tag Sign Up for our Newsletter
Site Logo
Don’t miss out on the art world’s most entertaining newsletter - every Friday. And career news every Tuesday.
Become a members
What If Your Art World Co-Worker Has A Crush On You
It’s flattering having an admirer but what happens when it's your co-worker?
Career 01 Aug 2023

Image via Pinterest 

It’s flattering having an admirer but what happens when it is your co-worker?

Crushes are common when people are thrown together in a high-pressure atmosphere – you’re well-dressed and at you’re best at work.

Maybe there’s a co-worker who keeps asking you out to a gallery opening or drinks, even though you keep coming up with excuses. Or maybe, someone’s getting way too friendly every morning by the coffee machine. But when that attention is unwanted, and your co-worker’s advances are simply annoying or becoming creepy it’s time to put a stop to it – but how!?

Unfortunately, unless either of you is planning on quitting, no one is going anywhere. You’re obligated to interact with that person 5 days a week, for up to at least 9 hours per day, making it impossible to escape the awkward predicament you’re faced with. So, it’s time to make less subtle and more solid attempts to dodge your co-worker’s advances, so you can start to function better at the office and get your work done.

Here are a few tactics to help you deal with that unwanted office crush.

Sailor Moon via Vix.com

Don’t overreact 
First make sure you don’t overreact. There are always people at work who are charismatically chatty, charming or extra friendly to everyone. Use your emotional intelligence to read your co-workers true intentions

Play dumb
Start out by ignoring the flirtatious behaviour — play dumb if you have to. In most cases, your lack of response will be clearly understood by the person making eyes at you and the crush will start to fizzle out.

Via college girl gifs 

Business only 
Conduct business as usual. Work with the person as you normally would. Stick to business to show your lack of interest in pursuing a romantic relationship.

Hell no 
If there are brazen displays of affection, it’s time to talk to the person privately. Tell the person that you’re flattered by the attention and generous words, but that such behaviour isn’t appropriate at work. Make it clear that you depend on the person as a member of the team and you look forward to a long professional relationship as colleagues — end of.  Whether you say ‘no thanks’ in person, over the phone or in writing, you always need to consider how it impacts your job.

Image via Tenor

“It’s Not You…”
It’s 2020 and women still have a lot do deal with, all the time. Hence, the “I don’t have time for a relationship” speech could work because it’s almost always true. Or simply if you have the time but don’t want to enter into a messy work relationship, simply state “I don’t want to be in a relationship with a co-worker.” Telling the truth is always the best way to go. Lying about a fictional boyfriend will only make it worse. A lot can be found out on social media, so that will never work. After confronting said crush keep things private and allow the person to move on gracefully. In most cases, focus on work and don’t mention the potentially difficult situation with the person again or anyone else. You’ve got to let the person down while protecting your position. If you do tell some loud mouth co-workers you may become a target of gossip, and the situation may well get worse.

Last attempt 
In general, you want to keep the discussion as low-key as possible. Never be confrontational, and always leave a way for the person to back down gently and gracefully move on. However, some people really don’t take the hint. If flirty emails continue to show up in your inbox or those invites for after work activities cease to stop, it’s time to speak to your boss. Describe the situation to your boss and make it clear that you have done everything possible to discourage the person’s unwanted attention. Remember not to blame yourself. A good boss will listen carefully and act on your complaint asap.

Good Luck!

You May Also Like

How to Set Up Your Artist Studio: Our Guide to Creating Your Creative Haven!
How to Set Up Your Artist Studio: Our Guide to Creating Your Creative Haven!
Weekly Wrap-Up
Weekly Wrap-Up
How To Banish The Sunday Scaries
How To Banish The Sunday Scaries
How to make the perfect office at home
How to make the perfect office at home
5 Exciting New Ways To Experience Art when Galleries Are Closed
5 Exciting New Ways To Experience Art when Galleries Are Closed
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating an Art Boy
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating an Art Boy


Exhibition Coordinator
VETA - Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain
Brand Manager
Hackney Downs Studios - London, United Kingdom
Executive Assistance
Art Intelligence Global - New York, USA
Public Relations Assistant
Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design - Heusden, North Brabant, Netherlands