So, you fell for a coworker, did you? Don’t panic, this isn’t anything abnormal. In fact, workplace relationships are extremely common.
But, despite the fact that dating a co-worker is nothing out of the ordinary, it can still be dangerous.
Dangerous not only because you have to deal with your lover at work, which presents many challenges, but also dangerous for your career if you handle it poorly.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at four things to keep in mind if you’re engaged in a workplace fling:
1. Obey Workplace Rules Regarding Office Relationships
If your employer has rules and guidelines about workplace romance, you should be well aware of them before you get too deep into a relationship with one of your coworkers.
That might require reaching out to your human resources department to find out the rules. If there are indeed a set of policies in place, you should follow them carefully to avoid any potential discipline. Honesty is usually the best policy when it comes to workplace flings, but then again you may need to keep things on the down-low if your employer frowns upon relationships between employees.
2. Don’t Engage in Public Displays of Affection
Um, duh? Yeah, this seems obvious, but many people have succumbed to their sexual desires in the workplace and regretted the outcomes.
Keep the physical aspects of your relationship — from holding hands to sex in the boss’s office — outside the workplace!
Even if everyone at the office knows about your relationship, you should still avoid public displays of affection.
3. Keep a Lid on the Drama (and Gossip)
You might be tempted to rant about your partner to co-workers of the same sex during coffee break and behind their back. Or, you might be tempted to brag about the great sex you had with him or her last week.
But a good rule of thumb is to avoid talking about any details of your relationship with your co-workers. It’s always best to avoid bringing relationship drama to the office or workplace.
4. Be Realistic and Recognize Potential Problems
Just because you’re madly in love with the girl in accounting down the hall doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever. Breakups happen all the time, and it’s definitely possible that your workplace romance won’t stand the test of time.
Keep that in mind whenever you’re dealing with office relationships, because you may have to work closely with your ex after the two of you have broken up. Make sure you’re OK with that before you get too deep into your relationship.
If you follow the four simple guidelines I’ve outlined above, you should be able to avoid any career and relationship damage resulting from your workplace romance.
Don’t worry too much, by the way — there are plenty of successful marriages that began at work, and often your colleagues at work will be highly compatible.
Just play it safe when necessary, and you’ll be fine!