Workplace Romance: The “Not a Guide” Guide
When it comes to workplace romance, I like to think that I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt (and a husband too). So maybe I’ve earned the experience to talk about this. You spend most of your waking hours at work so it’s only normal that you may start to look for or find love at your place of work. However, it’s a slippery slope that can easily go awry. It’s important to protect yourself and your job if you decide to venture into the murky waters of workplace romance.
Stick to the Rules: Before you go into any relationship, you may want to consider what your employers’ policy is on dating. While many employers are indifferent as to whether their staff date, others have a strict non-fraternization policy. It’s also important to note that while some employers do not care what their staff do during their private time, they insist that no two members of staff can get married to each other if they’re still in the company’s employment. Whatever your employer’s policy is, you should review it and make a decision based on what is most important to you.
Be sure you and your partner are on the same page: Don’t let yourself get carried away by emotions without asking your (potential) partner what s/he wants out of the relationship. This will help you decide if taking the plunge is worth it. It’s okay to confirm if your partner wants an exclusive monogamous relationship with you or if s/he is just looking for the next new thing. It is important to ask what your partner’s long term goals. Is s/he hoping for a future or does s/he just want to go with the flow? Are you comfortable in this type of relationship or do you want something more for yourself? This should help you decide if going into this relationship is worth it and prevent you from potential heartbreak.
Keep things professional: We get it. Love can make the smartest of us start to act out. However, it is important that you don’t let a little romance get in the way of your work ethics. Be as professional as you can and keep your relationship out of the way at work. Remember that your primary reason for being at work is work, so focus. Start with an end in mind, while expecting the best outcomes. Be sure that you’re still able to professionally relate with your partner if/when it’s all over.
Sometimes hush-hush is good: From my experience, I’ve learned that workplace relationships are best kept on the low. You’ll save yourself the heartache of being the topic of office gossip. You’ll also be able to move on quickly without feeling like you’re under a spotlight if your relationship ends prematurely. In my own case, I kept my relationship secret up until the week we got married (except for a handful of people). On the flip side, some people may take undue advantage of “under the radar relationships” to be in relationships with multiple people.
Have you been in a relationship with a colleague before? How did it end? Do you have any tips and tricks and you’d like to share?