The Dangers of Dating a Coworker
What is the big deal with dating a coworker? Why does everyone down the idea and why do some companies “ban” interoffice romances? Is it really that big of a deal or is it just a classic case of micromanaging? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Pros: she’s hot. Or, he’s cute. It’s forbidden love, and sure, office romances are naturally conducive to interesting conversations, because you both work together, observe each other objectively and see each other at your absolute best and worst. An office partner could be like a surrogate spouse in a way. However, the cons often times do outweigh the pros, especially if you don’t anticipate danger in advance and only “date it by ear.”
People at work have nothing to talk about besides work and forbidden office romances. Therefore, expect to be whispered about, talked to, or even criticized for your choice. It’s no wonder that experts recommend that you don’t even tell other people about your dating until it is far more serious than just an introduction.
Office gossip can also impair your career options. Some workers have stated that managers and company owners tend to look down upon office romances because they fear workers will become preoccupied with their relationship and not focus on doing the same quality work.
Another problem is that your new relationship, should it progress, may influence the way other office workers look at you. You may inadvertently distance yourself from your friends and friendly acquaintances, and eventually become an “outsider”, no longer having any of the trust you earned. Some coworkers may even try to entrap you, believing you to be in violation of some golden rule. (And some will literally think you’re "doing it" on your desk…funny how people’s imaginations run wild)
Relationship Drama Invades the Work Place
Not only that, but you will not have a very good outlet for relationship maintenance. When things are not going your way at work, you will be doubly frustrated because of tensions in the relationship—stuff that you absolutely cannot address while at work. You can just imagine the tension that arises when the two of you are mid argument but then must be separated so you can go about your daily routines.
That, together with the fact that in a small office you are bound to see each other CONSTANTLY does not really give you a lot of space. So let’s just say, you better LOVE the sight of your new office flame because you’re going to be seeing an awful lot of this person, whether you’re ready or not.
You may also be caught in the middle of a work related drama, between your flame and the boss, or another coworker, and be forced to take sides—knowing full well that you should never take sides when work is involved.
Very Messy Breakups
Last but not least, don’t forget the messy break up. Even if the stress of an office romance destroys your attraction, you’re not going to get off so easy. You will always see her (or him) in the office, and you will have lots of awkward tension between the two of you. Then you’ll have to eat it while your ex starts dating someone else. Your office ex may even try to conspire against you as some form of punishment for a failed relationship.
Now do you see the can of worms that office romances can bring? We’re not saying that such a relationship is out of the question. It’s just important that you plan ahead, set boundaries and communicate clearly…and very safely!
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