Social Question

bob87's avatar

Why does this woman at work avoid me?

Asked by bob87 (72points) October 23rd, 2017

To preface my situation, I am a very young looking 61. Often mistaken for late 40’s. Fit, average looks. She; late 40’s-early 50’s, attractive and Dominican.
We have been working together for about 2 years. Not closely but see each other throughout the day. In the last 6–8 months we’ve talked a lot, eat lunch together, have nice conversations. She was always very open and friendly. So, about six weeks ago I finally got up the nerve (very shy) to ask her out on a lunch date. Told her i would really like to get to know her better. She smiled, a slight chuckle and a yes. Two days later..absolute, complete avoidance. No response when I ask her what’s wrong. Will actually go out of her way not to be near me. I asked a friend what’s up with her and he told me she was married. She never, ever mentioned a husband. In fact, were’s no ring, uses her Spanish last name. The only “home life” she talked about was her teenage daughter. She goes back home (DR) with only her daughter for vacations.She works a lot of OT. 60–70 hrs. a week and appears to have little or no social life. I left a note of apology on her windshield stating I had no idea she was married and would have never put her on the spot. That I liked her, respected her and would never intentionally hurt or embarrass her. Also said I would respect her apparent wishes not to have further contact with me and have kept my word. Now, I’m avoiding her as well. Awkward to say the least. I have serious doubts she’s married. Maybe separated or going through divorce? I am at a total loss what I did to make her feel such disdain or dislike for me. Help! I still really like her. Am I crazy? What’s her problem? What did I do, or didn’t do? Did someone give her bad info or advice? However, I do know Dominican women can be very independent, hard-working AND stubborn.

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33 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, now she feels like you’re going to be harassing her for a date, or more. Whether it’s a valid concern or not is beside the point. After 40 years women have learned to be extremely reserved with men showing interest in them and do whatever they can to get the message across that they are not interested. Sometimes men simply refuse to get the message, like now.
She is not interested, so drop it. Be a co-worker, period.

Zaku's avatar

Given the sequence of events as you describe it, unless you left something out, it sounds like she may have had a conversation with someone else, or some other observation or event between the time she said yes and when she started avoiding you. For example, she might have mentioned it to your husband, and he might have become upset and forbid her to talk to you. Or something.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

If she’s “going through” a contested or messy divorce (which may also include a custody fight), then she may not want to give investigators for her spouse cause to believe that she has been unfaithful or an unfit mother.

If you don’t know her well enough to know her actual situation, then give her the space that she needs. And that may also include “emotional distance” if she’s thinking that her choice for a spouse in the first place was a bad one (she may not be trusting her judgment right now), or even if her daughter doesn’t like the idea of her dating or getting close to another man right now.

As you pointed out, if she’s making active moves to avoid you – for whatever reason – then you have to respect that, even accept the mystery. It sucks; I know. Been there and done that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, there is nothing to indicate she may be going through a divorce except the OPs imagination. If she was, late 40’s early 50’s rather indicates there aren’t any kids old enough to fight for custody for. She is simply not interested in anything other than a working friendship and your “offer” took her by surprise and made her uncomfortable. Also, there are no longer any laws regarding adultery being a reason to end a marriage. A judge wouldn’t even hear it.

Just because she was pleasant to you doesn’t mean she’s sexually interested in you. And It would creep me smooth the fuck out for some guy, who I’d rejected, to leave me a note on my windshield for any reason.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This question bugs me more and more, the more I read it. So what if she’s ”...independent, hard-working AND stubborn.” WHAT does that have to do with anything? If she wasn’t so damn stubborn and independent she coulsn’t resist going out with you? Is that what you mean?

flutherother's avatar

I don’t get it. You say you have been eating lunch together over the last 6 – 8 months and yet when you asked her for a lunch date she turned you down. It beats me, but she maybe thought it was a work relationship and that you over stepped the line.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guarantee you that’s what it was. And by “eating lunch together” do you mean you went out to eat or you just happened to be in the break room at the same time at lunch time?
Why is it that if a woman shows a male the slightest ounce of friendliness they want to take it to all of these different levels? Just leave it be. And for God’s sake, don’t leave any more notes or she’s liable to take it to HR.
Or MAYBE she doesn’t want to jeopardize her job.

josie's avatar

It’s for the best. Fraternization with co-workers is never a good idea.

