Hi Will:

I love my job.  I’m good at it and I’ve always gotten compliments on my performance. Well, a few weeks ago, we got a new coworker. Oh, he’s so gorgeous! He isn’t married or dating and he has all the women in the office about ready to lose their minds just to talk to him. I feel so lucky that he and I are working for the same manager which puts me in his path every day. But that’s also a problem. I can’t seem to keep my professional decorum when I’m around him. The fantasies I have of us “dating” have me flustered and I’m ashamed to say that I have missed a deadline or two just because I wasn’t paying attention and missed information when we worked one-on-one. I, of course, can’t quit my job nor do I want to, but I have to do something because this situation is making it difficult to work with him and around him. Help!

Hot and Bothered in Baltimore


Seriously!?  Wow. I guess spring fever gets us all. I mean, I’ve seen a new, attractive woman in our office make the guys go cuckoo for Coco Puffs and when I started my new job, all of the women here dealt with how stunning I was without any noticeable problems. Or maybe they just hid their desires really well. And I did start in the winter time, so that could be it. Either way, I’d answer your question with a question: So what are you waiting for?

FIRST THINGS FIRST: I can’t tell you what I’d tell a guy because the part of his anatomy that I’d accuse him of thinking with, you don’t have. So what I will say is, firmly grab the reality steering wheel and pump the brakes. This guy could be Brad Pitt and Idris Elba twisted into a sexy swirl, but his good looks won’t pay his bills, let alone yours. Once you’re at home, you can fantasize about “dating” him ‘til you shoulder gives out, but at work, you need to keep your mind on your company’s needs and your pay check. Good jobs are hard to come by these days and jobs we love, even harder. Try this: any time you two have to work together, picture your Romeo handing you a pink slip, taking over your job, and dating that loud mouth heifer that works down the hall from you. Kinda takes away from his sex appeal, doesn’t it?

GET OFF THE WALL AND DANCE:  As I said before, “What are you waiting for?” If a an attractive, single, woman starts in a new office, any guy who thinks he has a shot has already taken it before she finished her first cup of bad coffee. Unless your company has a very strict fraternization policy (most don’t), there’s no harm in you asking him out. Maybe you’re waiting for him to ask you. Maybe you’re too shy or too nervous to ask. Maybe you’re worried he’ll turn you down. Maybe you’re worried you’ll go out with him and he’ll turn out to be an ass. To all of that I say this: Would any of that be worse than listening to one of your co-workers go on and on about how wonderful her date was with him after she asks him out? What if he’s waiting on you to give the green light? You snooze; you lose.

WHAT IF HE SAYS NO? Well, at least you took a shot. That’s easy for me to say because guys expect to get shot down three out of four times and the odds are even worse if both parties are sober. He’ll give some excuse why it isn’t a good idea. You’ll say, “ just thought I’d ask”, and then never bring it up again. It may make things a bit uncomfortable for a few days, but it won’t be any worse than running around behind him like a school girl with a crush. And it will probably cause what I call, “the sour grapes effect”. It’s amazing how uninteresting a person seems once we find out they’re not interested. The day after he turns you down, you’ll realize that his eyes are too close together, his hands are too small for his body, and that he wears far too much cologne. After a week, you’ll wonder why you ever asked him out in the first place. Blame it on springtime and get back to work.

WHAT IF HE SAYS YES? Know your boundaries. Even if most businesses don’t flat-out prohibit office romances, no company wants a couple playing Naked Twister in the copy room. If he’s as hot as you say, there will probably be some hurt feelings amongst your female co-workers who may be all too happy to report any PDA’s that aren’t office issued. Remember: from 9 to 5, he’s a co-worker. After hours and off company property, do whatever comes natural, but don’t be late for work in the morning.

Now go for it. If he ends up being Mr. Right, send me a wedding invitation. If he turns you down flat, I’ll send you a pint of chocolate ice cream and Fabio voodoo doll. It’s a win-win!

Good luck!

More From GEM:

Our Story Begins: It’s A Juggle Out There

The GEM Debate: “Condoms? We Don’t Need No Stinking Condoms! We’re On The (Man) Pill!”

The GEM Debate: Is This Teacher In Love Or Out Of Bounds?

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.