I matched with a coworker on a dating site

A reader writes:

I was sitting at home last night and perusing one of those dating apps where you swipe right if you are interested in someone, and if they’ve swiped right on you as well you get a match. This particular app has a twist on it where if the match is a male/female pair, the woman has to speak first, and if they don’t speak within 24 hours, the match disappears forever.

As I was swiping last night, I was watching TV and my mind was only half on what I was doing. As a result, I swiped right someone who is a director at my workplace. He is a director over a team that analyzes sales and I work in a department that is in charge of making sure quality products get produced, so we do not work together but we do work out of the same office. There’s not a very good chance that he would have recognized me when he was swiping, but his department is one that I’m interested in applying to (and to make this more interesting, a position for a sales analyst has opened up recently).

So now I’m not sure what to do. Do I message him and acknowledge the situation and that it’s a bit awkward, or do I let the match expire without contacting him and hope that he doesn’t recognize me when I apply for his team?

Nah, let it expire and pretend it didn’t happen.

Online dating has become so ubiquitous that you might indeed see a coworker or client on a dating site or app from time to time. The best way to navigate that is with the polite fiction that you’re blind to their presence there. That allows everyone to preserve their privacy in a realm where they probably want it and keeps real-world awkwardness to a minimum.

I’ve occasionally seen people argue for sending the other person a message within the app, saying something bland like, “Hey, fun to see you on here too” … but I wouldn’t do that. It puts the other person in a situation where they have to wonder if you’re hitting on them (it’s a dating app, after all) and, even if that doesn’t happen, it’s likely to increase the amount of awkwardness.

A polite blindness to their presence there is the way to go.

{ 114 comments… read them below }

  1. kobayashi*

    I occasionally peruse the dating apps, too, and that has always been my worst nightmare. Fortunately, most of the folks I work with are women, however, so I think that reduces my odds. The few that aren’t, almost all of them are outside my selected age range, so fingers crossed.

    1. Specialk9*

      I bumped into a clergy person online (in my denom, they can marry, be LGBTQ, and it’s not scandalous to live together premarriage). His sex questions were public though, and waaaay too honest, given they were public!

  2. Kyrielle*

    Alison, the one thing I note here is that the LW swiped right on (acknowledged) the match. So, instead of hte match disappearing forever, if the director swipes right they’ll get a match. And if the director sees it, sees it’s still there after 24 hours, and doesn’t swipe right…they’ll still know she did. Does that change the advice at all, or does it just boil down to “unless he swipes right or brings it up, pretend it never happened”?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, I actually emailed the letter-writer back and asked if the director would see the match (she thinks yes), but I ultimately decided it didn’t matter — that the advice is still “pretend it never happened” because all other options are more awkward.

      1. zora.dee*

        With the swipe apps I’ve used, you can “unswipe” pretty easily. Just click back on them and swipe left and the match “unmatches”.

        At least, that’s what I used to do when after matching someone, I could tell from messages it was not a good fit, I could immediately left swipe, and the match disappears.

        Didn’t see if anyone else suggested trying that, or if I’m posting too late for anyone to see it. ;o)

      1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)*

        Right. Because (apparently), he’ll only know that she swiped right if he does, right? (I’m an Old, and have been monogamously married since before Tinder and its ilk were invented, so I’m out of my depth here.)

      1. Alton*

        I don’t know about that. A lot of those dating apps don’t always give you a lot of info, and it sounds like the OP was swiping without paying much attention (which a lot of people do).

        One of the reasons I lost interest in Tindr was that while some people have detailed profiles, a lot of people just had a few pictures and a short line–not much to go on if I’m interested in them or not.

        1. Koko*

          OP specified this in the letter: “you swipe right if you are interested in someone, and if they’ve swiped right on you as well you get a match.” A match = you have swiped them and they have also swiped you.

      2. WellRed*

        Nope! Nowhere in my dating profile did I suggest I’d be interested in my best friend’s ex-husband’s alcoholic house painter who wasn’t very tall. I thought eHarmony got desperate to find me a match—any match—in my somewhat rural state and ancient age range of 35 to 45.

        1. chocolate lover*

          From what I’ve seen, eHarmony is usually pretty picky. They wouldn’t even let me join years ago, because they didn’t have anyone at all within a certain percentage range of me or something!

