Office romances make for entertaining speculation around the proverbial watercooler, but it’s not always easy to see the signs a male coworker likes you, especially if he’s hiding it.
Sometimes, a tension simmers beneath the surface. Is it a sign of hidden affections, the closeness of friendship, the regrettable lunchtime burrito, or just an unrequited crush?
34 Signs a Male Coworker Likes You But Is Hiding It, According to a Former Therapist
There are a lot of reasons a colleague might like you but try to hide it. If one or both of you are in other relationships, that’s a very good reason to bury those affections.
It’s also possible that he’s not sure of your feelings and is suppressing his own out of a fear of rejection. You may not know why he’s trying to hide it, but here are some signs to watch for.
Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and individuals and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships, self-improvement, and psychology. My work has been featured in large publications such as Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, and Mamamia.
1. He Spends Free Time Around You
One of the signs a male coworker likes you is that, whenever he has some free time, he gravitates to you like a heat-seeking missile. Like Jim did with Pam in The Office. He was always at the reception talking to her.
You might notice that any time he’s not deep into a task, he’s at your side chatting you up.
You might, at first, dismiss this as your typical work avoidance and standard procrastination measures, but then you realize that he doesn’t do this with anyone else.
2. He Notices When Your Appearance Changes
Is he the first to notice when you wear something new, change up your hair, or do something else to alter your appearance?
Most of your colleagues might vaguely wonder what’s different about you, but he knows. His close observation picks up on the smallest of differences, and he’ll likely be the first one to point it out.
3. He Smiles When He Sees You
You walk into a room, and he lights up like the night sky on the Fourth of July. It’s noticeable. It’s not the fake smile of politeness.
This one goes all the way up to his eyes. He’s always happy to see you — even when he’s having a tough day. You make it all better just by being in his sphere.
4. He Has Your Back at Work
Other people might gossip and play politics, but this guy you suspect likes you always has your back. He defends you and makes sure other people know that you aren’t to be bothered.
If someone talks over you at meetings, he’s likely to check them.
If you suggest an idea that is initially dismissed, he’s the one who will champion your cause and point out the benefits. No matter what’s going on, you know he’s in your corner.
5. His Body Language Gives Him Away
If you really can’t tell, watch his body language. It will give him away. His feet will point toward yours. His body will lean toward you.
Even when he’s trying to keep his crush super secret, you can usually tell if you’re paying attention to the nonverbal clues all around you.
His eyes follow you around the office, seek you out in meetings, and light up when you walk in the door. He’s always turning toward you, never away.
6. He Shares Personal Information with You
He lets you get to know him at a deeper level than your standard coworker relationship. He opens up and shares details about his personal life.
He wants you to know him, and he feels comfortable talking to you about what’s going on in his life.
7. He Asks Coworkers About You
You happen to know that he’s asked colleagues about you. They might have mentioned it a time or two.
Perhaps it’s even come up in conversation that he talks about you a lot — likely more than he even realizes.
He might ask them about your relationship status, or he might be checking to see if you’ve asked anything about him. The fact that he’s asking at all is a good indicator he likes you.
8. He Casually Checks Your Relationship Status
The coworker with a crush is going to uncover your relationship status.
Social media is a standard way to check, but if you’re one of those people trying your best to live off the grid in a digital world, he might have to find out by asking, casually of course, if you’re dating anyone.
Maybe he’s just nosy. Maybe he’s being a good friend and cares about your life. But it’s also possible he’s into you and is trying to get the lay of the land.
9. He Mentions That He’s Single
Does he mention any time that he’s single? It’s probably a clue he’s into you. His emphasis on his single status could be a hint that he likes you and is trying to get a reaction.
Mentioning his relationship status could be a subtle way to figure out if you seem interested or open to dating him.
10. He Tries to Make You Jealous When He Dates
When he’s dating, he definitely mentions this information, too. Does he talk about someone new and then seem to watch you carefully?
It’s possible he’s trying to make you jealous when he tells you how good he treats his dates. He might be trying to determine if you’ll get jealous and if you might like him in a more-than-friends way.
11. He Looks at You When He Thinks You’re Not Looking
It’s like every romcom ever made. He’s watching you when he thinks you’re not looking — hopefully, in a lovelorn way and not in a creepy stalker way.
His eyes are drawn to you, and sometimes, he can’t help but gaze in your direction before he remembers he has work to do.
The fact that he keeps looking could mean that you have spinach in your teeth, and he’s trying to figure out how to tell you, but it’s also possible that he just likes you and can’t help but look your way.
