Dating a Co-Worker – How to make it work

Before you start dating someone in work, it is important that you think the situation through thoroughly. Think of the impact it could have on both your personal life and your working life, as it will certainly affect both. Weigh out the positives and negatives and be realistic. If you don't think you could face work if things didn't work out between you both, then it's probably best you don't start dating. The success of a relationship can also depend on your working relationship and the actual workplace itself. Working in a large workplace, such as a large office, you might be able to get away with keeping your romance discreet, but in a smaller office it isn't so easy as everyone usually knows everyone else's business.

Here we have outlined the best ways in how to make a romance work with a co-worker;

  • Discuss together whether you plan to keep your romance private or common knowledge. That way you can work together to keep it a secret if that's what you choose.
  • Try to stay professional at work. Although it may be hard to keep your distance from each other, or keep your hands off each other at work, there is a time and a place for romance. The middle of your place of work isn't ideal, plus others don't want to see you flirting with each other, especially if they are aware of the situation. By staying professional at work you will still have the respect from other colleagues.
  • Don't discuss your relationship with other colleagues. They might be your friend too, but it can be awkward for them to hear about your personal life with a colleague. It will also be awkward for your date to know you have been talking about them with others.
  • Don't neglect your friends at work. You may have found a new distraction, but that doesn't mean your colleagues need to be forgotten about. The last thing you want to do is alienate yourself from the rest of you work friends.
  • Don't spend all your work time focusing on your private life, remember you still have a job to do. It will be noticed by colleagues if you aren't pulling your weight at work, and you could end up being confronted by your boss.
  • If you can be a jealous person then you need to understand that it is possible your date will talk to others who you may see as competition. You can't expect them to stop talking to other colleagues just because they have started dating you.
  • If you find yourself attracted to your boss and romance blossoms, then you need to be able to handle comments and judgement from colleagues. The last thing you want is for it to appear that you are given special treatment just because you are romantically involved with your boss. Ask your boss/date to treat you no differently.
  • If you happen to be the boss and dating someone who works for you, then you shouldn't give them any special treatment. You will only make their working life difficult with other colleagues. Try to treat them the same as everyone else. In this instance it might be wise to keep your personal life private.

Please see our articles Advantages of Dating a Co-worker and Disadvantages of Dating a Co-worker for more advice.

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