The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Are You Going To Ask Them Out?
Author Note: This advice could apply to nearly any situation, not just the workplace.
Making connections, trying to go out on dates, trying to find love. It happens every single day and for some people, it seems like it is just natural, while others, especially you, it just was not meant to be. The last time you went out on a date, well, you don’t even remember, do you? Okay, you probably do remember, but it was just so bad, you wish you didn’t remember because you don’t need that type of negativity in your life. He didn’t pay. She was so stuck-up. You both just didn’t click or have anything in common. Someone was just after one thing. Maybe a free meal? Whatever the case, it’s probably good it didn’t lead into any future dates. After all, if things work out, you’ve got to tolerate that person and call them your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, fiancee, husband, wife, or maybe asshole ex or some other name if things do not work out.
You go to work everyday and chances are, there are both males and females where you work. Maybe its all females. Maybes its all males. Maybe you like males. Maybe you like females. Transgender? Bi-sexual? Dog? Cat? Sure, lets include everyone in on this! Okay, except for the last one, though I am pretty sure a date with your dog is probably better than the dates you’ve already been on. Anyways, you work with a bunch of people you see a lot. Maybe you have a crush on someone. Maybe there is someone you have not noticed before, but now you do. Maybe you have been wanting to ask them out for a while, but you are too scared. Maybe they have been wanting to ask you out or wanting you to ask them out, but they are too scared.
There are so many factors and questions that arise from thinking about it: What if they say ‘no’? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? (Of course I’ll like them, I’ve only been fantasizing about them for the past 3 months) What if they go to HR and report me for sexual harassment? Yup, the last one is kind of scary. I mean, your job is your livelihood and how you afford bread. What if questions can make or break us in most cases, but unless we act on them, we won’t know. So is it worth it? Are they worth it? Well, you never know until you find out. Apparently you are thinking about them so they must be worth it.
We go our whole lives and many of us do not take the risks that we should, or regret the things that we shouldn’t. If you are thinking about asking that person out, than you should. Not probably should. You should. Of course, you need to make sure of a few things: They may already have a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband, or even a dog or cat. I mean, the dog and cat part is good too, and it could still mean they’re single.
I do work with a woman at work who probably loves her dogs more than people and remains single, not because she is trying to remain single, but just because the men she has dated haven’t really been gentlemanly to her. Last story I heard from her, the guy showed up to Starbucks where they agreed to meet, and she not only had to open the door for herself, and listen to him talk about himself, as if he was the most important man on this Earth, but she ended up having to pay for his coffee as well, and he was expecting a second date?!
So lets talk about why you should or shouldn’t ask her or him out on a date, which you probably should, because hey, she or he might be the best thing that has happened to you since… well, there was that delicious cheesecake you had last year, right? No? What about that movie you wanted to see and it was everything you hoped? Still no? Okay, okay, how about that one time where you actually got to sleep? Yeah? That’s it? Wonderful! Hopefully you get a chance to sleep like that again! But for now, we’re trying to go out on a date and make a connection and maybe something about romance, love, a best friend, or some amazing se… fun activities together.
Workplace Policies: Speaking about workplace policies in place, specifically sexual harassment first and foremost, and dating policies at work. Does your workplace have a dating policy of no employees should fraternize at work? If this is the case, than you could probably date outside of work, but not show any affection in work. It happens, but when did that ever stop love or the horny from ever happening? Yeah, it really doesn’t. If it didn’t, me and my lady would not be together. It took her months to get me to notice her, but that is for another confession. Just know the rules of your workplace. Sometimes work does not allow it for a reason or prefers that you keep that type of behavior outside of the workplace.
Use of language: It is definitely okay to tell someone they look pretty or beautiful or handsome or nice. Unless you two are dating or know each other very well, it is not okay to tell them how sexy they are, how much they turn you on, how much you want to do things to them, etc. This would definitely violate the policies of the workplace and is considered sexual harassment. Even if she dresses nicely and it starts to become apparent she really likes you, you need to be cautious about it, and just let her know that she looks nice or good, or that he looks handsome. Now if you are dating and you want to call her your bunny and tell her how sexy she is or how hot that stud is, make sure you two have that type of relationship.
Developing a relationship: Honestly, before you even ask a person out, see what they like. See what they are like. Talk to them. Have more than just one conversation with them. Learn about their wants, needs, passions, desires, quirks, hates, loves, etc. You do not have to get into depth of any of these conversations, as if it becomes interesting, you can always continue it over coffee, lunch, or even dinner. If you have something or a few things in common, great. If not, well, you probably don’t need to go further than that. I mean, you can if you want, and dig deeper on a date, but if you aren’t feeling that you two could have anything in common, even just one thing, no matter how attractive that person is to you, it might be that it was just not meant to be.
