Before I go any further or delve into my soliloquy, let me make it clear. One should never date a co-worker 99.9% of the time! Some of you may disagree and I welcome all your thoughts. But since this is my blog, I get to state my position–relationships at work almost always go badly.
A few months ago one of my friends asked my opinion on whether she should begin a relationship with another attorney in her office. They have been flirting for months, it was evident to her and others that they were attracted to each other, but the only thing standing in her way was that they worked together. They didn’t work on the same floor, and only saw each other at work during lunch time and weekly meetings, but that didn’t matter to me. My answer remained a staunch no.
Against my advice, she went ahead and they dated for a little while (I believe this was his second intra-office “relationship”). Like most relationships, everything was great at first. Except for the fact that they rarely went out together in fear that co-workers might spot them. And after a few months, she asked the infamous question—“where is this going?” Things became very awkward after that. Although he professed his feelings for her, he was not prepared to officially be a couple.
It didn’t take her long to realize that their rendezvous had to end. But unfortunately, that didn’t end their running into each other at work. Every day I received phone calls from my friend complaining about how much her job sucked. She was not a fan of her job prior to her inter-office dating, and now she had to cope with running into the guy in the elevator, in meetings, in the stairwell, in the parking lot. Now she was hurt having to accept that he didn’t want to have a relationship with her, but instead of simply cutting him off and moving on with her life, she was reminded of the rejection on a daily basis. Meanwhile, she had to pretend as if they were still friends in order for their co-workers to not realize that they were once more than just work friends.
While he called her at work to ask her why she was behaving funny, and passed on some of his cases to her (usual part of their job), she handled her self well under the circumstances. Once she seemed to be over the situation and things had settled into some type of normalcy between them as co-workers, I couldn’t resist the chance of saying to her, “I told you so!”
Here are 8 reasons why one should reject the idea of dating a co-worker:
1- Interference with your work performance
2- Don’t become the office gossip
3- Can’t sever ties if the relationship goes south
4- Harder to handle if he/she starts dating someone else at work
5- You’re putting a lot of faith in the other person that they’ll keep it under wraps
6- May be a violation in your Employee Handbook
7- Your lover may become your boss (or vice versa)
8- Talk of favoritism if your relationship is public
Now I don’t want to sound like negative Nancy. I know people who started off their relationship as co-workers and it has now developed into marriage. So anything is possible.