          After 45 minutes of filling out that stupid questionaire that included things like which ringer finger is longer, right or left. (or something like that) I was so annoyed. Granted, that was 10 years ago.

          1. Venus Supreme*

            *starts nervously comparing finger lengths on each hand* …good thing I’m celebrating my 4-year anniversary tomorrow. I don’t think my sensitive exterior would handle online dating very well! My friends have let me taken a peek at Tindr and from what I’ve seen it seems very intimidating.

        2. HRChick*

          eHarmony was the worst. I answered all of their questions and it put me into this niche of overgrown man-boys. Most immature men I’ve ever met. They needed a mommy not a girlfriend. *nightmares* I deleted the account because I just couldn’t stand it any more.

          Never seen anyone I know on a dating cite, but I agree with Allison – ignore ignore ignore

        3. all aboard the anon train*

          I think Koko was talking about OP’s particular app. On a lot of the phone apps – and the one I think the OP is describing – if you “match” it’s because you both liked each other’s profile or Person A liked you, so you get sent their profile.

        4. Daisy*

          ‘Matching’ means something different on swipe sites than on old-fashioned ones like eharmony. It doesn’t just mean ‘the site is offering this person for your consideration’, it means ‘you have both indicated positive interest and would
          like the other person to be able to contact you.’ So in this case, they won’t match unless the colleague also says yes to the OP.

        5. Bookworm*

          With the app that OP is using, you’ll only be matched if both people swipe. It’s a different set-up than e-harmony

        6. Koko*

          That’s a different sort of match, where the app presents you with people they think you’d like. OP is talking about a match that results from mutual swiping: “…You swipe right if you are interested in someone, and if they’ve swiped right on you as well you get a match.”

    2. Vicki*

      “This particular app has a twist on it where if the match is a male/female pair, the woman has to speak first, and if they don’t speak within 24 hours, the match disappears forever.”

  3. Nervous Accountant*

    If you have absolutely ZERO interest, ignore it completely.

    Although now I”m picturing a (very bad) sitcom scenario in which this happens. With the laugh track and all.

    1. Chriama*

      I would say even if there’s any interest at all, she needs to pretend there isn’t any. She wants to work in his department.

    2. Callietwo*

      They did something like this on Big Bang Theory, when they were all around a TV swiping on behalf of Amy Farrah Fowler when she and Sheldon were broken up- and Stewart’s picture showed up.

  4. phedre*

    I would ignore it completely, especially if he won’t recognize you. I think it’ll be much more awkward if you do say something, plus anyone who’s done some online dating will understand that accidental swiping happens. There definitely were times where I meant to swipe left and swiped right instead.

    1. Anlyn*

      Heh, that happened with a friend when she was drunk. “NO, I didn’t mean to swipe right! AAH, NO, NOT THAT ONE EITHER!”

      We finally had to take her phone away. :D

      1. phedre*

        I’m married, but a friend let me try out her Tinder because I was curious. I swiped the wrong way on like 20 people before she finally took it away from me. I would’ve failed so hard at Tinder.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          If I ever wind up single again and end up using a swipe site, I’m going to put a little sticker of a heart on the right side of my phone and a thumbs down on the left side as my dating ” training wheels”.

        2. Acx016*

          Ha! I’m married, too, but my hair dresser let me play with her Tinder app. I accidentally swiped right on a very unconvincing cross dresser, so I lost my privileges.

    2. shep*

      Yes! I’ve made more than my fair share of accidental swipes when I was on dating apps. It sounds like the coworker won’t bring it up even if he does notice, but if he does, this would be my explanation.

      And as Alison and others have said, online dating is such the norm now that I expect nearly every person actively looking to date is doing it via an app (an often multiple apps). The chance of seeing a friend or acquaintance is high, and most of the people I’ve spoken to are in agreement that feigning ignorance about the existence of acquaintance’s profiles is perfectly fine.

      Ditto the awkwardness of acknowledging an acquaintance’s profile. A friend of mine was sent a message by a guy we’d gone to high school with (and haven’t seen in about ten years) along the same scripts as the examples given here. It wasn’t an obvious romantic overture, but why reach out unless you’re even mildly interested in seeing that person? She was CERTAINLY not interested in seeing him.

