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Ask HN: Dealing with a crush at work
5 points by navs 1959 days ago | hide | past | web | 4 comments | favorite
I work at and partially own a company that builds websites. My office environment is filled with photographers and designers with me being the only developer. It's easy to feel out of place in such a work environment, especially when you're the kind of person that finds it difficult to interact with others. Lately, I've found myself falling for a lady at work. She shares similar interests and we've had some long chats. Unfortunately, she works for me. It's made things difficult for me at the office and has been negatively affecting my productivity. I both loath and love going into work but not for the right reasons.

While we're not necessarily a tech startup, we are focused on making cool things in the digital magazine arena here in New Zealand. I feel this entitles me to post on HN and ask for some advice. Surely, we developers and entrepreneurs have faced a similar problem at work? What can I possibly do?

Direct your attentions elsewhere.

Mixing business and romance is in itself very difficult to pull off without a massive explosion of drama that hurts everyone involved and spares shrapnel for those who just happen to be nearby. Add in the employer/employee dynamic, and we're talking at best a ton of work to try (and usually fail) to mitigate the power imbalance, and at worst a sexual harassment lawsuit.

You've described yourself as someone who finds it difficult to interact with others. You find yourself falling for someone in a situation where you couldn't help but interact with her. In other words, your hindbrain is screaming "take the easy way out!".

I get it... our society makes the location, selection, and courting of mates difficult and extremely high-risk for heterosexual males. It's dysfunctional, and it needs to stop. Women are trained almost from birth in a set of behaviors and expectations that hamstring you at every turn, and yet most feel powerless in a situation that can be just as frustrating for them.

Learn to be more effective in finding and wooing mates in a situation where you aren't mixing different relationship types, and do your best to step out of the expected patterns. When you aren't reacting to a self-imposed scarcity, passing attractions won't be such a big deal, they'll just pass.


P.S. -- Yes, I know I just made all of that sound far easier that it is. It's not easy, but it does work if you go about it right. I know this because I tend to send my male friends and partners into the world far more capable at selecting and wooing interesting women than they were when I found them. It's just another skill to learn.

Hey - play it safe. Company relationships can be tough, and if you think your not the type that could maybe handle all outcomes (you know, flit if off confidently and play the game as it were) just be mindful of the consequences should things go wrong.

But look, your human, if theres a pretty girl and you guys have the same interests certainly continue to do what your doing. You'd be doing you and humanity a dis justice if you just "stopped" talking to her, or stopped any consideration of what "could happen".

I think if I was you I would wind it up to the point where you are both certain what you would like to do next, and just go with the flow.

(...or just fire her! ...joking of course!)


You should let her know what you feel, talk about it and together decide what to do next. You only have a problem if the feeling is not mutual.

My wife is also my employee and we had no problems whatsoever.

If you go further with this then one of you has to leave. Most likely her, but only because you own the company, of course.

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