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Coworkers Are Not Necessarily Your Friends


Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 11th December 2016, 11:20 PM   #1
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Coworkers Are Not Necessarily Your Friends

I would like some perspective on friendships at work with the opposite sex. I have two such relationships with coworkers that went south and I have no idea why.

First, there is a coworker that I liked and could see the possibility of dating her. She was single and as far as I knew, available. We were active on our company’s sponsorship of a major fundraiser that involved an organized bike ride. We spent a lot of time doing on fundraising activities, coordinating group training rides, a couple of group lunches and happy hours with other coworkers. It was great and we emailed / and texted each other as needed, but that was as far as it went.

The first day of the bike ride event we rode together the entire time, she and I. It was grueling, but we made it and it was a great accomplishment that we celebrated with other coworkers/riders. I really enjoyed the support and camaraderie with her, and the other riders. It was a majorly positive experience. The ride would continue the next day as it was a 2 day event, so we said goodnight and see you early tomorrow morning.

Next morning before the ride she did a complete 180 on me and I have no idea why. I was with another coworker and waved at her when I saw her in the crowd, but she didn’t wave back. My coworker next to me waved and then she came over but talked to her and seemed to not hear me say good morning and did not look in my direction. Completely ignored me. WTH! What did I do? I did a rapid recap in my head of the previous days’ events but came up blank. It was too weird for me, and we were ready to roll out so I didn’t make an issue of it, and I lost her in the crowd as the event began.

I saw her at the first rest stop but she had her eyes diverted but I’m sure she saw me. At the next rest stop I went right up to her with arms out and said “Hi! What’s up!” so she couldn‘t ignore me. She said she looked for me this morning but couldn’t find me. Couldn’t find me?!?!? I was standing RIGHT NEXT to our coworker friend. I gave her the benefit of the doubt but in retrospect, should’ve I have called her on it?

I can’t process weirdness like this and I can’t reconcile friendship with this weird behavior.

After the ride we stopped communicating / texting / emailing.

What’s up? I think I know, but would like to hear a woman’s perspective? Maybe she thought of me as a dating prospect, somewhere changed her mind, then started ignoring me as her way of saying “I’m not interesting in dating you so go away” ...

What stings the most is we had a good friendship. Maybe we would’ve always been just that. I feel like I lost a friend because I don’t really like her anymore after that.

The other incident happened just the other night at my company party. My other coworker friend is another girl. She’s single and attractive, but very down to earth and likes a lot of things I like. We talked a lot about running, hiking, other stuff, but she was only a friend, and like my other coworker/friend, we didn’t get too personal. Somewhere that stopped for her too, and at the company party she pretended not to see me but hugged my coworker standing right next to me. I can’t tell you how much that stung!

So now we have to work together because we are on the same project teams. Again, what’s up? Did she have an idea in her mind that we might’ve dated sometime in the future, but decided not and then snubbed me as her way of saying “don’t come on to me because I’m not interested in dating you” … ?

I get this if we’re actually dating. God knows I’ve been through this before. But with friends / coworkers? I felt so ****ty after that. Dating comes and goes, but friendships are supposed to last. I learned a major lesson here that may be a blessing in disguise; coworkers aren’t necessarily your friends. Now I know better, at least with these two. I'm hoping not to go through this again with other female coworkers.

I would really appreciate a woman’s perspective on this. Thanks very much!
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Old 11th December 2016, 11:47 PM   #2
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I'll leave it to the ladies to read her mind but do have one question....have you had many female friends? I did, a lot in my teens and twenties and up into early 30's and inexplicable lightswitch behaviors were pretty normal. Even now in my late 50's, with some, I never really know which one I'll get. The key is don't worry about it. Women aren't a math problem with a consistent solution. You be you. Enjoy that. Friends come and go. Maybe a few hang around for a long time. Normal. Good luck!
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Old 12th December 2016, 12:58 AM   #3
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Yes, like you, I have had many female friends over the years, although the lightswitch behavior was less common in my experience. Sometime I would attribute losing their friendship to jealous boyfriends/husbands. At least I could justify that. But it's refreshing to know it's not just me. I do love the company of a good woman, but apparently it's a crapshoot. Thanks for the sanity check
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Old 12th December 2016, 5:01 AM   #4
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It's possible that coworker 1 had a few feelings for you and got jealous when she saw you talking to the other female coworker?