Muad_Dib's avatar

She’s just not that into you.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Let it go man. If you can’t let it be you are liable to freak her out and cause more needless grief for the both of you. Also I tend to agree that leaving a note on her windshield was a bad move. But what’s done is done.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I wonder about this women…perhaps she had a history of men hitting on her?
Perhaps she really knew your age and thought that YOU Wouldn’t hit on her like the rest?
Perhaps she felt that she could trust you, as a father figure or friend, instead you have proved otherwise and she most likely is wary of men..all men now.
I agree that the note that you left her at least showed your honourable reasons..which was showing your real concern for her.
Since she would not approach you that left you with the alternative note that you left.And it shows the gentleness that you cared about her feelings.
Leave her be until she trusts you again.
At times in my life I felt like sharks were circling me ( unwanted attention ) and went about my own business. Sometimes JUST because a person is interested doesn’t mean that its going to lead to a date..maybe friendship, or acquaintance instead.
Sometimes the Women likes to choose , rather than what the man wants.
Wait until SHE approaches you,but keep it light friendly work communication.
It may help if you are seen with another group of women just chatting and NOT hitting on them. She will feel less threatened then.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She’s a woman @Inspired_2write. Of course she has a history of men hitting on her. She’s trying, in no uncertain terms, to shut this down. He doesn’t want to take the hint, apparently.

Inspired_2write's avatar

If she wants that then she can be mature about it and tell him directly in a nice manner.
Perhaps that would solve his and her problem?

chyna's avatar

Not everyone acts or reacts in the perfect manner.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Most of the time we’d prefer to avoid direct confrontation @Inspired_2write. I know I sure as hell did. And he needs be be mature and stop acting like a love sick 8th grader who leaves notes.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I was rolling along with your narrative until that note on the windshield business. That move all by itself should destroy any hope you have of this woman ever trusting you with any information.

kritiper's avatar

Work related romances are bad news and maybe she has had a bad experience. She sees you coming a mile away with your come-ons. Leave her be. She needs the job, not you.

Aethelwine's avatar

I haven’t worn a wedding ring in over 15 years and I’ve been married for 25 years. Jewelry means nothing. Your description of this woman and her habits borders on stalkish behavior. If she liked you, you wouldn’t be here asking for help. You would know. It’s time for you to move on.

NomoreY_A's avatar

What Aethelwine said is true, not wearing a ring does not indicate that you want to fool around. I haven’t worn a wedding ring in years, not because I want to cheat on my wife, but simply because I lost it years ago. My wife isn’t worried about it, she knows I have always been loyal to her. She also knows how forgetful I am. She tells me I would forget my head if it wasn’t attached to me.

marinelife's avatar

Whatever her story is and I can’t guess and would not speculate and neither should you, she has made her feelings clear. She is avoiding you. I am not sure that it had anything to do with you or your actions.

Here’s what you do know: she no longer wants to have anything to do with you. Leave her alone.

bob87's avatar

I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I still believe any woman working 60–70 hours a week is either a struggling single mom or her husband is a lazy prick. Also, not every woman has a history of men hitting them. And finally, yes, I agree to let it go. I’m no creep.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If a man works 60 to 70 hours do you assume he is a struggling single father or his wife is a dick?

A “struggling single mother” implies children at home to support. That does not apply to this woman.

Yes, every woman has a history of men hitting on them.

Thanks for backing off and please, drop the sexist stereotypes and assumptions.

Yeahright's avatar

I think she doesn’t like you in the same way that you like her.
She was fine with you and her being friends and it probably never crossed her mind that you liked her in a different manner. Now that she knows that you are attracted to her, she probably feels that the friendship won’t be the same as before because she cannot return your affection. I have been through similar situations with the exception that I am a very direct person and have no problem in verbalizing my feelings or lack thereof.
You are not crazy. She is the one at fault here because she should have taken the time to talk to you and give you some sort of explanation even if only for the sake of the friendship.
In my opinion you are better off without someone like that. You can’t read minds. Just imagine living with a woman like that. I think you are going to be just fine if you just stop assuming so much and trying to find answers that only she knows, but doesn’t care enough to give you.

bob87's avatar

She has a 14 yr. old daughter.In my original question I mention that her and her daughter travel to the Dominican Republic for vacation each year. She never once mentioned anyone else going. Always “me and my daughter” are doing this or going to do that.Seems she always intentionally omits any reference to a man in her life. But no matter anyway. Case closed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The 14 year old is old enough to take care of herself. The woman just likes to work.

