Dating : Getting mixed signals from cowoker. Should I continue to pursue or remain friends?

Dating : Getting mixed signals from cowoker. Should I continue to pursue or remain friends?

So I [27/F] recently started a new job 3 months ago. As I was still getting to make sense of names and faces, I met coworker [35/M] mistaking him for someone else and he was super nice about it and we hit it off. We talked at work everyday since. At first, I wasn’t interested in any sort of relationship but as I got to know him I started liking him more and more.

So what eventually got me thinking he was into me:

-Since I was new he took me around to his side of the building and showed me some drawings his team made for a competition and introduced me to his guy best friend

– Comes by my desk and asks to play a game of ping pong or just say hi

-left post it at my desk with note teasing me about beating me at pong

-We play pong competitively and bet snacks to whoever wins

-At the end of every game we hug/kiss on cheek and go back to our desks (I dont see him do this with any other girls)

-He won one time and I left a chocolate bar/twizzlers at his desk. He calls me from his work phone after I left the building about 10 minutes later. First time he called I didnt pick up, didn’t know the number, and let it go to VM. He got confused in the moment and left a message as if he was speaking to a potential customer, which I found funny and cute (still kept VM in my box), he called me again right after and this time I picked up and he put on a fake british accent to mess with me and he asked where I got the twizzlers because they were so good and fresh? from there we started speaking about random stuff and how he owns 3 cars. We talked for a bit until he had to go back to work.

-Heard from mutual friend I was without lunch a couple times and went out of his way to bring his lunch to my desk and asked if I wanted it

-Jokes with me all the time and makes me laugh and vice versa

-We have nicknames for each other

-talks to me about his past life, his likes, family, and hobbies, some of which we share

-One day I didn’t show up to work because I was in a car accident he didnt know of. Came in to work the next day with an IM message from him the day before asking where I’ve been all day

-Spoke to a mutual friend we have and asked mutual friend if my coworker had a girlfriend. He said that he’s at the cusp of an ending relationship. His ex/gf (not sure what she is) is going through some mental things and they haven’t really been communicating for the past 3 months. So coworkers relationship is kind of in limbo but mutual friend thinks it’s not going anywhere. My Coworker crush mentioned to mutual friend that hes been thinking about starting to see other people. I told MF to not say anything to CW because Im into him. MF said that he thinks CW would be into me too.

-Invited CW to happy hour with other mutual friends and he ends up coming/calling me when he gets there to ask where I am (last week). While were talking at the bar, I put on a song and mention how I like the meaning of the lyrics, he asked how it relates to my life and I brought up how I broke up with my ex, someone interrupted and coversation got side tracked but then he turned to me to continue the conversation about my ex as if he wanted to know more

-This week asks me if my team is going to happy hour again. I said Im not sure but I know word around the office was it was some girls birthday so some people were going to the pub. I told him Im down to go and to let me know if he decides to go so I can catch a ride with him. He messages me later and says yes, finishes work almost an hour early but waits for me to give a ride to pub. Once we get to his car he shows me the camper hes built in the back and on the way there he smokes me out. We both invited a friend. I invite a guy friend and he invites a woman friend. I started saying hi and talking to some other people and he approaches me from behind and puts his hand on my lower back asking if my friend and I wanted to move by the pool table

-Sometimes I catch him looking my way and generally we always smile at each other

-He opened up to me about having a panic attack on the way to work one day, he suffers from bad anxiety

-Hes never mentioned anything about another girl or girlfriend other than talking about his past ex from years before

-Weve texted out of work on the weekend several times (I gave him my number and he texted me)

Why I think Im getting mixed signals:

-On his instagram page, he still has emojis of a heart, nationalitly flag, and the @handle of his ex/gf (not sure what she is) on his bio, we dont follow each other on IG and its never come up in conversation (but he did recently delete a provocative picture of her from his page just within these last 2 weeks hes had up for over 6 months)

