Ever heard the term work spouse? It’s that colleague you’re super close with, share lunch breaks, office gossip, and even sometimes frustrations about your actual spouse or partner with.
The term has transformed a lot through time. Initially, it just referred to a coworker you got along exceptionally well with.
But now? The lines sometimes blur, and the relationship might appear a tad more personal than professional.
The fun part is that not every close office relationship means there’s some underlying romantic tension. Many are just plain, wholesome friendships.
But then, there are those that walk the tightrope between being professional buddies and, well, something a little more charged. Distinguishing between these can be a bit tricky. The cues aren’t always obvious.
That said, here are ten signs of ‘work spouse’ flirting.
1. The Way They Look at Each Other
When two people are just office pals, they’ll look at each other like, well, normal colleagues. But throw in a sprinkle of flirtation? The glances change.
There’s that split second of prolonged eye contact, maybe even a mischievous sparkle. It’s not the standard, “Did you get my email?” look. It’s more like, “I enjoy our little moments.”
And these glances? They’re not just fleeting. Sometimes, in the middle of a group meeting or during a coffee break, their eyes lock, and it feels like there’s an unspoken conversation happening.
2. Their Jokes Have a Different Flavor
Humor is a fantastic way to bond with people. But there’s standard office humor, and then there’s ‘that’ kind of humor.
When there’s a bit of flirting involved, their jokes have an extra layer of personal touch. Maybe they’re referencing a private joke from the other day or teasing in a playful manner.
It’s all in good fun, of course. Everyone loves a good laugh. But if you notice that their banter is consistently sprinkled with personal stories that the rest of the office isn’t privy to, well, that’s a hint right there.
3. Break Times Become “Their” Time
Lunch breaks and coffee breaks are usually for stretching, maybe chatting with whoever’s around. But for these two? It’s as if their breaks are synchronized.
One heads to the break room, and surprise, surprise, so does the other.
And it’s not just about being together; it’s about the quality of their time. Their conversations dive deeper, sometimes even straying away from work topics entirely.
It’s like their break time becomes this sacred little bubble where they can be themselves without the office formalities.
4. They’re Super Connected, Even Off the Clock
Being connected to colleagues after work isn’t unusual. But there’s a limit, right? If they’re always chatting, commenting on each other’s posts, or maybe even texting, it could be a sign.
It’s like the office boundaries don’t quite apply to them.
It’s lovely to be friends outside work. But when every notification or message alert seems to be from that one colleague, one can’t help but wonder.
Especially when their conversations are full of laughter, personal stories, and plans to hang out after office hours.
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5. Little Gestures That Say a Lot
You know how actions speak louder than words? It’s the small stuff that often gives away the bigger picture.
Maybe it’s the way they save each other a seat during meetings or how one always seems to know when the other needs a coffee pick-me-up.
It’s endearing, really. It’s as if they’re in tune with each other’s needs, often without even having to communicate it. These gestures might seem insignificant on the surface.
But when they’re consistent, they paint a story of a connection that’s perhaps a tad deeper than the usual work camaraderie.
6. They Get a Bit Jealous, Just a Tad
Ever noticed a hint of jealousy when one of them spends time with other colleagues? Maybe it’s that playful “So, had fun without me?” or the slightly raised eyebrows when the other mentions lunch with someone else.
Jealousy isn’t always about major drama or confrontation; sometimes, it’s in the subtle comments.
And this isn’t your usual “Why didn’t you invite me?” kind of vibe. It’s more personal, more exclusive. It’s as if their bond has set an unspoken standard, and any deviation from it feels a bit off.
7. Their Personal Space? A Bit Cozier
There’s a comfortable distance most people maintain when interacting with colleagues. But these two? Their personal bubbles seem to overlap.
Whether it’s leaning in a bit closer during conversations or standing shoulder-to-shoulder when there’s plenty of space, the proximity says a lot.
Physical closeness might seem natural to them, like it’s the most normal thing in the world.
And sure, they might not even realize they’re doing it, but to an onlooker? It’s a tiny dance of intimacy, happening right in the middle of the office.
8. The Defender Role is Strong with Them
Everyone faces a bit of criticism or opposition at work now and then. But if one of them is in the line of fire, the other jumps to their defense.
It’s as if they’ve taken up the mantle of being the other’s guardian. Not in a weird, overly protective way, but in a manner that speaks of deep respect and understanding.
It’s like they’ve got each other’s backs, no matter what. When the chips are down, or there’s a challenging situation, you can bet they’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder, facing it together.
