Office romances may look appealing in movies, but they’re so much more complicated in real life. In the movies, you’re the nerdy girl who you think never has a chance with the dreamy guy in the cubicle next to you (or vice-versa for you men!). But in reality, you’re both workers reporting to work to do work…which is a bummer within itself if you ask me.
But there’s a reason why we see the theme of office romances pop up so frequently in books and on film – they’re really easy to fall into. Why? Convenience!
Think about it – in a relationship, your closeness is often correlated by how much time you spend together and your shared interests. When you work together, your schedules together are similar to a couple’s and your shared employment creates an automatic mutual interest. So it’s no wonder so many people feel like a coworker makes for a natural transition to romantic partner.
But is dating that coworker really in your best interest?
There’s, unfortunately, no right or wrong answer here. And in this case, my best advice to you would be to trust your gut. Dating anyone is something that you should take seriously, but dating someone that you have to see whether you want to or not is another story. It’s a risky decision, but if it’s meant to be then by all means, do what it takes!
If you do decide to give dating someone in your office a try, here are a few things that I recommend:
Make sure this isn’t just a fling
I know, I know, very few relationships start with that question of, “is this a fling or not?” but it’s worth looking at seriously before you make any decisions on what to do. If you think that this may be short-lived, perhaps it’s best to resist that temptation so that you don’t have to be faced with it every day at work. However, if you know that the relationship has the potential to be something more long term, the following boundaries are something that you’ll want to really think about.
Don’t flaunt your relationship
You know who wants to know about your relationship? Your best friend that you grab happy hour cocktails with every Thursday night. You know who doesn’t want to know about your relationship? The person who sits in the cubicle between you and your new romance. When it comes to keeping things drama-free in the office, your relationship is best kept between you and your partner. This means no discussing the fantastic date you had last weekend, and certainly no spilling of juicy or personal details no matter how tempting or entertaining you think it may be.
Leave your relationship at home
Although you may be getting very close while both at work and at home, there are some (okay, lots) of parts of your relationship that are simply better left at home. Those secrets that you discussed under the stars last week? Leave at home. The weird quirks that are too good not to share? Leave them at home. The bickering that is taking place passive aggressively through text despite the fact that you both know that you have important projects to be tending to? Yep, leave that at home too. Work is work while you’re there, don’t forget.
Make sure you’re not risking your job
It’s worth noting that many companies have a no-relationships policy. This means that if you become involved in any sort of relationship with anyone else in the company, you may be putting your career on the line. This doesn’t even begin to touch the fact that your roles could play a big part in whether your relationship is seen as acceptable or not by others. So before you jump into anything or get your heart (or your job!) broken, make sure you know the rules and that you’re respecting them at all costs.
Have you ever been in or witnessed an office romance? What was that like and how did it play out?