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Author Topic: Does my boyfriend have a crush on a mutual co-worker?

December 23, 2019, 04:15:50 AM
Read 1451 times


Sorry, I know this turned out really long, but maybe someone has the patience to read and hopefully easy my mind.

First off, I know that no one can give me the real and honest answer to this questions, but maybe anyone can tell me some coping mechanisms as I feel like I am going crazy.

My boyfriend and I work at the same company. No one officially knows that we are in a relationship, as he doesn’t want that. But it probably also wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if we officially said it: I often pay for both of us at lunch (we have a shared bank account for that), we arrive to some work functions together, we have hosted bbqs together … but I am sure in case anyone has ever asked him, he told them we are just good friends.

We are both in leading positions. He is directly supervising a woman in his department, so obviously they work together a lot. They communicate a lot and often have 1 on 1 meetings. I used to be very friendly with this woman as well, until I started noticing things and getting suspicious.

She is in a long distance relationship and sees her boyfriend very infrequently.

The first real incident where I got very upset, and has kicked off my paranoia, was after he came back from a few days holiday. It was only the three of us in the office in the evening, and he asked her across the room: "Did you miss me?" I looked up from what I was doing, shocked, I looked at her, she also seemed a bit puzzled at the question, laughed awkwardly and said sarcastically: "yea, of course." He answered: "That's why I came back as soon as I could!" He then turned around and smirked at me, like he just made a really funny joke. I was so angry and hurt that I immediately packed up my stuff and went home.

During the following argument he got very defensive and annoyed, and said it was just a joke. But ever since then, I cannot help but have a closer eye on their relationship, and notice these things:
- his eyes often drift in her direction, even if she is not part of the conversation. Likewise, her eyes also sometimes drift in his direction, although not as frequently as his.
- let's say during lunch with some co-workers (including her), he tells a story, and then looks at her as if to see her reaction (he used to do this with me, but it seems when she is there, she is his first choice now).
- he brings her up during work related conversations that she is not a part of, like "me and her do xy". There is no need to bring her up, imo.
- It seems very important to him that we don't forget her, asking "where is she?" or "save some food for her!" (I cannot know if he does this about me)
- She often seems to be the first person that pops into his mind. A couple of weeks ago, he was telling our boss during a rant about some other co-workers that he finds annoying: "Me and her are trying to work hard here and don't like the distractions!" While I was sitting behind him, having discussed and agreed with him about this just minutes earlier, working similarly long hours as he does, while she generally leaves on time. I later told him "I am also working hard, it's not always just you and her." To which he replied: "well, I cannot speak for you." I thought to myself "but you can speak for her?" But i didn't say anything because at this point i felt mentally exhausted already from the feeling of always having to compete with her.
- Related to this: When a co-worker left this year and his work laptop was up for grabs, I was eager to get it, as I was the only department head without one, I was using my personal laptop up until then, and I frequently work from home. Yet, his first thought was to offer it to her, reasoning: "maybe it motivates her to work from home." Meanwhile, she has stated: "i don't want a laptop because I have no interest to work from home." When I told him she said this, he just laughed.
- One time I went shopping with him, and there was a piece of clothing over which he remarked: "this is something she would wear." One time, he also called her (behavior) cute.
- Another time, we went to a work fair with a couple of co-workers, where he and she had meetings together, and he told her she looked nice (She wore a black mini skirt, a huge green woolen sweater, and mismatched blue hiking boots. I don't wanna hate, but it was neither nice, nor appropriate for meetings - he wore a suit himself). He  almost never compliments me (a thing we have had an argument about last year), so I was hurt that he dished out the compliments so easily for such a mismatched outfit, just because it was her and she apparently can do no wrong.
- Once when we had a dinner with co-workers, me and her both brought backpacks. We had to move tables, and he carried her backpack for her to the new table. Now, I don't care about my bf carrying my stuff, but the fact that his first instinct was to offer it to her instead of me was a bit hurtful.
- Preface: he and I are sitting behind each other. She comes over quite frequently to give him papers to sign or to discuss things. One day when he wasn't there, she asked me a question across the room about my work, and I replied: "you come over here so often, don't you see that?" To which she answered: "When I come over there, I only look at him!" I think it was supposed to be a joke, but at least one other person that was present made a "whoa" face.
- Once we went to lunch together, and she received the wrong meal. He then said to her: “I guess he was distracted by you!”
- I heard some people that she supervises say that she has a crush on him (in a much cruder way haha). They may have just been shit-talking her.
- She laughs at pretty much anything he says. But, she laughs kinda at anything, most of all her own stupid jokes.
- He never gets mad at her when she makes a mistake. He laughs it off and says things like “it happens”. When I make a mistake, it’s like the end of the world, and he yells at me in front of everyone. I told him before that this makes me upset, and he said he does get mad at her, but there is no need to yell at her in front of everyone .. uh ok.

