There’s nothing more romantic than sneaking into the copy machine room at work with your new boyfriend or girlfriend — who is also your coworker — to steal some kisses. Your secret relationship from the rest of the office is sexy, exciting and fun. But, dating a coworker has its challenges, including the risk of damaging your professional persona in the office, or even losing your job.
Here are three advantages and three disadvantages to dating a coworker.
1. Work is sexy. Put aside the fact that people look better at work — women in high heels and lipstick, men in suits and ties. Work is also a place where you can really showcase your professional skills and impress others. Being smart and achieving results and recognition is attractive! Add to that the allure of keeping a secret from others, and it makes perfect sense that two people could fall for each other in a setting like this.
2. Familiarity feels good. Any single person in the dating scene will tell you how difficult it is to meet single people. People dating often use the terms “psycho” and “loser” when referring to men and women with whom they went on first dates. When you work with someone, there’s a sense of safety and trust because you already know him or her. He or she isn’t a total stranger. They are probably already your friend. You’ve most likely already had a drink with him or her at a company party. It makes things so much easier and less stressful in this regard. It’s comfy cozy.
3. You have commonality. Who needs eHarmony or another dating service to match you up with someone who has similar interests? You and your coworker already have a huge commonality: the two of you decided to work for the same company. That’s huge.
1. It could be seen by some as unprofessional. How much does your job mean to you? Are you there just to make money or do you have high aspirations to move up the corporate ladder? Dating a coworker could ruin your chances of growing with your company because your superiors might see your love life with a coworker as unprofessional.
2. It could make work difficult. Image dating a coworker and being blissful. Everything seems perfect. Until you have a big fight. The two of you aren’t speaking, or maybe he or she even broke up with you. Now you have to go into the office and do your job, pretending nothing is wrong. To make matters worse, the person who just broke your heart might be walking by your office five times a day, or worst case scenario, you have to give a presentation to a group of people, and he or she is one of them!
3. You could lose your job! There are some companies that discourage or even prohibit interoffice dating. If you go against the rules, you are at risk of being fired. Ask yourself, is it really worth it? Even if your company is OK with its employees getting involved with each other, a rocky relationship could cause your job performance to decline if your emotions start to get the best of you at work.
Here’s the thing. I know dozens of married couples who met at work and lived happily ever after. I also know someone who got fired after an interoffice relationship blew up. Work can be a great place to meet someone, or it could be a no no. It all depends on the company culture and if you are able to handle mixing the cocktail of work and play. The choice is yours.
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