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Guy behaving oddly - I'm not sure how I should respond

Hi. For the past 4 years there is this guy I work with and I cannot work out his behaviour. Just for the record, I have never really had much luck in terms of dating because I have never been seen as attractive.

The first time I became aware of something, was when he took me off for a chat to ask if I was ok (I was having a rough time the previous day). He sat down first and I sat a few inches away from him. He then shifted right up against me, rubbing his leg against mine and pressing the side of his body (he is a big guy) into mine. I didn’t know how to react because I just simply froze at that time. Anyway, we were like that for about 20 minutes before we went back to work.

He had fought my corner a few times when I made mistakes that he felt were pretty minor and easily fixed and there came times when others in the team had left early and he would talk to me more.

When I started work for a team separate from his I continued to encounter him at work and he would hold doors open for me, touching my lower back when he let me through first, told me not to leave the company, stared at me when he felt I wasn’t looking, intently watched me speaking to other guys I am friends with (I notice him out of the corner of my eye) and tried to approach me when he thought I was on my own on my break but he then backed off when there happened to be other people sitting around. I once caught him trying to peer up my skirt when I dropped some papers and the skirt was work appropriate.

There is another guy who told me he thought I looked really pretty at the 2018 Christmas party and said “if we weren’t at someone’s house I would have you.” The house belonged to the guy whose behaviour I cannot work out and he was within earshot when the other one said this. I don’t think he liked overhearing what his friend said to me because he became a bit aggressive towards us.
The guy who had been talking to me I have recently bumped into at the office (I had to have equipment assessed for technical errors) and when we talk I notice him looking me up and down my body. He also invited me to lunch if I was able to be granted access to the building (my internet connection at home is not good so it can interrupt remote working - this is a justifiable reason to be granted access, but I just didn't want to make things awkward for my bosses)

At the last Christmas party (2019 due to lockdown) I was talking to a guy I was working with directly and the one in question came up to our table. He looked straight down at me and gave me this hard look. I continued talking to my co-worker and the other one went behind my chair and slid his hand along my upper back.

I have been encountering him a few times during lockdown. The first time I was driving and he pulled up next to me. I didn’t really expect him to be there since we both live locally but he got my attention in his car and peered over at me for about 2/3 seconds before smiling at me and driving off.

Some friends have told me he’s been asking for my name and asking for photos of me.

Since beer gardens have reopened I have been going to the nearest one to where I live with a friend and I was nervous to realise that this guy was there, too, with about 5/6 of his friends. I got so skittish, almost dropping stuff I was holding after I glanced over at him and found that he was looking over at me about 15 metres away. Our eyes locked for about 3 or 4 seconds before he then quickly looked away and blushed a deep red. When we were being shown to our table, out of the corner of my eye I saw this guy’s gaze following me as we walked off.

2 weeks later we bumped into each other again and I immediately felt my legs turn to jelly at having to pass him and his group. As we stood by the entrance to wait to be shown in I started hearing him get louder. I didn’t pay any attention to whether he was checking me out because his loudness kind of threw me off. In fact I did hear a lot from him even though he was some distance away.

When we finished our drinks I took some time to pluck up enough courage and motivation to leave. I knew we had to leave sometime! I figured that he really cannot do anything if I was with someone so with that thought in mind I left the beer garden and my friend and I were gradually passing his group, who had all turned around and looked straight at me. I gazed over at the guy and he was looking straight into my eyes, smiling and giving me this dreamy/sleepy-eyed look. He usually gives me these intense looks at work and if I’m speaking with other guys so this confused me.
I think I only maintained eye contact with him for about 2 or 3 seconds at most because the fact his friends were all looking at me made me nervous, so I then looked away and went to my car to go home.

Are any of what I described warning signs or is this something I ought to pursue? I don’t understand any attraction he’d have towards me – I’m really short for my age and there are only 3 years between us. I overheard how old he is from friends.
Also, he is more into bikini clad women according to a calendar he had on his wall (when I was at his for the Christmas party that time). I do find him attractive, but for someone so attractive to be interested in bikini clad women I find so confusing and weird. I am nowhere near as pretty or perfect as them.

