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When Intimate Tension At Work Leads to Uncomfortable Situations and HR Conversations

Have ever experienced situations at work where there was unresolved romantic tension between coworkers? Whether it resulted in awkward encounters or more significant conflicts, these instances can bring drama and tension to the workplace. An online forum thread invited users to share their own experiences with coworkers who struggled to navigate this intimate tension, revealing a range of responses including misunderstandings, jealousy, and inappropriate advances. Let’s explore some of the categories of experiences shared in the thread.

Inappropriate Advances

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To start, a reader said, “Terrible. Don’t sleep with your boss.”

Secret Admirer

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One person replied,  “I had a coworker who would leave anonymous notes on my desk, telling me how beautiful I looked that day. It was sweet at first, but it started to feel creepy when I realized he was watching me all the time. NO SEXUAL TENSION THERE.” 

Another person responded, “There was a coworker who would always find excuses to be near me, but he never actually said anything. It was like he was trying to get closer to me without actually talking to me. I found out later that he had a crush on me, but he was too shy to say anything. So one-sided sensual tension?”

Workplace gossip

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A funny comment was, “We kept it a secret at work until I got pregnant, but even after that, there were new hires who knew I had a young kid, and he had a young kid but didn’t realize it was the same kid.”

Awkward encounters

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One user wrote, “Really poorly, tbh, extremely drunk smex and ended up losing our friendship. We were 24 and worked at a bank together. We used to be best friends. But now we haven’t talked in years.”

A second user replied, “We had smex, but for some reason, I was sweating profusely, and it grossed her out. She kind of ghosted me after that.”

Mixed signals

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One user replied, “It was great. Good smex, and then I left the job before it got weird.”

A second user added, “He would flirt with me and come over to hang out. Told how he was trying to evict his ex-girlfriend from the apartment because she wouldn’t leave before the lease was up (which was true, btw she confirmed that). He told me he liked me a lot and wanted to get to know me. Then laughed in my face two weeks later and said he never liked me.” 

Unprofessional behavior

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One cringy comment said, “I fired him because he said he didn’t want to see each other more than sensually.” 

Another person added, “When **** hit the fan, we were both miserable at work. But I was in my early 20s, so pretty immature. But it sucked having to work closely with someone when I couldn’t stand the sound of his voice.”

Sexual Advances

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A user commented, “After years of sensual tension, we did it, it wasn’t anything close to what we expected, never talked about it again, and we went back to just being friends.”

Another user added, “We couldn’t handle it anymore, so we just did it. Both of us were very principled about not sleeping with co-workers and definitely not getting into relationships with them until we weren’t.”

Happy Endings

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A popular comment said, “She’s been suffering my snoring for 20 years now.”

Another user added, “Been married 15 years… she’s my best friend and wife all mixed into one!!!”

Office romance policies

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One reader replied, “We kept it a secret for 6 months before people at work found out.”

HR involvement

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One funny comment was, “HR all of a sudden wanted a “friendly chat.”

A second comment was, “The first one had a few check-ins by HR after it ended, but the second one will be 15 years in July.”

Personal boundaries

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A user commented, “I have been rejected respectfully each time.”

Public Displays of Affection

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A user commented, “Pretty good, we regularly nip out for a quickie on a Thursday lunchtime, and there’s plenty of banter and flirting between us.”

A second user added, “He’s the best FWB I’ve ever had. Definitely recommend overtime on a weekend.”

Office culture

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One reader added, “I had a one-night stand with a coworker once, got it out of my system, wasn’t too awkward. The workplace was so boring. It felt nice to have a little flutter in my chest when I saw her.”


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A popular comment read, “She decided not to divorce her husband, and it led to a very hostile work environment (she was my boss).”

Another was, “We got married and then got divorced.” 

Consequences and repercussions

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Finally, a user added, “Not great. Dated for just over a year (on and off), but now that we’re not together, it sucks having to see her almost every day.”

Source: Reddit

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