What Should I Do About the Crush I Have On My Boss?

Question:
I don’t feel this way about anybody else. I tried to be with someone else and no sparks. When I hear my boss’s voice at work I’m in awe! He’s the boss of everyone else. My normal manager is just my manager, but my boss is a leader to everyone. He’s not married, but he does have children and it sounds like he’s a great Dad.

He treats me with respect as I’m sure he has to treat everyone with respect. When I hear his voice it’s like nothing else matters. He probably isn’t even interested in me! I just don’t know how to get over the infatuation!

Not long ago I was at lunch and he came by and seemed to be looking at what I was eating. I covered my chest with my jacket. He said, “I wasn’t looking.” Maybe that means he’s not interested, but it made me feel respected.

I was in his office one day and he was giving me instructions on working from home. I just melted! I turned bright red and I’m sure he noticed. Then the other day he had a different manager offer me pizza. I took a couple of small squares. Then the manager went to give him the rest and my boss asked if I ate any. When he found out how little I ate, he asked, “Really? Only a couple of small squares?” He sounded worried!

I wonder if he just wanted to make sure I ate something because I was working 12 hours. He didn’t offer the pizza to anyone else. I’m not sure what to think. I am eating less because I want to and I’m not hungry. So I’m melting and I’m not sure how to shake it off. Ideas?

Answer:
Your description leaves no doubt that you have a crush on your boss! What you do about it could have an affect on your employment and your personal well-being. You will need to use your self-control and maturity to help you handle it wisely.

Female employees are often romantically attracted to male bosses. Our archives have many questions involving those situations. One reason is that bosses seem powerful. They are usually well-groomed and because they have experience working with staff, they are pleasant and encouraging. If they are more than a few years older they may seem steady, secure and confident–all of which are attractive features. If they like a female employee they may enjoy joking with her, teasing and flirting with her a bit, and looking out for her in a caring way. All of that may mean something–or nothing–which can be very frustrating for the employee.

It sounds as though you are asking how you can tell if your boss is as attracted to you as you are to him. Unfortunately, you may never know! One reason is that in most organizations there are rules against bosses being involved with employees, because it nearly always creates serious problems. Your boss will probably value his career over a brief flirtation, even if he is attracted to you.

Further, as hard as it is to accept, bosses and employees who are even a few years apart in ages are quite a bit apart in everything else. The boss in those cases doesn’t view the employee as a potential date or long-time love, they are just a nice addition to work. For example, your boss may sincerely value you and all the work you do. He may think you’re a very nice person and care more about you personally than he does most of the other employees. But his feelings may be more like those of a brother or a guy friend, than of a man with a romantic or sexual interest in an eligible woman.

What you can do to help you move through and past this awkward time is to focus on the work you are being paid to do. Demonstrate through your performance and your demeanor that you are a mature, confident woman and a trusted and valued person. Then, let him decide if he wants to feel more than office friendship. It’s a bit unfair that it has to be that one-sided, but that’s reality.

You have to let him be the one to make a move, because if you say something to him about your feelings he might be surprised or uncomfortable and it might have an affect on how he treats you. It could even result in you losing your job and you certainly don’t want that. That is one reason you should not discuss this with anyone at work, even a close friend. If you already have, don’t mention it again and if questioned by the coworker, laugh about it and say you’ve moved on.

I think you will be able to work through the awkwardness and uncertainty of this situation just fine, but you probably will have deep feelings for your boss for quite a while–maybe forever! It will help if you can learn to smile about it and keep the perspective that he makes work very enjoyable! You may not feel sparks for anyone else right now, but you can be friendly with everyone. Be open to the idea of dating someone who may not be your ideal, but could be fun to spend time with. Realize that some young man in your workplace or somewhere else, may feel as unsure of you as you are about your boss.

Best wishes to you with this. If you want to, let us know how things develop. We’ll be interested!

Tina Lewis Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.