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He Stares and Flirts at Work But The Next Day, Won’t Say A Word – Is He Interested?

in For Women
Flirting at work can be a risky fun thing but does it mean he really likes you?

“I am confused about a guy. He stares at me, then talks sweetly to me, then the next week he flirts with me. He blushes when he talks to me then the next day he does not talk to me at all. What does this mean? This has been going on for a month and is driving me crazy. Is he interested or just playing around? How do I respond? Why the disinterest the following day? All this is going on at work…”

Anonymous reader

I absolutely LOVE this question. It sounds like he is literally having a sordid love affair with you – INSIDE HIS HEAD. 🙂

And I would not have known that so confidently if I had not been there myself… More than once.

I’ve flirted with tons of women at my old job and being there 18 years gave me lots of opportunities.

There are several reasons why a guy will stare at you, flirt, blush while he’s doing it, and then go silent the next day and they ALL will be covered today.

First up – workplace romances create an extra layer of pressure on a guy and when he finds time to think about them (or realizes they’re there) he’ll back away until he finally decides what to do.

Which could be causing only PART of the problem.

The added pressures created are listed in another post.

This is from a guy’s point of view but explains what we are thinking about with women at work:

  1. Sexual harassment. Say the wrong thing and you’re done. Make it advance and be wrong and you’re done. Very real stuff which has definitely gotten worse over the years.
  2. Public rejection in front of your other co-workers. If she’s not interested EVERYONE will find out you FAILED. Kind of makes showing up for work a little tougher.
  3. Whether she says yes, is interested or not, no matter what happens you still have to work with this girl which just piles up the pressure on you. You’re basically stuck seeing her several times a week no matter how the attraction plays out.

How To Tell If A Female Coworker Is Attracted To You

The added pressure and unknown variables such as threat of sexual harassment, public rejection, and the eventual “what if something happens at work” will make the guy courageous one day and silent the next.

This could be part of the problem but it goes deeper and I believe you’ll find a more appropriate answer to your persona situation next:

The fact that he is blushing means he IS feeling highly attracted to you but probably lacks the necessary experience in this area or at work.

This means he knows what to do but he can not get himself to do it. Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection, a little failure, and the curse of public rejection.

In other words…

He knows how to flirt but lacks the skills of knowing what to do next.

Transitions, as it’s called, is a very common problem for lots of men.

Some are good at getting things started but are clueless on how to transition or move to a date or elaborate the interaction. Leaving both of you in a stuck state. Such as your case.

First reason – the pressure, second reason – lacks the skill or know-how to transition forward.

Next up – we’ll call it number three…

He has convinced himself that if he continues flirting you’ll soon believe he is clingy.

Can I tell you a little secret?

When I began to learn all this stuff I would flirt with a girl a little but then felt compelled to stay away from her.

In the past I would have hung around like a playful little puppy and since that NEVER worked I needed to do something different.

I wanted her to miss me.

I wanted to show her I could give her space.

I wanted her to believe I had a life outside of her and women in general.

I also wanted to play it “cool” in every way possible.

So if you have yourself a “freshmen” who is still learning all this fun stuff, then like me, he could be doing it on purpose.

That I will NEVER deny.

He’s backing away to give you space and to make it look like he’s not the typical needy clingy guy.

(Something he might have done wrong in the past.)

Next reason…

Guilty feelings.

The fact he is blushing and then pulling back tells me he feels guilty for flirting with you.

Like maybe he crossed a line with you because you’re at work. Some guys even feel guilty crossing that proverbial line outside work so keep your eyes out for them.

As a guy steps back thinks about what he did (especially at work) – he gets scared and perhaps starts to believe he did something wrong.

And until his courage or belief about what he did erases or overcomes his feelings of guilt – he’ll back away. Hence the sudden disappearance.

Next please and thank you…

He’s berating himself for not moving forward.

He’s kicking himself in the ass because he is feeling like a failure who “sucks” with women.