Then she decided to punish you by giving you the cold shoulder..... Then she later calms down and tries to play it off as something you did as a way to deflect?

I'm just speculating.... I've done that to crushes before when I was younger and less experienced.
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Old 12th December 2016, 8:40 AM   #5
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As a woman I have also been shut out by other women and it seems to always stem from jealousy. Without any of my own observations I would say these women saw your potential and then went cold when they witnessed you talking with another woman. Maybe they saw you with the other woman making the same dreamy eyes that you make with her, she thought you were simply just another workplace flirt and went cold to save face.
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Old 12th December 2016, 1:24 PM   #6
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Yes, that is possible. There is another guy in our group who is a ride leader and I see them hug hello and goodbye to each other. We've all been working together on this fundraiser for months. Maybe they're just friends but I think maybe they hooked up that night? or she just decided she wanted him and not me? I still don't like the cold change in behavior overnight and still can't reconcile that. We're not exactly spring chickens either; we're both in our 40's and I consider this behavior so high school.
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Old 17th December 2016, 5:26 PM   #7
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She simply didn't want to get stuck riding with you the second day, so she avoiding getting into that situation again. Obviously this also means she has no personal interest in you and that whatever comraderie there was, she mustered it up because you have to act like you like your coworkers while at work.
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Old 17th December 2016, 9:42 PM   #8
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My best guess is one of two things...

She got the vibe that you were more attracted than just coworkers and wants to halt that asap. Some folks simply don't mix business with pleasure. If they are feeling you are crossing their invisible boundary, they will make a good effort to correct that situation. Maybe she wants to be real clear to state that she is not available and therefore being a bit extreme to avoid you till your interest wanes again.

The other thought is that she actually does like you, but feels she accidentally crossed the line herself, let her guard down and wants to put the breaks on her own feelings for some reason... Could be work related, or her personal situation or combo of reasons that logically she knows that connecting with you is not best idea.
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Old 18th December 2016, 12:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by loverboy69 View Post
It's possible that coworker 1 had a few feelings for you and got jealous when she saw you talking to the other female coworker?

Then she decided to punish you by giving you the cold shoulder..... Then she later calms down and tries to play it off as something you did as a way to deflect?

I'm just speculating.... I've done that to crushes before when I was younger and less experienced.
I'm leaning towards this ^^...cuz, I've gone through something similar - but with a male coworker.

One day he did a 180 on me and worst, he put me in trouble - where I could lose my job. I still sit here and wonder what in the world did I do to him to make him do something so terrible to me; and, am assuming "maybe" he did the terrible thing cuz he was thinking I was trying to chat up another guy (his coworker and close friend)?

Cuz, one day, when I first started chatting with him and passed by him without saying "hi" or whatever, next day he was mean towards me. But, he didn't realize that I didn't say "hi" to him cuz #1, he had his back to me and #2 was chatting to a looney/gossipy chick and I felt that if I made that Xtra effort to chat him up that gossipy chick would notice and go and tell everyone. And, I've tried to explain to him that I'm not hiding my interest in him from others for bad reasons (i.e. I'm chatting to other guys) - it's cuz I work with petty, hateful, jealous/envious people who will try to mess with us if they know we're into each other.

So, I don't know what I did to provoke him doing the 180 on me. Part of me thinks that again, he thought that I was ignoring him/going cold on him or was chatting up his coworker. Or, I think his coworker said something to him and instead of being an adult and coming to me to discuss, he decided to just throw me under the bus.

I'm so mad and reeling still about it. It also hurts cuz, I'm thinking we got a good friendship going on and are all cool and then he drops a bomb on me so, now I can't trust him anymore.

So, I think your coworker is full of poop. Just to ignore someone and give them the cold shoulder w/o being an adult and at least speaking to them before they treat you like a leper is just freakin' childish.

Just let her be, cuz if you try to go and confront someone childish like her, before you know it she'll accuse you of harassing her or something.

Lesson learned, don't try to mingle with coworkers.

Last edited by Gloria25; 18th December 2016 at 12:40 AM..
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Old 18th December 2016, 12:48 AM   #10
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My best guess is one of two things...

