(Closed) Confused by male coworker behavior – what should I do?

posted 11 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 17
Member
9623 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

camellia116 :  my friend does this sometimes.  I honestly just let it go and focus on my own shit till she snaps out of it.  You can’t really force someone to feel up to socializing with you, so.. best to wait till they get there, IMO.  

Post # 18
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

camellia116 :  There are many people on here who would freak out if their spouse even talk to someone of the opposite sex.

This is not true. Yes there are extremes on all ends of the spectrum, but most bees, myself included, have zero issue with our partners having friends of the other sex. My husband has plenty of female coworkers that he’s friendly with and socializes with outside of work, sometimes without me. I don’t care at all. 

But the way you’re talking about your “work spouse” seems different. You’re keeping precise records of how many times he’s given you the “cold shoulder,” exactly how long it’s been since you last talked about non-work related stuff…it just sounds like an awful lot of emotional investment in someone who you claim is “just a friend.” Then when you add in the bit about how he got cold toward you after you spent an evening talking to two other men…bee, you know why you included that detail and your own mind has surely gone to the same place everyone else’s is here even though you’re trying to act like it’s the bees who are too prudeish to handle co-ed “friendships.”

Even if what you’re claiming is true, that there is not the faintest trace of attraction on either side and everything is 100% kosher between you two, this friendship sounds unhealthy to me and I think you’re better off without it. Personally I’ve got no use for friendships with people who are hot and cold to me – who has the time to worry about what they might have done to provoke the latest cold war? No. 

Post # 20
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

camellia116 :  Well you’re asking for people to judge the situation, and I’m certainly not alone in my assessment. If you truly feel in your heart that I and everyone else in this thread who jumped to the same conclusion based on the info you shared are way off base, then skip to the last paragraph of my previous post.

ETA: It’s ironic that you’re lashing out at people for “speculating” when you’ve made a far more extreme and unfounded speculation that most bees would freak out if their partner so much as talked to a female.

Post # 21
Member
4542 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

camellia116 :  sabotage your attempt to get into his department in 2020? That’s a bit extreme, that’s atleast a full year away, perhaps closer to 1.5-2. you might not get accepted into the department for a myriad of reasons. 

Just wanted to agree with the other PPs that people have opposite sex friendships and their partners are fine with It, but you seem to be obsessing over this ‘friend’. I think it’s healthy for you to step back and make other friends. 

*** As for the fact that he JUST met you at the get together with the other 2 co-workers after a year, it’s possible he felt something was off, perhaps he didn’t like your behavior in person, etc. It’s different to IM and email and chat with someone you’ve never met in person for a year than to actually see them in person and spend time with them. Its not his job to talk to you everyday and keep you entertained because youre ”lonely and sad” at work. It’s also not his full responsibility to teach you everything at work, if you can’t handle or understand the workload then perhaps it’s better to look for other employment.  Either way, it’s better to stop obsessing. GL.

Post # 22
Member
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

camellia116 :  I think this is probably better for you both in the long run, as he has likely developed feelings that he wants to distance himself from, or perhaps his wife indicated she was not loving the amount of “connection” you guys had.

Honestly, if I were “agonizing” over a male work friend this way to my Darling Husband, he would not be brushing it off as, “oh you’re just good friends!” He would be having a serious discussion with me and it would have nothing to do with the fact that it’s just that I’m friends with someone of the opposite sex. 

For the record, I had a male coworker that I worked very closely with as we were assigned to the same projects the majority of the time. Darling Husband knew about him, I jokingly called him “work husband” and he was probably my favorite coworker on the team. When he left to go to another company our friendship outside of being friends on facebook and sending Christmas cards to each other’s families ended. I didn’t agonize over anything. And Darling Husband didn’t care one bit. This is dangerously close to crossing lines and you are very quick to act like it’s totally normal and anyone who thinks otherwise “just can’t handle opposite sex relationships.” 

Post # 23
Member
1670 posts
Bumble bee

I love having best friends at work, but I avoid making that best friend a male. I have male friends at work, but that super close daily best friend life partner type bond is one I reserve for female friends and boyfriend. 

