Author: Paul R. Brian & Renée Shen
When a work colleague likes you, they’re usually obvious about it.
But that’s not always the case.
Let’s take a look at the top clues that a male coworker is into you but trying not to show it.
First up in the signs a male coworker likes you but is hiding it is that they lurk around your social media.
This usually means you notice they’ve watched your stories and follow a lot of what you do, but don’t necessarily leave likes or comments.
This is the modern digital version of a secret admirer.
They’re watching you from their smartphone or laptop screen and enjoying what you post, especially the photos of yourself.
Whether or not you enjoy the attention is another question, though.
Next up in the signs a male colleague has the hots for you is that they ask other colleagues about your love life or sex life.
If you end up hearing about this through the grapevine you may feel slightly uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t blame you.
It could be that your male coworker asked people to keep it quiet that he’s been asking about you, which makes it even more awkward.
Depending on how much you open up to your coworkers and how much they’ve divulged to this guy, he may now have some fairly salacious details about your extracurricular activities.
Of course, you won’t hear anything about this from him. He doesn’t want you to know about his secret feelings, after all.
By the way, did you know that there’s two specific words you can say to a man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say?
If he puts in a good word for you with your boss or supervisor, that’s a sure sign he at least feels some affinity towards you.
It’s like you have a Secret Santa who’s always on your side at work, except instead of little souvenirs and chocolates, you’re getting a good reputation.
There’s always some kind of token of appreciation waiting for you on your desk, you’re getting extra commendations at meetings and you’re feeling well liked and supported at work.
Of course, this could also be something that’s happening on a broader scale simply because you kick butt.
Perhaps you’re so good at your job that more than one person is willing to root for you, so to speak!
But it may well have to do with this guy who has special feelings for you also going to bat on your team on an ongoing basis.
Then we get to scheduling. A smart guy who’s into you and wants to spend more time with you but is shy or afraid to come right out with it will often do this:
He’ll change his schedule around to align with yours.
This could mean slightly tweaking his duties and what he has to do at your company or job, or it could just mean him ending up with his hours and tasks changing somewhat.
In addition to making his tasks line up with yours more, this will also potentially put his work breaks in line with yours and give him many more “chance” opportunities to bump into you.
“You again? What a coincidence!”
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Another clue that a guy likes you at work but doesn’t want you to know is covert eye contact.
This is when he’s looking at you quite often but looks away as soon as you see him.
In the previous point I mentioned making sustained eye contact, which he breaks when you notice him doing it.
This is like the proverbial kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
In this case the cookie jar is you. He likes you but is trying to hide it, so when you notice him checking you out then he looks away in embarrassment.
Related reading: 15 Guaranteed Signs He Likes You But Is Hiding It.
Another of the top clues that a male coworker is into you is that he notices your style and appearance closely.
This could also be a trait of a gay work friend, but it often is also a sign of a man who’s into you but trying to play it cool.
If he’s picking up on small changes in your appearance and hair or what you wear then he’s paying a lot of attention to you and what you look like.
This means at the very least that you’re on his mind and in his field of vision.
Very often this simply means he’s hot for you.
When considering this sign, keep in mind that men don’t normally notice the little things on women, especially not the more masculine men.
They may notice that you look nice, but they’re not as sensitive to hair changes, makeup changes or even lipstick and outfit changes.
If your work guy is noticing these small changes then there’s a good chance that he’s noticing them because it benefits him to do so.
In other words, it benefits him because by noticing them, he can appreciate you more and make you feel happier through this appreciation.
Some people are funnier than others and some men are just natural comedians.
You know the drill:
Instead of the class clown, this guy is the work clown.
But for any man who’s not normally particularly humorous and seems to become Mr. Jokeface around you then be advised:
He probably is into you.
Humor is the perfect way for him to joke around and get your attention and interest without making a clear move.
If he’s shy or hiding his interest for some other reason then this is often the way that he will court you.
It’s obviously a more indirect way to court you, but that’s the point.
Due to the fact that it’s indirect, he gets to take less risk and make his interest in you less obvious!
Does he ask coworkers and others to let him know the details of what you like?
This means he wants to know more about you without risking his job, risking looking bad or being rejected by you.
