Updates: “Office Crush(ed)” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Office Crush(ed),” who defriended a co-worker on Facebook when he blew her off after weeks of flirting. After the jump, find out whether she re-friended him and if their office romance — or friendship — has a chance.

Thanks so much for the honest feedback and the feedback of your readers. I admit, my reaction was…well, reactionary, but it stemmed mainly from my doubts about his integrity, and I questioned his enough to write him off. I think I was seeing the situation through romance-colored glasses. After I wrote, he went a day without speaking to me, then texted me the next day and asked how I was feeling. I felt like he was testing the water to see if he could still get my attention, so I wrote him back to let him know that I liked him but felt he was only flirting with me for the attention and I respect myself too much to let someone use me in that way (this, I’ve learned from experience). I was very mature and straightforward and not at all accusatory (his actions were, in fact, inconsistent, and I made sure to express that this was only how I felt and didn’t state that this was his motive).

He has not texted or spoken to me since, even though we work down the hallway from one another, and I’m not interested in rekindling our flirtation. I feel that if he had pure intentions or if there was a misunderstanding, he would have cleared the air. In addition, after talking with one of his work buddies, it appears that “super-shy” guy has a past of using women (his “shy” charade made me doubt he’d even touched one). The work buddy also informed me that shy guy isn’t looking for a relationship right now.

I also wanted to add that it’s been my experience that if I go to a guy (whose intentions aren’t honorable) with my doubts, he will see fit to say whatever he thinks I want to hear to keep playing his game. That’s why it was hard for me to ask him directly. I would much rather know a guy by his actions and not his words. In the future, I will definitely keep my (over)reactions in check, but I’m happy that I didn’t waste any more time on this guy.

Thanks for the update! At least you have some resolution now.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.


  1. WatersEdge says:

    Sorry about your outcome. I’ve been burned by faux shy guy, too! They use that sweet, humble facade to lure you in and make you think you’re the only one.

    1. Ug, same here. They act like they’re so infatuated with you and bashful, and then you find out that they’ve been doing this act to three other women and he got them all to sleep with him. Good choice LW, he seemed like a pain in the ass. Why do some guys have to put on a charade to get women’s attention? Seriously, just Grow. A. Pair.

  2. I dunno. This still seems like overkill in relation to the original situation. For all I could tell you guys had a little flirtation, and not even a date, IIRC. But whatever works for you.

    1. sweetleaf says:

      I think so too. I think this writer has some self esteem issues.

    2. I agree. If I were flirting with a guy, playing around, seeing what happens (cause, often, when you start flirting with someone, you do it because there’s interest there and you want to see where it goes–not necessarily that you know you want to seriously start something with that person), I’d be annoyed and super turned off by this LW. I mean, a cold formal response like the one LW gave seems to take all the fun away. Yeah, people flirt for attention and fun. I did it all the time. You can’t assume that just cause someone flirts, something serious will come of it. Flirting is all about having fun and testing the waters.

  3. Tudor Princess says:

    I’m sorry, but this letter read like a laundry list of excuses. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think you misjudged him and now you feel bad so you’re making excuses for your behavior.

    Like I said, though, I could be wrong, but this is just my impression.

  4. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

    If he hasn’t explained himself to the LW, I would still be wary of judging his intentions. But it does sound like she’s not interested in, or would not be well-matched with, a man who can’t clearly offer an explanation when solicited to do so.

    So… yeah, resolution is a comfort.

    1. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

      Yeah, I think you can only guess at intentions. But as Wendy said in her original reply, you CAN correctly read that this is a guy is not the type to take initiative. And it sounds like the LW wants/needs that (which I respect).

      1. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:


  5. SweetChild says:

    Seems like a reasonable reaction to me, the sooner you figure out what game they’re playing the better for you.

  6. You *texted* a co-worker you had a mild flirtation relationship with and who didn’t call you once because you said “call me if you’re free” and he wasn’t free, that you respect yourself too much let him use you and he has backed away from you? Color me shocked. (/sarcasm)

    I’m sorry I don’t mean to be mean, but this situation is more dramatic than an actual relationship and you guys haven’t even gone on one date. It’s probably for the best that things fizzled out, so you can maintain professionalism at work and find partners that are more suited to both of you. Good luck!

