20 Signs that Your Boss Is Attracted to You

If your boss is showing these signs, then your gut is probably right!

Reviewed by Hayley Ramsey

Signs the boss is attracted to an employee

Has your boss been texting you about random things late in the evening? Or bringing you an extra hot latte in the morning, when no one else has been receiving this little treat? If you’re nodding in agreement, then they most likely have a crush on you.

On the other hand, some other cases may be harder to detect, which can put you in a real predicament; you don’t want to just assume that you have a secret admirer. So, how do you determine if your manager really fancies you?

Here are 20 telltale signs that your boss is infatuated with you.

1. You have a gut feeling

Sometimes you just have a feeling that something isn’t right; you can probably feel the tension when your manager is in the room. Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and leadership coach, says: “Gut instincts aren’t whims. They’re your subconscious on steroids. It’s putting hundreds of facts together, with the ultimate result being an emotion or physical feeling.”

2. They’re flirty

You want your boss to like you, but not be attracted to you. If you’re faced with a flirty figure, it may be a hint that they are interested in you. Again, before you speculate, observe how they interact with other team members. It may be that your manager has a bashful character and doesn’t mean any harm.

3. They’re overly helpful

Do you receive special attention and feel like it’s translating into romantic interest? “It can be difficult to tell whether someone has a crush on you or if they’re just being extremely nice, so I caution anyone in this dilemma to tread very carefully, as misinterpreting intentions could be embarrassing for both parties, and even career-damaging,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker.

4. They schedule private meetings after work

If you’re working on a project together and need to have private meetings, that’s one thing. But if you’re starting to be singled out for irrelevant meetings, your boss may be pushing past the scope of a professional relationship. Late night meetings where you’re both alone are also a big giveaway that your supervisor is into you.

5. They buy you gifts

Preferential treatment can be subtle, such as being given a really fun project to work on when a colleague had specifically asked for it. Or it could come in a more in-your-face way, like being showered in gifts. If you’re the only one receiving gifts from your superior or being given vouchers from the company, it’s likely they have strong feelings for you.

6. They make you transfer companies with them if they move

Have you been working with your manager for years and seem to follow them everywhere they go? Have you just realized that you’ve done this because of their persuasive comments? They may simply value your expertise — or perhaps they want to keep you close for other reasons...

7. They call or text you for no reason

Many leaders need to stay in touch after hours to talk about big projects or clients. However, if you start receiving calls and messages that are completely unrelated to work, you’re probably dealing with a boss that’s romantically interested in you. When this happens, try not to give the wrong impression with your replies.

8. Their body language is playful

If you generally feel uncomfortable with their body language, it probably means that they are invading your personal space. It may be that they’re an affectionate person and behave the same with all their employees (which is pretty unprofessional, too), so observe what their gestures are like with your colleagues.

9. They give you special treatment

This could simply be because they trust your judgement and respect your opinions. However, it can also come across as favoritism, especially if you’re given opportunities that you feel you don’t deserve. Taylor agrees: “Love-struck bosses may give you better projects; give you more mentoring time than your peers; take you to more lunches; might offer you more flexible hours or other perks; be lax about your mistakes, or give you other special treatment.”

10. They confide in only you

Does your boss insist on discussing their personal issues with you? “Yes, they may be doing this because they trust you, but it may also be because they want to deepen the relationship and sharing confidences is a proven way to do that,” says Kerr. If you’re unsure because you don’t usually have that kind of rapport, their feelings may have developed into more serious ones.

11. They make overblown promises

If you’re the only one receiving promises of a speedy jump up the career ladder, you may need to pause and think about the reason behind it. Although you’re a hard-working employee, your admirer may have another motive behind their actions.

12. They invite you to spend time together

One of the most obvious signs your boss is attracted to you is if they’re planning activities outside of work that just involve the two of you. If you’re not best buds, it’s not irrational to assume that the reason for the meetup is romantic.

13. They flatter you with compliments that aren’t work related

Being complimented about your performance in the workplace is natural. However, if flattery is being thrown at you left, right and center, your boss may have more than a friendly fondness of you. Throwaway lines such as “Anyone would be lucky to have you” could very well mean that they have a crush on you.

14. They treat you as if they don’t like you

Remember in primary school when a classmate had a crush on you but was really mean to you? Fast forward 20 years, and adults are behaving in exactly the same manner, just in a different setting. If your boss regularly teases or picks on you, it could be their way of flirting or trying to hide their admiration.

15. They force a special bond with you

Some people are lucky enough to form a special bond with their boss naturally. You can have harmless banter and inside jokes without attraction being thrown into the mix. Yet, if you notice that your supervisor is trying to force a bond when the feeling isn’t mutual, it may be due to their secret crush on you.

16. They’re always looking at you

It would be very strange if your manager didn’t look at you while talking to you. If, however, they tend to maintain eye contact for a little too long or plainly stare at you, then you may have an admirer on your hands.

17. Their appearance suddenly changes

People often change their appearance or start dressing more professionally in the office because it boosts their confidence. Sometimes, though, individuals give themselves a revamp to impress others. If you compliment a specific outfit or perfume and they begin to wear it more often, it may be a sign that they like you.

18. They always ask for your opinion

If your boss asks for your opinion on a project or a deal, it could be a sign that they really value you as an employee. If, however, your boss doesn’t quit asking for your opinion every chance they get — like when ordering takeaway or choosing a name for their Swiss cheese plant — this could signify that they have a crush on you.

19. They recall things you’ve said with great accuracy

Remember that time two months ago when you mentioned your favorite restaurant in town? Of course you don’t — but your boss does. If they’re always bringing up seemingly insignificant things you’ve said or done in the past, it could mean that they’ve been keeping a really close, really interested eye on you.

20. They’re quick to laugh at everything you say

Perhaps you’re sharing a story about how your dog chewed through your expensive pair of slippers. Or maybe you’ve just made a clever pun about spaghetti over lunch break. While your colleagues may smile or laugh for a few seconds, your boss may start to laugh uncontrollably. If they’re always quick to laugh at every little thing you say, it may be a good indication that they’re into you.

What to do about it

Like with most things, there are ways and ways to show someone you like them. If your boss is not crossing any lines or making you feel uncomfortable, you can maintain a friendly manner. If you don’t reciprocate their hints and keep things platonic, they should eventually stop trying to make advances. This includes politely declining invitations to out-of-office events that don’t include your colleagues.

If, despite your lack of reciprocity, your boss flirts with you still, then you may need to confront them more directly. Saying that you want the relationship to remain professional is one way to do it. After all, wanting to keep your work and personal time separate is perfectly reasonable.

On the other hand, if your supervisor’s advances feel like they’re sexually harassing you, you should act immediately. If your company doesn’t have an official sexual harassment complaint process, you can report directly to the HR department or senior management. Reporting the incident to the EEOC can help if you’re planning on quitting your job because of the harassment, so that you’re able to then file a lawsuit for lost wages.

Final thoughts

To summarize, there’s no right or wrong way to handle a love-struck manager; simply listen to your gut and set as strict a boundary as you need. On the off chance that you may like your boss back (and aren’t just craving some attention), our suggestion is that you still don’t bring the workplace into your love life — that can get really messy!


Originally published 17 January 2018. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.