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Dating a coworker can be tricky business. On the one hand, you may be attracted to each other because you share the same work environment and have already seen each other at your best. On the other hand, you may be worried that things could get complicated if the relationship doesn’t work out.
Here are a few tips to help make dating a coworker a success:
1. Know that it’s not uncommon
Office romances are way more common than you might think. It’s only natural that you fall for someone you spend a lot of time with and share a lot of common interests with. So don’t feel bad!
And there are many benefits (but also some challenges) to dating a coworker. We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s often very beneficial. But since you see each other a lot, break-ups can become very tough.
2. Know the risks
Dating a coworker can be very risky. You may worry about what will happen if the relationship doesn’t work out. Will it affect your work? Your career? The ability to see each other every day?
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before you decide to pursue a coworker romance. And then there’s another potential issue: your company’s policies.
3. Know your companies policies
Not every company is okay with employees dating. Some companies have strict policies against it, while others are more lenient. It’s important to know your company’s policy before you pursue a relationship with a coworker.
If your company has a no-dating policy, you’ll need to decide if the risk is worth it; you may lose your job! But if your company is okay with it, then you’ll need to be extra careful to keep things professional at work.
4. Have good intentions
Make sure you’re pursuing a relationship for the right reasons. Don’t try to date a coworker just to get ahead at work or because you’re bored. You should only pursue a relationship with someone you have genuine feelings for and who you think has the potential to be a long-term partner. Especially when they’re already having kids. Imagine you’re dating a man with kids; if things go wrong, you may end up not just breaking one heart.
And never hook up with a coworker who might have feelings for you, which you can’t reciprocate. That’s just mean!
5. Talk about your expectations
Before you pursue a relationship, talk to your potential partner about your expectations. What are you looking for? A casual hookup or something more serious? Do you want to keep things professional at work, or is that not important to you?
It’s important that you’re on the same page from the start. Otherwise, things could get messy later on.
6. Better not date your boss or subordinates
It should go without saying, but you should never date your boss or a subordinate. It’s just not worth the risk!
The coworker you’re dating should be at the same level as you. Dating your manager, for example, could cause a lot of talk behind the back because coworkers might suspect that now you’re the one who gets a mysterious promotion, not because you’re the best candidate for it.
And should things not work out, suddenly, you might be the one who’s passed over for a promotion or a raise. Maybe you’ll even get to do the hardest work all of a sudden.
7. Don’t forget about the office gossip
Dating a coworker means that you’ll be the subject of office gossip. And not everyone will be supportive of your relationship. Some people may think it’s unprofessional, or they may simply be jealous.
You’ll need to be prepared for this and be ready to stand up for your relationship. But it’s also important not to let the gossip get to you. Just ignore it and focus on your own happiness.
8. Don’t try to hide it
Most people aren’t stupid; they see when two people get along with each other a little too well. Trying to hide your relationship will only make things more difficult. And it’s not fair to your partner, who might feel like they’re being treated like a dirty secret.
And most people don’t like being lied to, so eventually, the truth will come out. It’s better to just be upfront about your relationship from the start. And if you can’t be open about your relationship at work, then maybe you shouldn’t pursue it.
9. Keep it discreet
Even though your colleagues may now know about the relationship, that doesn’t mean you need to make a big announcement or start flaunting your affection for each other. In fact, it’s probably best to keep things as discreet as possible.
You don’t want to make things awkward for yourself or your partner, and you certainly don’t want to give people more ammunition for gossip. Don’t make out with each other in the office, etc. Just be respectful and keep things low-key.
10. Be respectful of each other’s careers and stay professional
Just because you’re dating a coworker doesn’t mean that your careers have to suffer. In fact, you should be extra careful not to let your personal relationship get in the way of your professional lives.
That means no public displays of affection at work, no fighting or arguing in the office, and no showing favoritism towards each other. Be respectful of each other’s careers, and don’t let your personal relationship jeopardize either of your jobs.
11. Set boundaries and stick to them
It’s important to set some boundaries in the relationship, both at work and outside of work. That way, you can avoid any potential conflict or drama.
For example, you might agree not to talk about work when you’re at home, or you might agree not to discuss certain projects with each other. Whatever boundaries you set, make sure you both agree to them and stick to them.
12. Home is home; work is work
It’s extremely important that you keep your work life and home life separate. That means no bringing work problems home with you and no discussing personal matters at work.
Your partner should be the one person you can go to for support, both at work and at home. But they shouldn’t be the only person you confide in. Make sure you still have friends and family to lean on, both at work and outside of work.
13. Handle conflict like adults
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but it’s especially important to handle conflict well when you’re dating a coworker. After all, you can’t just break up and never see each other again. You have to continue working together, so it’s important to resolve any issues you have in a mature and respectful way.
Of course, that’s not always easy. But it’s important to try. If you can’t seem to work things out on your own, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you learn how to communicate better and resolve conflict in a healthy way.
14. Be prepared for the worst
No relationship is perfect, and that includes relationships with coworkers. There will be good days and bad days. And should things not work out, you’ll need to be prepared for the possibility of working with your ex.
It’s not easy to work with an ex, but it can be done. If you’re both professional and respectful, you should be able to maintain a cordial relationship. But if things are too awkward or uncomfortable, it might be best to look for another job.
Dating a coworker can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. There are many risks involved, so you should always proceed with caution. But if you’re careful and respectful, you can make it work. Just be sure to set some boundaries, communicate openly, and handle conflict in a mature way. And should things not work out, be prepared for the possibility of working with your ex.
Just be sure to handle the situation with care and maturity. If you do, you should be able to make it work. Good luck!
What? You’re not already dating a co-worker but are interested in one? Do you want to find out if he’s interested in you? Maybe these powerful signs of male attraction can help you find out!
Secrets to a healthy relationship: Books every couple should read
It's no secret that a healthy relationship is key in a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. This list of books about healthy relationships will help you learn how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and deepen your connection. From classic self-help books to more modern reads, these titles will give you the tools you need to build a strong and healthy relationship.
- Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
- Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship
- Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples
- Infidelity Recovery Workbook for Couples: Tools and Exercises to Rebuild Your Relationship
- Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are