    1. Actually as I recall, he blew her off more than once. I think she did what was best for her. If the guy had any interest at all, he wouldn’t be playing a game of cat and mouse.

  7. I completely agree with her response. She was mature about it, and she stood up for herself. Regardless of what you may think of her, that was very mature on her part.

    It still speaks to what I said before: if a guy likes you and wants to go out with you, he will make it happen. In this case, the guy did not. Plus she essentially gave him the chance to talk it out, which he didn’t. I think he knows he has been called out on his BS.

    Moral of the story? Don’t toy with people’s emotions.

    1. caitie_didn't says:

      I agree! It’s really unfair to claim the LW has “self-esteem issues” just because she’s not willing to put up with a bunch of bullshit from a guy who’s leading her on. I say, good for the LW for calling the guy out and standing up for herself- it’s not unreasonable to not want to deal with mind games.

      I’ve also been burned by a faux-shy guy that pretended to be all sweet and innocent when he was in fact wheeling me and two other girls at the same time, so I definitely understand where the LW is coming from on this one.

      1. I’m not sure that it’s actually leading on at this point. If I remember the original letter correctly, they hadn’t actually gone out on a date, and hadn’t progressed past text and at work flirting. It sounds to me like what happened here was she over-reacted pretty quickly into the “talking” phase and unfriended him on FB, then texts him talking about liking him and wanting “respect” and now he’s thinking she’s kinda…well…crazy. She may well be perfectly sane. But the poor guy may not have even realized he was leading her on. He may have actually been interested in her, but not after all that drama.

        If I were interested in a guy, casually mentioned hanging out, never made firm plans, then got unfriended. Asked him how he’s doing a few days later, hoping maybe it was a mistake, then got a text back that insinuates I disrespected him? Uhm…I think I’d run for the hills. I sense this is going to be an unpopular response though. haha.

      2. spaceboy761 says:

        Not at all. This guy is probably as confused as all get out. Flirting at work doesn’t exactly equal a commitment of monogamy.

      3. WatersEdge says:

        I think the bigger issue is that they’re mismatched in how they approach problems. Plenty of guys would say “I didn’t mean to disrespect you! I was really just busy. Let me show you I’m not just messing with you and take you out”. If she got this upset by his ambivalence (whether that response is “warranted” or not), which made him pull away, then they’re just not a good fit. She needs someone more consistent and communicative, and he needs someone more lighthearted and go-with-the-flow.

      4. yeah, but so early on – I think lots of communicative guys would take that kind of reaction as a serious red flag in a potential relationship. I know I would and I’m not even a man. The same way women look for red flags about a man who might be an abuser or mistreat them, men also look for signs like that in women. Not that this girl/woman is probably anything else but young and probably a little rash in her response, that kind of behavior might send up all sorts of red flags – whether warranted or not.

      5. spaceboy761 says:

        Seriously, we’re talking about an office flirting situation… not an exchange of vows. This guy doesn’t owe it to the LW or anyone else to maintain a daily level of flirt for any reason. If the LW requires this much maintenance as a flirt interest to not trigger a blow-up complete with ‘I refuse to be disrespected in this way’, what the hell is she going to be like in a relationship? She might as well have handed him an index card saying “THIS IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF WORK”. She basically avoided her own problem by driving him away and called it ‘closure’.

      6. Who said she wanted a relationship? She wanted a damn date, that HE was the one who asked for and then chickened out of again and again. Some guys are such losers about that, its like they’d rather just have the satisfaction of knowing a woman wants them rather than actually being a man about it and putting himself out there. And what the hell was his little bitch fit when she causally mentioned that she had plans with another guy one weekend? Seems like he was setting their dating up to be much more than he was willing to give….which was nothing. I’ve would have just ignored him probably, but it doesn’t make him any less of a sad little douche.

      7. “he seemed upset and walked away. When I told him my friend was gay he perked up” I’m not sure I’d call that a bitch fit.

