The Office Romance: Dating in the Workplace

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

Oh, the thrill of it all, flirting with a co-worker or your boss. It can be sexy, fun, and electric. And as the mutual attraction grows and is taken to the dating stage, it can be even more so. However, one should always proceed with caution when dating at work as there’s much at stake on both a personal and professional level.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider dating a coworker.

Nice and Easy Does It. Remember Bridget Jones and Daniel, the rascal, Cleaver? They went from flirting at the office to jumping into bed in a heartbeat. Not the best way to begin a relationship. Start slow. Spend some time getting to know each other first. Ask them out to lunch on a workday and observe their conduct. Seeing them in different setting will help you decide if it’s right to go to the next step.

Beware the Green-Eyed Monster. No one wants to end up dating someone who’s hiding a possessive nature, but it will most likely happen, especially at the office, as your new love can be observed all day, every day. They may flirt with others, thinking it’s perfectly harmless to do so. Jealousy can also come from co-workers thinking you’re suddenly in the boss’ good graces if you’re dating a superior. On the other hand, these are trivial issues in comparison to what happened in Fatal Attraction!

Familiarity Can Breed Contempt. Naturally, if you’re seeing someone in the evening and on weekends as well as in the office all day, it could become overkill. And it can put a damper on spontaneity and romance. If you don’t spend time away from each other, you may end up resenting each other or taking each other for granted, and that’s the last thing a new (or any) relationship needs. In Two Weeks Notice, George Wade almost lost Lucy Kelson by taking her for granted. Be conscious of how you spend your time together and apart.

As in any relationship, there is no magic formula for what should happen. Each relationship is as different as the people in it, whether they meet in a cafe, at the bus stop, or at work.

Relationships require open, honest communication and mutual respect. If you choose to date someone at work, make sure you go in with your eyes open in order to avoid any of the typical pitfalls. You don’t want to compromise your job or your personal happiness in the process!

[Editor’s note: Ethics and rules start from the top down in an organization. If you want to have a professional, high-performing team, then you must not just lead by example, but also equip your team with the tools needed to be superstars. To find out more about powerful, cost-effective corporate training, click here now!]

[This is only one of the many powerful articles in this week's Influence It! Real Power for Women free ezine. To enjoy the full issue, jam packed with insightful information on strategies to enhance your personal and professional life to achieve ultimate success, you must be a subscriber. Sign up for your own free subscription NOW by clicking here!]

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