I brought some of these things up during an argument in the summer, and he again insisted that he doesn’t even find her attractive  and he is just trying to have a good work relationship with her as they have to work together so much. One exact wording, copied from an email: “just being polite because we need to work together”. I honestly think some of this is more than being polite, but since mentioning this seems to make him very angry, I stopped bringing up my feelings about what I see.  But putting this all down on paper right now really makes me wanna puke.

Him saying he doesn't find her attractive is hard for me to believe, because we are physically very similar, with the exception that I work out and have a bigger/nicer butt (and he is an ass-man haha), and she seems a bit clumsy in her dress style (but maybe he interprets that as cute). Maybe it’s worth mentioning that I am older than him, and she is younger than him (meaning also younger than me). Not significantly, she is I think 7 years younger than me and he is on the middle of us. Personality-wise, she has this sweet, innocent, naive demeanor and everyone loves her. I am a bit more rough around the edges, and even if I try and think I am really nice, people never look at me that way. Work-mentality is a bit different, not saying she isn't doing a good job, but she seems to do usually only what's necessary, while I go above and beyond, work long hours, weekends and holidays. That is something he really values, but with her .. it just seems she can do whatever she wants, even things that he tells me he doesn't like, and he still loves her. I feel like I have to work really hard to receive praise from him at work, while she gets it “for free”.

I feel very hurt by this, as I feel like he is treating her better than me (at work). Full disclosure, I also want to say that when we are at home together, i usually don’t feel like she is an issue, which is why I am asking if I am just being super paranoid. I don’t think he is seeing her outside of work, because he spends almost all his time outside of work with me. We don’t live together (as that would mean revealing our situation at work), but I sleep there 6 out of 7 nights.
I don’t think they are texting outside of work - I don’t know for sure because sometimes he does kind of turn around when he is on his phone as if to hide from me what he is doing. Again, this could just be me being paranoid, maybe he only shifts his position to get more comfortable.
When we get home, I try to leave work at work, and I don’t wanna bring her up. So generally, when we are at home, everything is fine.

It also seems like he is trying to get me and her to be friends again, as he has sometimes said “you used to be such good friends..!” He has asked if we should ask her to join us for some movie nights also.

I honestly don't know if I am just hyper paranoid - because I don't actually think they are doing something when they have these meetings at work. I also don't think they have a relationship outside of work - he is with me outside of work, for 90% of his time. But then these negative feelings creep in, and I think … “yea, but of course he would not do anything with her, as he doesn’t like dating co-workers .. that’s why he is hiding our relationship as well! That does not mean he does not have feelings for her!” Also, before he started seeing/met  me, he was dating another co-worker (who is no longer at the company). So, it’s a “theme”.. ?

So, what can I do? This is making my work day much harder as everytime he walks over to her or takes her upstairs for a meeting, I get super nervous and lose all focus. My jealousy is probably also not helping anything at all. I once thought about having lunch with her and explain my feelings and ask her to be a bit more considerate and not always be so super friendly with him, but even just writing that sounds terribly stupid to me, and also does not change a thing if HE is the one having feelings, which the problem comes down to.

Sorry, I know this is a lot of information, but what do people here think? Does he have a crush? Am I overreacting? How can I get over my jealousy and fear of losing him to her?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 04:47:42 AM by Yve »

December 24, 2019, 01:03:59 AM
Reply #1


I was once in a situation like the one you are in except we were publically together and I snooped through his phone and found proof of flirting and cheating. Even if he really is being honest about not having feelings for her, I don't think you should continue to be with him. I think this simply because of how he's making you feel and he's not doing anything to correct it and how he treats you. Being treated as a second thought is really upsetting and I've been there. The fact that he doesn't naturally think of you first, means you should stop thinking of him first. Stop wasting your time with a man who doesn't appreciate you as much as he should. Maybe he's not a toxic person, but at the very least, this is the beginning of a toxic relationship. You're not wrong or crazy in any way to notice the signs that he may have a crush on her. You shouldn't have to settle for any less than a man who will put you first, never think about any other person romantically, and never flirt or cheat on you. I understand some people don't think flirting is cheating, I think it is cheating, but it does make people jealous and insecure about their worth or place in their relationship. I think that's wrong to make a person you love or care about feel that way. That "joke" he told was flirting in a way and he probably does it without you knowing or when you're not around. I think you're better off without him. But if you want some advice on coping or solving the problem and staying with him, I'd suggest confrontation. Sit down with him and tell him how his actions make you feel. Tell him how you would have initially wanted to be treated. If he doesn't change or if he gets angry and doesn't have any empathy for how you're feeling, I'd leave him. I'd also suggest changing jobs or transferring so you don't have to be around his behavior but that can be difficult, it'd still be happening, and you'd still hear him at least talk about her during the conversation.