      8. But my point is, why did he care? Doesn’t that set the situation up as something more than he was planning it to be?

      9. maybe he was kinda interested in her but the whole dramatic unfriending really turned him off. Maybe he just liked her as a friend and didn’t realize she wanted more. I’ve known plenty of girls and guys alike to misread friendliness and teasing for flirting. I’ve even had men misread me being friendly for flirting. The facts we know: He didn’t ever ask her for a date, just to hang out. Plus both times the LW even acknowledges he had legit excuses for not meeting up with her. It’s hard to tell what really happened. Could be misread signals and an event blown way out of proportion. Could have been he liked her but she freaked out and scared him away. Who knows. But I think the problem at the bottom of this is that LW needs to be careful in the future not to let past baggage or fears lead her to overreact and potentially scare away decent guys who might be worth dating. (or worse, overreact in the work place, family, with clients, etc)

      10. Maybe I’m just bad at flirting, but

      11. lol, pushed enter. But I just do not speak that language. If a guy is flirting with me and asks me to “hang out”, to me, he is asking for a date, but is trying to play down the language in case I turn him down. And to me, his excuses were not that valid. He was helping a friend move for an entire weekend? Some friend. Even so, he could’ve called her and set up another date, instead she was left hanging the whole weekend with her hopes up. I don’t think she has baggage (I think all of us have a point where we get too defensive if we get strung along too many times) but she did overreact by unfriending him. But asking him straight out if he’s just flirting or actually wants to go out? I admire her for that. Its just so refreshing to cut through the bs.

      12. plasticepoxy says:

        She’s the one who suggested they hang out some time (she said she “helped him out” by making that suggestion), so he didn’t even initiate that portion of the issue. She suggested it, he agreed, things fell through and they didn’t reschedule, she unfriended him, he asked how she was, she said “don’t disrespect me”. Obviously this is my abridged version of how I read the original letter, but I feel like her reaction was very INTENSE for the casual coworker relationship the two had.

      13. Sarah, I love you lol. I always agree with you 🙂

      14. Omg, I always love your comments too :)!

      15. spaceboy761 says:

        LW: [wearing a wedding dress in her office, sobbing her eyes out while wielding an open stapler] LOVE MEEEEEEE!!!!!!
        Guy: Awww…. what a sweetie. You’ll make me blush!


        GOOD FIT

      16. WatersEdge says:

        Rude! lol

      17. I agree with Nola Girl (see my comment above) but I also agree with you WatersEdge, as far as them being mismatched. This is actually a thought that got me through some tough dating times- that dating is hard sometimes, but many of the problems are sort of self-solving. Like, I’d worry that a guy would suddenly change his mind about liking me, but if he did that, why would I want to date a guy like that?! Problem solved in and of itself. Or, what if he completely misinterprets my innocuous, sarcastic text? Then he doesn’t have the sense of humor I’d want in a partner. Problem solved again! The greatest thing I ever did for my love life was turning off my tunnel vision from whomever was in the picture at the moment- the bigger picture goal is to find the right person for you, and the right person for you, assuming the timing is also right, is not going to be easy for *you* to scare away.

      18. Eh, I don’t know. Saying “I didn’t mean to disrespect you” means conceding that you in fact disrespected the person. If you don’t think you did, that’s a big step for someone you’re not even dating. I only go to that much trouble for people I already love (boyfriend, mom, etc.). Anyone else who’s going to be that touchy/high-maintenance (compared to my own barometer about what constitutes disrespect) is more trouble than they’re worth, emotional-upkeep-wise.

      19. caitie_didn't says:

        So let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that LW and this not-shy guy had very different understandings of what was going on: he was just flirting because he thought she was cute or whatever, while she thought that he liked her.

        Unless this guy is a total moron, he *must* have realized that the LW thought that he was going to ask her out, particularly after she defriended him on facebook when he blew her off (which was a little over the top; I’ll admit). How much does it cost him, mentally or emotionally, to say to her: “look, I’m not interested in a relationship, I don’t want to lead you on, I was just having fun”? It doesn’t cost him anything; so why didn’t he do it? Probably because he’s not just a nice, honest guy who got caught up in the crazy train. I’d bet money on the fact that he’s manipulative or flakey. Either way, that’s not what the LW seems to want, and now she’s found this out about him so she can move on.

