My ex-partner left me for his female coworker.
Technically she was my coworker too. Yep, we all worked at the same place. Awkward, I know.
But way before I got confirmation of what was going on, a big part of me already knew. That’s because there were strong clues along the way.
Here are the signs he likes his female coworker and what you can do about it.
10 signs he likes his female coworker
1) He keeps “casually” mentioning her
When we like someone and they are occupying our thoughts, we often cannot help but mention them.
You can tell when someone has a crush, as they seem to inadvertently shoehorn the person’s name into conversation way more than seems natural.
On the surface that seems a strange thing to do.
You’d imagine that the last person he would bring up when talking to his partner is the woman at work who he is attracted to. But you’d be surprised.
Because it’s not even a conscious choice, it just sort of happens.
His brain is occupied with thoughts of her and so it can come spilling out.
If he name drops her one too many times, you might start to feel like something is up.
2) You know that she is his type
There is a good chance that you will feel more threatened by this woman if you think she is attractive.
But not only is she a good looking woman, you know your partner will think so too.
According to research, men do rate physical attractiveness as a critical component for them, more so than women.
But of course, it doesn’t just come down to looks.
Whether you feel like she is his type is way more than whether she is cute. It’s going to be how she dresses, how she carries herself, and her personality too.
This might be trickier to gauge if you don’t know her so well.
But if you get the impression that she is just his type, it stands to reason he is more likely to be attracted to her.
3) They are suddenly hanging out together
I don’t want to fuel any unfounded paranoia with this article.
I just want to share the signs that (albeit with hindsight) I noticed that my ex liked his coworker.
But the truth is that some of these signs as isolated things can be perfectly innocent.
Hanging out together can be something or nothing.
After all, statistics show that a whopping 94% of Americans consider their colleagues to be more than acquaintances. And over half say that they’ve made close friends in the office.
I think the key here is suspicious changes in his behavior.
In my case, he’s known her for years and then all of a sudden (when she became single) they developed a friendship. And that equals a red flag.
4) He acts weirdly when she is mentioned
You know him, and so you know when he starts acting “off” in some way.
If her name comes up in conversation there is something weird about the way he responds.
It might be that he is trying too hard to act normal, and it shows. He could get a little flustered, act sheepish, or try to completely avoid talking about her altogether.
Even if he doesn’t say anything much about her, watch out for dishonesty or discomfort in his body language.
That might include:
- Shifting around more or fidgeting
- Self-soothing gestures
- Unsteady eye contact
- Not facing you
- Unusual rise or fall in vocal tone
5) Your gut tells you
One of the things that really struck me when I discovered about my ex and our coworker was the strong instinctive feeling I had about it.
I told myself I was probably reading too much into things. After all, I had no real proof anything fishy was going on.
So I tried to push it to the back of my mind. But intuition is less mystical and more scientific than we give it credit for.
What is actually going on is that 1001 subtle details that you’re not consciously aware of are being triggered in your subconscious.
This storehouse of information holds onto the smallest of details that it doesn’t need to bother your conscious mind about. But those details are still there, filled away.
The difficulty is that intuition can be tricky to interpret correctly. Strong emotions have a habit of clouding it. And fear is often mistaken for instinct.
Sometimes what we think as a gut feeling turns out to be paranoia.
6) There’s an energy between them
This sign is going to rely on you being in the same place as them when they are together.
But if you are, pay attention to the energy in the room.
If everything is innocent, then the interaction between you all should feel fairly comfortable and normal.
If there is some undefinable tension or awkwardness — then you might be picking up on vibes.
It could come from the way he looks at her, or how they interact. It may simply be a chemistry between them that seems pretty obvious.
7) He borrows things from her
Ok, this may sound like a weird one at first. So let me explain.
My ex came home with the entire box set of ‘The Sopranos’ (which shows you how long ago all of this was, but anyway).
I can’t quite remember the details. Maybe it was her favourite TV show and he had never seen it. Or they’d been discussing it and she told him it’s amazing and he needs to watch it. It was something like that.
Innocent enough potentially. But here’s the thing:
Sharing our likes and dislikes is a way we bond and get closer.
That’s why listening to the music, films or TV shows that she recommends to him shows that in some way he is making an investment in her.
We don’t do those things unless we like someone.
