As you spend a significant portion of your time at work, it's understandable to develop a romantic interest in a colleague with whom you have established a rapport. However, the prospect of asking them out can be daunting, as you don't want to jeopardize your professional relationship or appear overbearing. Nonetheless, if you're enamored with the coworker sitting just inches away from you, here are some tips on how to ask them out.
1. Take a good look at the situation
It's important to check your company's policy on workplace relationships, as some have strict regulations against employees dating each other. You don't want to risk your career or your coworker's, so ensure that asking them out won't violate any rules. Additionally, assess any power dynamics between you, such as if one of you is the other's superior or subordinate, as this can create complications. Consider the potential impact on your office culture if your relationship becomes known, as well as the potential awkwardness if you were to break up in the future.
2. Try establishing some sort of friendship first
It's not a good idea to surprise a guy you haven't interacted with before by asking him out. He might think it's strange and not be open to the idea. Instead, start by building a foundation of friendship. Get to know him and find common interests beyond your shared grievances with your manager or company. Interact on neutral ground and assess whether your personalities are compatible. If he seems genuinely interested and engaged, then you can work up the courage to ask him out.
3. Be polite and considerate when asking him
When asking a coworker out on a date, it's crucial to approach it in a way that doesn't make them feel uncomfortable or harassed. Avoid making any sexual innuendos or behaving inappropriately, and don't come on too strong or corner them. Instead, consider approaching them outside of work or in a communal setting like the lunch area. To reduce tension and awkwardness, it's best to ask them in private and not in the presence of other coworkers.
4. Act like yourself
If you've worked with your coworker for a while, they likely know your usual behavior and mannerisms. This is not the time to try out a new accent or drastically reinvent yourself. It's normal to feel nervous, but try to remain composed so you don't frighten them off. Be respectful of boundaries and behave in your usual way while approaching them.
5. Be direct, but leave an easy way out
When asking a coworker out, it's important to be clear about your intentions. Being vague could lead to misunderstandings or make it seem like you're not serious. A good approach is to ask them what their plans are for the weekend and then follow up with a clear invitation: "I'd like to take you out to dinner. Would you be interested?" This way, they'll understand that you're asking for a date, but won't feel pressured to say yes.
6. Pick a low-commitment activity that's safe for both of you
Inviting a coworker to be your plus one to a wedding or buying tickets to a concert in another town can come across as too intense and pushy. For the first date, it's best to keep things light and easy-going. Consider something simple, like going out for coffee, drinks, lunch, or dinner. While movies are okay, they can prevent you from having the chance to talk and get to know each other.
7. Be open to compromise
It's possible that your coworker may not immediately say yes to your invitation. They may already have plans or not be interested in the restaurant or activity you suggested. In that case, they might suggest an alternative time or place, or they might need some time to think about it before agreeing to a date with you.
8. Know when to back off
If your coworker declines your invitation, it's important to stay calm and composed. Don't be pushy or keep asking him out until he agrees. Respect his decision and don't take it personally. He may have personal policies against dating coworkers, or he may simply not be interested. Be gracious and say something polite like "No problem. Have a good weekend." Don't hold a grudge or seek revenge. Sometimes crushes are not meant to be, and it's best to just let it go.