As much as higher-ups may officially frown upon them, office romances are extremely common. You spend more time with the people who work beside you than you spend with anyone else in your life. By sharing 40-plus hours a week together, you and your co-workers will naturally develop a wide range of relationships.
Some of your co-workers will become your best friends, others will begin to feel like members of your family, and still others will become something so much more. While every connection between you and your co-workers needs to be handled with sensitivity, pursuing workplace romances requires an extra level of care and consideration.
Know the rules. Follow the rules.
Before you decide to date one of your co-workers, it’s important to know your office’s official rules regarding these relationships. If your office strictly forbids co-workers from dating each other, then you need to take a serious look at your priorities.
Determine whether you’d rather stay on your current professional path or whether you’d prefer to pursue this potentially serious relationship.
Fortunately, most men won’t have to make this decision. Workplace romances may not be encouraged these days, but they don’t carry the same stigma they once did.
Instead of representing automatic grounds for dismissal, deciding to date one of your co-workers usually brings with it nothing more than a set of procedures you need to follow to keep everything above the board with your higher-ups.
Learn your office’s rules for dating within the workplace, follow them to the letter, and you will avoid your first set of obstacles.
“Simply agree that when you’re at work, you
won’t talk about the personal life you share.”
Setting your own guidelines.
Dealing with a fallout from your superiors is only one of the problems you will face when you begin dating one of your co-workers. In addition to dealing with these external forces, you also need to create your own set of internal guidelines for balancing what could become a thoroughly out-of-control situation.
A relationship with one of your co-workers will provide a unique set of problems you need to deal with, problems related to keeping your work life and your home life completely separate from each other.
Now, keeping your work and personal life separate when you’re dating one of your co-workers is, of course, impossible. There’s no way you and your woman’s personal relationship won’t change the way you work together.
Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is a bad thing, depending on the current state of your relationship. Likewise, there’s no way what’s going on with the two of you at work isn’t going to spill over into your personal life with similarly shifting results.
Instead of chasing an impossibly harp divide between the work half of your relationship and the home half of your relationship, it’s better to simply agree that when you’re at work, you won’t talk about the personal life you share, and when you’re at home, you won’t discuss what’s going on at the office.
Not only will this ban on inappropriate discussions help your relationship retain the boundaries it needs, it will also help you keep your own individual life well balanced between pursuing professional success and building a personal life worth living.