      Which is not to say the OP would reach out in the same way as this person! It’s just, O! the stories I could tell about my foray into online dating.

      1. Stranger than fiction*

        Oh you just touched on something there. Any acknowledgement whatsoever some people would interpret as “yeah he/she wants me” even if it’s just an “oops, didnt mean to swipe you”. We all know the type.

        1. shep*

          Exactly. I do *try* not to be that way, but I would definitely be suspicious of certain people’s intentions (incidentally, this guy in particular because he DEFINITELY had a thing for me in high school and I definitely did NOT have a thing for him).

          Not that OP’s coworker has any reason to be suspicious of her, but there are absolutely people who would blanket-assume everyone has a romantic agenda. You hit the nail on the head: we all know the type.

        2. phedre*

          Yeah, and if the OP brought it up, some people would take it as “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

  5. Koko*

    I just want to reiterate the advice not to send coworkers/friends the “I see you’re on here too!” message. I have never not found it creepy and uncomfortable for exactly the reason Alison states. It makes me wonder if they are trying to covertly hit on me, and also calls attention to the fact that they’re viewing my “date me!” persona instead of “professional” persona or my “polite acquaintances” persona.

    1. MashaKasha*

      Agree, great point about the “date me!” persona! It is awkward. That’s the side of me I don’t want my friends/coworkers to see! Dating is hard enough as it is. I get it that everyone is on those sites and apps nowadays, but best to pretend we never see each other on there.

    2. Mazzy*

      Even if it wasn’t, not everyone pays to be a member. Some at $40/mo. So if you’re coworker messages you, you may feel pressure to pay $40 to respond, or have to acknowledge it in person!

    3. pony tailed wonder*

      I saw a co-worker in my department on a site. He is in his late 50’s and wishes to meet women in their mid-twenties. I asked if he had made a typo in the age range he specified. He didn’t. So a tip for everyone else, never question their profile. I just ended up wishing him luck. It was awkward.

      1. Brogrammer*

        Definitely an awkward position to be in!

        But if you didn’t have to work with the guy, I would have said that’s a totally okay question to ask.

  6. Bekx*

    Ugh, ugh ugh. I had an acquaintance once message me on Facebook saying “I really like how on OKCupid you blurred out your friends faces. I’m sure they appreciate it!”

    I was SO creeped out. Don’t acknowledge that you saw my dating profile if we know each other in real life. Especially if you message me JUST to say something like that.

    It would go doubly for co-workers. It’s just an ick factor that I don’t want to deal with…especially on sites like OKC where they could potentially see sexual questions you’ve answered (if you do that) or you could see their sexual questions.

    1. Koko*

      I don’t use OKC anymore, but I preferred at the time to answer the sexual questions but never make them public. I figured it’d be good for them to be factored into my match score to screen for compatibility in a general sense, but before I instituted that policy I would get first messages from guys asking me about some sex question I had answered.

      I like Alison’s use of “polite fiction” to describe these scenarios. Yes, it’s helpful to know these things about people going in, but just because the site has given us a way to share the information doesn’t mean it’s not still rude to begin a conversation with a perfect stranger by asking them about their sex life. Oh, internet. The many varied and new social problems you create.

      1. Bob*

        I’m not embarrassed to be online dating but I always keep in mind that profiles are basically public. I’m always a little shocked how open most people are with their profiles. I think twice before I list my salary, answer sex-related questions, etc. My philosophy is would I turn to the person in the cube next to me and disclose that information. If not, it shouldn’t be in your online dating profile.

      2. triple anon for this*

        I haven’t gone back on OKC yet, but I plan to, and I really really really like the idea of answering the “awkward, but important” questions, but not making them public. Never got into any trouble with the sexual ones, but you guys know the one that asks about your relationship with marijuana? Well turns out, if you check “I smoke occasionally” (and by occasionally I mean once in every blue moon, but it really is important to me that my partner isn’t adamantly opposed to the idea), and make your answer public, you’d end up going out with every stoner in your area. The “wake up, get high, go to work, come home, get high, fall asleep watching TV, repeat every day” type. Which is kind of a common occurrence in, say, a college kid, but can be a turn-off in a fifty-year-old. They all saved the big reveal until the first date. Then they’d lean across the table mid-conversation and whisper, “Soooo, you like to get high? I do too!!” Yeah, next time? Gonna hide that one.

