Man in an office sitting at his laptop with his head in his hands

Workplace relationships can be tricky to navigate. Most co-workers fall into a strange category halfway between friends and acquaintances. When one person’s colleague asks for something that he feels is an overstep, he lies to keep her away.

Feeling conflicted over how he handled the situation, he asks on a popular online forum; is he the a**hole for lying to his co-worker about his friend being single?

The Request

Male and female colleagues arguing at work
Image Credit: Prostock-studio via Shutterstock.

The OP (original poster) begins by explaining about his co-worker. He describes her as a “party girl” and says how she is often talking about her dating life.

“She’s constantly talking about the dudes she’s having “fun” with while at the same time lamenting that she can’t get a guy to marry. She acknowledges that the guys she’s having fun with are not marriage material,” says the OP.

He goes on to share more of her situation, saying, “She’s had some dates with guys that are apparently looking for a serious relationship, and she’s a completely different person with them; she pretends to be a home girl and straight up lies about having one-night-stands pretty frequently.”

The issue occurs when the OP runs into this co-worker outside of the office. He explains how while out and about with friends, they encounter his co-worker and exchange introductions and small talk before leaving.

Later, when the OP is at work, his co-worker approaches him to ask her favor. The OP explains, “Later at work, she asked me about John (not real name), if he was single, and if I could hook them up.”

“He is single, but this girl is a party girl while my friend is… less party-oriented,” the OP remarks. He goes on, “I told her that he wasn’t single, and she started asking about their relationship, how long it’s been, is it solid, etc. I told her I don’t have many details as we don’t hang out that frequently (another lie), and I deflected by telling her that I had to go.”

After the fact, the OP finds himself uncertain if lying was the best course of action. The OP says, “Now I’m worried that the lie is going to eventually blow up on me, but I feel that she’s a horrible match for John.”

The Masses Weigh in

Female coworker appearing to be upset with her male coworker
Image Credit: Mangkorn Danggura via Shutterstock.

The responses from users on the forum the OP posted his question to were mostly full of support for the OP. “NTA (not the a**hole). It’s self-preservation, and I personally hate playing middle-man; if you like someone, just ask them for yourself and leave me out of it,” says one person.

Another user says, “NTA. You know your friend pretty well and know that this girl isn’t going to be good for him in the long run. I think you’re a good friend for doing that, but it would be good as well to tell him the truth.”

Some of the comments, while still supportive, did reflect how some thought the OP could have done better. “NTA, but next time, just be straight with her and say you don’t want to mix work and relationships,” suggests one person.

“NTA, but you should definitely tell your friend the whole story now because if she already ran into him once, it might happen again, and the lie would probably come out in conversation when she asks about his girlfriend,” another recommends.

Others were very vocal about disagreeing with the OP. Specifically, people took issue with the lying that took place. One person expresses, “YTA (you’re the a**hole) for lying and making decisions on behalf of other people when an honest “I’m not having any part of this” would suffice.”

“If you really wanted to be a good friend, you’d tell the truth and let John decide whether or not to reject the girl. Lying about the situation because you don’t think your friend is smart enough to make a good decision for himself seems like a major a**hole move to me,” states another user.

A third comment says, “YTA – You don’t need to be lying to anyone. Taking the choice away from your friend and getting him twisted into a lie might make him mad, especially if rumors start going around that he’s supposedly “seeing someone.”

What would you have done if you were in this scenario? Do you think the OP was wrong for lying? Or was he being a good friend by keeping his co-worker away from his friend?

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Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.

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