12. He Remembers Details You Share
He remembers even the tiniest details you share with him. He doesn’t just have a good memory. He’s interested in you and tucking all the little facts about you away.
This is why he doesn’t forget what you say even when it seems insignificant.
He might ask you about something you mentioned once before or recall a preference and remember it later. This is the kind of person who has committed your coffee shop order to memory.
13. He Tries to Impress You
He might brag or attempt to humble-brag. You notice that he’s always trying to impress you.
He wants you to like him the way he likes you, so he looks for ways to show you that he’s got what it takes to be a strong partner.
Whether he’s trying to impress you with his business acumen, his networking skills, or even his sense of humor, you could find yourself noticing all the times he goes out of his way to let you know he’s a great catch.
Recommended read: 5 Signs Your Guy Friend Likes You but Is Hiding It
14. He Asks for Your Advice
Your colleague asking for your advice might not seem like a clue that he likes you. Sometimes, it’s not. But if you notice this paired with other signs, it could be a hint he’s into you.
Asking for your advice shows that he respects you, trusts your judgment, and wants to hear what you have to say. It’s no small thing, and it could be an indicator of a hidden crush.
15. He Flirts with You More Than Anyone Else
The flirty coworkers can be the most difficult to read. They flirt with everyone.
But do they flirt with you the most? If they aren’t flirty with others in the office, are they often that way with you? He might think he’s being subtle, but it comes through loud and clear.
16. He Compliments You Often
Is he the first person to tell you that you look great any given day? A man with a crush is going to look for ways to compliment you.
He’s going to want you to feel good, but he’s also observing all the things he likes about you. It’s natural that it would come out at some point in the form of compliments.
17. He Has Inside Jokes with You
Do the two of you have inside jokes? It could just be that you have a great office relationship.
It’s also possible that these inside jokes are a sign that he’s nursing a crush on you. Those little moments you share become the foundation of this relationship.
18. He Wants to Hang Out Outside of Work
While most colleagues scurry in the opposite direction once they leave work for the day, he’s happy to hang out.
In fact, a man who likes you is likely going to suggest getting together outside of work. He might even search out common interests you can enjoy together off the clock.
19. He Makes an Effort with His Appearance
Have you noticed that he’s started improving his appearance? He might be making an extra effort when you’re around.
He might appear well-groomed, wear cologne, or make some other change that’s meant to make him look good and make you notice. This could be a sign that he wants you to see him as a prospective partner.
20. He’s in Tune with Your Moods
Does he pick up on your moods before anyone else? Is he the first to ask if you’re okay?
If he’s got a crush on you, he might be more sensitive to your mood fluctuations than anyone else. He’s noticing, and he’s picking up on the non-verbal cues you offer, too.
21. He Makes You Laugh
One of the signs a male coworker likes you is he’ll often try to make you laugh. And he’ll just do that with you.
The guy who keeps trying to make you laugh could be the office funny man — or he could just have a crush.
Teasing you playfully, calling you silly names, or simply engaging in banter throughout the day could all be indicators that his interest is more than platonic.
If he keeps trying to see you smile and make you laugh, he might be hiding a crush.
22. He Follows You and Interacts on Social Media
It’s not unusual for coworkers to find and follow you on social media, but it might become exceptional if he often interacts with your posts.
He may even mention them to you in passing even if he didn’t engage with it online. He’s noticing what you’re doing and finding out more about you.
If he likes and hearts your posts, comments on them, and even slips into your DMs it’s a safe bet he likes you as more than a friend.
23. He Seems Jealous of People You Date
You’re not together. You might not have even admitted your attraction — assuming you’re attracted to him at all. But you have noticed that he’s jealous of the people you date.
He might be outwardly skeptical or could even joke about his very real jealousy.
A person who is only your friend is unlikely to be jealous of your romantic interests. The fact that his default setting is Jealous around you could be an indicator he likes you.
24. He Offers to Help You Out
Is he always on hand to offer to help you out? It might be something simple like opening the door when you’re coming into work or seeing if you need help carrying something.
He’s just as likely to offer you his expertise, networking connections, or any other skillset to help you if needed.
Part of this tendency involves impressing you, but he’s also just paying attention and wants to be useful to you.
25. He Compares Himself to People You Date
Does he sometimes compare himself to the people you date in a way that makes him seem like the better choice?
Does he even tell you what he’d do or why your guy should do something different if he really cared? It’s possible he’s trying to let you see that he could be a better boyfriend in hopes it’ll garner your interest.