      20. But a date is not equal to a relationship. Even if he knew she expected a date out of him (which I’m not terribly sure he would – if she was so digging for a date, why not ask him out?) But, I don’t think he owes her anything after the text she sent him. She’s clearly checked out of any loosely defined relationship, why should he say he’s not interested now? It’s a moot point. I think asking how she’s doing was his attempt at doing the “right” thing to see what happened. I think after being called a user, most people would wash their hands of the situation and walk away rather than risking escalating the situation by telling this person (who has already overreacted once potentially twice if you read the text as passive aggressive) that he isn’t interested in a relationship with her. I think by not asking her out on a date, he’s already made it pretty clear of that. I dunno. I think this was just a situation that clearly was blown out of proportion.

      21. spaceboy761 says:

        “… he *must* have realized that the LW thought that he was going to ask her out….”

        Herein lies the problem. This statement makes absolutely no sense in guy logic. If he was going to ask her out, he would have already. This guy was still trying to see if there was enough here to warrant a first date. Instead, the LW drove him off before he had a chance to decide.

      22. He did ask to hang out with her, then he bailed. Twice.

      23. true but according to LW both reasons were legit reasons for bailing and there was never a firm second “hanging out.” It was nebulous. I’m cutting dude some slack.

      24. After he bailed on her, he had ample opportunity to reschedule or find some other way to make it up to her. He did not. After all, how hard is it to ask someone to lunch or for HH after work?

        As I initially argued, if this is how he is, what does that say about his character? Would he blow off a job interview in this way? A meeting with a client? A performance review with the boss?

        You get my point.

      25. I’ve been on the LW’s end of this equation and even if she did over-react to the situation, he gave her the distinct impression that he was interested.

        Basically, he strung her along and she allowed it and then she stopped it, albeit in a dramatic way. It will all be water under the bridge as time passes.

      26. plasticepoxy says:

        I mentioned this upthread, but thought I’d mention again since it seems to fit here too: She is the one who suggested they “hang out” sometime. He didn’t initiate the move toward dating or hanging out outside of asking for her number.

      27. Hanging out does not equal a date in my book.

        Your mileage may vary.

      28. Yeah, I think it’s jumping the gun to say she has self-esteem issues. In my experience, women with self-esteem issues often do the exact opposite of what she did: they don’t stand up for themselves; they let men treat them badly, lead them on, etc.

        Besides maybe she wants to be wants to be with a guy who knows what he wants and will pursue it, rather than with a guy who’s a complete flake. I can’t fault her for that.

  8. I agree that addressing this guy’s passive-aggressive inconsistency is the proper approach, but I can’t agree to LW’s description that she was “not at all accusatory.” You can’t call someone out without being confrontational in your stance, especially if you let him know, “I respect myself too much to let someone use me in that way.” The language may not be overtly accusatory, but there is the indirect labelling of him being a user in that sentence.

    By defriending him in the first place, LW already took an accusatory stance. With his reactions to your additional confrontations and his delay in addressing your feelings, the only thing LW did was get justification in identifying his faux shy-guy-player incognito. At least it also strengthened LW’s stance to learn about a guy by his actions and not his words.

    Glad this experience with this guy is resolved though. At least it brings you closer with identifying what you want in a relationship. Good luck!

    1. Totally agree. The initial unfriending, the indirect reference to disrespectful behavior on his part, and the substantially more direct reference to him “using” her = confrontational, accusatory behavior.

  9. the1little1one says:

    This situation does seem a bit dramatic — but haven’t we all had a flirtation that is exaggerated, becoming be-all-end-all in our own mind? She’s not the first to be sucked in. So many of us wait around for the object of our flirtation — wishing, hoping, and getting nowhere… Good for you, LW, for being straight-up with this guy. It’s the only way to get what you want!

    A friend of mine went through a similar situation — a guy texting/calling every couple weeks, suggesting they hang out, then never following through. She eventually called him out on it (but made it clear that if he got his act together and just asked her out on a freaking date already, she’d be willing to go for it), and he hasn’t shown his face since. Why! Oh why do dudes do this!? I understand the stereotypical “he’s just not that into you,” but then… why even bother with a text/call? Why waste everyone’s time? It boggles my mind.