Remember above, when I said some guys don’t know how to move forward with women, in fact lots of guys don’t have a clue of “what to do next”?

Well when a guy experiences those moments where they know in their head something more could’ve happen and then they fail to MAKE it happen – they all too easily become so displeased with themselves because it makes them feel like a failure.

He’s thinking,

“Shit I blew it again. I had my moment to ask her out and do something, anything, but once again I fucked it up. I freaking suck with women!!!!”

Take a guy with those types of thoughts, which again believe me are VERY common and you’ll soon notice he just poof! disappears until later returning to try again.

(Got to give a man credit for getting on the horse again BUT since he hasn’t learned anything or how to – he’ll just do it over and over again.)

Failure to act or move forward is big for guys and one of the main reasons why a woman absolutely knows a guy is into her but then finds he doesn’t follow through with it.

The problem with this also gets worse…

Once it’s done once or twice the pressure builds and builds along with the fear beginning to grow, making it impossible for him to finally step up and just ask you out.

Each time he does it – he feels worse and now he’s feeling it’s too late to move forward, not that he would know how anyways, but he’s now also feeling like he missed his chance with  you.

Guys are quite the bundle or nerves around women, aren’t we?

Okay – I’m not afraid to transition to the next reason why…

He’s unsure how you feel about him and is sort of testing you. He’s waiting for YOU to make the next move for him.

Here’s what is possibly going on inside his head. These are his thoughts:

“Okay I’m talking with her and I flirted. I think she flirted back. That MUST mean she likes me. But I’m just not sure!!! I know. I’ll test her with the only way I know how. If she comes to me the next day she must like me.”

If you don’t come to him after (like the next day) and start flirting with him he becomes more confused because he now figures  – if you liked it or him , you’d certainly come back for more.

Yet, he can not help himself.

He NEEDS to come back for more or your “goodness”.

Just in case you changed your mind. Men will often find every reason to believe there is always hope.

What happens here is also very common.

When a man is unsure about how a woman feels about him, he’ll pull back and wait and see what happens.

If she makes an effort – it must be a sign she likes him. If she does nothing – then that too must be a sign she does not like him or is not interested in his sort-of behavior.

Yet – through all that – again, after a delay of sorts – he’ll try again and again leaving the woman totally confused and frustrated as in your case.

In conclusion for this reason:

He’s actually waiting for YOU to make the next step because he needs some sort of proof, encouragement, or a definitive green light to assure him it’s okay for this to happen at work.

Now I did notice you mentioned he stares at you and I haven’t forgot about it. I’m going to cover it lightly because it’s not too relevant or important in this case.

Men stare for pretty much one reason alone: He’s likes what he sees.

You can read all about that in my oddly enough now-famous article I wrote at the approach:

“When we see a girl that we are highly attracted to there’s a mysterious force ( attraction ) which draws our eyes to her. Some guys stare right at the breasts. Some try to position themselves to check out her ass. It all depends on the “type” of guy.

Some gaze at her eyes hoping and praying she will approach him and magically they will run off together. Okay this one is absurd but believe me, it does happen.”

Why Does A Guy Stare At A Woman But Not Approach

Sound reasonable? Cool. Let’s move on to bigger and better things…

Is he interested in you?

Man Woman Work Flirt

There a 99% chance he is interested in you.

This does not mean he will instantly say yes to your advancement.

There’s much more going on in most circumstances as in what you’ve already read up until now.

Keep in mind attraction and interest to a guy are different things… along with intention.

Is he playing with you? Or is he a “player”?

Highly doubtful. Very minimally probable because…

Players tend to be good at what they do.

If he’s playing you, a date would have already happened unless he’s that deep of a player.

Remember, players know the steps to seducing a woman and they know how to do it well.

If you were being played – he would’ve progressed forward by now.

At least in some general way which would means you would NOT be here today asking this question.