I think men and women can be friends. Close friends. With no sex involved at all. 

But the bond you’re talking about is a level of intimacy that I think just plays with fire. 

Post # 24
Member
1048 posts
Bumble bee

camellia116 :  I don’t think you have any concern for him to sabotage your ability to move to that office in two years.  One or both of you probably got too emotionally close to the other, and it is best for him to pull back. Focus on other things at work so that you aren’t leaning so hard on him entertaining you during those hours.

Post # 25
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

honestly, he probably realizes he had inappropriate feelings, OR feels like he’s disrespecting his wife by talking too much.

I’m not a jealous person and I totally think men and women can be friends. but if a women that I did not know was talking to my husband quite a bit, daily, esp about non-work stuff, he’d get a serious WTF talk from me. Feelings can start unexpectedly, and for all you know, he and his wife are going through a hard time, and he’s started to think about you a bit too much, and realizing it’s creating havoc.

Post # 26
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I had a male friend at a prior company, and he had a fairly close friendship with a woman from one of our offices in another city. They talked on the phone all the time, and shared probably a bit more than maybe they should have about their personal lives. She came to our office on a business trip and we all went out to dinner together. I know my male co-worker had a little bit of a crush on her and was expecting to really hit it off when they finally met in person. But when she was here, the connection he previously felt with her didn’t hold up when they interacted face to face. Is it possible that he secretly had certain expectations for when you met in person, and because you considered everything completely platonic, he realized there wasn’t the opportunity he expected there? Could be why he suddenly cut contact. 

If that’s the case, I don’t really think it’s any fault of your own for treating a friend strictly as a friend, but possibly another reason to just let it go on your side.

Post # 27
Member
9623 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

woaaaah I missed the part where the first time you met in person was after a year of talking over IM nonstop.  

Honestly knowing that I think it’s almost surely that something about that interaction didn’t go the way he had hoped/envisioned/expected.  Meeting someone who you’ve gotten to know over IM in person is a big event: if anything were likely to make someone pause I think it’d be that.  What exactly about it that got him I don’t know–there are soooo many things it could’ve been.  Maybe you weren’t who he had built up in his head.  Maybe he was upset you didn’t pay more attention to him.  Maybe it just felt weird to him.  So many options.

Post # 28
Member
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Honestly, it sounds like this friendship has run its course and probably needs to be dialed back a bit. 

I’m not going to accuse you of cheating or having inappropriate feelings, because I’m not a mind reader. Plus you’ve been very open with your husband about the situation, which is great. But we also can’t know exactly what’s going on with your friend’s side of the story. Maybe he developed a crush that he knew was inappropriate. Maybe his wife found out about the friendship and told him to dial it back. My husband and I are the same age, and I know I would feel extremely insecure and concerned if I knew he was constantly talking to a woman at work a decade younger. Also, it’s amazing how quickly people can build emotional intimacy even through a text-based chatting format. I had to end a friendship with a guy that I never met in person, but we became close friends over IM chats. Once I was in a committed relationship with my now-husband, I realized I couldn’t stay friends with this other guy without risking an emotional affair, so I cut contact completely. This was several years ago, and I don’t regret the decision at all. 

It also sounds like it would be best from a professional standpoint that you keep contact with this guy to work-only. That way, if any drama comes up among the higher-ups or gossip about “work spouses,” you can safely say that you haven’t had any personal conversations with this guy in months, if not longer. 

Sorry, Bee. It sucks to lose a friend, but hopefully you can fill the void with other friends or time spent with your spouse. 

Post # 29
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2019

amanda1988 :  exactly what I was thinking – expectations (whatever they were) didn’t match up with reality

Post # 30
Member
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

Maybe when you finally met in person, you weren’t what he was expecting? Who knows. You may never know.

I think you should focus your energy on your work and on making other friends. You seem to have invested a lot into this work-friendship, to the point it’s causing you emotional anguish not talking to this guy every day. It doesn’t sound super healthy for you.

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