Sunday, January 6, 2008

Co-worker Wants a Date

There is a fellow at work who keeps pestering me, saying we should go out for a drink, intimating he'd like to date me, and so on. We are both gay, and I don't want to get him in trouble by complaining. I can't say it's reached the level of sexual harassment as yet, but how can I let him know I am simply not interested in him without it snowballing? RR

Now this is an awkward situation. First I have to ask -- are you certain he just doesn't want to be friends with a gay co-worker? If you're certain he's "interested" in you, you can always say you have a monogamous relationship or are dating someone, if you haven't already. If you've told him you're single, tell him now that you've recently "met" someone special. Sometimes telling a little white lie is the best way to go. I recognize that you want to avoid hurt feelings, especially as this is someone you have to work with and see almost every day. Again, if all he's after is friendship, maybe it won't hurt to have a drink with him. Remember that while this may be awkward for you, if he truly has unrequited feelings for you he's in a much worse position. If he graduates from being friendly or flirting to making unwanted advances -- and I only mean something that is way over the top -- you have to be firm with him, warning him that you'll complain if you have to. If you do feel a need to report him, make it clear that his being gay is not the issue. Hopefully he's a reasonable person and this will all go away once he realizes you are simply not available.

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