Instead of talking directly to you or flirting openly, he checks in with your work friends about what you’re most into.
Earlier I mentioned him trying to get information on your love life and sex life.
This is basically a tangent from that, except instead of asking who you’re bumping boots with, he’s checking on what you love to do and what makes you tick.
This is for two main reasons:
Firstly, he wants to see if he’s potentially compatible with you and likes you as much as he thinks he might.
Secondly, he wants to get the inside scoop on you and come up with some good ideas for a first date and gifts to give you, if and when he gets up the nerve to ask you out.
It’s always nice to have someone at our work who helps us out.
If this guy is doing little things that are nice for you, including letting you know about news you need to know, then he may well like you.
Even if it’s all in the pretext of work stuff, this can be his way of demonstrating an interest in you.
If he’s bringing you your double double coffee just how you like it, he may well be hoping to double up with you in a very different hot and steamy context.
Of course, you should probably find out how commitment friendly your coworker is before getting too overinvested in him.
Sometimes it’s easy to get too carried away by kindness and chivalry from a man, without realizing that men can do this even while only intending to sleep with you.
So you have to be a little more sure that he is the type to have a real relationship rather than just an easy good time with you.
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Next up in the signs a coworker is hot for you is that he gives you compliments about your work.
Even if nobody else is noticing what you’re accomplishing, he apparently is.
When somebody notices the hard work you’re doing and gives you feedback on it, that’s a pleasant change.
This can be very reassuring and nice, and hopefully he’s being fully sincere as well and not only saying nice things to get on your good side or to get into your pants, of course.
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Another of the top signs a male coworker likes you but is hiding it is that he starts showing an interest in similar things to you.
You may happen to love jazz music, for example, and he’s never shown much interest.
But as soon as he finds out you’re a Jazz fan he starts dropping the names of legends at work or an old record he picked up.
Not exactly subtle, is it? (Though in his mind it may be!)
If you have a work chat area or use Slack or other options to communicate, a guy who’s into you may send funny memes and informative info here.
But instead of sending it to everyone, you can see that he’s specifically coming up with reasons to message you.
“Weather this weekend was crazy, eh?”
Well, it may well have been.
But if he’s messaging you about it instead of Dave who works down the hall from him then he’s probably coming up with a pretext for talking with you.
Because he likes you.
We all have work days that are just plain terrible, and when that happens it’s nice to have someone who has our back.
That’s where this guy comes in.
Somehow he’s just always there for you, offering a kind shoulder or a kind word…
He may want purely friendship, but in many cases this is him extending the offer of something more than friendship while still maintaining plausible deniability.
Why not just come right out and say he likes you?
The two most common reasons are fear of rejection and fear of getting in trouble at work for having a relationship with a colleague.
Last up in the key signs a male coworker likes you but is hiding it is that he gets a little jealous when you get close to other guys.
Even you rubbing shoulders with Mark from accounting has him looking like he’s just seen a ghost.
He may try to hide it, but your workplace crush is going to be a bit flustered if he sees you giving attention to other guys.
There are different ways to tell what your coworker is feeling for you.
If it’s mainly sexual or casual, you’ll notice that he’s mainly interested in your looks, scanning your hot stories or trying to pry into details of your sex life.
If his interest is deeper and something more long term, he may be trying to engage you in more profound conversation and really getting to know you.
But to be honest, the only way to know for sure is to:
If instead he’s not interested in bantering much or for too long, then assume he’s only going to put in minimal effort with you and move onto the next willing woman, (or that he’s narcissistic).
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Many companies have rules that prohibit any kind of romantic or sexual relationships between coworkers.
This is generally due to wanting to prevent conflicts of interest or personal issues spilling over into work.
That said, clearly many individuals do get involved with work colleagues and manage to hide it.
Apart from possible workplace ramifications, the thing to consider is this:
How will you feel coming to work and seeing someone you used to be involved with, if you end up parting ways or breaking up?
In general, keeping your work life and your personal life separate is sound advice.
Nonetheless, you can’t stop love and serious romantic interest.
If you fall head over heels with a work colleague and want to see where it goes, that’s your prerogative.
The best course of action is often to see if you can seek out a different place of work or change the department you’re in so that you end up having more separate work lives and your romance can continue.
Paul R. Brian
Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.
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