  7. Hungry*

    As someone who has accidentally swiped right on Bumble a few times, I learned that you can undo the match. Just click on their name/profile, then the “i” button in the top right, and hit unmatch. You could undo it before he ever sees. At this point I’m guessing the match has already expired, but for future reference…

    1. Meg Murry*

      Oh, good to hear someone knew how to undo it (assuming that’s the app OP was using, I’m not familiar with the online dating apps). I was just going to suggest that if this was still within that 24 hour window (or for future reference) that OP Google something like “accidentally swiped right on [name of app]” or “undo swipe on [name of app]” to see if there was some way to correct this if something similar happens again with her accidentally mis-swiping. Because it seems like it wouldn’t be hard to swipe someone that only looked vaguely familiar, only to then realize that you actually know the person in some way in real life and it’s a big fat NOPE.

  8. CMT*

    Oooh, I accidentally did this with a coworker right after I moved to my current city (and right after I started my job). I didn’t know the coworker well at the time and I totally pretended it never happened. I bet he doesn’t even remember it by now.

  9. animaniactoo*

    If I understand the way this app works, a “match” only appears after both have swiped right. At that point, the woman has to reach out and make first contact within 24 hours, but both can see the match has happened. If no contact has been initiated, it will expire after 24 hours, and disappear.

    It sounds like LW is at the point where the match has happened (meaning both took the action to indicate interest) and is visible to both of them, so I think that’s really really different than “happened across profile”.

    In that case, I would reach out to the director and simply say “Hey, sorry about this. I swiped before I recognized that we work for the same company. Please ignore!”

    1. Naomi*

      Don’t even do that much. Let it die quietly; if the other person uses the app with any regularity, they probably won’t even remember you later. It’s really, really common to find someone on a dating site who looks like a good match and then not have anything come of it.

      Whereas if you call attention to yourself by sending a message to say you work together–even one that says you’re not interested in dating them for that reason–they’re much more likely to remember it and feel awkward when they see you professionally.

    2. Audiophile*

      The way it works, is both people have to swipe right. Once that happens, then there’s a match. Then the woman has 24hrs to contact the male or the match expires. If the woman initiates contact at any point in the 24hr period, the clock resets and reverts back to 24hrs again before expiration.

  10. Joseph*

    I agree 100% with the “don’t say anything” advice from being on the other side: I was on a popular dating website (not an app, think eHarmony or equivalent): One time I went out for drinks with a bunch of my co-workers and one of them told me she had found me as a “good match” but had decided not to contact me. Even though we were similar age and status and it was the most casual setting possible, it was still kinda awkward that she mentioned it.
    I’d have been perfectly fine if you’d never mentioned you saw my profile, thanks.

  11. SL #2*

    I’ve matched with someone who turned out to be a coworker when I started my new job the next day. I don’t date coworkers, so that became an immediate no-go. We became close work friends, but we never talked about it and we never acknowledged the fact that we matched until we both left the organization, haha.

  12. OP*

    I’m the original poster and it was indeed at the point where a match had happened. I don’t think he would have known that we worked in the same company or else I would have had a completely different question since he swiped right on me in order for the match to happen. At this point the match has expired and I’m going to follow the advice to just let it be. I know that if someone else saw me on there thats what i would want them to do!

    1. HRish Dude*

      If the match expires, you can’t even see that the match has ever been made unless they updated the app.

    2. sstabeler*

      even if he would have recognised you, it could easily have been a similar situation- not paying attention while swiping. there have to be a few cases of both accidentally swiping right…

  13. Cranston*

    I once messaged someone who works in the same building, but for a different company. I didn’t recognize her as she’d lost a considerable amount of weight, which I was unaware of, so her pictures looked nothing like the person I used to see around the building. I messaged her, and when we got to the “what do you do for a living” part of the conversation I stopped hearing from her. It took me about a week to figure out why she looked familiar and needless to say I was extremely embarrassed. To make matters worse, we’re both women seeking women and I have no idea whether or not she’s out; at the time I was still halfway in. Luckily I’ve only run into her once since then (I did the awkward pretending not to see her thing), so now it’s just a funny story.