-The two times we texted over the weekend I initiated, was in the evening, took anywhere from 15 minutes – up to almost 2 hours to respond, The first time we texted till almost 10:30 at night and he didnt respond till next morning which I texted back and he didn’t reply. The second time he took almost 2 hours to reply and it was already almost 10pm on a work night so I didnt reply. Now this most recent time after happy hour I texted him if he got home okay and he said « oh yeah Im home niw », I didnt see it/respond and he texted me again 10 minutes later asking if I was still at the bar. I said yeah and was gonna catch a ride home with a friend but she was tipsy, no response from him so I texted again 15 minutes later saying Im just gonna Uber home. Texts me an hour and a half later asking if I made it home yet. I texted back 15 minutes later saying I made it home and asked him how the free herb his friend gave to him was treating him, no response yet as of this morning

-While at happy hour I was playing pool with some people and my guy friend told me he was observing my crush but noticed that when there was an opportunity to check me out while I was leaning over playing pool my crush didnt. My guy friend told me thats a give away because if a guy liked a girl he couldnt resist that? I said maybe he was trying to be respectful/or not give away he was into me? I dont know. Kinda bummed about that

-After I mentioned to our mutual friend I was into my coworker, the next day it was a little awkward between my crush and I, maybe its in my head? Thinking that our MF said something to him and now he knows I like him? But I dont think our MF would say something, doesn’t seem the type… But my coworker and I still talked and joked around but there was a moment where it got awkward?

-Other than the frist time, Ive initiated the texting

Now I know everyones going to say don’t date your coworker. I know this already and am fully aware that’s not a good idea. But lets get past that and just help me to clarify whether he’s into me or not please. It takes a lot for me to like someone this much and after ending a 6 year relationship last year I said I wouldn’t date for a while and just focus on me. I didn’t seek this out and I find the best relationships happen when you’re first friends. I would hate to keep investing romantic feelings and high hopes if it only seems like a platonic relationship. Please help me to understand the signs. Any advice is welcome as to what should I do or say next. Should I continue to drop hints, give it more time, come out and tell him but potentially make a good friendship awkward? Anything I can do that I can test out to see if he’s really interested? Or should I just give up?

Sorry for the formatting posted on my phone

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  1. Wow, that is a long post. I have a somewhat similar situation with a co-worker, I’m 36 and she’s 25. For only 3 months in I’d say those are good signs he’s into you. I’ve been doing the back and forth with her for 4+ years now, but I’d been in a LTR up until just recently. We’ve been relatively close at work for that time and I can never quite read her, but took a few steps to feel her out and let her know how I feel without being direct/awkward about it and I’m pretty sure she just wants to be friends.

    From what you’ve posted, i think it’s pretty clear he’s into you. I think the only way you’re going to find out for sure is to give it more time. I ask my crush out for lunch or drinks after work pretty regularly, and use those encounters as a means for feeling her out. You can drop a lot of hints or ask questions to guide you without being too awkward about it.

    On our last outing, we were giving each other tips on our dating profiles. I used that as an opportunity to suggest that the guys she’s been talking to are lame for not asking her out, and that I would happily take her out sometime because she can’t get a date for whatever reason. This got me my answer pretty much, she responded by saying how sweet and a great friend I was and that she’d let me know how it goes. And while I know it’s not the same as being direct and just asking her out, it was way less awkward and allows us to remain friends without that element of someone spilling their heart out only to encounter a possibly stinging rejection.

    Anyway, I feel relieved to finally know how she actually feels but still feel crushed by it. I’m just going to play it cool now and focus my energy elsewhere and let her approach me if she wants to hang out or interact.

    So yeah, my advice to you, play it cool, don’t appear to be too interested, and try to use conversation to feel them out, preferably over drinks so you can each let your guard down a bit. If you want to test out the potential for actually dating, find an event you’re interested in, invite them to it and say you think it’d be fun to hang out with them sometime. I’ve also tried this, and while she did express interest, she was traveling for work so it didn’t quite work out.

    Just don’t be too forthcoming (or at all) with your feelings because it is a co-worker and the last thing you want to do is make your work relationship awkward.

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