The Forbidden Fruit: Office Romance – To take a bite or not

Oh geez, we have all been here (some more often than others). In present times, where most people spend the bulk of their time at work, the temptation to start an office romance is very alluring. You spent most of your days with these people in sight. You go on company retreats, you hang around together after work for a drink (or one too many drinks). It’s easy to get know them on a more intimate basis (You get to kill 2 birds with one stone). These people totally get you and the pressures of your job. So naturally, it is easier to build relationship with them.

With the tinder-world (a world filled with such abyss) upon us, you might say its better dating co-workers because there are a lot of  “creeps” (both men and women) out there in the world; dating and falling for someone you work with is a lot easier and safer than trying to meet a new person in clubs, bars, etc.

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Image: zalora.sg

So you get into an office romance and you think it’s a private affair (Oh, is it really?). You do not want anyone to know just yet but one glance from both of you can give you up and then someone is pointing fingers, yeah who spilled the beans? Can you handle the sometimes ridiculing looks from your colleagues?

One side of your brain should tell you that your romantic involvement will impact your co-workers directly. If you sit together in the company cafeteria, will people now feel they should give you privacy? Will they exclude you from certain conversations, because they don’t know what you’ll tell your new love during your bed-time conversations? Could it actually hinder your career growth?

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Image: yte.educ.ubc.ca

I know you think love conquers all but you need to think it through before diving into it. Have you weighed your pros and cons? Is it worth it? Think of a scenario where you become involved with someone in your department, and you receive a promotion and you’re in a relationship with your subordinate. This opens up the possibility of blackmail, favouritism and the works. And what happens when it comes to conducting reviews and disciplining your new-found honey? I know you may not want to imagine this scenario but trust me this is one of the important things you need to think about before falling for any of your co-workers.

Before I leave you, you need to know that having an office romance can also lead to potential legal consequences. For example, if one party wants to end the relationship but the other one does not, a sexual harassment claim may come up. This seems far fetched but it happens more often than not. Please, we both know that is better imagined than experienced.

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One last thing, if it comes down to it can you leave your job for him/her? Think this one through…

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Image: whitehouse.gov1

Okay forgive me, I promise you I am not being a spoil sport and in all sincerity some office romances might actually be the real thing but you need to play your cards right and go with your head. Think about it and do not just get carried away by the warmt and fuzzy feelings. Weigh up the options. Some office romances may build your career whilst others break them down. Choose wisely.

Would you engage in an office romance? If so, why? and if you have any horror or cinderella stories, please share, everyone loves a good story.

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