Sparking up a romance with someone you work with is… exciting, in the beginning at least. The perks include being excited to go to work everyday, always having someone to eat lunch with, carpool with, and joke around with during all those unnecessary meetings. Plus, it forces you to always be at your best when you come into work; you dress up, and take pride in your appearance for the simple fact that someone is checking for you. Unfortunately, this also means you are about to learn the hard way that dating a co-worker is something that you should probably never do. What starts off as an innocent, endearing, exciting, spontaneous (and everything in between) situation, can quickly turn sour making you feel uncomfortable and leaving your co-workers in awkward circumstances when they have to choose the side they want to take in what was your short lived office romance.
To be honest, it is not all negative though, as some people have actually lucked out and met their spouse at work or at least someone who they ended up being in a very long relationship with before it exploded and left their heart in pieces. It is very likely that you will meet someone who you are very attracted to at a place that you spend roughly 35-40 hours a week at, but let’s strongly encourage people not to mix business with pleasure; you may find that A) It is not worth it, and B) If it does last longer than your employment, then chances are it will not be as great or as fun when you are placed in a dynamic outside of your workplace. Here is a discouraging list of reasons to stay away from office romances.
12. It Can Be Distracting
We all know how awesome and convenient it is to be able to see your significant other while at work. It is comforting, and exciting. Although, we all have to admit that it can be distracting and time consuming; inter-office dating is normally prohibited and socially taboo for reasons like work place distraction. Anyone in an inter-office relationship has experienced walking to the kitchen to refresh their coffee and suddenly finding themselves at your desk; flirting, laughing and taking up an hour of your time. This distraction is what helps those hateful co-workers throw daggers in your back when the time comes.
11. Co-Workers Feel Weird Sitting With You At The Lunch Table
The much needed lunch hour turns you into social pariahs as you couple up to sit with your significant other and a fellow co-worker comes in excited to eat, only they feel awkward because they sense that they are intruding on your “alone time”. They reluctantly sit down and force conversation with jokes that do not land and one sentence answers. Or option two, they quickly say “it is so nice outside, I think I’m going to eat on the bench today.”
10. Co-Workers Always Assume You Are Making Out
When you duck away together the first assumption is that something is going down; a fight perhaps, or a make out session (if you are lucky). Unfortunately, even if one of you gets up to go to the bathroom, chances are your co-workers are assuming that you are having a rendezvous. There is no doubt that it can be both annoying and disrespectful, that all of a sudden because you have a workplace significant other your work morals go out the door. It also kind of makes you look like some kind of sex-crazed lunatic who always needs to be “hooking up”, which is even more embarrassing.
9. If You Get Into A Fight, Everyone Knows
Is nothing sacred anymore? A little tiff at work can be blown up into a messy couple having it out at their place of business. How much more unprofessional can you get, right? Even if you try to disagree in secret like in a utility closet or outside in the fresh air, someone will know, someone will pick up on the weird vibes you guys are giving off or chances are, one of you will have a predictable scowl on your face that indicates “we just fought, but we will be over it soon”. Even if you are mad at one another, wait till you get home or at least wait for the car ride home to bite each other’s heads off.
8. You Cannot Show Feelings At Work
You have to program yourself to be emotionless; so yes, that is basically impossible because that is what makes us humans and not insane. However, maybe try to control your emotions a bit more at work; do not be all lovey dovey with your significant other (it can make those around you feel weird). Also, try not to cry or get upset about work problems, as this will force your significant other to run to your site and comfort you and yes, that is sweet and the right thing to do but it draws attention to your relationship and instead of others feeling bad for you, they assume you are being a baby and over exaggerating.
7. They Are Generally Based On Office Boredom
Rumour has it that office romances are usually based off of being bored at work; what? That is crazy, right? Or maybe not. Unfortunately for us, people end up in jobs that they truly hate but it pays the bills for now; bonding over small things at work can lead to a romance that is made up of convenience. Everyone has that co-worker who they lean on to shoot the s*** with, eat lunch with, gossip with and even hang out with outside of work. How can you not pursue a relationship with a connection like that? Too bad the connection is (probably) mainly work and outside of work it seems like you have forgotten everything that you have in common.
6. You Spend Too Much Time Together
Your day usually consists of waking up together (if you made the leap into moving in together), driving to work together, sitting a few cubicles down from one another, having lunch together, sitting together in the staff meeting, driving home together, possibly eating dinner together, possibly going to bed together and then surprise, waking up together to do it all over again. You are unfortunately spending way too much time together, you guys need breathing room and this is why you probably should not date your co-worker; and do not forget it gets worse if you get married, and adding children into the mix always makes things harder.
5. Co-Workers Will Think You Are Unprofessional
A lot of jabbing will take place of people questioning your professional morals and your work ethics. “How can they date someone they works with?”, “that is so unprofessional”, it’s not hard to find someone outside of work”, “look how annoying their relationship must be, they see each other all the time”. This act sorely discredits it; even though it is something that should really not matter, your boss and co-workers take into consideration the personal decisions you make just as much as the professional decisions you make. It is a big deal to date someone you work with and it is not a decision you take lightly. If you are ready for the hate, then date on.
4. You Could Get A “Reputation”
When you have the audacity to date one co-worker, what is stopping others from thinking that you will not date another (especially if you and your office fling call it off)? You can quickly gain a reputation for yourself as the office flirt and believe it or not, there are plenty of people so desperate that all they do is troll people at work. They sniff out the most insecure and weakest of the bunch, and hit on them till they do not have the energy to say “no” anymore. It’s a sad day in the office when you realized that you are the office serial dater.
3. You Could Get Fired
Some companies (actually, most companies) strictly prohibit inter-office relationships for the very good reason that it prevents drama and distraction in the work place; inter-office relationships can sometimes get a bit toxic and be a topic of public chatter. In order to keep a healthy work space, these relationships are normally prohibited and taken seriously when the lines are crossed. There have been several incidents of people getting fired from their jobs all because they wanted to hook up with a co-worker and to be completely honest, sometimes it is not worth it because the relationship usually does not last. So ask yourself before you start that risky relationship; would you rather make coin or get some subpar sex?
2. Everybody Is Bound To Find Out
Nothing stays a secret for long; what is that saying about a secret never really being a secret? If you plan on being in a “secret” office relationship, then be prepared for it to come out of the bag in a big way and for some pretty harsh ridicule accompanied with some passive aggressive side eye. There are too many ways to get caught in an office romance; if you go out of your way to not talk to person, a co-worker will assume something is up; if you spend too much time with them, something is up; if you have inside jokes, then you look even more suspicious. There is no right way to hide it so you might as well not start it.
1. (When You Break Up) You Have To See That Person Everyday
So you’ve broken up (like you knew you would); now you have to go to work and act like you have no problems; you guys are still best friends and can get along just like anyone else. It becomes a cat and mouse game; who can avoid who the best? You know what time they go on lunch so you starve yourself and go later (or eat super early and snack at your desk to hold you over for the rest of the day). That awkward bathroom run-in will never stop, and ultimately one of you ends up quitting or asking to be transferred (if you are lucky enough to have that option) just to avoid the tension.