“What IS UP With My Flirty Coworker? Why Does He Do This? Is He A Player?”

“What IS UP With My Flirty Coworker? Why Does He Do This??”

A reader wonders whether or not a coworker is a player and what the heck is going on with him.

Hi Elizabeth,

I have a ‘situation’… and its driving me nuts right now.

There is a ‘coworker’ at my job. I’ve worked there for several years and was warned to stay away from him.

He told me straight out that he has trust issues with women due to his bitter divorce (his wife cheated on him).

The way he treated women, etc… Not my cup of tea.

I stayed away, listened to his problems, he would call, friend-zoned me, and all that jazz. I never slept with him or anything like that.

He started hinting at a type of friends with benefits type of arrangement but I never fell for that either and he lost interest. He would say ‘he lost my number,’ be slow to reply, etc.

I said fine, never took it personal and never was the crazy chick and just kept my life moving forward.

Fast forward to this year and over the last 4-5 months, I’ve developed a crush on him. He started to “change” (Another woman perhaps?)

Started actually teasing me playfully, flirting, light touches, etc and he seemed happy to be around me.

He says things like “‘I’m special to him” and all that jazz, but his actions never meet up with his words (Note, this is AFTER he said he deleted my number and I never gave it back to him because he never asked).

He obviously likes having me around as he always asks if I’m staying or leaving even after I said I was.

2 months ago, I decided to be a big girl and tell him of my crush but that I am not a fast girl or woman that he’s used to a “booty call” and that I see what he really is (he’s a sweetheart and a fake player).

He said “we will talk” later…that obviously never happened and he just hoped I’d forget about it. 

I saw that it wasn’t going to change anything so I am keeping away/distance from him and ignoring him. We would flirt but I stopped that totally. I won’t even make eye contact or attempt to talk to him. I’m really losing interest in him now because I feel dangled.

I had a friend come to my job because I had to drive him home and my coworker was totally UPSET that this ‘guy’ was here…I introduced my friend to all my other coworkers, but my ‘crush’ made it a point to go out on a break.

I imagine I bruised his ego (I don’t care about that) but now he avoids me. Which is totally fine to help me get over the crush stages.

Now here’s the PROBLEM I am facing.

I do not ask him for anything, I do not talk to him he makes it a point to say hi to me when he sees me and I only say it if he does.

Now he’s trying SO HARD to get me to notice him. He stares at me as I walk by and tries to make sure I see him.

He will talk to others at my job and stare at me to see if I’m looking at him (I can see him out the corner of my eye) and others say that he looks like a beaten puppy now that I’m not around.

We had a special lunch at work last week and he made sure that I got one of the first lunches. I smiled, said thank you and left.

He’s made no effort to contact me and vice versa.

What is up with this guy?

Thank you.

Your initial instinct that he wasn’t going to be able to give you the commitment or relationship you really want or deserve is spot on.

It sounds like this guy likes your attention (attention is flattering, after all) but is not serious about you or anyone else.

You have given him every opportunity to pursue you and true to form, he’s not doing it.

So often we ignore our original intuition about a situation and then hope that it’s going to change once we’re exposed to someone for awhile. It’s human nature both to want what we can’t have and think that maybe things are improving when we see signs that maybe something is different. With this frustrating guy, unfortunately you have both of these conditions.

You know he’s not right for you AND you’ve seen his behavior toward you change from first indifference, then to sexual attraction.

However, what he’s NOT doing is making a move in any perceivable way that indicates he would want to have an actual relationship with you. Which you’ve been pretty clear on since the beginning.

Good job being clear about your standards!

So often women aren’t clear on what they want and then hope it will change later. I’m proud of you for not doing that with this guy. You gave him the opportunity to date you on your terms and withdrew when he didn’t come through. That is excellent! Well done for keeping your standards.

All in all, it sounds like he’s sexually attracted to you and hoping you might change your mind about a physical relationship, but he’s not in any kind of emotional space to give you anything other than that.

Since you came clean about your feelings for him, he’s obviously clear on your boundaries but he’s trying to get in the back door by hoping that you take the bait and decide to approach him sexually on your own.

If you were to do that (DO NOT DO THAT) he would have the right to have sex with you and tell himself that it was your idea, absolving him of all guilt for that handy bit of womanizing.

As far as the problem you’re facing now, you’ve been handling this well so far. You have been polite but non-engaging and that is the right thing to do. If a man wants you on your terms, he’ll come for you.

The reason why he is now treating you with more respect is because you’ve communicated that you value yourself by not giving him the time of day.

Nice job!

If you keep dealing with men who ghost and pull away from you, get to the bottom of it with a free copy of my book Why Men Lose Interest and free daily (almost) email series. Find out why guys do the confusing, painful things they do and how to make it stop here.

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