This determination is difficult enough outside the office. Here, it's really, REALLY tough to distinguish the romantic intentions from the platonic ones. You feel a more-than-average connection, but you're not sure if they are being romantic or friendly. They could be just be enthusiastic about working with someone who actually shares their business goals and beliefs. OR...they could be attempting to show some love. Here's what to look for...
They Give Longer Compliments
Many opposite sex coworkers can offer quick compliments at the coffee pot. But, if they continue the conversation with 2 or 3 more positives about your dress, the button-down, shoes, or your hair style, this is probably more than just your average run-of-the-mill complimentary small talk. Pay attention to their words. When they express how that color looks really good on you; or how it really brings out the color in your eyes, that's getting more personal. They also are quick to tell you how much they love your positive energy.
They Give You A Different Kind Of Smile
You may already know this person is a friendly guy or girl, and they smile a lot when interacting with other co-workers. But that smile given to you is different. It's bigger and more enthusiastic. Their eyes almost seem to dance when they're smiling at you, and they have some major pupil dilation. Facial expressions don't lie, so watch closely.
They Come Up With Reasons To "Stop By."
It's a case of them wanting to share a cheesy joke, or news about a local event you might find interesting. When they stop by your cube, or office just to say hi, or "how's it goin'?", it could be an attempt to fish for your interests in them. This is very important, because it gives you the chance to take some control. If you like them, answer with longer answers and a smile. If you're not, the "it's a really busy day for me" will give them a clue.
They Text You
Notice when the inter-office communications graduates to IMs. The group frexting platform is also significant. Frexting (texting among friends) can evolve to the more one-one-communications with YOU. Also notice the "after hours" messages that are exclusively for you. Texting during business hours is not necessarily an indication of special interest. But, when the messages show up after work and/or weekends that may mention a work issue combined with a personal close, that's a sign. Especially with a strong personal well-wish at the end.
They Use Smileys And/Or Funny Gifs In Emails
Not everyone cares to use emojis, but in THIS case, they are sending an important nonverbal message. Watch for the graphics that show a big OPEN smile (as opposed to the tight grin). And, if they use a unique/funny emoji or creative gif that fits the message, recognize they had to go through some effort to find the perfect emoji in their library. Same thing with gifs. Finding the right one takes time.
They Ask You Out With The Group
The coworkers' group social invite is step one, and it's a safe beginning from their perspective. And for you? This group gathering will give you a lane to announce an increase in your social availability, or you might choose to drop in a mention about your recent break-up that took up a lot of your time--until now. Also, if you're interested in this pursuit, maybe you don't show up on time at the Chili's gathering on Friday afternoon. But, after some time after the official beginning of the party, you make an entrance. Watch what happens.
They Get Flustered
The person who considers you a long-term potential boyfriend or girlfriend may appear nervous. Clumsiness might be a clue. Running into walls is a definite. And if they fumble their words in your conversation, and/or blush, they are probably in hot pursuit. Notice also how they seem extra receptive to ANY attention you offer.
Subtle Jealousy Signs
(Cue the Nick Jonas song here) There is a difference between the safe and creepy kind. Did you hear some friendly verbal jabs about your other friends? Or questions about your weekend that inquired about your whereabouts? If you forgot to return an IM, email, or text, they might fire off a "Is everything OK?" message. Clearly, they are taking a personal interest in your weekend plans you had previously mentioned at the office. This inquiry has much more depth than "HOW was your weekend?" They get specific on a Sunday evening text; asking about your camping trip or that baby shower for a friend.