December 24, 2019, 06:46:04 AM
Reply #2


Thank you for taking the time to read my post and reply.

Obviously, I don't want to give him up, I am very much in love.

But I have the question - since I am pretty sure he does not see her outside of work or does anything shady behind me back, is there not a chance that he really does not think he is doing anything wrong because he really does not have any romantic thoughts or intentions with her? I mean, why would he do this in front of me if he thought it was flirting? Would he not try to hide it more, since I am seeing most of their interactions?  In the years I have known him, he struck me as a monogamous person.  And since at home, when we are alone, everything seems fine... or am I just being too desparate?

January 16, 2020, 11:37:50 PM
Reply #3


I'm 90% sure my husband has had a crush on a co-worker. We've been married 20 years and he's in his early 40's and I'm 39.
My husband is in a managment position and spent a lot of time with the admin staff, 4 women in total. He didn't really need to do this, but he chose to I guess because he thought they were fun. I'm pretty sure he flirted with one staff member. I've heared them laugh and giggle about him etc. Obviously they have discussed personal topics together as a group, and I'm pretty sure he's discussed things with her individually. She knew quite a bit about him. I found this out because she came up to me at the work Christmas function and started talking about my husband to me. Initially I didn't think much of it because I'd had a few drinks, but the next day, I gave it quite a lot of thought.
My husband also told me he didn't know this women prior to her working at the same company. But turns out he did, 2 years prior! Another co-worker let the cat out of the bag unintentionally and told me that she'd worked at another company directly across the street - 1 minute walk away, a place my husband frequented daily. So in total he knew her 2 years prior and 2 years that she worked with my husband. I didn't actually care about her at all. Never crossed my mind that she was anything but an administration staff member.
He spent 10 - 12 hours day at work! I thought he's running the show, so he needs to work a lot! But that's a lot of time to get to know someone! I felt left out of his life. I began to feel like he compared me to them, and I wasn't good enough. I wasn't smart or funny. I didn't drink on weekends and go clubbing or use excessive bad language like they did. But these women in the administration were younger, 20's and 30's, and free to do what they wanted and they paid attention to him and in particular this women paid attention to him - from what I saw!I work part time and we have 4 children!
I would bring him lunch and sit with him in his office during his break some days, and this other women started coming to his office. I felt like she was checking up on me. 

I heard her on the phone, flirty and he was sickly sweet; Sickly sweet to her, then uncaring towards me the next. Not always uncaring I should say, but he did pick on me for no reason at times and made me feel small.
One time, one of the admin chicks told a lie about me, and he believed them. I was so hurt and angry, especially since he was with me and he knew it wasn't true. Where was the loyalty to me??? We've been together in total 22 years and he's know this women for 2 freaking minutes and this is how he treats me. I was never given the opportunity to set the record straight either.

I don't know if he actually phycially cheated on me, he certainly had the opportunity, but I'm pretty sure he emotionally cheated.
There was a stage where he said he wasn't sure if he was attracted to me, and that he felt bored in bed! Out of the nowhere! On the way to the hardware store in fact! Quite random! I always thought we had a great relationship! He never complained before! Even though we've been together so long, we've always had a really good sex life. And I'm a runner, so I try to keep in shape. And I look after myself - it's not like I've let myself go. I look pretty bloody good for a mother of 4!

We went on a cruise with one of his work mates and his wife. There was this gorgeous white gold bracelet and I could attach charms. The letter 'A' for me and a 'S' for him. And it had a love locket. Just something to remember the cruise with. And I wanted to show it off to his work mate and his wife, but my husband wouldn't let me. His mate had bought a ring for his wife and they were showing it off to us, and I was hurt and confused why I couldn't show them my bracelet. As an after thought, I think my husband's mate might know about the women in admin from work. Her name starts with an 'A' also. My husband might have been worried somethng might have slipped out. Just a thought! Nothing I can prove, but everything seems to fit.
We also went to an engagement party and this women was there. My husband only wanted to stay for 45 minutes and we left. Certainly there were some things that were strange.

