Oh, the good old workplace romance. Oftentimes, it just comes out of nowhere. Many people meet their romantic partners at work, yet dating in the workplace is typically disapproved of. And in reality, most dating professionals are straightforward about what they suggest when it comes to love at work: Don’t do it. Yet, of course, people frequently disregard relationship advice.
Despite being dominated by nightclubs, restaurants, and online dating sites, the workplace is still among the top five locations where people meet their romantic partners. So if you have your eye on a coworker, at least have a blueprint on how to handle it before you even plunge your toe in dubious waters.
Whatever dream you may be holding in your mind, if you chase that dream, it’s important to be aware of the possible harm to your work, your boss, your colleagues, and your love interest. All things considered, numerous successful couples began their love story as an office romance, so it’s not reasonable to say that it should be prevented at all costs to have a crush on a colleague.
Things to Consider When Dating in the Workplace
Before you move forward with your relationship, consider the following:
1. Understand the risks
It’s important to think about the risks before acting on your feelings, and there are quite a few. There are guidelines on relationships at work for many companies, so it’s critical to determine what the employee manual says. Companies and employers are concerned about interoffice dating not just for office ethics reasons but because they need to be cautious on topics such as lewd behavior, sexism, reprisal, and misuse of power.
Some workplace romances will be inclined to fuel colorful gossip, so you may need to manage it. Let your work productivity represent itself with no issue, and make an effort not to take part in that gossip. Always keep in mind to maintain professionalism!
Having several relationships with others generates possible conflicts of interest as well that can be difficult to address. In case you’re dating your colleague, whose interests do you place first, the team or your romantic partner? Reputational risks exist in workplaces. Dating in the workplace may jeopardize your professionalism, especially if people don’t see your genuine intentions when going into the relationship.
Some coworkers may assume you’re giving special privileges or preferential treatment to your romantic partner or vice versa. This is especially true if you’re engaged in a relationship with someone highly placed in the company, and it may create a surrogate explanation of why you’re achieving more.
2. Get on the same boat
Getting on the same boat as your partner is the first thing you need to do. One of you may need the entire world to know, whereas the other might think that keeping it hush-hush is a better idea.
A few organizations have regulations that explicitly restrict any type of office romance. Others may even have a policy that expects you to notify HR or your supervisors when you’re dating a colleague, especially if there is any affiliation between the work you both do.
Your boss may address what dating your colleague means for your expert objectives, credibility, and ongoing commitment to the company. You don’t have to mention your first date, however on the off chance that you intend to keep dating, skulking around could prompt challenges. If you begin to dine in together, for instance, and make them look like working meetings, that is a misdeed. They want to continue to benefit from your abilities and experience from the viewpoint of the organization. So if your relationship reduces your potential to do so, people may view you as less of a resource.
Though regardless of circumstance, it’s still essential to be open about your relationship with your colleagues and boss. This may be arduous advice to follow, especially if you don’t know where the relationship will go—is it going to fall flat? Are you going to make it work? But rest assured that letting colleagues know will reduce the discomfort and judging eyes from the hallways. Besides, even if you don’t tell them, they’re going to find out eventually!
3. Always maintain genuine intentions
Your intentions are essential if you’re mindful of the risks and still want to progress the relationship. The reactions of your colleagues will represent what they think your intentions are. When they see you as having an ego motive, like searching out the relationship to serve for your benefit regardless of whether it’s to excel in your organization or for your thrill, they won’t hide their distaste. Moreover, colleagues are altogether affirmative and favorable on the off chance that they see that you’re sincerely falling in love and compassionate with each other.
So, check your motives before you swoop in and consider how others will see them. If the romance comes to an end, having positive intentions at the beginning can also help guard against distressing feelings and misperceptions.
4. Set and follow your limits
While you need individuals to understand what’s happening, you don’t need to expose them to your relationship. As a decent and respectable employee, you should know your limits when you’re in the office. You don’t have to flirt with your partner at all times, especially during working hours, as some would find it uncomfortable. When you’re at work, you have to consider other people’s feelings because it may cause them to be demotivated at work. Your colleagues’ feelings are as important as yours and your partner’s, but your relationship should never jeopardize work quality.
It’s just a matter of recalling the hat you carry in the position you’re in. You’re a company employee at work, and your partner is a colleague. That means treating your romantic partner at work the same way you treat other colleagues and maintaining the external relationship beyond the office’s four walls.
Recommended reading: 10 Tips for Dating A Filipino Man
5. Steer clear of your boss
It’s best not to date your managers or superiors, no matter what your motives are. Anybody who is in your reporting line simply calls for a bad idea. According to research, the results are not as good when you are dating your boss, and there are more negative stereotypes from other colleagues. Aside from being frowned upon, this is the place where irreconcilable situations are most harsh.
Regardless of whether you’re confident that you can isolate work from romance if this relationship is with your boss or somebody in the higher management, it’s ordinarily best to eliminate yourself. Limits will tend to be obscure, particularly when you endeavor to possess both romantic partner and manager roles. For instance, it’s difficult to be unbiased when giving a performance audit to someone you’re dating. Furthermore, you don’t need individuals to believe that you’re giving someone some special treatment as it can disintegrate your certainty and hurt the team’s esprit de corps.
We understand that romances between a boss and an employee do happen, and it’s really not a bad thing if you’re in the real world, and those relationships work out often. However, that is something we cannot prevent when inside the workplace. If that is something you’d prefer to consider, we highly suggest making a prompt move to another boss or reassign your immediate report to another team. Bigger organizations can typically help oblige such circumstances as well, such as having one of your shift departments.
6. And what if it fails?
You’re probably off to a great start when dating in the workplace, but if there’s a nasty breakup, what are you going to do? Although you likely won’t envision that option right now, keep in mind that it can occur. Consider the possibility that your romantic partner will part ways with you and start dating your closest companion at work. Or imagine a scenario in which your colleagues grumble to HR that your relationship is affecting their capacity to work. Presume when either of you winds up leaving the workplace. These are just some of the few possibilities where your relationship can fall flat. And despite all that, you should feel certain that both of you can proceed onward without risking your profession.
Your workplace romance will influence not only both of you but also everybody around you and your boss. So understanding what you’re risking is critical. Would you be able to see yourself working alongside an ex-lover?
There’s nothing wrong with dating in the workplace as long as both of you maintain your professionalism and let your performance standout. We can never dictate our heart on who to love. Who cares if you’re falling in love with a colleague? Just make sure to consider the above should you wish to pursue an office romance. After that, you should be good to go!
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