheromones that day but there was this one time when I was standing by her desk recently, and suddenly there was this strong drive to well, you know (think cave man and his primal instincts and baby creation). I don’t think we have ever touched each other ever, but certainly on my part there is some huge electricity between us everytime we speak since that instance. We certainly have not flirted though. However, I am not sure how much weight you put on these signs but I do tend to find her mirroring my body language and posture when we sit or stand next to each other – again this is a recent observation. On many occassions when we converse, she has her hands, arms, legs mirroring mine. Oh by the way, I didn’t mention, but she does have a boyfriend and lives with him. I don’t hear her complain anything bad about him so I think they are in a good position. But, my instinct says she is feeling that same drive as me. We have certainly paid a lot more attention to each other recently though. Maybe she feels she can’t say anything because I am going through a divorce at the moment but I still wear my wedding ring and she does not know I am currently seperated from my wife nor have any problems in my marriage. I know as far as she is concerned that I am happily married (so there is no easy opportunity for her to flirt or anything with me) but me and my wife are currently going through the divorce courts. I am wondering how I test the water with her – its really tough to get her alone to see if there is anything there – how do I move things forward a litte? Any advice you can give would be very much appreciated. Thanks :)”
*****************************end creepy-ass question, begin sensible advice*****************************
First of all, I’m sorry about your divorce. No matter how amicable, mutual or however much you’re staying friends, a significant split is going to throw emotions into turmoil. Which is what I suspect is happening here. Also, I would venture a guess that your co-worker knows you have a crush on her, because these things are virtually never as discreet as you think they are.
Now first, let’s talk about workplace etiquette for a second. What’s your plan here? Sleep with this person once or twice and then see her every day for 8 hours with no emotional fallout? You’re clearly an adult so you must know this almost never happens. Think you’re such a good match that you can get her to dump her boyfriend for you? Then find a new job before you try it. Not only do most companies have ‘no dating in the workplace’ rules, most women don’t like to be harassed at work, which is a pretty easy bridge to cross.
You mention that there’s been no attraction to this point, which indicates to me that whatever you’re feeling here isn’t real, it’s a symptom of your divorce. This is precisely how I wound up dating a vegan. I was pretty fresh post-split, and he was there. It was messy and horrible, and we now have the luxury of never speaking again, which is a luxury you won’t have in this situation.
As for mimicking your physical movements, all non-sociopathic humans do this unconsciously. Crossing her arms a minute after you did DOES NOT mean a woman wants to sleep with you (I would also like to point out that most people do this more when the person they’re speaking to is nervous or clearly uncomfortable).
And she’s being nice to you. Or paying attention to you, whatever. There are literally thousands of reasons people are nice to other people, but let me assure you that a woman being nice to you DOES NOT mean she wants to sleep with you.
A woman wearing short shorts, or a bikini, or a slutty Halloween costume, or any other damn thing she pleases in public, DOES NOT wear those things to signal that she wants to sleep with you.
A woman eating a banana in her car on the way to work in the morning IS NOT eating that banana to infer that she wants to sleep with you. We clear?
Lastly, there are two possible reasons you don’t know the details of her relationship with her live-in boyfriend:
1) They’re unhappy and it’s none ya
2) They’re happy and it’s none ya
None ya as in, none ya damn business. Which I suspect you know, as you threw it in as an aside hoping nobody would notice.
I suspect you know this already as well, but if she was the type of girl who would be willing to cheat on her partner, and she wanted to cheat on him with you, I doubt very, very much if your wedding ring would have been much of a deterrent.
So make a pass at her if you must, just remember her first call could be to HR and not for hotel reservations.