I dunno. I just think he thought the grass was greener on the other side. I did actually confront him, but had no proof. Bad move. I should have kept my mouth shut and I may have caught him out. Certainly more and more things are coming to light as time goes on, be he denies it. Now says he loves me and I'm the only one for him - Umm, where were those sentiments when you were telling me you aren't sure if you're attracted to me, or when your loyalty swayed? Did it not occur to you how your words or actions might make me feel?
Long story short, this staff member, no longer works with my husband. One day my husband had a heart to heart with the big boss, which I dislike him discussing our personal life, but anyway, he did and he let out that I'd received a message via FB that he'd cheated on me. Did I forget to mention this?? Well, yes, during this whole saga, out of literally nowhere, I get a message saying "I think you shld know, your husband is cheating on you!" This was AFTER I first suspected too. When I received the message, he initially didn't worry whether I thought it was true or not, he seemed more worried about how he would know anything, and who was he? It was just some random person neither of us knew. Of course after he showed concern that I may believe the acusation!
3 weeks later, after my husband disclosed this to the big boss, she put her resignation in, stating she wasn't earning enough at the company and had a job elsewhere. I don't believe that for a second because the company offered her a pay rise, so there was another reason why she left. Coincidnece? I don't know!

Maybe I'm reading too much into things. Maybe not. I actually want to ask her, but at the same time I don't want to create trouble. Really, I just want my mind at ease so I can move forward!

I would have confronted, most definately! Some things can be let go, and some things need to be addressed. And start off declaring your relationship, if you haven't already! Given this post is a few months old ;) You deserve respect! And if anything, declaring your relationship could stop him in his tracks. What is he going to do - flirt with her infront of everyone when they know he's with you?

January 20, 2020, 04:59:05 AM
Reply #4


I am in almost the same exact position. Me and my boyfriend work together and we are both in a leadership position for a team. We are salespeople and therefore "flirting" is normal. Its a part of our work and I wouldn't even call it flirting as much as just giving another person a lot of attention. We are not secret, but only the others in leadership positions know about us. We thought this was smarter since we didn't want the teams gossiping and focusing on the wrong things. At least that's what he said...Until a girl on the team fell in love with him, and it was obvious to everyone. She was leaving the company anyway though, so the "problem" didn't last. I did have a feeling he wanted to keep things secret for other reasons though. Now another girl on the team fell in love with him after months of working together, and she finally opened up to him. Then got super pissed of that he had "lead her on THAT MUCH" When he started telling me all this, I realized two things.

1. He could have cheated, and he didn't. He did not have a crush on this person, he simply liked the validation from getting people to fall in love with him. We now agree that thats not ok. Neither to the girls, me and to himself. That does not mean he cant flirt for the sake of it, he just has to mention now and again his amazing girlfriend whom he loves. Then he can flirt.

2. If I had been open with him about my concerns and not felt like my emotions were going crazy, or that I was overacting much earlier, things wouldn't have escalated. You both need to set borders so no one feels like they are unsure where the line goes

This was my situation, but I do truly empathize and have sympathy for your situation. It really doesn't feel nice. Since I don't know everything concerning this I can only share my best thought and opinions. My recommendations would be: Tell him how you feel. This could be done by actually showing him this thread. Tell him you didn't want to overreact and therefore sought advice.  Ask him bluntly if he has had any relationship or stepped over the line with this coworker. If not, what are the signals you are picking up? Why does he want your relationship to be secret? Could he mention his girlfriend without telling people your name to keep other girls at a distance? Does he agree that your emotions do matter, and does he try to see things from your perspective (and can you see his?)

Anyway, its a shitty feeling, and you are right to want to fix it.


February 19, 2020, 10:34:06 AM
Reply #5



In response to the OP...

I am a man and in something of a similar position (although nowhere near as convoluted/in depth). From my perspective it does seem like he has 'an eye' for her, as they say. That's all well and good, but it's not on for him to be so blatant about making distinctions between you in the instances that you highlighted. That's not to say he should be secretive either, as that would be worse, I think.