Next up, the big answer EVERYONE has been waiting for…

How do you respond? What can you do about this mess?

Honestly that depends on you and what type of guy you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a man who knows and understands the steps of “courtship” and is able to take action then don’t respond at all. Slip him a link to here at DiaLTeG TM with a helpful wink and a very cute smile and just HOPE he finally figures it all out.

What I’m saying and will always advise in these situations with men is that there are literally only TWO types of guys:

  1. The guys who understands and gets how all this dating attraction stuff works and do it well. In other words, they are GOOD with women.
  2. The guys who just don’t get it. They often rely on luck, a persistent woman, or severe circumstances to accidentally have it work out for them.

This, or YOUR guy – I’m assuming is the second type which would explain why he’s isn’t moving forward with you.

Keep in mind this warning- IF you do what he is supposed to do, and things work out or you start dating THAT is what you’ll be getting from him.

Unsure actions, a little of this and less of that, a guy who waits around for you to decide or take action (with regards to commitments and dating), and the list only begins there.

Make your choice now or later. It doesn’t matter to me.

If you feel strongly about him and you’re willing to risk a date with him because he’s got so many other things going on for him, then you’ll have to either go to him directly on the day he ignores you, and demand he take you someplace where you both can forget about work and swap some interesting stories.

You’ll want to build up to that moment by doing what works for both of you.

Put bluntly – you’re going to have to take the lead and hope he follows. If he doesn’t, please don’t take it personal.

Here is some more advice you might find useful to help you get it done at work.

It’s something I again wrote at the approach because I’ve turned DiaLteG TM into a site just for dudes:

How To Approach A Guy At Work – He Wants to Be Noticed

This about covers it all today.

Hopefully you found what you were looking for and you now know exactly what is going on with your work-buddy.

Since the transition to making DiaLteG TM just for men I strongly encourage and suggest you take a good look at my “only for women” – “all about guys” website appropriately named  Why Do Guys…?Why Do Guys HeaderYou’ll find lots of great stuff on understanding men there.

Your second choice and a great opportunity would be to look at the articles at the approach I’ve written for women. The Approach – For Women Category.

About the author: Creator of the nice guy approach, why do guys, why do chics, and DiaLteG TM. Transformed from a nice guy kiss ass who wanted women to like me for “who I was” to an attractive “good guy” who knows what it takes to create attraction and succeed with women, dating, and relationships.

Please LIKE or SHARE my Facebook fan pages: Why Do Chics…? | DiaLteG TM OR JOIN the best group on women at Why Do Chics…?. Find and follow me on Twitter – Peter White.

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63 comments… add one
  • Bessie

    Hi,
    i am also going through something similar at work. We flirted like crazy, looking each other in the eyes, staring as if there was no tomorrow, he tries to touch me and he bits his lips and he smiles at me…and i look at him too. We do not talk about anything cause it’s work…i feel we wanted but nothing. Sometimes i see him looking at me when “i am not watching” (i have a very good peripheric view lol)…
    But last week i tried to add him on linkedin. he saw my profile and did not add me.
    I say this because this week for the first time in weeks he didn’t try to look at me. I could see he was a bit nervous but didn’t try to smile or look or touch (i gave him a pen when he needed and he make question to take it from the tip so he would not touch me) and…it is just weird.
    I also can’t look cause it has been so intense and we are at work and..well the worse part and that everyone is going to crucify us, is that we are married. I am not looking for something more than a nice talk with a guy that makes me feel a bit more of a woman (i am now getting divorced and trying to be on my feet). I do understand this is NOT the way to go and that is why i also decided to be a bit more discrete and honest – i have decided sometime ago to be less flirty. He is married and there is no way, in the end, that i could be ‘the other one’. But the flirt made me feel good…
    In the end, i am just wondering what is going on in his head since i cannot talk to him. It is nothing, it would never be, but…i guess i am in need of a self-esteem upgrade.

