I received a few inquiries surprised that I would encourage anything other than “nip-this-in-the-bud,” particularly with a staffer whom the questioner had no interest in talking to anymore.
A few follow up clarifications that might be helpful:
- Things on Capitol Hill move fast. You never know when the House side LA you worked with could become LD and then his boss could wind up with a plum committee assignment. Or Cabinet secretary position. Or VP nomination. Stranger things have happened, so don’t burn any bridges.
- As much faith as I have in our questioner to assess the situation that this man is indeed pursuing a more-than-friends route, there is still a chance this could be work-related. Keep your meeting confined to work spaces until the answer is made clear.
- And I said this before, but worth harping one more time: It’s just coffee. You were probably going to get a cup anyway, and if it’s so terrible the first time you will be excused from further meet ups. Though it’s likely to be benign — worst-case scenario might be dreadful boredom or excessive braggadocio.