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7 Rules That Protect Your Relationship and Your Job When You Date a Coworker

We spend a lot of time with our coworkers daily, and sparks are bound to fly sometimes. According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management, 54% of Americans have had a crush at their place of work. It’s important to know how to handle this very tricky situation if you want to have something special with someone and be good at your job at the same time.

Bright Side would never want to get in the way of love, so we’d like to give you some pointers on how to deal with a potential office romance.

1. Make sure you’re following the company rules.

You should find out whether your company has any rules when it comes to dating a coworker. Companies are prepared with policies and ready to help if there’s a flame between you and your coworker. According to Amy Baker, Professor of Psychology at the University of New Haven, we should read the fine print because some companies don’t allow one to date a subordinate or permit any sort of office romance in general.

2. Stay away from a romantic relationship with your boss or a subordinate.

If your company’s policy allows you to date at the office, Professor Amy Baker recommends not to date your boss, a subordinate, or even a client because the power dynamic of such a relationship would be tough to navigate. Your other coworkers could think you’re getting special treatment, and your judgment and professionalism could be compromised, which could lead to you getting fired.

3. Don’t flaunt your relationship, but don’t be too secretive about it either.

Trying to keep an office romance a secret is close to impossible, and people will likely eventually find out. Make sure to discuss this relationship with your manager and human resources so that the relationship doesn’t cause problems for anybody. HR could help you understand policies, guidelines, and everything else you need to know, and then you can go public with your relationship.

4. Confirm your relationship status.

Before you take it to human resources, make sure you and your coworker are on the same page about the relationship and whether you’re exclusive or not. Professor Baker suggests that once you know you want the same thing, and once you’ve spoken to HR about it, that’s it’s safe to share it with your coworkers. Just be sure you and your partner agree on who to share the news with.

5. Prepare yourself for the fact that not all of your colleagues will be happy about it.

Some of your colleagues might feel betrayed that they didn’t know about your new relationship, according to Professor Baker. Some of your colleagues might have said not very pleasant things about your new partner because they hadn’t known you were together. Professor Baker also says that they might start to worry that you’re gossiping together behind their backs.

6. Avoid any and all PDA.

Professor Baker recommends steering clear of public displays of affection at work because many people are uncomfortable with it and it could make your time there quite awkward. This doesn’t only include physical touch but also flirting and the use of pet names. On the other hand, if you’re fighting, you should try to keep that at home and not bring it to work. Both of these things could make you seem unprofessional.

7. Ask yourself if the relationship is worth it.

There’s a chance you’ve met your soulmate and the person you’ll spend your whole life with at the office. But there’s also a chance your relationship might not turn out as positive. And you need to think about what that would do to your work life, whether you’d be able to work with that person and deal with seeing them every single day or not. According to Professor Baker, that could be bad for you mentally and professionally, and you should decide what’s best for you.

Have you ever been in an office romance? How did it turn out?

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