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Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice

“”Believe me, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that your modesty, so far from doing you any disservice, rather adds to your other perfections. You would have been less amiable in my eyes had there not been this little unwillingness…” STOP RIGHT THERE, MR. COLLINS

Hi Captain,

I’m hoping you can help me with this because you and your army of Awkwardeers are – like my crush – awkward.

He is a gorgeous gorgeous man that I work with. I’ve only been there a few months but I noticed him instantly. I did my usual thing of kind of showing off a bit around him, but he never looked at me or joined in. He hardly ever speaks at work, and he doesn’t look people in the face – he’s a really shy, geeky type and rarely comes out with us when we go for drinks.

One time he did come and talked about how he hadn’t had a girlfriend for so long, he couldn’t remember. So I thought I had a chance.

We have a shared interest and I sent him a message along the lines of “Hey, want to go for drinks and talk about Shared Interest sometime?”

His response was pretty cold – “we can talk about it at work”. I just said OK and left it.

Some of my friends think he didn’t get that I was asking him out, but I think that plays to my vanity. Is he just really, really uninterested? I know he wants to be with someone because he’s mentioned it – but should I take him at his word and leave it, or do I need to take the sledgehammer approach because he doesn’t realize I’m interested?

Thank you, Captain!

Love from,

Not That Awkward Actually

Dear Not That Awkward:

“Would you like to go out sometime?” ==>”We can talk about it at work” is a pretty blunt redirect, especially since I’m guessing that your coworker did not subsequently bring it up at work and you have not since gone out. Going forward, I would interpret all communications extremely conservatively. He knows you are interested in hanging out outside of work. He knows you have a shared interest. He has all the information he needs to follow up, or not, as he wishes. Possibly it was a face value statement – Let’s talk about this later, at work! – and possibly it was a message of disinterest. Redirecting personal conversations so that they are work conversations is what we advise people to do when they are not interested in personal interactions with coworkers. I realize this is maddening, but you’ve done what you can. The upside is that if he brings it up, you’ll know for sure that he wants to hang out. Until then, drop the subject. Read More