[Also Read: 14 Conversation Signs She Likes You]
9. There’s a Shared Sense of Secret
You know that look two people share when they both know something no one else does? It’s as if they have an insider secret.
Maybe it’s an event they attended together or a shared experience outside of work. Whatever it is, the mystery only deepens their bond.
And the best part? They relish in it. The sneaky smiles, the whispers – it adds a layer of fun to their interaction, a world that’s just theirs and no one else’s.
10. Special Treats and Gestures
Every now and then, one might surprise the other with their favorite snack or maybe even a coffee from that fancy place down the street.
These aren’t grand gestures, but they’re personal. They show an awareness of each other’s likes and dislikes, a depth of knowledge that doesn’t come from casual interaction.
It’s these tiny tokens of appreciation, these thoughtful acts that weave the tapestry of their bond. It’s not about the monetary value but the sentiment behind them.
11. They Anticipate Each Other’s Needs
Ever notice how one might get up to fetch a drink and, without even asking, returns with one for the other?
It’s like they’ve got this sixth sense when it comes to anticipating each other’s needs. Before the other even mentions they’re feeling cold, a sweater or jacket is offered.
It’s a dance of understanding and intuition. They don’t just listen with their ears but with their hearts.
This unspoken understanding, knowing what the other might need even before they voice it out, is a tender thing to watch unfold in the maze of office cubicles.
12. Their Energy Shifts Around Each Other
It’s almost palpable, the change in the atmosphere when they’re around each other.
Even on a gloomy Monday morning, their spirits seem to lift when they catch sight of each other. It’s like they have this mutual energy boost button.
This isn’t about being hyper or overly enthusiastic. It’s subtler. A shared smile, a brighter tone, or even just a more relaxed posture.
For them, the office feels a bit more like home, a tad warmer, when the other’s around.
13. Holidays and Birthdays are Extra Special
While most colleagues might just sign a group card or chip in for a communal gift, these two take it to another level.
They seem to always know exactly what the other would love — be it a quirky gift or a heartfelt note that hits just the right note.
It’s not about outdoing everyone else or making a grand gesture. It’s the thoughtfulness behind it. The gift or note feels personal, carefully chosen, and seems to echo memories and moments that they’ve shared.
14. Little Touches Here and There
Now, we’re not talking full-on PDA here; office decorum still stands. But there’s an occasional pat on the back, a touch on the arm when they laugh, or even a simple nudge when they share a private joke.
Physical touch, even if fleeting, can be a window into deeper emotions.
These gentle touches aren’t overt or overly attention-seeking. They’re natural, casual, almost like they’re breathing – simply a part of their interaction. It’s like their way of reassuring each other, “I’m here, and I’ve got you.”
15. They Seek Each Other’s Opinions First
Before making a decision, even if it’s a simple one like where to order lunch from or which template to use for a presentation, they consult each other.
They value and trust each other’s judgment. It’s as if their decisions aren’t complete unless they’ve gotten the other’s input.
This might seem like teamwork, and in many ways, it is. But the essence here is the weight they give to each other’s opinions.
It’s more than just seeking advice; it’s about feeling anchored and validated by the other’s perspective.
16. After-Work Plans Often Include Each Other
Most colleagues wave goodbye at the end of the day, heading their separate ways. But these two?
There’s often chatter about grabbing dinner, catching a movie, or just hanging out after work. Their day doesn’t end with the office clock.
It’s not just about spending time; it’s about quality moments. The kind where they can drop the office facade and just be two individuals, enjoying each other’s company.
It’s the seamless transition from colleagues to friends, and maybe even something a tad bit more.
Related Questions About Work Spouses
What is a work spouse?
A work spouse refers to a close colleague with whom one shares a strong bond, almost mimicking the closeness and camaraderie of a marital relationship, but in a professional setting.
This person is typically someone you collaborate with closely, confide in, and share both professional and sometimes personal life details.
The term emphasizes the depth and importance of the relationship, showcasing that it’s more than just a casual office friendship.
How do you know if it’s work spouse flirting or just friendship?
Work spouse flirting often includes more personal interactions, gestures that go beyond the norm, deeper eye contact, or more intimate conversations.
While friendships might involve shared lunches or casual chats, flirting usually incorporates elements that feel more personal, like frequent subtle touches or discussing life outside of work more than usual.
Is it okay to have a work spouse?
Having a work spouse can be both beneficial and tricky. On the positive side, it provides emotional support, makes work more enjoyable, and can enhance productivity.
However, complications can arise if boundaries are crossed or if one party begins to develop romantic feelings. Plus, work spouses often lead to rumors and sometimes work complications.
- All photos from freepik.com