    1. @the1little1one – the people who do this enjoy the attention. They’re what I call ‘attention whores’ – they like being desired and thought of by other people.

      I think this also goes under the category “There’s no understanding crazy”

  10. Eek. Honestly, if I were the guy, I probably would have still found the text a little too much and wouldn’t have responded. I know that the LW has confirmation that he’s kind of been a player in the past, so it’s better off. But I’d still suggest the LW back off a little in the future. Even nice guys can get scared away if a girl seems to be making things a little too dramatic.

  11. I had to look back at the original letter as it wasn’t attached to this column. I still agree with what she did. The letter is below.

    For the past couple of months, I have been flirting with a co-worker who was very shy at first, but took an interest in my hobbies, complimented me every day, gave me pet names, and generally seemed very interested. After a month and a half, he finally asked me for my number and I kind of “helped him along” by asking when he could hang out. I was so excited about our date, but he canceled last minute for a legitimate reason and asked if we could reschedule. Even though he stopped by my office to flirt and chat the next week, he never rescheduled but asked what I was doing that weekend and seemed upset and walked away when I said that I was spending time with a male friend. When I told him my friend was gay, he perked up and kept the conversation going, and I told him to call me if he wanted to hang out and he said he would.

    Well, he never called or texted to say that he wouldn’t be available, but first thing Monday morning he asks if I was feeling better (I had been sick the week before), told me I looked nice, and apologized for not calling because he (being the nice guy) ended up helping a friend move. I gave him the cold shoulder. I am so confused about the inconsistency between his flirtatious interest and his non-committal attitude toward getting to know me more that I deleted his number, defriended him on Facebook, and haven’t been speaking to him. He looks very sad when I see him, but I feel like I may have read him wrong this whole time and am afraid that he’s only been nice because he doesn’t know how to say no to me. Did I give up too soon or should I just MOA? — Office Crush(ed)

  12. spaceboy761 says:

    Whatever. Reading both the initial letter and the response again, you basically have two people that absolutely suck at communication trying to communicate with predictably poor results. Neither of them are ready for a relationship.

    Texting back and forth with a person you see every day? “Oh, I was hanging out with my male friend” [sad puppy eyes]… “My GAY male friend!” [SQUEEE!!!]? Come on. They’re allowed to enjoy their little midday ego boost of flirtation, but that’s about all that’s going to come of this unless both of them grow up. Why don’t you just have your friend pass him a note in study hall while we’re having the emotional maturity of teenagers.

  13. To add one other general thought- even if LW was correct in her assessment that he was blowing her off (which I don’t personally think he was), I think a preferable reaction would be to move on with your life, not confront him. What’s the point? You can’t confront someone into wanting to be with you, even someone with a legitimate, though yet undeveloped, interest in you.

    Even if he was rejecting her, in a way, what he did wasn’t outright rude enough to merit a confrontation. I say if you aren’t sure whether someone’s interested or just shy, give them a little space and time and occupy yourself with positive things in your own life. I think it’s true that if a guy is interested he’ll ask you out. And I don’t think he was really given the opportunity to here, because she got mad at him for being “non-committal” when there was absolutely no commitment in place.

    As an aside, my current relationship sprang forth from a workplace flirtation (summer intern, temporary gig). We flirted for two months at work before he finally got the courage to ask me out. And in the meantime, I enjoyed the flirtation for just what it was, and had zero expectations. Not everyone knows instantly whether they want to ask someone out. You’ve got to give potential connections room to breath before you start feeling like they owe you something. If they behave in a way that you consider to be “blowing off” and not worthy of your time, then simply don’t waste any more time and energy on them and go on your way. No need for anger.

    1. YES, you summed up what I have been thinking perfectly! If I could like this again, I would!

    2. Or she could ask him out, if she’s not content to let things ride for a while. Heaven forfend.

      1. She did ask him out. In the initial letter, she said as much. He did not take the initiative or follow up to make that happen. She can ask him out all she wants, but if he doesn’t bother to do anything about it, the date isn’t going to happen.

