How to Have an Office Romance and Survive
Despite countless policies of fraternizing with your coworkers, the job is one of the top places outside the internet where relationships start. How could it not! You spend anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a day with the same people, five days a week — that’s more time than most people spend with their spouses!
You’ve already bonded over your hatred of the latest copy machine policy, and you might have even covered for the other when the boss was looking for them. Office romances, theoretically, sound like an ideal place to find a potential lover.
If you’re one of those brave souls who doesn’t care about office policies and you will do whatever your heart tells you to, then we’ve got 10 tips that will help you navigate the tricky world of love in the workplace.
1. Never date your boss.
While there are exceptions to every rule, this particular rule is one that you may want to follow. By dating your boss, you’re opening a whole can of worms that you may not want to. For example, it could foster animosity with your colleagues and they could cry favoritism. If the relationship doesn’t pan out, it could make the job very awkward and it could potentially stunt your growth within the company or hinder the progression of your career in the long term. These are things people rarely take into consideration when they shack up with the boss.
2. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Granted, no one wants to go into a relationship with the thought that things won’t work out and the relationship will fail. However, when you find that you’re dating a co-worker, you will want to think about the work environment post break up. Will you be able to work with one another? Will you have to find a new job? These things add extra pressure onto an already complicated dynamic of dating a co-worker.
3. Take it slow.
You can never know for certain if someone is really interested in you. When you add this on top of dating in the workplace, you’re adding a lot more pressure to the situation. You shouldn’t be afraid to take the new relationship slowly, it is actually a wise decision—at least until things are clear and you know where you both stand with one another.
4. Practice discretion.
You should give people a reason to start gossiping about what may or may not be going on in your life. It’s no secret that people love to spread rumors. When you and your love remain discreet while in the company of co-workers and even on social media, your relationship will be stronger and less likely to crack under the unnecessary stress that may come along with nosy cubicle buddies.
5. Treat everyone equally.
You may want to give your partner a few extra days to their deadline or help them out with a particularly difficult case, but the truth of the matter is people notice this behavior and it will spread through the workplace like wildfire. If you want to stay out of the topic of conversation, make it a point to treat everyone the same way. You should never allow your personal feelings get in the way of personal judgment.
6. Don’t use office email to communicate other than work-related topics.
Most companies will monitor your emails, so if you are trying to fly under the radar, using your business email address to tell your sweetheart to remember a good bottle of wine when going to visit your family… That’s not so much a good idea.
7. Keep your work life and home life separate.
For many couples, this can be hard to do. However, you have to maintain that separation of work and home. Just imagine how awkward it would be having an argument about how you folded the sheets wrong and put flannel sheets on when they asked for the cotton sheets. It may seem nonsensical to you, just imagine how crazy it sounds to someone who has no idea what’s going on.
8. No hanky-panky in the workplace.
This should go without saying. Not only is it gross, but no amount of raging loins are worth getting fired from your job.
9. The office party isn’t the place for announcements.
You may be feeling festive and in a good mood, therefore want to share with the world your love of your partner, but at the office party? That’s not the best time, especially when alcohol is flowing and your boss is lingering around… Nope. Pass.
10. Enjoy it! It’s as simple as that.
If you enjoy spending time with a co-worker outside of work and are enjoying where the relationship is going, great!