Couple ditches employer after being told to end office romance

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

Several years ago, I worked for a national corporation that had a strict dating policy. Managers were not allowed to date employees. That included a ban on managers dating other managers. While those of us who were not in management could date each other, the folks at the top were strictly forbidden from mixing business with pleasure.

With such a restrictive dating policy, it's no wonder that a couple of managers inadvertently fell in love. I don't know whether it was the forbidden nature of their relationship that drew them to each other, but they were smitten.

They tried to hide it, but working in close proximity made it impossible. We all saw the longing glances and the way they always snuck off together during lunch breaks. Their secret affair wasn't a secret at all.

Soon, members of upper management became aware of their actions. The human resources department became involved, and the human resources officer called the couple into her office for a. meeting.

She offered my managers an ultimatum. They could end their romance immediately, or one of them could quit.

They had twenty-four hours to decide whether to end the relationship or to choose which of them should look for a new job.

Less than twenty-four hours later, they arrived at their decision.

I was at work that day, and I saw them enter the front door of the building dressed in casual clothes and holding hands. I didn't need to wait for office gossip to start circulating to know what they had chosen to do next.

They quit their high-paying jobs to save their relationship. Both of them. Hand in hand.

I wish I could have been in the office when they handed in their resignation letters together as a single unified front.

I like to think the human resources officer congratulated them on choosing love over business, but I doubt it. She had a difficult time finding qualified candidates to fill those positions once the lovebirds quit.

I'm happy to say it turned out to be a good decision for them. They are still together, married with children. In lieu of working for corporate America with its rules and restrictions, they are self-employed.

The last I heard, they were running a small bed and breakfast in a nearby tourist town. Times have been tough due to the current state of tourism, but I anticipate things will pick up eventually. Until then, at least they have each other and their children.

If they had given in to our mutual employer, who knows where they would be right now?

I am proud of them for giving up their middle-management positions in exchange for their relationship. If it had been up to "company policy," they might never have found true love, and that's better than any meaningless job.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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