Can you handle an office romance?

By The Statesman
office romance
office romance

Allow me to share with you the tale of two different office romances. Sarah and Jesse had worked alongside each other at a design company for a year before they realized that they had both developed feelings towards each other.

 With careful discretion and consideration, they slowly let their coworkers know that they were indeed a couple

Anne worked in the food service industry, and she began relationships with three - yes, three - of her coworkers (mercifully at different times).

Her boss, fed up with what she felt was a lack of respect for the job, fired her after Anne broke up with one of her coworkers for the third time.

Clearly, an office romance has both risks and rewards.

But with the workweek increasing and free time on the decline, it can be difficult to socialize (and subsequently meet new people) outside of the office.

Unless you work at a convent or a construction site, it's likely that you"ll meet a lot of potential partners at your workplace. So how do you navigate the potentially treacherous waters of an office romance without losing your professional dignity?

If you've met someone who you are interested in, and who feels the same way about you (usually an important starting point for most relationships!), then it helps to establish some ground rules before you officially become a couple.

Not a particularly romantic way to begin, granted, but neither is your partner referring to you as "Honey bun' during a meeting. It's unlikely that your coworkers will be impressed.

You might want to keep things low-key at first, and only let the most relevant people know.

Most companies have policies regarding personal relationships at work, and some actually have a 'love-contract' that couples are required to sign saying that they will not let their personal relationship interfere with their professional life.

Of course, make sure you know these if you tell your superiors - if you're going to get fired for dating a co-worker then maybe you should rethink the relationship!

Here's something to remember about office relationships: no matter how hard you try to keep it hidden from your co-workers, they will always find out.

And nothing counteracts the boredom of a long workday like a piece of juicy office gossip! Are you willing to be the subject of their conversations for the length of your relationship?

As if the personal pressures of a relationship aren't enough, then add to that the professional pressures of working with your partner and think about the results.

If you both work in a similar role, what would happen if one of you were promoted? Worse, what if one of you was fired? Career jealously is a terrible detriment to your working environment, and it takes a strong person to put that jealously aside.

And then comes the (almost) inevitable - the break-up. Unfortunately, most relationships do not end in marriage.

Many people, when they break up with their partner, would prefer that their ex-lover disappear than to have to see them again.

 Imagine coming to work every day knowing that you will have to see them - not only see, but work alongside them!

It seems unfortunate to have to seek a new job every time you end a relationship with an office lover, but according to an absolutely unscientific non-fact, this is why many people change jobs.