26. He Brings You Small Gifts
Does he sometimes bring you things to make you smile? Small gifts could look like your favorite coffee, a sweet treat from the vending machine, or just something he saw outside of work that made him think of you. Unless he’s getting everyone in the office cute little gifts, it could mean he likes you in a romantic way.
27. He Keeps Trying to Get to Know You Better
Does he ask you interested questions to know more about your life?
Someone who keeps trying to get to know you is at the very least trying to build a friendship or pass the time at work, but it’s also possible that he wants to know you better because he really likes you.
He could be assessing compatibility, but it’s equally possible that he’s just curious about all things related to you.
28. Colleagues Ask if You’re Together or Interested
Do your friends, colleagues, and even strangers assume you’re together? Do they ask if you’re interested in each other romantically? You might be giving off couple vibes and not even know it.
The fact that other people keep pairing you up is a good indicator that there’s something going on — even if you can’t quite figure out what it is yet.
If you have to keep telling everyone you’re just friends, does that ring true for you, or is there something else building beneath the surface?
29. He Checks to Make Sure You’re Okay When You’re Not at Work
If you don’t show up or log in for work, is he the first to reach out and make sure you’re okay? He notices when you aren’t around — even if your work takes place at home and not in the office.
He could be attuned to your online presence as easily as your in-office presence. He might ask around about you if you’re absent or check on you to make sure everything is okay.
30. He’s Your Biggest Fan
If you had a fan club, he’d be the President of it for sure. He’s your biggest cheerleader. He builds up your confidence, talks you up to colleagues, and makes sure no one messes with you.
He supports you in your career goals and is the first to celebrate with you when you nail them.
31. He Takes Breaks When You Do
Do all your breaks magically align?
He needs coffee exactly when you do. His walk outside coincides with yours. You bump into each other often in the breakroom. This could be intentional.
He might be trying to align his schedule with yours to give you more time together. A purely platonic friend might do this sometimes, but a friend with a crush could do this often.
32. He Messages You After Work Hours
When the work day is over, you hear from him at home. He messages you even outside of the business day. He doesn’t see you as only being a part of his work life.
You’re someone he thinks about outside of work, too.
33. He Tries to Keep a Little Distance When You’re in a Relationship
Does he sometimes pull away when you mention you’re in a relationship? If he’s got feelings, he might try to create some space and distance from you if you’ve got a partner.
It could be a matter of personal ethics to him, or he might find it distressing to know that you’re taken. While it might hurt your feelings, it’s really not personal. He’s just managing how he feels the best way he can.
34. He Hugs You or Touches You in Friendly Ways
While office PDAs are often frowned upon and consent is important, you might notice that your male coworker often hugs you or touches you in friendly ways.
He might sit right beside you at meetings, bump his shoulder with yours, or find other playful ways to touch you.
If he’s not like this with everyone, it could be because your male colleague likes you but is trying to hide it.
This is hard to tell. The best way to understand if he likes you is to pay attention to how he behaves with other people. Does he behave nicely only with you or with anyone? Does his behavior change around you? Asking yourself these questions will give you a good idea of his type of interest.
However, the only way to know for sure is to ask — or just ask him out. If you’re interested in him, seeing all these signs could be a green light to let him know how you feel. If you’re not interested, it could be an indication that you need to set some strong boundaries and to communicate clearly that you’re not interested in a romantic relationship with him.
If you don’t talk it out, you might wonder if he has a crush on you and read your interactions wrong. It could be that he’s just a friendly, flirty guy who likes being around you. It’s equally possible he has a crush on you. The only way to know — ask.
This depends on the coworkers, but generally, yes, men do fantasize about coworkers. This doesn’t mean, however, that every man would date a colleague or even is interested in romantic relationships in the workplace. That doesn’t mean there aren’t fantasies when it comes to attractive coworkers.
If you’re looking for signs a male coworker likes you but is hiding it – and you actually suspect he likes you in a romantic way – you’re likely correct.
Sometimes, you just know – even if he’s never said anything or never would.
His attraction slips out, and it’s not nearly as subtle as he thinks it is. Still, if you need more confirmation, this list gives a lot of the signs you could see from someone who has a crush.
If you don’t like him like that, you can let him down gently, but if you do see him in a romantic light, it might be time to let him in on the secret.
- 20 Clear Signs He Likes You More Than a Friend & What to Do
- 16 Powerful Signs of Male Attraction
- 19 Signs He Genuinely Loves You, According to a Former Therapist
- 17 Signs He Wants You Badly Sexually
- How to Tell if a Guy Likes You: 22 Clear Signs
- How to Tell if a Shy Guy Likes You: 7 Signs He’s Actually Interested