How Do I Deal with a Clingy Male Co-Worker? Ask a Pro

Dear Head Pro,

So, I love to travel, and not just travel, but really travel. By that I mean, really explore and get a sense of the culture and in very “unbetch” like behavior I totally enjoy staying in hostels and meeting people from around the world. Each new place I go I typically meet a guy, hang out with him for a few days and then we go our separate ways (as a rule I do not sleep with randoms, but  seeing which country kisses the best is always fun). I try to stay in contact with the people whose company I really enjoy and have on several occasions met up with them again.

Now, this is where I am getting all (yuck) emotionally caught up.  Two years ago I met this guy in South America that was from Europe and I fell head over heels…  as in ready to walk down the aisle. Years passed and we did not keep in contact until I decided to move to Europe myself after university. Since being in contact all of those initial feelings have come flooding back times 10. We talk everyday when his work allows (PhD student) and I'm not busy with my own career. By plane we live 3 hours apart and I have an open invitation to go see him, but I'm nervous that I will get emotionally attached (something I refrain from 200% back home). He is very forward in how much he is attracted to me (I will say that nothing happened between us physically before other than being the obnoxious couple at dinner but we NEVER kissed… ughhhh!!!) and constantly talks about my figure and sexual things. Talks about romantic nights in, introducing me to friends, going on holiday together and making me breakfast in the morning and so forth. My question is: is this just his ploy to have sex or is he actually (hopefully) interested? Yet, I really like him and have not been this excited and into a guy in an incredibly long time.


Delusional maybe, almost in love definitely

Dear Delusional,

Ok, this might be the 2nd-stupidest thing I’ve read. For one thing, your email kind of smacks of racism. Other cultures are not zoo animals exclusively present for your enjoyment (LOL, kissing is totes different by country, as though it’s not something humans have been doing since the dawn of time!). Also, stop calling college “University.” It’s pretentious as fuck for a North American, with the exception being if you’re Canadian, as I understand that’s how they do things there.

Secondly, you’re wagering the rest of your romantic life on a guy you barely know who you haven’t seen for TWO YEARS. I know 3 hours isn’t exactly New York to LA in terms of distance, but in what world would that ever work? An “open invitation” to visit someone means they don’t really care enough to extend an actual, defined invitation. And why would he? He barely knows you. So yes, he’s probably just hoping that on a whim, you’ll decide to cross several international borders so he can fuck you.


Dear Head Pro,

How do I deal with a clingy male co-worker?  On paper we have quite a bit in common (went to similar schools, same age, work in the same dept), but he weirds me out.  This has been going on for months.  I always feel like he's paying “special attention” to me.  He invites me to random parties he hosts, pries into my personal life, and offers to help me with my work (when it's unnecessary).  I always say I'm busy/ignore him/give one word answers but he isn't getting the message. He will also do things like comment on a phone conversation he overheard me having or talk to me on office communicator while staring at me. [Side note: For this reason, fuck “open office environments.” Install some goddamn cubicle walls.]  Anyways, it's not to the point where it's harassment, but it's certainly not comfortable. How do I make it clear that we're co-workers and nothing else, without it hurting my career?


Case of the Work Weirds

Dear Work Weirds,

I don’t necessarily think he thinks you’re any more than coworkers, either. Some coworkers are just like that and have no life outside of the office, and yeah, they fucking suck. Ask yourself though, if this coworker were a woman, would you find it just as annoying? If yes, then welcome to office life. If not, I would take it up with your supervisor, or even better another female colleague. That can give you some insight into whether or not he’s just like that or singling you out specifically. If it’s just you, then at least the staring thing in fact does warrant harassment. It’s a pretty broad term, and usually includes anything that makes the workplace uncomfortable for you. If that’s the case, then take that shit to your boss or HR.


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