One of the things we know about attraction is that proximity can bring it on. So working day in and day out with a person often leads to feelings of attraction. You talk regularly, share problems, laugh and spend hours in each others company. In fact, surveys tell us that 74% of people have dated a co-worker.
But is dating your co-worker a good idea?
Office romances can be scintillating, but also problematic. While it might be fun to flirt and be given attention, the down side of office romance needs to be considered. Here are 10 cautionary notes:
1) You need to know your company’s policy on dating co-workers. If there is one that prohibits this, do not do it.
2) When the relationship isn’t going well, you can’t avoid the person. The smaller the office, the more awkward this can be.
3) Focusing on a co-worker as a dating partner often alienates you from other co-workers. You stop going to lunch with others, talking during coffee breaks, and getting to know people because your time and energy is with the one you are dating.
4) If your workplace frowns on dating co-workers, this can jeopardize your chance of promotion. Administrators may believe it is difficult to stay “professional” when your personal life intersects with the office.
5) A break up puts you in an awkward place. And you don’t know how people may respond to a break up. He or she could seek revenge or undermine your work.
6) Dating a person to whom you report to is doubly problematic. The inequality of power places you in a vulnerable position and can be manipulated. If you are the boss, you could be sued or accused of giving preferential treatment.
7) If you are quarreling out of the office, it may be difficult not to bring it to the office.
8) Other co-workers could get jealous and set you up.
9) What you share with a person while dating could be shared with the office after a break up.
10) This may seem obvious, but the co-worker may not be single. According to infidelityfacts.com, 36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a co-worker. The workplace is the number one place to meet someone for an affair.
What are your thoughts on dating a co-worker?