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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Unsure How to Initiate Romance With New Co-Worker

DEAR ABBY: A new co-worker started a few weeks ago. (FYI, I'm a gay man.) We share similar interests and have a lot in common. As I am getting to know him, I have become increasingly attracted to him and his personality. My joking around with him is borderline flirtatious. He hasn't said anything about it or shown signs of being uncomfortable, and he jokes back.

Should I tell him how I feel, risking our professional relationship and things becoming awkward if he doesn't feel the same way? Or should I back off for a while? I don't know what to do. I honestly feel like we have a connection, but I have been out of the dating scene for a long while and therefore am ... -- CLUELESS IN MINNESOTA

DEAR CLUELESS: This person has been working with you for a very short time, which is why I'm urging you to put the brakes on. Let the relationship develop for a few months. Your co-worker may already be involved with someone or may not be gay. If he is spoken for, do not risk your job by making any moves. However, if he isn't, then it wouldn't be out of line to ask him to join you for coffee, lunch -- something innocuous -- as friends only, and then see where it leads. I view workplace romances as potentially dangerous, because if they don't work out, they can cause discomfort in the workplace. And some companies have rules against "fraternization."

Read more in: Love & Dating | Work & School