  14. Wendy, minor typo: should be ‘their office romance’ instead of ‘there office romance’


  15. bitter gay mark says:

    I think the reactions to this letter are illuminating. To me, the LW is CLEARLY bat-shit crazy and, worse, an out of control drama queen. Defriending is so junior high it cracks me up. Doy! She scared him off by acting like a total loon. Way to be attractive, girl… At any rate, he dodged a real bullet here, I think. The tone of both letters is very Single White Female… I mean, imagine if the sexes were reversed, then the LW would be your standard Lifetime movie of the week stalker dude, no?

  16. Anyone else notice that he was still texting her after she “unfriended” him. Whilst it was pretty hilarious that she reacted in that fashion, he didn’t even take the hint! So now I don’t think she was overreacting, and was spot on in her assessment. However, it would probably have worked to her advantage to just not respond to flirtation or text messages, and act as if nothing had happened, resume a cordial working relationship.

    1. bitter gay mark says:

      Hmmmm, funny, I don’t think you actually receive a notice or anything when you are defriended on facebook. Instead, that person simply vanishes from your friends list. If he is a normal person with a couple of hundred friends — and not some raving office psychopath who takes every thing way too seriously so that she has like none — than there is a very good chance he even failed to notice her lame-ass, junior high/drama queen theatrics…

      1. Well, yes. I guess I just forget sometimes, because about 2 years ago I made my facebook with only people I would actually miss if they defriended me, about 40 or so people, the number would be obvious, and I might note that someone either deleted me or their facebook. Hope that doesn’t make me a raving psychopath. 🙁 Haha, though when I did this I did have a lot of people wondering why we weren’t facebook friends or why I didn’t have facebook anymore, so people do notice.

        I do agree on the junior high style theatrics, which is why I suggested she’d be better off having not said anything, and returned to a cordial relationship, brushing off any future flirtation if she thought he was just doing it for attention.

        If she is under 20, it’s understandable because everything feels like a bigger deal than it is when you’re that age.

  17. i also hate it when guys are all wishy washy and dont get to the point. you want to hang out? great. when and where? youre not sure, youre busy this day and that. oh you forgot? NEXT!

    grow a pair and tell me what you want! thats the sexiest thing a guy can do. take effing charge.

    sorry, ive dealt with this and heard so many stories from girlfriends that i just absolutely loathe this type of man.

    1. missarissa says:

      I agree that wishy washy guys are one of the most infuriating things known to wo-man (see what I did there?), the way LW handled this was anything but “mature.” I have a friend who reacts this way to guys and every time I see her blowing something out of proportion, I just want to yell at her “put down the keyboards!”. And I used to act this way too, and it was terribly unsuccessful.

      I hate when people call girls “crazy” when all the girl wants is a certain level of confirmation. So I will not call this girl crazy. But she has to understand and internalize that she will not get that level of confirmation or communication from every guy she engages with and that seeking it is not attractive and incredibly dramatic. You want him to get the message? Just forget about the exchange and treat him normally (though easier said than done) — the facebook defriending and “I respect myself more than that” message are NOT the way you want to be seen in a work setting and it reflects really badly on you (you never want feed office gossip and responses like that do… you can’t control what other people say, but you can stop giving them active, FAIR fuel).

      In the casual dating world, the best advice I learned was to “Do nothing” when I wanted to followup or retext, or defriend or what have you. If you are in the market to flirt and have single/dating funtime, its a game, so play it! Of course he could have texted you to tell you he was helping a friend move, but why would he? and why would you be mad at a guy for not calling you if you were busy all weekend? Its only because you’re bored and don’t have any other dates that you cared. Which is fine, I always did, but you shouldn’t TELL a casual potential date that!

      (I do not believe this game playing applies to “real relationships.” Once a real relationship gets past a first date, I don’t think any games should be played… because when its real its easy and real guys don’t get scared that easily. However, to get it to the first date, you have to chill out, which mainly means not doing anything (let him be the last to text sometimes, don’t fm, don’t gchat first everytime) As a former confirmation-wanting girl, its torture to do it, but the relief comes with NOT having do to that once your in a “Real relationship.”)

  18. This still sounds weird to me…

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