OFFICE ROMANCE: A Dames Guide to Navigating Office Romance

Americans spend more time at work then they do at home. (While awake of course) And it would be a natural to assume that in spending this much time with people a possible attraction may occur. Studies say that about 40% of people have had relationship within the work place. If you take a look at most work policies, this is very much frowned upon but it doesn’t seem to be stopping people. If done right, an office romance can be a very positive thing. It may help you get through the day and look forward coming to work. If done wrong, it can be disastrous and could even lead to either party ending their employment. Here are some tips on how to approach an office romance:
Don’t Rush:

Getting to know someone in an office setting can be very one sided. Everyone has to be on their best behavior when at work. Being friendly and smiling, for the most part, is something that people do to conform in the work place. However, outside of work they can be very different. Make it a point to get to know each other outside of work, possibly before it even turns into a date. They could be loud, use profanity in excess, or just simply socially awkward.  Most places have work functions or groups of people that hang out after hours. If someone catches your eye, make it a point to see how they are in social settings.  Also be aware of any red flags. This could be anything from gossip around the office to a temper when placed under stress.  By paying close attention to someone’s actions with others may let you know they are or are not what you are
 looking for. 

Look at their history:

The first question should be, “Have you dated or slept with anyone else here in the office?” Some people are chronic office daters, or just simply like to sleep with everyone one that will let them. This would be cause for concern. They could be telling you one thing, but doing something totally different. Look to see if there is a wedding ring that my come one and off and also for pictures of their family at the desk. Just be sure to take notice of their actions with people of the opposite sex, be wary of the tale that “you are the only one” and “don’t tell anyone else about us.” If this is going on with you, it is likely that it could be going on with someone else.

Don’t PDA at work:

Most people enjoy showing public affection to their significant others. However, when it comes to office romances, this can be tricky. You don’t want to offend your co-workers nor do you want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. In this respect it is wise to keep all public displays of affection extremely limited if not at all. There is also the consideration that most employers frown upon work relationships so showing too much affection may end up getting you in trouble. But once the relationship has been established, it is important to inform your boss or supervisor what is going on.

Be Grown up:

Even in the best of relationships there are arguments, and like in any, they need to be handled with care; even more so with an office relationship. If this happens, you HAVE TO leave the fight at the door. To keep things professional, you cannot bring any drama into the work place. This comes back to making your co-worker feel uncomfortable, and let’s be honest; you don’t want to put your business out there for everyone to know. Now let’s say for instance you split from your office relationship, again you need to handle yourself with professionalism and decorum. You cannot mess with how you or anyone makes a living. Make sure to clear the air, and not at work, so that it can be a comfortable place for you to continue your employment.  

Enjoy It:

You have found the person of your dreams and you nothing can be better. Oh yeah, you get to see them every day at work… Well make the best out of the situation. At this point all of your fellow employees know what’s going on, so at this point it is ok to show your appreciation and moderate affection. (This doesn’t mean PDA, a longer touch on the arm or a very quick kiss on the cheek goodbye at most)  Leave a cute note on their desk, or bring them a coffee when they aren’t expecting it. And contrary to popular belief, just because you work with someone doesn’t mean that you see them all day. In most situations, the couple would have to go out of their way to see each other, so when you do show them some love.

Office relationships can be tricky to navigate, but with people spending so much time at their jobs, sometimes it is hard to avoid love when it is starting you in the face. Be sure to use common sense when entering into the relationship and the same would go for exiting as well. And if you have found your partner, then simply enjoy them and make the best out of the situation!  

~ Megan Nikole

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