I have a confession to make that often surprises even the closest people in my life.
My partner and I met at work. We started off as friends, it turned into a romance, and we ended up keeping it a secret until he left the company to pursue a new opportunity. We no longer work together and have been together happily for years, but because it’s such a controversial topic, I want to touch on it.
Dating someone at work is extremely tricky. Although at times it does end up ending successfully, many times it doesn’t, and it’s going to be much more difficult to get over your ex if you have to see them at work every single day.
If you are interested in pursuing someone romantically that you also work with, here are the four primary things I would recommend considering first.
#1. Your company may have a rule against co-workers dating
One of the first things that I investigated when I realized that my partner and I were starting to develop feelings for each other, was whether or not our company had a rule that would forbid us from dating.
While it ended up that there were no rules against coworkers on the same level dating, it would have been a completely different story if he would have been my superior.
Luckily we were not in the same department, nor was he in a higher position than me which means that even if we had been “discovered,” it wouldn’t have been a fireable offense.
That being said…
#2. You may want to try to keep things on the down-low
My partner was not happy in his role and ended up moving to a company that was a much better long-term fit around six months after we started seeing each other.
Even though we knew that he wouldn’t be there for much longer, until he left the company we kept it a “secret” from our colleagues. I’m not claiming that there weren’t suspicions but we were extremely professional at work, didn’t spend time alone, and didn’t post anything on social media
In the case that he hadn’t been leaving, we would have disclosed our relationship and would have ensured our conduct remained professional. Neither of us is the type to put an office romance on display for the world to see, and it isn’t something that belongs at the office as it could serve as a distraction to others.
#3. If someone isn’t single… don’t make a move
Years ago I worked at a corporate company where two married supervisors ended up leaving their significant others… for each other.
The romance caused an angry uproar alongside an office scandal.
No one respected either supervisor because their personal lives had been made public. The two supervisors both ended up quitting, moved away, got married, and then got divorced shortly after.
Office romance is complicated enough without adding an element of infidelity, especially when you are in a leadership position. If you decide to proceed with the knowledge that someone is in a relationship it will give people an impression of your character that will most likely not be easily erased.
#4. Be realistic about what will happen if things don’t work out
The reality is that if you don’t end up marrying your romantic interest at work, you will most likely end up breaking up at some point.
Even though this realization takes some of the fun out of the honeymoon stage, you need to seriously think about and talk about what will happen if things end up going up in flames. Will a break-up impact how things go for you at your job? Will you need to find a new job, and if so… is taking a chance on the relationship worth it?
It’s incredibly nerve-wracking when you develop feelings for someone that you work with. It can end very badly for both parties involved, and it is always going to be a risk.
It is a risk that my partner and I took, and it resulted in the best decision I have ever made.
I don’t necessarily believe in soulmates, but over the years I have constantly been astounded by how much we complement each other and how lucky I feel to be spending my life with him.
Be careful pursuing someone in the workplace, but take it from someone on the other side… there can be times when taking the chance can result in a happy ending.