Lately, my married boss has been avoiding me. I have no idea why, because he has always been very warm and accommodating to me.
Being the curious cat that I am, I scoured the web – and asked for advice from the people who went through the same thing.
So far, I have narrowed it down to 22 reasons. Now, please join me as I go through them one by one.
1) He wants to catch my attention
There’s something about ignoring and avoiding someone. Personally, it makes me want to reach out to them more.
And maybe, that’s what my boss is trying to do. As an article from Marriage.com puts it:
“The psychology of ignoring someone you love has everything to do with trying to get their attention – not pushing them away.
“Ignoring someone you are attracted to can be a great way of getting someone into a relationship with you.”
So has he caught my attention? Certainly. If he plans on using it to achieve something, I really wouldn’t know until he flat-out tells me that he cares about me or something.
2) He likes me…
Whenever a single guy likes me, I notice that he’d do anything to be near me. For some reason, he’s always there where I am!
And while my married boss was acting the polar opposite, I had a hunch that it was because he liked me. He’s afraid that interacting with me will show it.
Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one in this predicament. Office relationships, while frowned upon, happen all the time.
In a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, psychology professor Art Markman explained that “You spend a tremendous amount of time at work and, if you put people in close proximity, working together, having open, vulnerable conversations, there’s a good chance there are going to be romantic relationships.”
Professor Amy Nicole Baker agrees. Her research has shown that “the more familiar you are with the person, the more likely it is that you’ll become attracted to one another.”
3) …and he’s confused
If my married boss indeed likes me, he may be avoiding me for another reason: he’s confused.
Sure, he knows he shouldn’t like (much more, fall in love) with someone else. He’s trying to figure out what to do – and he thinks ignoring me is the way to go.
I get it. When I am faced with a big challenge, I try to avoid factors that may skew my decision.
And, in this case, it’s me with whom he’s trying to get away.
4) Uh-oh. Maybe his wife knows he likes me
See, my married boss didn’t totally avoid me before. I don’t want to sound boisterous, but I was pretty sure he was flirting with me.
He was very protective of me, much like a modern-day hero.
And, from what I learned, guys have this hero instinct – one that I may have tapped on unknowingly.
I think his wife found out, and she gave her an ultimatum: avoid me or suffer the consequences.
So let me circle back to the hero instinct.
Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.
And it’s something most women don’t know anything about.
Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it (which is why he probably likes me.)
If you want to learn more about the hero instinct, check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. Here, he shares some easy tips on how to tap into this hidden potential.
5) He doesn’t want to destroy his marriage
He probably knows that constantly interacting with me will make him like me more. Or, as I’ve mentioned, his wife may already have an idea.
No matter the reason, he’s probably avoiding me because he doesn’t want to end up cheating on his wife.
And, I’ve got to say, kudos to my boss if this is the reason!
6) He doesn’t want to harm our work relationship
Office relationships are bad – more so if one party is married (in this case, my boss.) My boss knows this, which is why he’s trying his hardest to avoid me.
And he’s not wrong.
“Having multiple relationships with someone creates potential conflicts of interest that can be hard to resolve,” adds Markman.
To add insult to injury, Markman contends that our professionalism may be called into question too.
“Unfortunately, there are occasions where personal relationships turn sour and the impact of this can cross over into the workplace and the wrong behaviors are displayed by either one or both parties,” explains the people over at HR solutions.
7) He values his job – and mine
Our job has a no fraternization policy between supervisors (him) and subordinates (me.) And, not that I’m saying that we’ll start one, but being in one will potentially put our jobs on the line.
For example, since my boss likes me, he may give me more attention and assistance. As a Chron report puts it, “Other employees may complain their co-worker’s relationship to the boss is disruptive, uncomfortable and inappropriate.”
In this rough economy, I’m sure we both don’t want to lose our job over a ‘bad’ romance.
So yes, sir, avoid me, by all means!
8) He is trying to move on
Say he’s avoiding me because he likes me. And because he’s married, he knows it’s not meant to be.
Well, he may be avoiding me so that he could move on.
He’s not wrong, though. He’s following one of the greatest rules in getting over somebody: the no contact rule.
As my fellow writer Jude Paler explains it:
“A wounded heart doesn’t need a constant reminder of the person that hurt it the most. Seeing them or contacting them will be like rubbing salt on your wound.”
And, if you’re in a similar problem – and you’re the one trying to move on, I suggest speaking to a coach from Relationship Hero. It is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated love situations.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship. Best of all, they helped me get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, caring, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes, you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
9) Our co-workers know he likes me
Gossips spread like wildfire, especially in the workplace. Maybe he has had a pattern of liking his juniors ‘more than a friend.’
Or maybe, my co-workers know him so well that they know something is up.
Whatever the reason, I think my boss is avoiding me because he’s afraid that ‘we’ will be the center of the office rumors.
And, if this is the case, I’m with my boss.
I don’t want to be on the receiving end of deathly stares.
I don’t want to be accused of giving ‘favors’ every time I get praised or promoted.
Yes, ignoring me proves to be the best move here.
10) HR has warned him
It’s possible that I wasn’t the first one my married boss has ‘avoided.’ HR may have warned him prior for his unwelcome advances and preferential treatment, among many other things.
He’s afraid to risk his job, which is why I believe he’s walking on eggshells around me.
Personally, I think this is a quick move on HR’s part. We don’t want to be embroiled in an office scandal in the future, so I guess this is the best way to go.
