Signs That Male “Work Contact” Is Trying To Sleep With You
Part of being a professional woman means always—always—managing sexual expectations with male colleagues. You know it’s true. You probably just groaned, rolled your eyes, and said, “Yup!” Even if there isn’t much to manage and you’re working with a respectful male colleague who is happily married, it’s still always there. Sometimes it’s a whisper. Sometimes it’s screaming in your face (or grabbing your knee under the table over a “work drink”). But it is always a factor.
Men don’t deal with it. Dudes: when was the last time you were going to meet with a female colleague to discuss work and you thought, “I hope she knows this is just professional?” Ha! The very thought of it makes me lough out loud. Because women don’t cross that line. Or at least, we aren’t shady about it. We don’t ask a guy out to talk about work, all the while having no interest in discussing work with him, and just hoping to sleep with him. Our minds don’t work like that. We don’t need to disguise sexual intentions under a professional cloak. We can just say, “Hey, I’m into you. Wanna do this?” Though we must know if we do date a coworker, we must be tactful about it.
It’s so easy for us to get men to cross that line for us that it also happens when we don’t want it to happen. Many of our male professional contacts are just chomping at the bit of that line, doing their stretches, just waiting for someone to shoot that starting pistol so they can cross the line. And then, they often hear a starting pistol when there was not one—they just wanted to hear it, so they made it up. Yup, being a woman means managing all of this, so it can be helpful to know the signs a male colleague has other intentions before meeting up with him. Here are signs that work contact is just trying to sleep with you.
This meeting could’ve been an email
He calls for private meetings, and when you get there, it becomes very clear that this could have been discussed over email. This did not require you two to meet in person, let alone outside of work hours, let alone at this rather romantic/swanky cocktail bar. This hour-long drink could’ve been condensed down to a three-paragraph email.
He keeps popping by for no reason
He just pops by your desk or your office for no reason at all. He just shows up, and starts shooting a breeze, talking about really nothing at all. Or he tells you about his personal life. He just keeps showing up, while you’re trying to work. He comes up with dumb reasons for stopping by, like to ask if you got the company-wide memo that he knows you got because you replied all on the email.
He texts you non-work-related things
He texts you funny memes, articles, videos, or photos. He texts you to say something funny about your coworker’s outfit or how annoying the music is coming from the building next door. He’s trying to get a friendly dialogue going over text. But that’s something you do with someone you’re dating—not your colleague.
He overdoes it on the eye contact
You always catch him trying to catch your attention. In meetings, he wants to exchange some knowing glance. He’s smiling at you, or rolling his eyes towards you when the person leading the meeting says something annoying. Anytime something of note happens in the room, you’re the first person he looks at to have some exchange about it.
He keeps trying to carpool
He always suggests that he picks you up and you two drive together to the networking event. He suggests you two carpool to the out of town thing. He suggests you share an Uber back from the company party. It never makes sense. You live in totally different directions, and are working with different schedules, but he finds a way to justify it.
He doesn’t invite your man
You are in a relationship, and yet, this coworker never invites your man to anything. He doesn’t invite him to the office party he’s hosting at his place, even though everyone else brought their significant others. He doesn’t say you should bring your man to hang out at the company softball game, though he openly tells other colleagues, “Bring your wives and husbands!”
He asks about non-work-related matters
He asks you about personal matters. How is the wedding planning for your friend going? How about your knee pain? Is that better? What’s up with those annoying neighbors of yours? He asks you about personal things that you really only mentioned in passing to him, or didn’t mention to him at all, but to someone else, when he was nearby.
He always picks you
To run an errand with him. To go to the convention with him. To set up the conference room with him. To prepare that pitch with him. Any time he needs someone to help him with something, he picks you. You’ll suggest it’s not a good time for you, and somebody else will even offer to hop in, but he’ll insist it should be you.
He brings you treats
Coffee. A muffin. A piece of cake from the office birthday party you missed. A snack he saw on his lunch break that he thought you’d like. He thinks about you when he’s not around you. Gift-giving is sort of a romantic thing. But you keep returning to your desk to find lattes and donuts, just for you, from him.
He always sits by you
In meetings, in the car with other coworkers heading to an event, at a brainstorming session, at the company Christmas dinner. He somehow always finds the seat next to yours. And he consumes you in conversation, taking all of your attention. If you try to talk to somebody else, he just sits and patiently waits for you to be done, so he can talk to you again.
He thinks you’re a “genius”
He tells you that you’re brilliant, that there is nobody as smart as you, that you’re so talented, that nobody could do what you do, and things like that. He absolutely showers you with professional compliments. Meanwhile, somebody else will turn in work better than yours, and he’ll give them tons of criticism.
But you know you’re still improving
If you’re being honest with yourself, the work that he says is “brilliant” is…not. You did it when you were half asleep. You were embarrassed to turn it in. You know it still needs a lot of improvements. You knowingly left errors in there. You point out those errors to him, and he finds some sneaky way to turn them into good things.
He takes down the other guy
There is another guy in the office who quite obviously likes you. He also stops by your desk, brings you treats, and tries to make you laugh. Meanwhile, this other guy is always mean to him. The one who is more subtly trying to make a move is finding ways to take the other flirt down a peg and make him look bad in front of you.
He attempts to have inside jokes
He tries to get inside jokes going with you. He texts you from across the room when you’re all in a meeting, playfully talking sh*t about the person leading the meeting. He tries to make up hashtags about a coworker and get gags going with you. He wants you two to have a secret language that you share with nobody else.
He’s just like this towards you
He doesn’t bring anyone else treats. He doesn’t try to hang socially with anyone else from work. He’s kind of cold to everyone else, actually. If others talk to him about their personal life, he tells them to get back to work, but here he is, gabbing away to you about his fight with his friend. He never tries to carpool with anyone else, even though some coworkers live right by him.