Dating in the office: pros and cons.
The office might not be the most romantic place to meet your soulmate but it’s definitely one of the most common places to expand your social group.
Provided that dating is a part of human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, not all of us have actually the time to meet new people and go on dates. Dating can be time-consuming and looking for love when you have a demanding job and career can be extremely challenging. Longer working days often mean shorter time to socialise. And that’s when office flings happen. Given the increasing amount of time we spend at work, it is not surprising that most people end up getting involved with someone they work with.
It’s quite easy to understand why office romances start. Picture this scene in your mind.
The alarm goes off; it’s Monday again; the annoying beep-beep sound keeps going till you catch it and activate the snooze function at least a few times; then you finally manage to turn it off and get up, jump in the shower, have a quick breakfast, get ready without ever forgetting to put your make up on, restyle your curls and give them a fuller, more polished look. It’s always the same story every week. Monday mornings also mean dragging yourself to the nearest bus stop and having to get back to the stresses of your job. Is there anybody looking forward to that?
After a nice and relaxing weekend, Monday mornings in the office can be extremely difficult and cause a serious detrimental case of Monday Mornings Blues. All of this could be avoided thanks to an office romance that might help people make Monday mornings in the office easier and more fun. According to statistics, it’s not rare for people to get romantically involved with their workmates. In fact, one out of three employees has had a romantic liaison with a colleague in the course of their working lives. Sometimes it just happens and it can’t be helped.
After all, we tend to fall in love with people that we sense to be similar to us. Work colleagues share many of our interests and routines, so it is easier to find something to talk about and you never seem to run out of things to say. Not only do coworkers spend most of their time in the office together, sharing stories in the kitchen and making (more or less appropriate) jokes, but they also share goals, frustrations and disappointments. They see each other every day, they take their breaks at the same time and they slowly learn how they like their tea or coffee.
An office romance can also happen to improve your performance at work. Despite social convention telling us to avoid office romances at all costs, people have always been mixing business with pleasure. It is almost inevitable that positive events in our private life, such as falling in love, getting married, getting pregnant, can have a positive impact on our work life and vice-versa.
Office romances also have their drawbacks. No matter how well the relationship is going, the situation itself can turn into a recipe for a potential disaster. What will your boss think? What will your other colleagues say? Keep in mind that an office romance is the perfect occasion for all the gossip cravers to start talking mostly (but not always) behind your back. I firmly believe that discretion is the key to a successful office romance and unnecessary gossip can be avoided if you follow a few basic rules.
No matter what, try and keep the romance as low-key as possible. Brushing past him or stealing a glance at him are definitely not very good ideas.
Watch your appearance. Don’t try too hard to catch his attention. It only takes a little bit more lipstick, heels, a cheeky see-through top or tight leather pants for people to start talking.
Be careful with e-mails. Before hitting the “send” button, always re-read the message and make sure it is appropriate for an office environment. Hit the wrong key and the whole building will know about what kind of lingerie he wants you to wear in bed and how you like your strawberries and whipped cream. Not very professional.
What will happen if it doesn’t work out? Will you avoid going to the kitchen at certain times for fear your ex will be around? Will you try your best to skip meetings that you know he’s going to attend, too?Well, you obviously need to continue working with each other and there’s certainly likely to be a few awkward moments, especially if you both work in the same department or just a few desks away from each other. The best thing to do is to act in a mature way, forget all about romance for a while and focus exclusively on your work. Fear not, there will always be some other co-worker, I mean, guy to hang out with ☺ .
Although office romances might end up badly, in some cases they can also give birth to lifelong companionships. So, even if dating a coworker might not sound like the smartest idea, it is often true when they say that “love has reasons which reason cannot understand”. Falling in love is something that has always been out of our control. Sometimes relationships work, sometimes they fail. But if you don’t try, I guess you will never know which one it will be.
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