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How to start an office romance

How To Start An Office Romance

It’s 8 in the morning. You wake up feeling all sorts of weary from the repetitive routine you’ve been stuck in since the start of the pandemic — the usual Wednesday morning Zoom meeting with the boss and your workmates, the endless nods & “uh-huhs” you hurl back every single time. It’s just a cycle, and it’s beyond tiring. 

But this Wednesday morning is different… A new addition to the team is introduced to everyone at the Zoom meeting. You’re struck. Is this for real? Have you finally found the inspiration you’ve been asking the Heavens for?

You suddenly feel giddy, energized, and excited for the first time in months! You thought you’ve found “The One” who will fulfill the loneliness that comes from being pinned down at home doing nothing but work.

You take the next logical step: check him out on Facebook, and find out he’s single and a fur father of 2 golden retrievers. Perfect, you think. You hit the “Add Friend” button, and then a few seconds later he’s accepted your invite.

You start exchanging messages for quite some time until he confesses that he wants to take it to the next level. You are so ready to say the dramatic “Yes!”, but then you think of the potential complications that could arise from developing some sort of office romance. Is it worth it? Is it normal?

According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, about 40% of respondents admitted to dating their co-workers, and — get this — almost half of these office romances ultimately lead to marriage. 

Moreover, a study found that the workplace is one of the most common places for people to meet their partners. So, it must be normal – right? 

If you’re still on the fence about diving in, let me give you some pointers on how to successfully strike up an office romance without any discomfort:

  • Take your time

Moving too fast, especially in relationships, can ultimately cause problems.

Developing an office romance can be the root of a lot of complications for both you and your partner. Your primary concern at this point should be taking your time, and slowing things down until everything is calm, and you have a clear head to make the right decision.

Oftentimes, we deliberately do things just for the sake of “fun” or “challenge”. We jump head first without recognizing the possible harm it would cause us or the people around us.

But don’t worry — Office romance is, apparently, considered “normal”. In fact, 89% of Americans have confessed to feeling attracted to their co-workers

Prepare yourself by taking things slow so as to not jeopardize your job or your potential relationship. And don’t forget that jealousy can be a detriment to your peace or concentration at work, so take your time deciding if this romance is truly what you want.

It takes a lot of courage to decide when to fully commit, but you’ll know in your gut when it’s time. 

Meanwhile, you can explore other options by diving into dating apps if you’re still indecisive about forming a romantic relationship with your “Zoom co-worker”. Ask yourself a few questions about whether or not you should push through with the affair.

Maybe you’re just a little disoriented because you’re lonely. After being isolated for so long, feeling the pang of loneliness is inevitable. In fact, 

Just take your time and get to know yourself and your intentions more. 🙂

  • Know the office rules

Different Companies have different sets of rules and regulations every worker should abide by.

It’s a common courtesy to check on your company’s policies if you plan on taking your relationship with your co-worker to the next level. 

There are companies that have no policy about office romances whatsoever. There are also some that allow consensual relationships between employees, but still come with guidelines that need to be strictly followed to avoid any conflicts in the foreseeable future.

Most companies, of course, absolutely prohibit any type of office romance. You just have to do your due diligence and know every single rule you might be violating once you step foot on your chosen path.

A survey presented that about 41 percent of employees are not informed well enough about the policies, and some just skip reading policy altogether .

Ask around, read the handbook — just make sure you know where you stand in the office if you plan on being serious with a colleague. Not only will you benefit romantically from it, but professionally as well, by not breaking the company’s trust. 

In short, follow the rules and stick to them.

  • Avoid PDA

Showing affection towards your partner is totally cool, but what if it’s a co-worker?

You don’t have to dwell on this. Let’s say you and your partner have finally come out of your shell, what happens then?

Everybody knows you two are in a relationship, so do you now have the ticket to be all mushy and gawk at each other all day? Of course not.

Although you’ve done the right thing by disclosing your affair, you should not consider your company’s approval a ticket to do whatever you want inside the office. You have to still be off each other’s lap or at least be cautious about your actions and be professional. 

By coming clean, gossip will certainly arise. Chatter about how you and your partner treat each other at the office will be fair game. 

Of course, maintaining the professional bond that you had pre-relationship has gotten harder. What if your partner messed up and you need to be upfront about the matter? I’d say set up some rules between you and your partner, including the importance of being professional at all times inside the office.

Furthermore, just try not to act like a couple anywhere in the facility or events hosted by your company. Sticking to these healthy rules will ultimately benefit you and your relationship.

  • Backup plan

No, I don’t mean another person or relationship.

Prepare for alternatives for when your relationship ends. We have to admit it, anything is possible. Nothing is entirely permanent. What happens if you and your partner break up? Who’s taking the higher road?

You might think, “They should have predicted it. Office romances are full of uncertainties.” You’re right about that, but once you’re in love, every bit of logic will most likely go down the drain.

If you’re too emotional to work alongside your “ex”, you could transfer to a new department or just drop the job altogether. You can still find a replacement, eventually, but do you think it’s worth losing everything?

There’s no easy way to handle a possible break up, but being professional about it can help. Avoid a messy break-up, as it might lead you to a messier upshot. When things get hard, stick to your goals and think about the importance of the job you’ve worked hard for. You don’t want to jeopardize that! 

Establishing an office romance is both difficult and delightful. There are a lot of unexpected bumps in the road that you might run into, but as long as you’re prepared and informed before taking things to the next level with a colleague, you should be ready to tackle this head on. 

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