She got the vibe that you were more attracted than just coworkers and wants to halt that asap. Some folks simply don't mix business with pleasure. If they are feeling you are crossing their invisible boundary, they will make a good effort to correct that situation. Maybe she wants to be real clear to state that she is not available and therefore being a bit extreme to avoid you till your interest wanes again.

The other thought is that she actually does like you, but feels she accidentally crossed the line herself, let her guard down and wants to put the breaks on her own feelings for some reason... Could be work related, or her personal situation or combo of reasons that logically she knows that connecting with you is not best idea.
Regardless if it was the two scenarios you mentioned.

For scenario #1, An adult and professional would have come and spoken to him. You don't ignore people and/or run and report them to HR when you decide that you wanna keep it strictly professional. The person you're dissing has a right to advance notice - unless you have a reasonable fear of that person (i.e. she carries a concealed carry permit and brings their gun to work).

For scenario #2, again, an adult and professional would have spoken to him before going cold turkey, ignoring, etc. You have to be able to maintain professional conduct with coworkers, and blowing someone off just cuz you got back with your SO and no longer are interested in them is not cool. Also, that person has/had feelings invested in you and no fair to just blow off someone like that - especially if you work together.

So, for both scenarios, is it too difficult to say 'Hey John, I just wanted to let you know that we can't continue this because I don't wanna date coworkers' (or any other excuse)?
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Old 18th December 2016, 1:02 AM   #11
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I'll leave it to the ladies to read her mind but do have one question....have you had many female friends? I did, a lot in my teens and twenties and up into early 30's and inexplicable lightswitch behaviors were pretty normal. Even now in my late 50's, with some, I never really know which one I'll get. The key is don't worry about it. Women aren't a math problem with a consistent solution. You be you. Enjoy that. Friends come and go. Maybe a few hang around for a long time. Normal. Good luck!
Same.. Sorry to make generalisations like that but I entirely agree, or at least relate to that. Now into my early 30s, I have 'lost' some female friends to husband or fiancés (who, ironically where cheated on very early into their relationship but they still don't have a clue about it.. I am guessing it's a ticking bomb).

Anyhow, whether it's unpredictable ladies or jealous men in the case of Gloria, and at the risk of being repetitive.. Don't dip the pen.. Ever. Your job is important. Unless the woman is in a different department. I would suggest to look for a mate around your social circle.. Ie, your hobbies and passions instead.
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Old 18th December 2016, 1:03 AM   #12
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Why are you surprised?

The main point of males and females spending time together alone is to have sex.

If you don't (because you've been trained as a modern western male to believe that women want you as a friend), or if one party doesnt want to (usually the woman) it's bound to fizzle and fade.

Women won't want men as "friend".

you are either attractive enough that they want you for themselves, or you agree to be one of their orbiters (flirting with them but never getting any bedtime), or you are nothing to them.

It's either submission or domination. Equality in treatment is a fantasy.
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Old 18th December 2016, 3:34 PM   #13
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I think a lot of women are fine with men as friends as long as they aren't harboring any attraction for them. Whereas most men seem to not want to just be friends with a woman unless they are attracted to her. But there are exceptions, of course.
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Old 19th December 2016, 1:13 AM   #14
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Is it possible you're reading too much into these situations by assuming you're getting "snubbed"? I wouldn't necessarily think that if not for the combination of the two stories, which seem to reveal some paranoia.

With the second one, it sounds entirely possible that she meant to say hi, but the other person commanded her attention for some reason. Or that, yeah, it was a rude oversight, but nothing she meant as a snub.

With the cycling scenario, same thing — it could be that her attention was just focused elsewhere and she inadvertently came off as rude.

In both cases, you're assuming that the women are fixated on avoiding you and orchestrating their behavior accordingly. But something about that just seems too complicated and dramatic.
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Old 19th December 2016, 11:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loverboy69 View Post
It's possible that coworker 1 had a few feelings for you and got jealous when she saw you talking to the other female coworker?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brieanna View Post
My best guess is one of two things...

She got the vibe that you were more attracted than just coworkers and wants to halt that asap. Some folks simply don't mix business with pleasure. If they are feeling you are crossing their invisible boundary, they will make a good effort to correct that situation. Maybe she wants to be real clear to state that she is not available and therefore being a bit extreme to avoid you till your interest wanes again.
These were the two scenarios that went through my head. One other idea is that she also had a crush on another guy and didn't want to give him the impression she was with you.
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