Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

A couple of weeks ago, a coworker of mine asked me if I would have an affair with him. This blew me away. I did not quite know what to say but said something like - I don't do that. He explained his reasoning - likes me, finds me attractive, just wants to have some fun. It was very awkward. He apologized afterwards and asked that I keep this to myself, which I have til now. The following week we went to lunch (we had made plans previously) and I took this opportunity to talk with him about his proposal and why it was wrong. I thought we both were at a comfort level where this would not affect our relationship and ability to work together.

While we work in different programs, they do overlap and we do have to work together. I am a manager, he is not. It is a small office, so I see him every workday. Since our discussion, I can tell he is trying hard not to cross the line with me but he continues to make comments about how attracted he is to me and wishes we could get together. I have asked him politely to drop it and move on.

Any advice on how to manage this situation. I do not want any coworkers to know, including his supervisor and my boss. I just want to keep this to ourselves, but the comments need to stop.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

Personally - I would cut off contact. This isn't a healthy friendship. He's just trying to get in your pants and this won't change.

You need to tell him all communication from here on out needs to be directly related to the job at hand. You do not want his 'lapse in judgment' to permanently effect his job, but if he can't stop the comments and keep all discussion professional, you will have to report it to HR.


There really is no nice way to do this. If you are nice - he thinks your still open to him eventually and he will keep trying to worm his way in. He needs to be shut down and hard. No more lunches, no more chit chat.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

Just ask him to put the next comment in writing.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

Indeed ask him to put his request in writing then advise him that you will give a copy to HR and there is not need for him to keep this a secrete. Amazing how effective this can be.

Best though is to not have anything to do with him, send him a mail saying that his comments are wholly inappropriate and that you wish to have no further contact with him. keep a copy of the sent mail for your own records

For you stop being nice to him, he is crossing the boundaries and he knows what he is doing, it is a process of wearing you down.

Draw the line very quickly before you weaken and make a mistake you regret.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

There's work and there's romance and the twain shall not meet, especially if one of the parties is a supervisor and has much to lose.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

He's asked, you've refused. His persistence takes this into sexual harassment territory. I would, one more time, make as clear as possible, that you are not interested and that this is not going to happen. After saying that, tell him, "You need to stop now. If you cannot or will not, I will have no choice but to go to HR and file a sexual harassment claim against you. You are making me uncomfortable, and you are behaving completely inappropriately. Then, if he does it again....report him. You can't be nice here.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

This man is putting your career in dangerous jeopardy.

Already if I was your boss and had even some inclination of these events, you yourself would be on a performance probation and be encouraged to find employement elsewhere.

It is most inappropriate for any subordinate to be manipulating a manager like you are being played.

He could be setting himself up for a sexual accusation against you, he could be trying to build immunity for other sexual harrasment that is probably going on with other women, or yes just simply trying to use you for his own thrills.

No way about it, nothing good is going to come from it.

And your silence is complicit, so whether you are secretly flattered by his attention or not, you need to do what you should have done from the beginning, that is to shut him down either verbally or in writing, and do not hesitate to document any further inappropriate contact and involve his supervisor or HR or both.

This is a very serious issue for you, I will hope you begin to treat it as such.

I wish you well.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

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Originally Posted by BigBadWolf View Post

This is a very serious issue for you, I will hope you begin to treat it as such.

I wish you well.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

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Originally Posted by BigBadWolf View Post
This man is
It is most inappropriate for any subordinate to be manipulating a manager like you are being played.

This is a very serious issue for you, I will hope you begin to treat it as such.

I wish you well.


I love your posts. so much I've learn from you even I just have been here for two days.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

While it is fresh in your mind, document everything that has happened and continue to document.

If he makes another comment, email him stating your objections to the conversation so that you have a track of it.

Explain carefully that you are not interested, his efforts make you uncomfortable and are unwanted. Keep all conversations on business. If he continues, you MUST involve his manager and yours.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

Thanks for all the advice. Yes, I will start documenting - I should know better by now. I can be a bit naive - hoping that he is not just trying to wear me down. We have a lot of similar interests and I believe he is having some marital issues right now. Also, my communication style tends to be soft so when I say no - sometimes it is not perceived as a hard no.

Due to vacations schedules, I will not see him for about 3 weeks. Hoping this will help. It is impossible for me to avoid him - as we have to be able to work together. I did like your suggestions, so Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

"I believe he is having some marital issues right now" – Standard excuse for an person looking for an affair.

Written words protect you, keep away from having a conversation with him, it gives him the opportunity to imply you misinterpreted him.

Best of luck
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

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Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
If he makes another comment, email him stating your objections to the conversation so that you have a track of it.


In addition, don't discuss anything that is not work-related with him. He is not picking up on the subtle, so you will likely need to be more direct...ie when he starts a conversation that is not work related, interrupt him and say 'Let's keep the discussion on topic' & do not go on anymore lunches alone with him.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coworker wants to have affair with me - advice needed

Hmm..seeing as you're in the position of power (manager), I think it's best to keep yourself as professional as possible and don't allow him to get you alone...who knows? He could be trying to slap a harassment lawsuit on YOU.
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