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 jump the gun and just assume that you have a secret admirer. So how do you determine if your manager really does fancy you?
Here are 17 tell-tale signs that your boss is covertly 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 really doesn’t mean any harm by it.
3. They’re Overly Helpful
Do you receive extra special attention and feel like it’s translating into personal feelings? ‘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, then that's one thing. But if you see 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
Are you the only one receiving gifts from your superior in your department? Or being given vouchers from the company? If so, it’s very likely that 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 realised that you’ve done this because of their persuasive comments? They may simply value your expertise - or perhaps are secretly interested in you and want to keep you close...
7. They Call or Text You for No Reason
Most leaders these days need to stay in touch, even on the weekend to talk about clients or a big project. If you start receiving calls and messages outside of working hours that are completely unrelated to work, though, you’re probably dealing with a boss that’s romantically interested in you. Although you want to be nice, make sure you’re not giving the wrong message 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 are an affectionate person and behave the same with all their employees (which is completely unprofessional, but that is beside the point), so keep an eye out to see what their gesture is like with your colleagues before putting two and two together.
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 favouritism, especially if you’re given opportunities that you know in your heart you don’t deserve. Taylor agrees: ‘Love-struck bosses may give you better projects; more mentoring time than your peers; take you to more lunches; 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 constantly whisper personal stories to you that they wouldn’t dare tell other members of staff? ‘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, it’s clear that their feelings have developed into romantic 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 agenda behind their actions.
12. They Invite You to Spend Time Together
One of the most obvious signs your boss is secretly attracted to you is if you’re invited to activities outside of work that just involve the two of you. If you’re not best buds, it’s pretty clear that the reason for the meetup is based on attraction.
13. They Flatter You with Compliments That Aren’t Work-Related
Being complimented about your work is only logical in the workplace but if flattery is being thrown at you left, right and centre that has nothing to do with your efforts, then your boss may have more than a friendly fondness of you. Throwaway lines such as 'Anyone would be lucky to have you' may be signs 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 men and women are behaving in exactly the same manner, just in a different setting. If your boss playfully teases or picks on you, it could be their way of flirting... or a way to hide their admiration.
15. They Force a Special Bond with You
Some people are lucky enough to naturally form a special bond with their boss. You can have harmless banter and inside jokes without any attraction being thrown into the mix. Yet, if you notice that your supervisor is trying to force a relationship 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 when they are talking to you, but if you feel them constantly staring at you, observing all your movements, then you may have an admirer on your hands.
17. Their Appearance Suddenly Changes
Many times people change their appearance for themselves because they are unhappy with the way they look and want to feel better by dressing more professionally in the workplace. Yet, other times individuals give themselves a revamp to try and impress others. There really is no clear indication that this is because of some underlying feelings for you, though. But if you compliment a specific outfit or perfume and they begin to wear that more often, it may be a sign that they like you. Having said that, though, they could simply value your opinion.
If a few of these signs hit close to home, it’s evident that your boss secretly has a crush on you. In this instance, you’ll need to tread carefully to not make things awkward and jeopardise your career. Take a look at your actions – are you behaving in a way that would lead to this kind of behaviour? If so, stop while you’re ahead. If not, find ways to avoid uncomfortable encounters and they’ll eventually get the hint.
Have you had or have a boss that fancies you? If so, how have you dealt with the situation? Let us know your story in the comment section below…