How to successfully date a colleague.
So you’ve meet someone at work that puts a sparkle in your eye and butterflies in your tummy. Someone that leaves you breathless. But, you ask, should you cross the boundary from colleague to girlfriend/boyfriend, or is it a big no no?
According a recent survey conducted by Blue Label Life, results revealed over 80% of people will say it’s taboo to every date anyone at work, however, 40% of those surveyed have dated someone at work, with 50% of those resulting in marriage and long-term relationships.
With as much time as we all spend on our careers these days, the work place is a popular place to find dates, romance, and even long-lasting love. The attraction to a co-worker may not be something you can shake. So after a few failed attempts of not meeting the right person at a bar or club and the concerns for privacy online, exhausting your current network and nowhere else to look the next natural step for most people would be to look for someone from work. After all, you’d obviously have some common ground.
Well, maybe on paper.
Steps to success when dating a colleague:
1. Look before you leap! – check they feel the same way!
Be sure to give it a lot of thought before you let your co-worker in on your feelings. Make sure the feeling is mutual, do they flirt with you? Take an interest in how you spend your weekends? Do they make excuses to contact you? Do they share a smile or give you a slightly longer glance? Imagine if the feelings weren’t mutual? Could you face that person again?
2. Make sure they’re worth it.
Is this really someone you can see yourself having a serious relationship with? Remember, if this doesn’t work out, you could be put in an uncomfortable position, considering your paths will (most likely) cross regularly. If there’s no doubt that this is the person you’d like to have a relationship, and it’s something you can see blossoming long-term, go for it!
3. Choose wisely!
Think about your reputation and choose wisely. If you decide to date someone at work, you really only have so many shots before you will develop the wrong kind of reputation. Dating more than one colleague leaves a bad impression and is considered a career limiting move. It could prevent you from getting a promotion and being the next target for office gossip. It’s just not worth it.
4. Check your company policies.
Yes, I’m serious. With tight company policies, there are many risks associated with an office romance. The most significant being that you could put your job on the line and potentially be face a sexual harassment case. Most companies allow personal relationships to develop between peers, but do not allow boss and subordinate relationships to develop. Check yours out!
5. Keep it quiet.
During the initial honeymoon stage, you’ll want to tell the world, but in an office relationship, it’s best to keep the relationship under wraps until it’s solid. We all know people love to gossip at every opportunity and spread rumours. Not only will the initial secret keep everyone guessing, it will also intensify the spark!
6. Set boundaries – leave work and work and play at home.
As the relationship develops, it’s easy to think you can keep the romance until after hours, but unless strict ground rules are in place and adhered to, little glances will soon become naughty little emails and giggling behind the water cooler. This will be seen as poor taste, especially in a conservative environment. Keep it professional at all times.
7. Keep your affection and emotions at bay!
Whether it be inappropriate PDA (Public Displays of Affection) or hostility after an argument, keep it to yourself. The last thing you want to do is make your work colleagues uncomfortable and question your character.
8. Dont forget playtime!
Just because you met at work doesn’t mean you have to live and breathe it together. Have fun together. Go exploring, be adventurous, enjoy sweet nothings together and enjoy what life is really about – personal relationships!
As they say, love often finds you. Be sure, be wise, but sometimes you just have to make that leap and take that chance.