    1. Specialk9*


      I once had a co-worker turn against me because I accidentally went to the same Weight Watchers meeting as her. She was already known for being rude to everyone but managers (well, the male ones)… but she turned into the co-worker from hell after that.
      Then we got put on the same 2-person project. She systematically turned the client against me (we got along fine before), and when I finally got written proof, my (male) manager just shrugged. It was so strange. So you’re lucky that didn’t happen over her accidentally getting outed to a co-worker!

  14. MegaMoose, Esq.*

    I’ve never found a coworker on a dating site, but I could totally see it happening and would 100% put it in the “pretend it never happened” file. I do seem to recall OKCupid matching me with an ex a couple of times. Thankfully we’re still friends and could laugh about it.

  15. Stephanie*

    Team Pretend It Never Happened. I just can’t see any upside to it, especially since this guy is senior to you. My roommate (who’s of my preferred sex) and I were on the same dating app and I got a bit weirded out when I saw him on there like “Wakeen…10 feet away.”

    1. Audiophile*

      It’s one of the drawbacks of geo-social dating apps. I much prefer apps that let you match by zipcode. I always used my work zipcode(s) instead of the one where I lived.

      How’s PA?

      1. Stephanie*

        Yeah, my friend tried Hinge (?) where you’re presented with matches that are friends of friends (I believe you allow it access to Facebook). She texts me like “What do you think of Apollo? Hinge says you know him.” I reply like “Oh, um, we dated briefly.” She’s like “I suppose this is the drawback of an app that is based upon friends of friends.”

        Don’t want to derail too much more, but it’s good so far! Will post in the work and weekend open threads in further detail.

        1. Audiophile*

          I was briefly on Hinge and that was one of the reasons I didn’t like it. I don’t love Tinder either, but at least you can opt out of “connecting” with friends of friends.

          I’m still on a few dating apps, because rarely can you delete your profile once you’ve signed up.

          I had a bunch of friends of friends pop up recently on Bumble and basically swiped left on all of them.

    2. Mallory Janis Ian*

      Ha. Did you look up at him, ten feet away, with a look of shock on your face? Or were you able to play it cool? I’m told I have a very expressive face, so I could see myself making some sort of dead-giveaway face in that situation.

      1. Audiophile*

        I’ve found friends on there and in the weirdest instance lately, Bumble keeps trying to match me with one of my cousins.

        1. shep*

          I know a few folks whose dating apps keep trying to match them with their siblings. It’s hilarious. My brother and I are pretty far apart in age (I’m almost ten years older), but have a lot of similar interests, so I bet it would also happen to us if we were only a few years apart.

          Similarly hilarious/mortifying: He looks older than he is and I look younger than I am, so we look roughly the same age, and have DEFINITELY had people assume we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

          We make sure to very loudly exclaim things like, “HEY BRO CHECK THIS OUT.” “WHATCHA GOT THERE, SIS??”

          1. Audiophile*

            In this case, Bumble works on proximity more than anything else. Proximity and age parameters. I swiped no once and his profile came back around. This time I clicked to expand it and it hilariously told me that I was a connection on Facebook. Well, yes, I’m aware of that.

  16. Combinatorialist*

    I would also 100% not worry about the fact he might recognize you later when you apply. People just don’t remember every “we matched but then didn’t make contact” you come across in online dating. Maybe you would remember the photos if you saw them again but not seeing the person sometime later.

    I once sent a message to someone online, didn’t get a response, but a few days later, discovered we had a class together. That was pretty awkward but we still both pretended it hadn’t happened

    1. shep*


      I exchanged a few messages with a guy I realized worked quite close to my office. I wasn’t super-interested to begin with and the interchanges weren’t particularly sparkling, so I let it fizzle.

      Then I realized he was a new manager at the gym I go to during my lunch hour.

      I think we both knew. And were both a little mortified. But yes! Engineering that polite fiction that neither of us knew anything about each other was essential.

  17. Red*

    Geez, this is totally a romance plotline waiting to happen.

