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Should You Date A Coworker? (Office Dating)

Should You Date A Coworker? (Office Dating) Traditional wisdom warns us not to mix business and pleasure. But since we spend so much time at the office, it is only natural to become attracted to a coworker. The key before acting on this attraction is to think very carefully about the possible consequences of an office romance gone bad. Are you willing to risk discomfort at your job if a relationship does not work out? In some cases, one or both of you might end up quitting the company. If you love your job and really do not want to see it end, consider not dating your colleagues under any circumstances. Make sure you really like the person before attempting to mix work and romance.

Before sexual harassment laws, it was a lot easier to flirt with a coworker. These days, you should first be absolutely sure your advances are welcomed. If you are a man or in a position of authority, you really must cautiously proceed when making any kind of romantic overtures. Here are some rather harmless ways to let you co-worker know you are interested in more than a work relationship.

  1. Casually ask if he would like to go to lunch with you. If he makes an excuse twice, stop asking and wait for him to make the next move.

  2. If you've already done the lunch hour "date", then suggest getting together for coffee or a drink after work. If she stalls around the idea t

    wice, then you need to back off for now.
  3. Always be friendly and ask questions such as, "How was your weekend?" Make him feel special.

Now, suppose you landed a date with the office catch and you're both moving into the romance zone? You must use discretion or risk alienating your coworkers. Do not discuss your relationship with anyone else at work, especially in the early stages. Depending on your company's policy, you might need to disclose it to your boss at some point. Assure your supervisor that your romance will not impact your ability to perform your work duties.

Act very professionally at work. Resist the urge to sneak a kiss, hold hands or gaze lovingly into each other's eyes. Likewise, do not glare at the female colleague who flirts with your sweetie.

Do not send intimate messages through e-mail or inter-office chat while at work. Your company may monitor Internet and intranet usage much more closely than you would ever think was possible. Also, you're better off keeping your romance off of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. After all, you probably have at least one colleague or associate of a colleague on your friends list.

Despite your best efforts, your colleagues eventually will realize you plus your coworker equals a couple. When this happens, do not make a big deal out of it. Continue working with everyone as if nothing has changed. Usually, adopting this attitude will squelch any potential personality conflicts. Your colleagues want to make sure no one is being favored in the workplace and it is your responsibility to act as maturely as possible.

By Stephanie Mojica. Posted on July 18th 2012.

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