11) He’s playing it cool
Avoiding me may also be my boss’ way of playing it cool. As an Insider report defines it, “it’s based on the idea that if you act like you’re not really eager for the relationship, you suddenly become irresistible.”
Well, the bad news is this doesn’t work. And it’s not just me. Research has proven this as well.
That’s because “we all fear rejection, and playing it cool makes us appear less vulnerable. But in reality, by pretending you’re not interested, that’s exactly how you come across — literally not interested.”
12) Or maybe, he’s a downright player
In my experience, what most players do is butter me up – until I give in. But, to be honest, being avoidant could be part of a player’s game too.
He’s trying to evoke an air of mystery if you will.
Explains my co-writer Pearl Nash:
“There’s a certain mystique or allure to men who seem slightly unavailable or hard to read. Mysterious and detached men are often sexy because they exude a dark personality.
“And when you have a personal connection with (that) someone… there’s an illusion of exclusivity—that you’re indeed special because they chose you.”
So…will I let myself be played? Hell no!
13) He’s jealous
Of course, I have to talk with my other male co-workers. That’s just how work goes, you know?
It’s possible that he’s gotten jealous about them, which is why he isn’t talking to me like before.
And, if you ask experts, it’s a subtle sign.
“To save face, if a guy is jealous but too proud to want to show it, he may try to over-correct what he is feeling and act aloof.
“But pretending not to be bothered, especially when it’s not convincing, is a clear sign of the opposite.”
Jealousy can rear an ugly head – and in this case, my boss is channeling this by ignoring me.
14) He wants me to chase him
I know boys often do all the chasing. But some women do it too. And in this case, I believe that my boss is avoiding me in hopes that I’ll chase him.
And yes, men do like being chased.
They also like to feel special, wanted, and needed – just like us women.
The bad news is I won’t fall for this game. I won’t chase him for the very reason that he’s married!
15) He’s found someone else
I’m not really sure if my married boss is a hound, but some of the gossipers here suggest that he is. That said, one potential reason he might be avoiding me is that he’s found another apple of his eye.
Of course, now that he’s trying to woo a new co-worker of mine, he’s trying to make it seem like he’s got a clear rap sheet.
Like he hasn’t tried to woo me – or Jenny from the Accounting Department – or Lisa from Claims – all the while being married to his beautiful wife.
Frankly, I’m happy if this is the case. But somehow, I’m concerned that there’s going to be another lady who’ll be subject to my boss’ attentive-turned-avoidant ways.
16) He’s a toxic boss
Communication is vital to the workplace. But if my hunch is correct and he’s a toxic boss, he’s avoiding me to wreak havoc in the office.
As to why this happens, Lachlan has this to say:
“Horrible bosses become toxic due to their access to power and influence.
“That’s not to say that all bosses and leaders are doomed to become evil; it’s just that leadership, and its benefits can convince individuals that they are exceptions to the rule, including dutiful social conduct.”
Ugh. If only the economy weren’t bad, I would switch jobs in a heartbeat!
17) He’s trying to make me feel like an outcast
It’s hard to feel like an office, especially in an environment like the office. I’m spending a good eight hours here, so I want to have a good working relationship with the people around me.
And, by talking to everyone (except me), my boss is making me feel something no one wants to feel – being rejected like an outcast.
18) He’s busy
I know. He could be avoiding me because he’s busy and has no other ulterior motive. After all, too much work disconnects us from people.
Needless to say, I’ve experienced this too. Whenever I’m busy, it’s possible that I unintentionally ignore my boss and co-workers too!
So boss – if you’re busy and avoiding me – I understand. Go on, do your job. Don’t let me stop you.
19) He’s just an introvert
Maybe I’m just making a fuss of him avoiding me. For all I know, he’s just an introvert – and that’s ‘his’ way.
I don’t want to make accusations, of course. That’s why I’m taking this bit from Lachlan by heart:
“You don’t understand the way an introvert thinks, so don’t assume and make any accusations.
“No one likes being accused of doing something they’re not actually doing because it shows a lack of attention and a lack of care to understand what’s happening.”
20) I may have done or said something wrong
With all the workplace conversations I’ve had with my married boss, there’s probably something I might’ve said that flipped him off.
Maybe I’ve offended him – or his beliefs. Who knows? Since he’s ignoring me, I don’t know what his deal is.
Worst of all, I don’t know how I’ll be able to mend things so he’d start talking to me again. I do hope we could speak in private one of these days, as I don’t want him to feel bad over something I’ve done or said.
21) He dislikes me
While most reasons in this list point to him liking me, it’s possible that he’s avoiding me because he dislikes me.
Maybe I’m not doing it the way he wants things to be done. Who knows?
I mean, I get it. I don’t want to be around the person I don’t like (and vice-versa.) As to why he doesn’t like me, I’ve yet to know the reasons.
Is it because I’m too vocal – or is it because I push back?
Unfortunately, it’ll be hard for me to know why since he’s avoiding me in the first place. I hope we can talk about it, cause I don’t want him to dislike me for as long as I’m working in the company.
22) Is it all in my head?
Of course, I’m not discounting the fact that my boss avoiding me could be all in my head. I could be painting a scenario that’s not real.
He could not be intentionally ignoring me. It may be happenstance, you know.
Of course, until we’re able to talk about it, I’ll never know.
It’s pretty alarming to have your married boss avoid you, especially when he’s been so friendly before. I could only draw a long list – such as this one – but unless we talk about it, I’ll never be able to know the real reason why.
So wish me luck, for I’ll be trying to face him soon!