Thank you.
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973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
I have a semi strict rule that work place dalliances should be avoided.  I know we spend a lot of time there but if they go bad, our social life bleeds over into our work space.

I think I'd look for a different place to meet someone nice.  You are wise to be aware that not all are on the up and up.  If you meet someone doing an activity (at a gym, a volunteer organization, a book club, a running club, etc.), you are in a positio of already having something in common.  

I just don't do work place things, it can backfire.
Helpful - 0
134578 tn?1642048000
You said he confused you. Well, he's trying to confuse you. He's also creating a workplace that is much less comfortable for you, and creating a hostile workplace is against the law. Unsolicited touching of someone's body in the workplace is entirely improper.  (If he were doing this to someone who reports him, he could get fired, sued for sexual harassment or even get the company sued for turning a blind eye to him doing it.)  

If you welcome it, you aren't obliged to report his actions, but touching someone in a way not necessary for the job and during work hours, is more of a domineering act than a friendly one. (If he were going at it for romantic reasons, it's been long enough that he would have asked you out by now.) In your shoes, I wouldn't trust the guy or his motives. I'm sorry if you like it, because it sounds like he's not going about this the way someone would if they were trying to develop a romance.

Don't waste any more time wondering. Ask him to have a coffee break with you in a cafe or cafeteria when there are other people around, and then straightforwardly ask him what the heck he is doing with the touches, and the staring, and all. Give him a pretty comprehensive list of all the things you've mentioned here, and ask him about all of it. This should clear the air. If romance is really what he is trying for (and he's not just on some kind of a power trip to dominate women), he probably will ask you out if that is really what is on his mind. (Then you have to decide what to say, so be ready with a response.) But it sounds like a very odd way to initiate a romance, which suggests he's probably mostly just trying to confuse and dominate you. Asking him flat-out what he's doing will take the dominance out of it for him (since he suddenly won't be the one in charge of the narrative). At least you'll be giving him warning that you're keeping a record of what he's doing.

Some guys get a kick out of seeing how far they can go touching women without their permission, and often they know how to do it in such a way that they can pretend it's innocent if challenged. You don't want to go down a gamesmanship rabbit hole with him about this. Bluntly asking what's going on will make the whole game less fun for him and probably take his heat off of you.

If things escalate, take the whole list to your HR department and make a complaint.

Helpful - 0
2 Comments
Hi, thanks. I was advised by my manager to report him and I did this through the company whistleblowing site- making notes of when he touched me and he took me off that time. Since bumping into him over lockdown he's been trying to initiate more eye contact with me.
It's impossible for anyone to know someone's motivation unless you ask and the person gives an honest answer.  From reading this, I got two completely alternate feelings.  One was that he is interested in you romantically but is extremely awkward about romance.  Not everyone is smooth.  A lot of guys are very shy about romance or just terrified about asking someone out.  The other feeling I got was, he's a creep.  The fact you reported him suggests you have sided on the latter interpretation, but even if he is just very awkward and has no clue how to connect with a woman he likes, Annie is right, this is just not conducive to a comfortable workplace.  I probably would have talked to him about it.  But there's more to this, and that's your own repeated statement of your own insecurity.  I like to look at young women wearing not a lot of clothing too, I'm a heterosexual guy, and I'm old, but I married a woman who is short and not all that attractive because love has little to do with that kind of thing.  All of us would rather have sex with really attractive people even if we don't admit it out loud, male and female, gay and straight, and everything in between, but we go out with who we meet and who are available to us and who we actually like.  The fact he had a calendar like that has nothing to do with who he might date.  So completely aside from whether this guy is awkward or a creep (or both), you really have dating and mating wrong.  They aren't all that much related to who we'd prefer to have sex with in our fantasy worlds.  Peace.
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