Although most people rely on their social circle or online dating to meet their significant other, there are still plenty of couples whose how-we-met stories involve the workplace. Most of us spend 40+ hours each week dedicated to our professional life.
We make friends with our coworkers, build a personal network within our profession, and occasionally, make a deeper connection with someone we’ve met at work. Office romances can get complicated, but these tips should help you steer clear of unnecessary heartache.
Know your company’s policies
This should be step #1. Does your company have a policy on office romance? Do they expect you to report it to HR, or strictly oppose anything that blurs the lines of professional conduct? Romance makes companies uncomfortable, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen.
As Selena Gomez once said, “The heart wants what it wants.” So if you absolutely must, make sure you have carefully considered the fallout before changing your relationship status.
In most mundane workplaces, an office romance will attract plenty of attention (the wrong kind) and get the rumour mill turning. Even if you think you’ve found your soulmate at the office, don’t forget that your private life is exactly that – private.
What you do outside of the confines of your 9-to-5 is your business and it’s best to keep it that way. Certain people are off-limits An innocent fling with a coworker is one thing, but there are certain people who should be avoided.
Don’t date your boss
Don’t date anyone that is married or in a committed relationship (duh!). There are plenty of fish in the sea, and getting tangled in that web of dysfunction will leave you wishing you were just flying solo.
Don’t assume people won’t notice
No matter how good at hiding an office romance you think you are, someone will notice. And if you try to deny it, they probably won’t believe you. Most of us spend more waking hours with our coworkers than we do with our families and closest friends. Your coworkers know when you’ve had a crappy weekend. They know when you’re having car trouble. Guaranteed, they will notice when you arrive at work dressed to impress, smelling fresh, and walking with a bounce in your step.
Things could get ugly
Sometimes, relationships just aren’t meant to be. Under normal circumstances, you can see yourself out, dust yourself off, and move on to bigger and better things. There is nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than a relationship breakdown in the office.
In most cases, one of you will probably need to find another job. Consider just how committed you are to your company before you jump into something with a coworker.