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The Do's and Don’ts of an Office Romance

Kasha Thompson @kayslay_allday


For many of us, sometimes we spend more than forty hours a week at our place of work. Our workspace is often considered our second home. Having to spend all that time at work, one is bound to make connections with co-workers or business partners. So, what should you do when you're vibing with a co-worker on a romantic level? Let’s look at some best practices to navigate through a potential office romance.

Know the rules. What is your company’s policy regarding romantic relationships between colleagues? Many organizations have strict rules when it comes to this very issue. If you are considering a relationship you may need to notify Human Resources to guard against conflicts of interest. Work assignments may need to be redistributed. At some organizations office relationships are against the rules, only you can determine if it is worth it to peruse.

Are you sure? No matter how discreet you try to be, office romance comes with drama. You may have to suffer through whispers and rumors about your romantic entanglement. Make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into. If you feel confident that you and your co-worker can have a fulfilling relationship, you should still proceed with caution.

Always be professional. This means leaving the relationship drama at home. If you and your partner get into a huge fight before an important work meeting, you need to be ready to hit the pause button. No one at work wants to get caught in the middle of a lover's quarrel. Also, be mindful of public displays of affection. You may want to refrain from holding hands, hugging, and kissing while in the office. Displays of romantic affection could make other employees uncomfortable. If you can’t maintain a separation of your professional life and your personal life, then you may find yourself sitting down with HR.

Most relationships end, harsh but true. With that in mind, you should have a plan for what you will do if your office romance doesn’t work. This is something you should consider before you start playing footsies under the conference room table. Have an exit plan and talk openly and honestly with your potential partner about how you two will handle a break-up.

There's a lot to consider when you start to feel butterflies for a co-worker. Don’t let the glow of love cloud your better judgment. Do your research. Weigh the pros and cons. Remain professional at all times. Be prepared to walk away.


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