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10 Vital Things To Consider Before Dating A Coworker

Life and love are unpredictable… and so are the people we date. When we fall in love it is our heart that becomes the culprit, our mind hardly has any say in this matter. Love can cause us to lose our rationale and our thought processes. Sometimes, it can even cause us to do things that are stupid or deemed unacceptable. One common example of this is falling in love with a colleague at work.

It’s easy to fall for a colleague who you work with regularly. After all, you are seeing them every day, getting familiar with their habits and nature, and if your likes and interests match up, then you will probably end up falling for them. Since you see this person every day, it will be hard to deny your emotions and you might decide that you want to act on these feelings. But dating a coworker is a big risk, and you will have to analyze the situation and make sure that the risk that you are taking is actually worth it. Before you take a step forward in this regard, we suggest that you take into consideration the following factors.

Suggested read: 8 reasons why an office romance might be a minefield for your career

You should only start dating a coworker after considering all the factors involved and you decide that it will not be hazardous to your personal or professional life.

1. Take things slow

couple working

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Make sure that you are taking things slow and wisely thinking things through before making a sudden and bold move. In an office environment, love happens easily but making it work may prove to be much harder. You have to go step by step and know from the very beginning what you want from the relationship. If you are planning to have a fling and your partner obviously wants more than that, this will cause conflict between the two of you and will definitely lead to the disruption of peace and harmony in the work environment. To avoid this, you and your coworker should establish boundaries for the relationship before starting to date. Dating a coworker is not something to take lightly, and you should carefully think about any possible consequences before deciding on anything. Remember that you are no longer a teen in a high school or a college goer who can have an affair whenever you wish.

2. Keep it low key

couple sorting out finances

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As the saying goes, “lend everyone thy ear, but few thy voice.” The meaning of this quote holds very true if you are dating a coworker. Even if you are unaware of this, there may be some people in your office who don’t have your best interests at heart. Every office has its own set of politics, and gossip can spread quickly. So be careful whom you speak to about your office romance. You may take a person to be a well-wisher and a friend when this may not be the case in reality. In your office, the difference between your friends and those who are just coworkers might be minor. But, this is a situation where you just have to be very sure about who you can trust.  If you’re dating a coworker and other employees get to know about it, they might start to gossip about it or feel uncomfortable about it. Even if you are going pretty steady with your coworker, you should probably keep the relationship as low key as possible. Even if there isn’t any negative feeling toward it among your coworkers, they would probably prefer the relationship to stay fairly private and discreet. Office romance doesn’t mean that you have to have to make a show of your love every second while at work.

3. Know the company policy before dating a coworker

couple planning

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Know the fraternization policies of your company. Every company has explicit fraternization policies explaining the extent to which employees are allowed to mingle and develop relations with each other. While some companies allow coworkers to date, there are some other companies that forbid it. You should be aware of these policies before you ask a colleague out. It is usually mandatory in every company that the employees cannot date their boss, but the rules regarding employees dating those in their department or elsewhere in the workplace differs from company to company. These policies exist so that the work environment, individual promotions, and work performance are not disturbed in any circumstance.

4. Know what you want out of the relationship


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Make sure you know what you want out of the relationship. Dating coworkers is a risky affair and you shouldn’t take that step unless you know for sure that you do really want to have a long term relationship with that particular coworker. If you are just looking for a fling or a liaison, then you should probably avoid dating a coworker. If it’s purely physical attraction, this is not something that you should entertain in an office environment. Do not bother telling your crush all about how you feel about them if all you want is something brief and only physical. Either fully commit or forget all about it. The only exception is if you are absolutely sure the other person also wants a fling and nothing more.

5. Be prepared to always be around your significant other


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Dating a coworker might be more exciting before living together or getting married, that is to say if you are thinking of getting into a serious relationship at all. But once you are married, you will have to remember that not only will you be with them at home, but they will accompany you to work as well. So if you two have had a fight, then you will be in a sour mood even when you are at work.

Suggested read: The most important lessons I learned during our marital separation

6. Try and maintain boundaries


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You wouldn’t have any separation between your work life and home life. While dating and getting seriously involved with your coworker may seem fun, adventurous, and exciting, it will also have a few disadvantages. For example, you could be too tempted to talk about household affairs with your partner at work. Similarly, you could also start talking about current projects and other work-related things while having a fun time with family. It will be eventually difficult for you to separate your family life from your work life.

7. Keep your priorities straight


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Priorities can change and you shouldn’t really let that happen. If you start dating your coworker, you may start giving your relationship more priority than work or important assignments at hand. Your employers and colleagues will not be very happy about this if it happens. Be extra aware of the time and energy you are devoting to your work as well as your love life.

8. Things might not go as you intended them to

couple arguing

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The worst of things could happen. Be well prepared; love in office is a common thing but that does not mean that such a romance is necessarily easy to maintain. Staying together long term and even getting married would be ideal, but this doesn’t always happen. Office romance, just like any other romantic relationship, may end in a bitter way and you never know what the result of that could be. It’s wise to prepare for the very worst to happen if you decide to date a colleague. Chances are high that if you continue working under the same roof after having separated, the relationship between the two of you will be extremely bitter. Both of you will want the other to quit and will surely be tempted to give each other hell.

9. The risk of getting caught

couple disagreement

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If relationships between employees are not encouraged in your workplace and you still give in to one, then you have to be extra careful to make sure that you do not get caught under any circumstances. Colleagues love to gossip about each other, and even the smallest bit of information about your affair may lead to trouble. These rumors could put you in danger of losing your job.

10. Keep your head in the right place

woman working

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Make sure that you don’t end up losing both your love life and your career. This may happen if you make a bold move and date your coworker and then end up getting fired for doing so. What’s worse, the relationship that made you lose your job might not last either and you could end up becoming an emotional (and financial) wreck while you recover.

Suggested read: 12 women reveal what drove them to cheat on their partners

In an office romance, the risks of losing your job are far greater than the joy of dating your coworker. But if you like to live life on the edge, if you think that you will be able to be discreet, and if you think you are too emotionally invested in that special someone at work, then we suggest you go forward with it. Just keep in mind all the precautionary measures listed above and we assure you that you will do just fine.

Feautred image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
10 Things To Consider Before Dating A Coworker
Dating a coworker has its own challenges and pitfalls. Take a look at the things you need to consider before getting into an office romance.
Suraiya Islam

Suraiya Islam

The mind of an introvert works in the weirdest fashion. They are overly sensitive, sentimental and have tons of thoughts running through their minds, but at the same time, for reasons unknown even to themselves, they like nothing better than to stay aloof. Being one such self-confessed introvert, I have always loved putting my thoughts into words. Good books and music with moving lyrics work as my Muse. Children and things abounding with innocence strengthen my faith in goodness. Contemporary Indian works of literature make me a happy bookworm, and songs by Coldplay brighten up my day like nothing else! Here's hoping you will enjoy reading my posts, for you can trust an introvert to be a keen observer and a very devoted blogger!