The Essential Guide To Dating A Coworker
Workplace romance is very common, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you ended up at the same office as somebody, it’s probably because you have a lot of the same interests, passions and ambitions. Translation: you have a lot in common! Add to that the fact that your coworkers understand your daily stresses, the personality types you encounter and your responsibilities better than anybody, and it’s no surprise office mates fall in love.
But if you do sense a building flirtation with a coworker, or you’ve already gone out with one, or you’re already in a full-blown relationship with one, there are some important ground rules to follow. When you date a coworker, your career is naturally at stake. So here is your essential guide to dating a coworker.
Drive to work separately
No matter how convenient it would be to just carpool especially since you slept at the same place last night, drive separately. Until your relationship is out in the open, you can’t just slyly drive up together every morning sharing a pastry and expect nobody to notice.
Be careful who you talk to
You might be itching to talk to your coworker friends about your new found love. Remember that you don’t know your other coworkers that well and people are not always what they seem. Somebody might be vying for your position, and eager to get any dirt on you that would get you fired.
Get the scoop on his breakups
Before you start seriously dating a coworker, you should do some digging around to find out how his breakups usually go. If you discover he tends to have very public, messy and hostile breakups, you may want to think twice about dating him! Because that breakup will spill all over your work.
And if he’s dated anyone else in the office
You should also find out if he’s dated other people at the office. A date here or there with some other women is fine but, what if his last three serious relationships were in this office? A) He doesn’t know how to date outside of work which is weird and B) You’re working with some of his exes…
Don’t just talk about work
When you’re still seeing if this can go somewhere, make a point to talk about things other than work. It is easy to think you connect with a coworker, just because you understand one another’s work life. You may, however, find that you don’t connect in many other areas.
No PDA at work
If your relationship does go public, don’t smooch at the copy machine or hold hands at a meeting. It’s not fair that you get to do that at work, and nobody else does.
Beware of using your office email
Do not use your office email address to send love messages. It’s all too easy to accidentally CC a coworker, or open up the wrong thread and respond with some pretty raunchy information.
Don’t date more than one
Your office isn’t your real-life Tinder. You get to date one coworker. ONE. So make sure it counts.
Find out the rules
You should find out what the office rules are for inter-office relationships. If it’s 100% against the rules, you need to ask yourself: is this worth losing my job over?
But find out how serious things are, first
Back up! Do not inquire about inter-office dating rules until you and your coworker have established that this relationship is going somewhere. If you haven’t established that, and he finds out you’re looking into the rules, he might think you’ve jumped the gun.
Once it’s public, don’t slack off
You have to know that, if you’re dating a coworker and are public about it, people in the office expect you to slack off. They expect you to be too busy flirting to get work done. You have to be extra on top of your game.
Eat lunch with others
Don’t isolate yourselves. When you’re an office couple, people can quickly feel like they can’t interact with you the way they used to. Invite others to have lunch with you, and to get happy hour drinks after work.
No special treatment
Don’t take your office boyfriend’s side in every discussion at work. Don’t do his work for him. Don’t cover for him if he’s late. People will resent you if you give him special treatment.
Do not date your superior
No matter what you do do not date your superior. Everybody will assume that you are doing it to get ahead in the company, and you will lose friends left and right. If the relationship doesn’t work out and you have to leave the company, you’ll have to explain to your next potential employer what happened. Awkward.
Take things slowly
The best thing you can do is to take things slow. Taking things slowly allows you to do all of the other things on this list, like find out a bit more about this person’s past, and discover how compatible you are before putting your job at risk.