It gives you clues to a connection forming between them that seems to be more than just coworkers.
8) He seems more interested in work events or work nights out
If he likes his female coworker, he may be looking for excuses to see her socially.
That might mean joining work nights out or work social events, if he knows she is going to be there.
If he has designs on her, it’s more likely that something would happen in a social setting rather than at work itself.
Particularly when it’s a relaxed environment where alcohol is involved.
So if your man starts joining in with work socials— and it’s out of character— there’s a chance this is the reason.
9) He spends more time at work
This is the classic sign of a workplace affair.
If he likes his female coworker he might be spending more time at work.
That could be either working late, extra hours or going in when he normally wouldn’t.
In my case, my ex started staying late for her to help him with certain career developments he was trying to make at the time.
It meant them spending a couple of hours alone together after his regular shift.
If he becomes a workaholic overnight, then you might question his true motives.
10) Your relationship has issues
Affairs don’t come out of nowhere.
As painful as it is to face, they almost always start with some sort of dissatisfaction at home.
That is in no way to say that you are to blame if he is looking around elsewhere.
It’s just to point out the realistic hard truth that when we feel fully fulfilled, we tend not to stray.
Does your relationship feel generally happy? Or does it feel like you have some underlying issues?
If you feel like:
- The passion has gone
- There is tension between you
- Your bond feels weaker or emotional intimacy is lacking
- You are constantly arguing
- You’re struggling to communicate properly
These could be signs that your relationship may be under strain.
What to do if you think he likes his female coworker
1) Don’t jump to conclusions
I’ve already said that my intentions for this article is most definitely not to fuel insecurity. So the first thing to do is to take a breath and check in with yourself.
Are there genuine signs that he likes his coworker or could this be down to some insecurities from your side?
Have you struggled with jealousy and insecurity in the past? Are there some trust issues?
Resist the urge to jump to conclusions. It’s not going to help and will only make things worse.
You don’t want to damage your relationship by throwing around totally unfounded accusations that are more to do with you than your partner.
Maybe he does like her, but that in itself doesn’t even mean anything.
The truth is that we can still find other people attractive when we’re in relationships, but that doesn’t mean we want to have an affair or break up.
2) Don’t act jealous, possessive, clingy or needy
I know that keeping your cool when you have a nagging suspicion or insecurity is a big ask.
But acting jealous, possessive, clingy or needy right now is more likely to create a bridge between you two, at exactly the time you want to be coming together.
3) Decide whether you need to talk to him about it
The reason I say decide whether you are going to talk about it with him is that you may have already decided you’re probably being a bit silly. Or you may prefer to wait a while longer to see what happens.
But if you think it will put your mind at rest, or that you will get closer to the truth by talking to him — then have the conversation.
Being able to raise our concerns and fears (in a reasonable way) to our partners is part of healthy communication in a relationship.
4) Strengthen your relationship
This female coworker could be a total red herring.
Rather than obsessing about her, or whether he likes her, your attention is better placed on you and your relationship.
Least of all because that’s the only thing you have any control over.
If you know there are elements in your relationship that need work, then focus on healing those. Put your energy into creating a happy, fulfilling, and fun home life.
His marriage saving tips can really help you identify how you can get your relationship back on track and in the best place possible.
He’ll share with you the 3 biggest mistakes that most couples make that end up destroying their relationships. And importantly, what to do about it.
5) Boost your own self-esteem
If there’s a chance some of these fears could be arising from your own insecurities then you need to work on your self-esteem.
In fact, either way, it’s a good idea. Because greater confidence will make you appear more sexy and desirable.
It will also help keep in check any jealousy or sensitivity that may well be totally unfounded.
6) Know that whatever happens, it will be ok
Here’s the thing:
I obviously don’t know you or your situation. It’s most likely very different to mine.
There’s a very good chance that:
- You could be letting your imagination get carried away with you.
- He does think she’s cute but he has zero intention of ever doing anything about it because he loves you.
Obviously, in my case, things worked out differently.
But even then, years down the line I can wholeheartedly say it was all for the best. It led us both down different paths. And my path has been pretty epic.
Whatever happens, the fact remains:
At the end of the day, you cannot (and shouldn’t have to) police your partner.
Relationships need to be based on trust, vulnerability, and a certain level of autonomy if they are going to succeed.