But you should probably at least initiate some conversation with the person, either at the water cooler, or walking around the building at work, or a workplace event. You could also try to bring her or him something nice, like a daily piece of fruit. You can never go wrong with mandarins or chocolate! Maybe you can find out what college they went to, what they studied, why they studied it, what they are doing working at the job, etc. Just establish some type of communication. Going up and asking a person out might work immediately, but it is as good as a Hollywood story, or a rare moment in time.
Personality, Confidence and Sense of Humor: Recipes for success. The way to a woman’s heart is often by making her laugh and showing her just how confident you are. It works the other way around as well. Who doesn’t need time away from the mundane with a person who knows what they want and makes things funny. So if you do not have either of these two, you should probably try and develop at least one of the two, if not both. There are people in the world who have absolutely no sense of humor. Good thing there’s Family Guy and other things that help. If you don’t have either, than at least have some type of personality that might be attractive, maybe a charming one, but definitely not a manipulative or annoying one.
Communication and Talents: If you don’t have a sense of humor, confidence, or a personality, than have some type of talent. Learn how to cook. Learn how to bake. Women love food so impress her and woo her by feeding her some good food! Most women love a man who can cook! And vice versa! She might even be hangry and just needs a man (or woman) to enjoy a nice dinner with! Learn how to appear smart or even be smart. Learn how to talk to people. Learn to relax and not take the world so seriously. You are literally a millisecond of time in the eyes of the universe so make it count.
Live for what you do today, not for what you are thinking about doing in the future. Learn how to talk to the same sex and the opposite sex and be comfortable doing it. So that means start talking to other girls you have no emotional or attractive interest in and just be confident with listening to what they are saying and appearing confident around them. If you are over 18 years old and are still not comfortable around women or men, the opposite sex, than you need to take a few months to practice. Even if you are weird or say things that are awkward, learn to control that. I’m awkward. We’re all awkward. In our own way. Publicly, I can at least make it through conversations that seem pretty normal. Learn how to do that.
Aftermath: There are thoughts on the aftermath of the situation because if things don’t go so well as you both hoped, guess who is still working with you or at your place of work? And if both of you have bills to pay, no one is leaving anytime soon. If you have an ex, you already know what it is like being around them: it sucks. When they are in your presence, it is a mere annoyance and would be almost better if they just did not exist. However, they do exist, and are still a human being, and at any place of work, before you even decide to go out, you both must accept the fact that if things go sour, you both should be mature about the situation.
Keep it professional. Only speak to them when necessary. Only conduct business with them when necessary. Talk only about work and nothing else, other than small chatter, such as, “How are things?” The most you will probably ever receive is, “I’m good.” (Translation: “Without you, I’m actually amazing. I have to work with you, we’ll get through this until one of us decides to move on” is what they are actually thinking.) The point is: Just know that this could possibly happen. If we all stayed the same when we met, there would probably be less breakups and divorce, but we all change, as human beings. It is a natural part of life. Those changes, not everyone likes or enjoys, and thus, arguments ensue and breakup may be imminent. Either you act like adults, make your paycheck, and go home, or someone moves on to another job.
Ask Them Out Now!
Now that we’ve established everything in regards to workplace policy, you as a human being, the object of affection as a human being, and possible breakups, lets move to the part that seems scary yet exciting at the same time. This part is when you are to the point where your blood boils when you are in the same room or you hear them or you know they are going to be somewhere. You could not ask them out and just move on with your life. It is likely that your object of affection is probably going to be just fine without you. However, something in you tells you that you need to have them. Maybe whole-heartedly, maybe sexually, maybe as your best friend and partner in life.
Whatever the case, you are either going to know the answer, which may be good news, but also bad news; or you might just not do it, and pretend that you can go on living with that one regret: not asking that person out. Believe me, I live with at least a half dozen of them. I’m sure those women are off living their lives, married, or still looking for me, but I never had the courage to ask them out. Knowing what I know now… I should have just asked. I could have just asked. I wish I had just asked. But that part of my life is gone and there is no going back. Fortunately, it could just as well be a blessing in disguise and I certainly have no regrets for where my life is at currently.
Asking the person out: For most of my high school years and all the way through college, I was mostly afraid of asking her out, whoever she was, and there were plenty of women that I did not ask out that I really wanted to ask out. The very few that I did ask out, it never ended up turning into anything serious or going anywhere, though for one, I wish it did, and for most others, I’m glad it did not. Had I had more experience with women, it probably would have helped me be more confident. My point is: Want to get to know someone? Ask them out. No harm, no foul. A few bucks out your pocket if things don’t go well. Rejection if they turn you down immediately. A few bucks and a relationship in the bag if things do go well. Just ask the person out!