    OP, I doubt, like you, that the other person ever wants to discuss this, so let it go and don’t sweat it. :)

      1. Brogrammer*

        Tom N. Haverford? The N stands for Nerd! I never even check that one because nobody responds to it. Tom N. Haverford collects globes. His favorite movie is books.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Oh, yeah! He didn’t even attract Leslie with his real persona; he was just on there scamming for women with a persona for every middle initial in the alphabet. And Leslie was so shaken that she got matched with him. Lol

          1. Brogrammer*

            Yup. Poor Leslie.

            It was a great episode, though. And it not-so-subtly makes the point that you should really be yourself in online dating (well, the best version of yourself, but don’t pretend to be someone you’re not) or you’ll end up matched with someone who’s not actually compatible.

  18. K.*

    A former BOSS (it was a part-time survival job that I left after six months when I landed something better, but he was my direct boss) messaged me on OKCupid years ago – one of those “fancy meeting you here!” messages. I did not respond. It was made weirder by the fact that when I worked for him, he mentioned his wife and I wasn’t long out of that job so I wondered if he was cheating. He didn’t message me again.

    1. MashaKasha*

      Ahh, I got a message from a former boss once. Incidentally, that was also how I found out that OldBoss was now divorced (it was the OldJob where we’d all stayed friends after, so I checked with my OldJob buddies, and yes, he was legit divorced.) He had no recollection of me, and had no idea he’d messaged someone he used to (poorly) manage. His super adorable message opened with “I’m sure you won’t message me back”. I replied, “you look familiar. Did I ever report to you?” We met for lunch, talked about the old times, caught up on things, and that was it, because OldBoss was not my type.

  19. Bend & Snap*

    I’ve matched with someone who works in my giant company and we chatted for a bit without meeting. And then we bumped into each other in the hall. And then the cafeteria. And it was awkward as hell (and still is. I hide from him now).

    If this ever happens again I vote for “unmatch immediately.”

    1. Dan*

      Heh. My company is rather large, I wouldn’t have a problem dating someone outside my division. (These are people I would never see otherwise, save for the occasional cafeteria bump.) But people who I can’t avoid if things go south? Hell no.

      There actually is someone in my division who I dated before each of us arrived at the company. The whole relationship was super awkward, but thankfully I’ve been able to avoid this person.

  20. HRish Dude*

    With Bumble, just let it expire.

    On Tinder, I swiped right on a coworker, planning my opening line being, “Well, this is awkward.” We never matched.

    Awkward, however, doesn’t begin to describe when I messaged a person on a dating site and she showed up as a new hire the next day.

      1. HRish Dude*

        Not much to it. I went home and deleted the message (it was OkCupid), but sat through the day in a panic.

        She ended up marrying someone that worked here, though.

  21. Anon today*

    It’s not exactly the same thing, but I’ve been in HR so long that when I run into people in the market I sometimes can’t remember whether I fired them or not. Very awkward. I watch them carefully for signs of how they react to seeing me.

  22. Brogrammer*

    Does this app have a block function? I can’t imagine an online dating app without a block function. Block his profile, THEN pretend it never happened.

  23. Totally Anon for this*

    A bit of a personal story…

    I’m on a dating website (OKC) and I identify as poly, kinky and bi. I have a coworker match with me with a 99% on my feed

    I promptly clicked on the photo ( not the profile) and marked it as ignore

    I’m pretty sure that my work place would not associate me with someone who has spoken at conferences on positive sexuality and ethical non-monogamy!

    He also choose to never mention it

    1. Bookworm*

      One of the nice things about this problem is that if you match with someone, they’re in the same position as you. You probably don’t want to talk about it at the office, and neither do they.

  24. Lily Rowan*

    OMG, I’m having flashbacks to the time a guy messaged me on OK Cupid and was super creepy about it — and then I saw him at the cafeteria at work! (It was a shared cafeteria, so he might not have even worked for my company.) My profile at the time didn’t have a good picture of my face, so I assume he never recognized me.

  25. Meg Murry*

    Note to anyone that makes dating apps, this sounds like a feature that is begging to be added:
    – add a feature where you can input your company name and/or address, that no one can see but you, and have a box to check next to it that says “never offer me a match with someone that works at the same place”. It could also do the same thing for home address if you wanted to make sure you didn’t match with someone in your same apartment building or dorm and then be subject to awkward random encounters in the laundry room if it didn’t go well.

