Dating someone in your professional field can be awesome. They will understand your passion more than a partner outside the field, and you can discuss things that they can relate to. This is one advantage of dating a co-worker. However, while dating a coworker is a brilliant idea there are things that you need to take into consideration.
First and foremost, how will the relationship affect you and others around you professionally? Trust me, you don’t want to ruin your career for a romance that may not work out. It becomes hard to work in the same environment after a breakup.
While this may not be the case for you, you still need to make preparations and weigh the pros and cons. There are however cases where relationships started out in the workplace and they were successful. We cannot predict the outcome, but we can prepare ourselves for it.
How to date a co-worker?
Dating a co-worker is similar to dating anyone except that they work with you. You see them every day and spend most of your time with them. Hence it is easy to build attraction and bond in this situation.
Dating a coworker should be approached with caution and taken slowly. Build a friendship first and then you proceed to ask the person out. Once you spend sufficient time outside of the office you will be able to tell if the feeling is mutual. If the feeling is mutual, then you can express your desire to date.
Tips For Dating A Coworker
Know the rules and abide by them
Dating co-workers can be regarded as a breach of professional ethics and it is not a culture that is tolerated everywhere. Many organizations want their employees to focus and give their best so they may not allow dating. Being emotionally attached to someone at work can interfere with productivity. Some organizations will allow it, as long as it does not interfere with the company’s productivity. But before you consider dating a co-worker, be sure that it is safe and ethical.
Avoid any form of harassment
You want to date a woman or man you cannot stop thinking about. Bear in mind the feelings may not be mutual and making advances can make the person uncomfortable. You have to be careful as it may seem like you are harassing the person. Start slowly by just hanging out and see if the person feels comfortable or reciprocates the feeling. If you are rejected, then do not pressure the person. Let it go and focus on your job.
Maintain excellent job performance
After you are sure your romance is aligned with the organization’s code and ethics, then it is time to prove that you can handle yourself well even though you are dating a co-worker.
Hopefully, you have an honorable reputation that you will continue to uphold during the tenure of the relationship. If a break up happens, you should still honor that reputation and retain your usual outstanding job performance.
There is a place for everything. If you are dating a co-worker, make sure that when you are at work it is strictly business. Romance should be done outside of office hours. Be considerate of other employees and keep things on the low while at work.
Do not give preferential treatment to your significant other but treat him or her the same way you treat other employees. This will minimize animosity. In addition, keep lovers quarrel where they belong. I understand the anger is boiling to the point where you want to scream at your partner but self-control is the key. Creating a scene at work may get you both fired.
Nurture the relationship
You want this relationship to be successful right? Nurture it and treat it seriously. Do not bring work into the picture when you both have your alone time. Find other areas of interest and common ground. Get to know the person beyond the professional mask and build deep connections. Apart from winning lawsuits against clients, what else is your partner good at? Get to know your partner.
Discuss if you want the relationship to be public
You must discuss with your co-worker if you both want the relationship to be public at work. It is a choice that both partners should agree on. There are pros and cons associated with the decision made. If you go public it will be much easier as you don’t want to be hiding things for too long as it will put a strain on both partners.
Over time, things will get suspicious and before you know it everyone on the floor knows you are dating the secretary or the project manager. Informing your boss and colleagues about the relationship can make things run smoothly. Do this when you are both secure and the relationship is in a serious stage. There is no need to be discreet, provided that you have checked with the company’s policy and it is allowed.
Don’t confide in other co-workers
You can confide in other co-workers about your personal life but once it involves someone else, keep quiet. It does not matter if the co-worker is your friend. Do not discuss your partner’s personal life with other co-workers.
This can result in gossip and which can destroy the relationship. Respect the privacy of the person you are dating. Leave it up to them to disclose things about themselves.
Don’t use your work email to communicate
This tip reinforces your need to keep things professional. The work email should be strictly for work. I know you will be tempted to text them to let them know how gorgeous they look today, but you don’t know who is monitoring those emails and how the conversation will turn out. The work email is not for personal use.
Date within your league
There are success stories where people date their bosses and those higher than them. However, it does not portray a good image, and sometimes it can damage your reputation.
It will not be seen as genuine, especially if a woman dates her boss. It can change the context of the working relationship and may lead to problems. In order to avoid conflict within the workplace, try to date within your league.
Be prepared if the relationship fails
If the relationship fails are you prepared to work within the same environment? If not, would you be financially stable to quit your job and find another job? These questions need to be taken into consideration.
Use your history to help you with these answers. In general, how did you handle breakups in the past? Of course, it will not be easy but are you strong enough to control your emotions until it is safe to let them out?
Wrapping it up
Dating a coworker can be awesome but it is risky at the same time. You need to be careful when pursuing a romantic relationship with someone at work. It can be successful, just keep it professional and establish boundaries.