You may meet the love of your life at work which may end in a happily ever after or it could be your worst nightmare and you may have to transfer to another department or leave the company. Relationships at work are fraught with problems.
Here’s a breakdown of the five possible stages an office relationship could go through and it ain’t pretty.
Starting on a positive note, the workplace can provide a way to meet someone who understands the demands of your career, has similar goals in life to you and can be a valuable means of support if the going gets tough in your job.
You can observe your crush from the safety of your cubicle and get to know them slowly over long lunches or boozy after work drinks without any first date awkwardness.
With no separation between work and play, you may start to feel that having your office cake and eating it too may be too much of a good thing for your liking. If you feel yourself starting to be smothered, slowly start distancing yourself.
Ways to do this are rotate your lunch schedule with other colleagues, keep the personal emails to a minimum and set a firm rule to stop discussing work when you have clocked off for the day. This will help keep the mystery alive in your relationship and maintain the freshness and excitement.
Things can quickly get very ugly in the office if you have a fight or a nasty break-up. The princess or prince at the ball can easily turn into the ugly step sister or brother when the fairytale romance is done and dusted. The true sign of someone’s character is when things go badly not when things are going well.
Remember you will need to face this person every day so you need to be wary of the consequences of dating someone in the office. If the power dynamics are not in your favour and this person is your boss, they could make life very difficult for you. An office relationship could potentially jeopardise or even sabotage your career.
While you may be crying in your spreadsheets or paper files about your break-up, the love of your life may not even seem to care and this may be hard to take when you’re working with the person on a day to day basis. Anger is at least a form of emotion but indifference sometimes can be more hurtful. People handle break-ups differently.
Some people are much better at hiding their emotions and maintaining a professional stance in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that the relationship did not mean anything to them. Follow their lead and avoid talking about any relationship issues you have at work.
If you’re upset every day over your break-up, it’s starting to affect your work and you feel that you cannot work with an ex; you may have to think seriously about transferring to another department or looking for another job.
We’ve all been there and there is no shame in throwing in the towel and learning from your mistakes. But remember fall for the wrong person once in the office and it’s shame on them but make the same mistake twice and it’s shame on you.
Work relationships can be tricky at the best of times. It takes professional maturity and an ability to maintain an emotional distance to make an office romance work.
The best advice is that if you think the person is the love of your life then tread carefully but don’t let this opportunity pass you by but don’t risk your long term job prospects on a casual relationship or a short term fling. It’s not worth it.