Gillian Morris, thank you for writing this piece. Although the article’s title attracted my attention to read it I’ll have to say there’s absolutely nothing you’ve outline here which measure up to “sexual harassment” (SH). It’s a matter of judgment and weighing the pros and cons in your own personal-business relationships. I had the pleasure of living in 2 different countries exactly 25 years equally. The SH definition between both countries vary vastly. I find that in the USA we’ve gone way too far in defining what constitutes SH to mere ‘“feeling” attraction for someone’.
What you’re experiencing comes very naturally for billions of human beings for 1000s of years. SH expressed in the media today is but a few decades (if not less than 2 hundred years). I’ve met millions of people in my life and I’ve finally figured out what SH is based on my interactions and conversations with many, not according to the so-called experts who have messed things up: “SH is when the person to whom you express interest doesn’t like you in that way”. Plain and simple! How else would one know how the other person feels unless you express it somehow? I don’t need a PHD to see that.
During a previous job orientation the HR manager went through the company’s SH policy saying they seriously advise against it. A few minutes later she talked about minimizing “feelings” between staff members who are in relationships within departments so that none gets upset whenever their partner gets a bad evaluation or disciplined. So they take careful planning to separate them between departments. She talked about a few scenarios. I asked her, in particular, how some of them met. Without batting an eye (or even realizing how stupid this policy is) she said, “Oh, most of them met on the job”. During my years there it was CLEAR that the staff did what “came naturally” and conversation with many of them prove it so.
It takes a concerted, conscious and obligatory fortitude to resist our natural innate nature. I’ve had countless rejections in my life. The difference is, as a “below average” guy, I see it best to simply move on-away if I get an indication of “no”.