He works on my floor

I work at a company with about 5,000 employees, and every day brings new faces during my in-office travels, often comparable to what it feels like on a larger college campus. Among the many thousand employees, I have been crushing on a guy not in my immediate department, but on my floor. Close enough to walk by him in a meeting, close enough to share the same coffee machine, and close enough to see into his cube.

Fast forwarding through the initial creeping on the employee directory to figure out his name, I told a co-worker in my own department about the crush. She, being more aggressive than I was at the annual Christmas Party, introduced me to him as if she knew him already, and to my luck, he was there alone. Yay, I got to shake his hand! Yay, I got to tell him my name!

But since then, I haven't gotten the chance for any further interaction. Unsure if he even remembers who I am from that night or cares to. I can only slightly glance over every time he walks by my aisle to see if he looks like way. The risk of making a move and it not going well is frightening, as if thats the case, I will have to face/avoid him everyday in embarrassment. I need to know the proper approach, as this is an office pursuit (while 100 percent allowed and acceptable in my company) and can come with certain risks and rewards. What is the best approach and is there anything else I should be considering?

– Blushing in Boston


First, make sure you truly understand your company's policies about this stuff. You say that dating co-workers is allowed and acceptable – and I believe you (5,000 employees!) – but you might want to check the handbook just to make sure.

After that, think about how you might develop a relationship with this person outside of the office. That's the trick to office romances, I think. You have to get to know the person in another setting so that it no longer feels like an actual office romance.

How do you do that? Work with that outgoing friend to plan a night for your floor at a restaurant or arcade (I love arcades). Give him the option to say yes or no without feeling like it's all about the two of you. If the night goes well, you can make the group smaller.

I would recommend that you try this soon – not because you're on a deadline to make it happen, but because crushes can get very big, very quickly. And when crushes get huge, they can cease to be real options. Your object of affection winds up seeming supernatural. It sets everybody up for confusion and disappointment.

Stop it with the glances and see if everybody's around for some after-work bonding.

– Meredith

Readers? Arcade? Bowling? For the whole floor?