Falling in love with a colleague at work is not a new thing – this trend has been around for decades. It is not surprising that you might fall in love with someone from work because, for many of us, work is our second home. In fact, some people may even spend more time at the workplace than their actual homes. But office romance has its own pros and cons, so don’t rush into the dating scene right away if your prospective date happens to be a co-worker (or even your boss). Compatibility is a major reason why some people at work get into a relationship. After all, if you spend so much of your time with your co-worker, you are bound to have a common ground to agree on at some point. Some employers encourage interaction between employees at the work place and may even sponsor team-building workshops that allow employees to work hand-in-glove with their colleagues. Dating a co-worker may seem the natural next step if you have gotten to know your colleague much better through these kinds of activities.
Another reason that people may want to date a co-worker is that they may share the same goals in life. For example, if you are in the same department as your prospective date, then you probably know the pressure that comes with trying to meet deadlines in that area of the company. When you start engaging in conversations over lunch at the office cafeteria with a particular co-worker who caught your eye, you may find it encouraging that they are also looking for the same type of relationship as you. Common goals could be to get married, start a family, climb the corporate ladder at work, buy a new home – these are just some areas in the life of your co-worker that you have in common.
However, the cons of getting into office romance can also be daunting if you aren’t prepared for them. For one thing, some employers frown upon intra-office relationships since this could compromise the work performance of the employees who choose to date one another. For another, it can happen that both of you will be vying for the same promotion at work, especially if you work in the same department as your prospective date. Another danger with office romance is that you could be put on the spot if your date asks you for work-related favors (such as punching in his/her time card for him/her at the start of the day even if he/she is late getting to the office).
To solve these kinds of problems, it is important to sit down and discuss the situation with your employee/love interest first before you start dating one another. It is vital that you set some ground rules first so that your career and the career of your date will not be imperiled in any way. This will help you stay focused on your career without necessarily giving up the opportunity to date a co-worker who seems to be the right one for you.