My situation is this: I have a girlfriend of the last 9 years and we get on great still. However, a few year back I met this girl at work and we really hit it off - a spark, if you will. We only see each other maybe once or twice a week, usually just passing by and a quick word or two. She was openly flirty in the beginning but in fairness to her, when I mentioned that I had a girlfriend that all stopped for quite a while. Then it started again - little waves, she has blown me kisses a few times when we've passed each other, and she has said a few things that have taken me aback - not blatant but just suggestive. I told my girlfriend about the times we have crossed each other's paths, including the blowing kisses, and she has half jokingly said, "I'm gonna kill her if I see her!" Haha.

The thing is, however, that I do really like this girl a lot. That can't be helped - it's the not doing anything about it that can be helped. I do think about her now and again, because we are into some of the same things, and I have thought that it would be cool for us to do this or that together. But this is purely as friends, the same way as I have met some guys in the same way at work and a few have wound up being friends now, meeting on occasion for whatever it might be. I have considered asking this girl to participate in something I'm involved in - and would obviously run this by my girlfriend (not sure how she would take it, though) - but I know myself that it's a strange/dodgy situation. This is the reason I joined the forum in the first place, for some advice about this, but it seems similar to your case so maybe me putting this here gives you some insight as well.

The thing is, your guy probably does have some connection with this girl, but as hard as it might be to take, it could be as simple as they get on well together and that's that.  At the end of the day, it does make things different that it's a girl rather than a guy he has connected with (in a friendship way, I mean), and I think that's the crux of it. I totally get that. Would he be happy if the shoe was on the other foot and you had the same thing with a guy at work? I doubt it. I have asked myself the same thing about my situation. I think in relationships it's much harder to make legitimate (new) friends of the opposite sex for the simple fact that, well, it's someone of the opposite sex. I still don't know what to do about this girl and getting her to work on some stuff with me - maybe I told my girlfriend too much of the past flirting and that has killed any possibility of us hanging out, however innocent it might be. That does suck! I've made new male friends the same way with no problem but you know the score (I think?).

As for him denying that he finds her attractive - I was asked the same thing about this girl and said I thought she was just average looking, even though she is in my opinion quite beautiful. That's simply a case of not wanting to make my girlfriend feel insecure (which she shouldn't do anyway) and not wanted to have her doubt me in any way. A white lie on my part, but also with the best intentions as far as I can see it.

I hope your situation improves for the better soon, but just please bear in mind that it could be completely innocent, even though he is going about everything in entirely the wrong way.

Hope this rant in some way helps anyway :)

March 07, 2020, 12:57:13 AM
Reply #6


hi gal, I was in your shoes before. and here's an article that really helped me when I was struggling at the bottom.
I hope it could give you some enlightenment and inspiration like it helped me  :)


wish you have a great future with your loved one.

April 01, 2020, 10:53:19 PM
Reply #7


After reading this, you seem to have a really great personality and first any of men would be lucky to have you as a girlfriend.

What I have to say about your read, is that he seems to be having natural conversations and remarks about your coworker more in fact that he really could just be hinting of being an expressive person.

What I do not understand and would not continue is the fact that he should be intending for you to be his prioritize and especially have you as the attention all round especially at your daily work.

Having a girlfriend is very intimate and most of all monogamous, but really it seems like he has no monogamous attraction with you in the relationship.

Men are always free to think and do what they want, respectively, but I just would not continue to be a side line even when other girls call for attention.

What I would do if I were you, is take your great personality, great sense of humor, (writing this) and take the time to better understand how else you could stand seeing another “man” that could lead to making you a happier, secure and more monogamous person.

There’s plenty of friends out there that can maybe curve you out of these insecurities and show you how it would be to be monogamous.

Always think positive with your boyfriend, and better learn yourself

April 04, 2020, 01:14:34 PM
Reply #8


Hi, I was in your position as well, in fact quite a few times and I was very unhappy in my relationships all the time, but I was exactly like you, very much in love and I always thought this was the love of my life and I could not leave them until circumstances made us split up anyway. But I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I had realised much earlier that a guy who causes you grief and unhappiness is not the love of your life.

I know you don"t want to hear this right now, but this guy is not your soulmate. You think you love him, but this guy does not make you happy or feel good, he is not right for you. You deserve to be with someone who can make you happy all the time.

I finally found my soulmate in my 40s after many unhappy relationships and a lot of soul searching. I realised, a guy who causes me worries, doubts and grief all the time is not my soulmate. In order to find your real soulmate, you have to learn to fully understand your true personality first before you can attract your real soulmate. If you are interested in trying this for yourself, I have put together a 7 Step Program that guides you step by step through the process and you can do this too.  (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086KNNV1V)


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