    • Hi Bessie,

      Often our self-esteem suffers after or during a divorce. I’m sure you’ve already felt that. I guess it’s because we lose the confidence in what we had or in the choices we made which allow our esteem to “leak” out. So it’s not necessarily a “self-esteem upgrade” as it is in building some confidence to protect your esteem.

      To help you along I’d say he just you know wanted to keep a fun flirty work environment and felt threatened by your request to add him. At which point he decided it would be best for him AND his marriage to cut it out now.

      I definitely would NOT take it personal. The flirted made you both feel good but you must admit, it was flawed from the beginning because of yours (and his) situation.

      Again don’t take it personal and keep pushing forward.

      Pete

  • Carrie

    There’s this guy that I work with. I like him. We decided to be FWB with the option of it turning into something more later. However, I told him from the beginning that I wanted a relationship. We continue to sleep together for a month. No one at work knows that we do. He flirts with me all the time at work. Touching me, teasing me, making eye contact. And there are days I don’t get anything. Every time he’d come over we’d watch a movie or cuddle and he’s opened up to me about his personal life. He’s also initiated the ‘goodbye kiss’ every time he’s visited, on his own. The very last time he visited it was the usual but right before he left after he goes in for the kiss he said, “you really want a relationship don’t you?”. I said, “you kissed me first” and we kissed each other again before he left. Anyway, I think that he likes me because he flirts with me and does really sweet things but then he’ll ignore me and I really just don’t know. But it’s driving me up a wall. Any advice? Thanks.

    • As always Carrie, I don’t ever advise FWB. Especially if you’re looking for something more long term. You’ll find more on that here:

      FWB – Does It Really Work? Don’t Relationships Need Clear Definitions?
      http://www.whydoguys.com/fwb-does-it-work-relationships-clear-definitions/

      He’s acting “cocky” because he’s getting everything without any sort of commitment, relationship, or defined dating “status”.

      If he is ignoring you it’s because he has nothing invested. Keeping his distance means he don’t have to deal with your personal problems or even offer some form of compromise to meet your needs.

      I’m not going to advise you to do something drastically. Just if you’re not getting what you want out of this “deal” or if you’re looking for more… you might have to pull back and define the relationship so it’s clear to him and make sure you keep your boundaries clear.

      You might even definitely start “dating” other guys who might be looking for something more long-term too. I didn’t say, “drop his ass”, just to definitely look elsewhere to meet your needs and goals.

      Also, when you add FWB to a work relationship you’re always going to have problems. I don’t see a way around that.

      Step back, define what’s going on, and take a hard stance one way or another.

      He knows what you want and I feel that lack of challenge can easily mean he will continue going nowhere with all this, especially if he’s getting a friendship he’s in control of, sex on the side, someone to talk to, with absolutely no relationship boundaries set.

      Make sure you check out my definition in the article link I gave you:

      Friends = A Platonic relationship which may or may not develop into something more. When more happens, it becomes…

      Dating = A Non-committal exploration to figure out compatibility on a deeper level.

      Girlfriend and Boyfriend = A committed relationship unless otherwise specified ( as in an open relationship ) meant to explore an even deeper level of compatibility. Exclusiveness is implied.

      All the best to you Carrie. Hope this helps you out as best I can,

      Pete

  • kerry

    I have a question I think my coworker likes me buuy its hard if he does or my boss does but my coworker gives me fist bumps a lot and looks at me then looks away is this a sign he likes me any help would be helpful please thanks

    • No Kerry. I would have to say “fist bumping” is NOT a classic sign of liking someone. It can be but it’s not a clear form of flirting which is the most obvious sign there’s something there.

      Here’s a definition I borrowed from Scot McKay on flirting,

      “Flirting” is simply ANY INTERACTION of ANY KIND with MOTOS (members of the opposite sex) that would flat-out feel WRONG were it directed to someone of the same gender.”

