Friendzoned by work boss crush?

He’s not my actual boss… so I could still date him, right?

Managers have to be careful, says our elder. Best to back off.

Dear EWC

At work I have feelings for one of the managers in my office. He’s not my direct manager; however, it’s against policy to socialize outside of work. Despite that, we have been talking over a work chat, just telling each other about what we like, and what we have in common. Recently we decided we should become friends. He has no idea that I have these feelings (to my knowledge), but I thought he was feeling the same. He types long paragraphs despite being busy, and uses all the smiley faces in his message. We tell each other stuff about our personal lives, etc. Overall, we get along really well.

I gave him my number last week and the response I got I wasn’t expecting. He stated that due to his position, we shouldn’t see each other outside of work; it could put us in an awkward position. He stated we’re the closest we’ve ever been and he hopes to continue to get to know me. He wants to have a worthwhile and meaningful friendship. He stated that he knows we’re going to get closer as time goes on, and he is happy I consider him a friend. There was more, but I can’t remember the rest. I always initiate the chats, but he always responds with long detailed messages. He states he’s always busy, and since it’s the new year, all managers are. I’m just wondering, since I’m moving departments, has he friendzoned me, or should I give it a real shot when it’s no longer against policy? All work chats are monitored, so I can’t tell what he means. It’s all a bit confusing.

M-Sharon replies

I think he came to the realization that the friendship was becoming too close. He has to avoid any hint of impropriety, for his job as well as yours. Bosses have to be especially careful.
I suggest you back off. Although he may very well like to get more involved, he realizes that it’s not possible.

Even though you’re changing departments, that really doesn’t change how a close friendship would look from the company’s point of view.

Since you already have started to have feelings for him, the only way you could pursue this is to find another place of employment.

I don’t know if you’ve considered whether he’s married or in a relationship, and if there is a big age difference. These are factors to consider.

I know this will be hard, but I think you need to do it.

Letter #: 434874
Category: Dating/Relationship

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