Scared of the Friend Zone? Don’t be at all. The Friend Zone exists for a reason. They see you as a friend and nothing more. They are doing you a favor in the long run, trust me. It is rare to escape it, but the good thing is: move on. It’s okay. I know, you feel that person was your soul mate, the love of your life, the man or woman of your dreams. In reality, they were probably just your co-worker, and your heart, brain, and further down below got mixed feelings. Been there, done that. If they aren’t feeling it, you shouldn’t either. However, if you want to get to know a person more, there are too many people that don’t ask because, and I’m totally guilty of it, they think that the hints they dropped were enough. No, it isn’t. Some people really don’t pick up hints very well, and I’m one of those people. Say what you want. Say what you mean. Ask for it. Until you do, I am not a mind reader and it is likely the object of your affection knows something, but is not sure about it, and therefore, is not a mind reader, either.
Something is bound to happen when you ask for what you want: You either get it. Or you don’t. That’s all. Rejection sucks, but it is a fact of everyday life. If you play the lottery, you probably find yourself often rejected with kind words that tell you that you’re a loser, I mean, “Not A Winner.” Passed over for a promotion, didn’t get a raise, dog or cat didn’t feel like cuddles today, rejection happens all the time. Get used to it. The more you become comfortable with it, the easier it will be to go out with people and possibly experience a chance at love and a relationship.
Success is sweet and it does happen and could happen to you, but you have to ask for it and make it happen. It does not just happen on its own. Success involves a ton of risk because the universe is that way by design. How many lifeforms failed before we came into existence. Yes, humans are four billion years in the making. We have lived alongside plenty of other homo species, but the sapien is the clear winner to adaptation and evolution. How did that happen? Your ancestor father pointed to your ancestor mother and then pointed to himself. She either agreed or she did not. Many great great great and grand grand grand parents later, here you are! Getting ready to ask that person out to continue what your ancestors have been doing since the dawn of mankind.
The only way to succeed is to try and make it happen. If your great ancestor father was rejected by your great ancestor mother, than he would have probably hit her over the head with a rock and took her home anyway. Just kidding, don’t do that. You’re a human being! Four billion years in the making so act like it. That, and the fact that there are probably at least 1 or 2 million out of the 2.5 billion eligible people for you on this Earth. “No” means no, though some men swear persistence worked for them. It does happen, but not always. Respect his or her decision of rejection towards you and move on. Just keep in mind they are helping you find your own success in life and you won’t find it with them.
The best advice I can really give you: Just ask the person out. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know, and its actually worse to keep wondering all your life what could’ve been. The worst they can do is say no and laugh at you. Just kidding, they probably won’t laugh at you, but even if they were to do that, who cares? They go about their life. You go about yours. You both make your paycheck and go home. She may have a boyfriend or husband or a wife already. He may have a girlfriend or wife or boyfriend. You might run into some people who have all three!
Please do not, I repeat, do not, join in that insane love triangle, square, or whatever you call it! There was this one time where I was head over heels crazy for a girl who turned out to be a lesbian. I found out when I met her girlfriend. I did think about asking them both out right then and there, but for sure, I definitely was not going to make a relationship happen there no matter what I did, though in this case, I do not regret not asking. Timing is usually everything. Don’t be scared. JUST ASK THEM OUT!
It is nerve wracking but they will probably admire you for having confidence to ask them out, even if they aren’t into you and reject you. Regardless, who cares what they think. I mean, yes, their professional opinion matters in the workplace if you two have a project or something, but personally? They might just not be into you at all, and that is totally fine. You should completely respect that decision. Reverse the role and imagine rejecting someone: you would want to let that person down easy and have them move on. I have rejected a few girls in my life who I just was not into at all. Such is life, move on, get paid, and go about your business. It’s done with and over.
Look on the bright side: No regrets, right? Better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do (legal activities, of course). Too often in life, should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. Just make it happen and learn your lessons from the whole experience. You will be happier you did than always wondering why you didn’t, or what could’ve been. No matter what happens, respect the other person’s decision. Trying to get someone to fall in love with you is as hard as trying to fall in love with someone.
While it is probably not recommended that you do this at work, the confidence of asking someone out at work could lead you to this:
This is so unrealistic, isn’t it? I mean, that desk is way too clean and organized for this to be anything other than stock photography or maybe the start of a porn scene. So if you are going to kiss at work, make sure you do it outside the building, in your car, maybe. Your co-workers and boss may be happy for you, but no one wants to see that kind of thing going on in the office. On a more serious note, office romance, if it goes well, can definitely lead to something like this:
Your first step is just asking her out or asking him out. Go ahead, do it right now. Stop hesitating. Just go do it. You will sleep better tonight knowing the answer, I promise. If not tonight, definitely tomorrow night. Let me know how it went in the comments below.