      Secrets to Flirting For Men – A Real Definition With Tips
      http://www.dialteg.com/experts/scot-mckay/flirting-for-men-definition-tips/

      Looking at you and then looking away quickly is not always a clear sign either. It can mean lack of confidence and yes, it can mean he’s trying not to get caught which then you can assume he’s “checking you out” because he’s attracted to you.

      I’d say to introduce some subtle flirting, break the touch barrier beyond fist bumping ( because guys do that with other guys ) and watch for a pleasant reaction, a nervous reaction, and/or a smile.

      I bet you’ll definitely know by then so trust your intuition. Trust you are attractive and feel attractive and even guys who like to fist-bump you will probably feel it too.

      Best of luck to you Kerry,

      Pete

  • Sasha

    There’s this guy I used to work with, I now work for another company but in the same building and the same floor as the guy does, well, he passes by my office everyday and takes the stairs when there’s an elevator he could take that’s even closer to the door way, well I notice how he walks around like he’s the shyt…so one day he was getting on the elevator and he was like u comin I said yes, so he holds the door for me, I said thank you….I in turn ask do you have a gf, he smiles at me and says no……I in turn say I see why..he says why….I said cus you are a cocky pompous azz who thinks he is all that and a bag of chips cuz he’s cute….dude said nothing, but put his head down and started smiling at me…but still said nothing and now ever since then he makes sure he sees me everyday in some fashion just to say hi…..he’ll tap my door to get my attention and or he’ll stick his head in the doorway with this big ol smile on his face and say HEY…..today i was on my way to the bathroom and my friend passed by me and i said i already went and she laughed……its a inside joke we have…well my crush heard me and said imma say that everytime u go…and busted up laughing even as he was getting on the elevator….he told me have a nice night and vice versa……we talk whenever we see each other but its usually when we are alone…we keep it at a hi and bye when coworkers are around folks are nosey in our building…..some thing we are dating but we arent…..anyway is he crushin on me or just being very friendly? he passes by my office everyday and says hi in the morning and bye in the evening……..

    well on 03/20/2015 I wrote on a piece of paper me and u lunch, with my number and I gave it too him, and he started smiling at me and then he laughed and said we’ll see…still smiling at me ….his eyes look surprised….and then I left my office to go outside and he seen me and he said u runnin away already smiling at me..i said no I have 2 run an errand….he said ok, enjoy…… and he watched me get on the elevator….

    he ignored me for a whole week after that and today 04/01/2015 he comes to my work door and apologizes hes been out sick and that he hasn’t forgotten about me and asks can we do lunch tomorrow….. Should I go, or just blow him off? thanks

  • Veronica

    There is a guy I met on a matrimony site a week ago and began chatting, haven’t met in person as yet. I feel he is sometimes rude, at other flirty and at times completely ignores me. He wants me to start the conversation but even if I do, he just replies in a few words. He says he thinks I am always occupied with my work and hence dint responded. I am not able to understand what to expect from this behavior.

  • Ally

    ok so I’m crazy about this guy at work. we have such a connection, I’ve never been so into a guy before. problem is, he has a gf. she’s A few years younger then him and they live together. (He’s 22 she’s 19 and I’m 21) I don’t know, I get the vibe that he feels stuck with her. He didn’t even tell me he had a girlfriend I found out from another coworker. So my heart was broken because all signs lead to him eventually asking me out! We still flirt a lot but now I know there are boundaries since he’s taken. So some days him and I banter sweetly and flirt and it’s so great I love it so much, our humor is exactly the same. He even helps me carry things and comes up to me randomly to talk to me. and then the next day he will completely and totally ignore me! It hurts! He won’t even look me in the eye! He just acts like he doesn’t care. I’m just very very confused. I respect his relationship and consider us just friends but if he wanted to be more at some point I wouldn’t hesitate. we’ve clicked so well, I can’t help but feel something for him. I just think he’s scared or feels guilty about having a girlfriend? Like I said before, I think he feels stuck or obligated in the relationship from what I’ve heard about them. (Cause he never talks to me about his girl) anyways. why does he ignore me? I consider us still good work friends even if there’s a bit flirtation involved. Can you just give me an idea of what you think is going on in his head?! I’m pretty much heart broken!