@Yeahright It is not her fault. Is not. She didn’t ask for his advances and when he made one the “friendship” is over. She has made that abundantly clear. She doesn’t owe the guy a single thing. He owes her an apology.
You also have to factor in that she has a feel for him and she obviously feels that approaching him directly is the exact wrong thing to do. She may feel he’ll become angry. She may feel that he’ll think she’s just using an “explanation” as an excuse to talk to him, and continue with his ridiculous behavior.
Any mature guy who behaved in the way he does, leaving notes, stalking, would raise huge flags for me and I’d feel safest avoiding him.

Muad_Dib's avatar

It’s not entirely relevant whether she is married, has a partner, or what-have-you. If she were single she would still be entirely within her rights to not fawn all over you at work because you asked her out to lunch, and frankly I think that letter on the windshield – if it said everything you say it did – is passive-aggressive and a massive turnoff.

“I would respect her apparent wishes not to have further contact with me” indeed. After two days you leave a note like that? You take no consideration that a work romance could have a serious impact on her career advancement – something she obviously is concerned about with the amount of time you say she spends working overtime. I know that older men can generally flounce around with whomever they like and still be a good old chap, but the world is far different for a woman.

You’ve put her on the defensive, and now you’re blaming her for it.

bob87's avatar

Apology? What do you think the note on the windshield was? Sincere apology and my word NEVER to have contact with her in any way.I would have hoped that might in some way put her at ease a little.. She won’t talk to me so I thought that was the proper thing to do.That’s how I was raised. No matter who’s at fault, take the high road. I am now doing my best to make her life at work as comfortable as I know how. I’ve had my parking space reassigned so I’m on the other side of the building. That means different time clock, different entrance. I don’t want her to have to run into me. I make sure our lunch breaks never cross. HOLY SHIT! If I knew being attracted to someone and asking her out to a lunch date would turn into such disaster, I never would have even looked at her. You think I enjoy being treated like a leper. It would have been nice if she could have nipped this shit in the bud and just told me she wasn’t interested.Whatever she’s going through I take full responsibility. I’m not a creep. I’m not a stalker. Geez, I made a mistake.And now two people are miserable. WTF?!

Yeahright's avatar

You did not make a mistake. You asked her out, that is not a sin. You apologized with a note. That was a very nice thing to do. She should have told you what her feelings were and why she did not want to go out with you. Like I said before, you can’t read minds.
In my case, if a friend asks me out, I feel flattered and if I don’t feel the same way for him, I don’t act like a 13-year old and stop talking to him without any explanation at all. I would talk to him and explain why I can’t go out with him and why I can’t continue with the friendship. She sounds really immature.
As I said before. You are better off without a woman like that.

bob87's avatar

Thanks.But I should have known better just the same. The rest of my life spent with my Cocker Spaniel would be a lot less dramatic. And she’s more affectionate too. Lol Anyway, won’t ever make that mistake again, Too old for this shit. Oof Da as they say.

Muad_Dib's avatar

I’m just saying you jumped the gun with the “apology” note promising no contact. She was quiet for a couple of days. It’s not like she threatened you with a restraining order.

Two. Days.

It’s not even like you had a fight and she went quiet for two days—giving you cause to believe it was something you did. She just… didn’t talk to you for a couple of days.

Two days can be explained a lot of ways, very few of which justify flying off the handle and swearing never to talk to her again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Asking her out was not wrong. Practically tracking her every move, sharing it with us, leaving notes, was wrong. You turned it into all this drama.
She has nipped it in the bud. Did you think that having lunch with her was some sort of come on on her part? Is that when she should have “nipped it in the bud”? Are you blaming her again? Did it occur to you that she viewed it as nothing more than having lunch with a co-worker, that there was no come on?

Something about you got her worried. We can’t know what, because we don’t know you.

Yeahright's avatar

N o t your fault. She is immature.

You saved yourself a lot of stupid drama. Be thankful.

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