    It wouldn’t entirely solve this problem (because some people would leave that spot blank or lie) but it would help at least somewhat.

    1. LavaLamp*


      I had a coworker match with me on PoF and. . . proceed to hit on me over company IM. I didn’t want to know he enjoyed checking out my behind when I went to the break room thankyouverymuch. And thank god he quit a few months ago. I just do not want that sort of thing at work at all ever, work is a safe space for me to be away from encounters like that.

  26. insert pun here*

    I would probably quit my job and move to another state, but “pretend it never happened” is also good advice.

  27. EditBarb*

    I was messaging a guy on a dating site once, and then he showed up at my office as a temp. In my department. It was awkward as all get-out, particularly since at first he didn’t recognize me. And then he did. And then he spent a lot of time flirting with me (even after my “We work together and probably shouldn’t date”) until thankfully he got sent somewhere else.

  28. Dan*

    Speaking as a guy… since guys get so few messages on dating apps, I used to get really excited when I’d get a “new message” alert. Getting what amounts to a rejection message (even “nice to see your here” is a rejection) just really makes your spirits crash. I want that “new message alert” to be a message from someone who wants to converse with me.

    As a guy, you get really good at sending messages/swiping and moving on, so there’s no need for an explicit “thanks but no thanks.” If you respond to me a week later, I have to look at your profile again because I’ve messaged 20 other people that night/weekend and forgotten who you are.

    1. neverjaunty*

      That’s an interesting take. Usually what I hear from guys are complaints that they don’t get any response at all.

      1. Dan*

        To be blunt, that’s probably because they suck at writing intro messages. I actually put time and effort into mine, and I’d say my success rate in getting a positive response (meaning someone who actually wants to engage, not just a “thanks but no thanks” message) is roughly 10%. My understanding is that’s WAY above average. But let’s be honest, most messages from what I understand are the equivalent of “‘sup”, and who’s interested in responding to that?

        Make no mistake, sending out 20+ good messages is WORK. It’s not unlike writing a cover letter. So I get why people don’t want to do it. (Or maybe they don’t have anything to say.)

      2. Anonymous Female*

        Those are probably the same guys who call you a bitch if you take the time to send a thanks but no thanks. Or at best, demand an explanation for why you’re not interested.

        I almost never respond to messages if I’m not interested, even the Dans who take the time to craft a moderately personable and personalized note.

  29. Miaw*

    My friend had it worse. She taught middle/high school kids. One day, the students found her tinder profile and asked her about it IN SCHOOL. She was forced to delete her profile because she was so embarassed.

      1. Miaw*

        Yeah. Frankly this bring a question why those kids were snooping around Tinder in the first place. I sure hope they weren’t looking for a sugar daddy!!

  30. Lady Blerd*

    Oh lord. I ran into a coworker on a swipe app, thankfully I swiped left. But every since I’ve always felt things were awkward whenever I ran into him in hallways because I have a feeling he must have seen me in the app. But we both followed Allison’s advice and pretended it never happened.

  31. Eric*

    I saw a pretty senior person on Scruff once (and you can see who views your profile, so I know he looked at mine, too). He was also married and explicitly not in an open relationship (there are ways to tell.) I just pretended I never saw it.

  32. Blah*

    Let this be a life lesson to everyone…don’t be creepy to anyone online, please and thank you.

    Message from random creeper guy: “How are you? Let’s get together and let our hands do the talking.”
    IGNORE, but I don’t delete for whatever reason. 6 months later, I am going through old bad messages and clicking on the profiles for my own amusement. I realize the winner from above is someone I just met at a community stakeholder meeting for work. Awkward, but let’s just ignore it. NOPE!

    Creeper: “This is interesting…”
    (Where I should have ended the exchange)
    Me: “What is?”
    Creeper: “Finding you on here. I’m interested in learning more. Coffee?” <– referring to polyamory
    Me: "Sure, what do you want to know about coffee?"
    Creeper: "Cream or sugar. Black and strong. Acidic and robust. The usual."


    He also somehow managed to be around for a random first date I had (and somehow managed to slip in an insult towards the book I was reading). And of course I had to continue to see him around town for our mutual work-required community events. It was exhausting and gaggy at first but luckily I had a co-worker who I was close to and she commiserated with me over the entire situation.

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