  • Anna

    Long story short, met this guy at work. He doesn’t work with me he just frequent the establishment. He has been smiling and winking at me for a month. I had a friend ask if he was married he replied no and he asked her why didn’t she ask me. Her responds was she doesn’t know I’m asking. He continued to flirt with me a couple of weeks until I pulled him to the side and gave him my number. I told him I hope you use it. He said when can I call. I replied whenever and he turned to walk away. Then he turned back around and said I have beatiful skin. Needless to say two weeks have passed and no call. I saw him since but kept my distance so I wouldn’t come off a being pushy, help.

  • Jasmine

    Well I’m 21 he’s 20 the guy I like. We work together and he was very quiet in the beginning but we go home together since I drive I usually drop him home. And then ever since then we’ve been talking to each other, and it escalated to flirting. I see him looking at me and I had to make a move. So one day I kissed him on the cheek. The next day he returned the message and got all touchy feely so I knew this is it. To make a long story short when I dropped him home he kissed me on the lips. I had made a mistake and called him to hang out but he said no then told me he was seeing someone. It hurt but ok fine I somehow got over it. We remained friends and he goes to the ends of the earth to talk to me and ask how was my family and stuff. Then weeks later I say hi to him and he ignores me the entire day. I don’t know what I did wrong. I followed up on his word and stayed friends with him. I usually go up to him and say hi and keep it short respecting his boundary and he usually says hi so i dont know what the deal is.

    • Hello Jasmine,

      I don’t see how you did anything wrong. It actually sounds like, just maybe, his girlfriend has a problem with you AND just maybe he was not in the mood at work that day. It happens a lot to us guys. Sometimes we just like to be left alone to our own thoughts and have trouble telling others we’re having that kind of day. Give it time…

  • Selina

    I have a pretty basic question that’s killing me. My boss flirts with me. I’m pretty sure of this. Not 100%. However when I email him he doesn’t usually respond. He’s divorced and older than I am (by around 18 years). I really like him but since he’s my boss I can’t tell him. I was hoping he would make the move since technically he’s in control. Some days he flirts and seems to come see me a lot at my desk, and other days he leaves without saying anything to me. It’s complete mixed signals. I’ve seen the cute smile and looking down before, and fidgeting with things at my desk, and sometimes acting like he is trying to think of something to say to me. But like I said, he rarely emails me back. What’s the deal?

  • Laura

    Hi. I told my boss that I like him and if he feels same then we can get to know each other. But he hasn’t replied back as yet. What does that mean. I don’t mind no as an answer but he hasn’t reply saying anything.

    • It could mean a lot of things Laura… he’s not interested… he’s against dating people at work… he feels threatened…

      I would expect a null answer from a guy is normally not a good sign though. Especially if it’s been a week or two later. No response from a guy (in this case) is typically a “no” response but it doesn’t give us the exact reason why. It could be anything from above or more.

      If you’re ever in this situation again, I would NOT start by telling a guy you like him and if he likes you back he should do something about it. Talk. Connect. Flirt. Have fun. Share and exchange contact information. Let him wonder a little. Let him build you up in his mind first. Give him the opportunity to think about you and let his attraction work for you. If a guy is feeling it early on, doing what I just said works almost every time IF, and I can’t say this enough, he’s initially feeling even a little attracted to you.

      A quick answer would be, if he doesn’t respond within a reasonable amount of time, week or two depending on the business you’re both in, then he’s sending you a no without having to reject you personally because one, guys don’t like to do that and two, he’s your boss and doesn’t want to deal with any more awkwardness after.

      Al the best and thanks for asking,

      Pete

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