Crushing on a coworker? Hold on!

Workplace romance happens. Crushing on a coworker can be intoxicating. It can also become a nightmare.

Spending so much time together, having so much in common, and practical circumstances, workplace crushes happen. They can sometimes develop into long-lasting relationships. And, sometimes it’s merely sexual attraction with no strings attached. The latter can easily become complicated.

8 Ways To Keep Your Workplace Romance Agreeable:

Talk it out. Plan it out. Set some boundaries.

1. What is the company’s policy on romantic relationships? Refer to the policies and procedures manual that you undoubtedly signed during the onboarding process.

  • Is it strictly forbidden? Does it apply to only boss/direct report?
  • Are you required to disclose it to HR?

2. What are your expectations? Do they align?

  • Have you already booked the wedding venue, and they’re only booking dinner for Saturday night?
  • Is it an “open” relationship or is this true devotion?

3. What is their true relationship status? 

  • If you’re relying on social media to provide you with the full picture, don’t be surprised later.
  • Are they completely available? Engaged? In a long-distance relationship? Which is why they can’t see you every other weekend.

4. Keep it hush-hush or share it with the world? There are benefits to maintaining discretion at the office. Or at least until you know where the relationship is headed.

  • Making it “a thing” is so high-school. Sure, you may want to share it with a couple of your most trusted colleagues.
  • Once it’s out, it’ll be spread throughout the office. Hopefully, you’ve both disclosed it to HR.

5. Agree to avoid bringing personal problems to work. We have all brought our grumpy face to work due to an issue at home, but it’s different when you bring it to work together. 

  • It should not affect getting the job done. Being that you work together, coworkers are used to seeing you get along, sit together at meetings, and now you’re not. Inquiring minds…
  • Don’t involve coworkers by making them pick sides. Again, so high school.

6. Maintain coworker relationships separate. Naturally, a casual happy-hour gathering is less pressure, allowing everyone to mingle on their own.

  • Don’t lose work relationships; they’ll need your support at some point, and so will you.
  • Don’t force each others coworkers to become friends.
  • Will jealousy become an issue if you go out with coworkers without the other?

7. Confidential information, must remain confidential. It can be difficult not to share everything that happens at work during pillow-talk. Think twice if you’ve signed a NDA. 

  • Sharing sensitive departmental information with someone outside the department, can compromise both of you.
  • Agree to respect each others constraints on sharing.

8. Prepare for different scenarios. Talk it out. Plan it out. Set some boundaries. Talking can be the last thing on your mind, especially if the relationship is based on sex.

  • What if one of you becomes the others boss?
  • What if one of you receives an out-of-state job opportunity?
  • What if one of you falls out-of-love? Who will be the “tell-all” when things sour? How detrimental could that be?

Television Appearance: Workplace Romance on Good Day Sacramento

Final Thoughts:

Weigh the pros and cons and consider the potential impact on both your personal and professional life before making any moves. Will dating this coworker affect your professional reputation or create conflicts of interest? Is this worth losing your job or having to transfer departments?

When there’s a break-up, you might see a side you never saw before! Consider talking with a trusted source. It’s a drag, and it takes away a bit of the tingle one feels when pursing a love interest to consider all of these things beforehand, but it is necessary. If you go for it, my wish is that it all goes the way you both want it to go. Love is fabulous!

Etiquette Expert/Trainer, Author, Media Source 

Nationally recognized etiquette expert with over twenty years of providing trainings, and serving as a source for media.

Trainings are available for: corporations, sales teams, on-boarding, to support code-of-conduct policies to set a standard for employees, universities/college groups, school staff, customer service staff, dining etiquette programs for youth through adult, and actors preparing for audition/roles.


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© 2024 Rosalinda Oropeza Randall

Etiquette tips are general and serve as perspective and options. Every situation is unique.