Dating in the Workplace

How to handle it.

You see someone across a crowded room. Perhaps it’s an assembly line in the warehouse, a busy hallway in an office, or a crowded call center.

Your eyes meet. The attraction is magnetic. Bad love songs play in your head.

You just got bit by the workplace love bug.

For Valentine’s Day, here are a few rules to follow to ensure that your blossoming romance doesn’t backfire if things turn sour.

  1. Leave the lovey-dovey at the door.

PDA. Public displays of affection. This includes hugging, kissing, giggling, etc.

Don’t engage in any of this at work. It can make things awkward for your co-workers, and give them a reason to complain about you and your beloved to management. Keep things professional. When you’re at work, you are co-workers, not a romantic couple. Save the flirting for when you get home. Same goes for that fight you had last night. That’s not something your co-workers need to hear about.

On the flipside, keep work drama out of your personal life. Your main squeeze hears enough about Brenda and her loud chip-eating at work.

  1. Keep the relationship semi-secret

True, you do have to let your boss know once you realize this relationship is serious. But you don’t have to spread the word to your peers. Don’t brag about your relationship or share personal tidbits about your partner. You might think it’s entirely innocent, but such behavior could change how the workplace sees you or your significant other.

Prove your relationship is not a distraction by keeping it secret before letting others know. You want your co-workers to see you as the skilled employee you are, not so-and-so’s sweetheart.

  1. Establish ground rules.

Don’t keep this blog to yourself! Share it with your sweetie and come up with a game plan. How will you interact at work? How much work talk is allowed outside of work? When will you tell your bosses? Will this affect how you do your job? And, most importantly, what will you do if you break up?

This is a tough and very non-romantic conversation to have. But establishing ground rules and a backup plan if things go wrong will save you plenty of headaches in the future.

Have you ever dated a coworker? How did things turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!




  1. Roxane Tolle

    Met my husband of 33 yrs at work. We worked together 17 yrs. I would advise people not to do it. It is to difficult to turn the co-worker switch off once you get home.

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