Office Flings: Can You Handle Them?

July 26, 2010  |  

Workplace romances have a bad rep for a reason.  As much as we love the idea of you meeting your future Barack in the elevator as you head up to your office for the morning, most times it does not go that way.  In fact, office romances often become the material for watercooler gossip and coffee brewer hate…

Even though we strongly caution against it, we know that when a Madame sets her sights on something, it usually comes to pass.  All we ask is that you consider the following worst-case scenarios.  Before you get frisky on his mouse pad, consider the not-so-great moments an office romance can bring.

Does He Tame Your Omarosa? Go-getting women are usually attracted to the same in their mate.  When your boss is looking for a top proposal, will you cower away because your beau from down the hall is in the running too?  Don’t let feelings stand between you and career success.  There’s no ‘i’ in couple, but there sure is one in promotion.

Do You Breakdown Like Mariah? Thou shalt not cry in the office.  Let us repeat that.  Thou shalt not cry in the office.  It’s one thing if you’re mourning the loss of a family member or even your cat you had for years.  But a Madame never cries over some boy at her desk, in the break room or even in the handicap stall.  If your office park man is tugging at your heart strings and playing with your emotions, then let him go. If your heart won’t let him go, then let your pride make the decision.  You want to be seen as a maven, not a mess.

Is He Running Across Your Mind? When Jill Scott sang it, it was beautiful.  When you do it, it’s daydreaming.  We all can fall victim to having flashbacks that distract us, but an office romance means they can take hold of your mind the entire day.  If you can’t redirect your mental energy back to your work, reconsider it altogether.  You may be twirling your hair, but he’s probably already half way through his pile of work for the day.  If you can’t keep your legs together, you better be able to keep your focus on.

Are You Doing The Grown-Up Walk of Shame? You haven’t done it since you were living in a dorm. But now, you’ve recovered, you’re power-strutting through the halls when you see him.  And suddenly…it’s awkward.  The truth is there is still a little bit of college in every office interaction, and just like you could tell the girls who hadn’t slept in their own bed before 8AM class, your colleagues will usually be able to sense something different about you.  If you both want a committed relationship, you can set the on-the-job boundaries before you bump into each other in the copy room and make an uncomfortable scene.  But if you’re only looking for an on-top-of-the-Xerox fling, then it’s probably not worth it in the first place.

“Wonder Woman Files” is a weekly career column on Madame Noire. Stay tuned for more topics, comment or write us at editors@madamenoire.com if you have suggestions!

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