10 Reasons Dating Your Coworker Is A Terrible Idea

Jim and Pam. Leslie and Ben. Mulder and Scully. Mindy and Danny. Meredith and Derek—actually, pretty much everyone on every Shondaland show. A lot of TV’s most beloved couples met in the office, even if, in reality, workplace romances are still somewhat taboo.

Is Dating at Work a Good Idea?

This article was originally published on February 21, If your eyebrows are raised, good. We dated for four years, and we managed to outlast our involvement at the company, but ultimately it was one big, longwinded learning experience. As I mentioned, my parents met at work. Is this person really worth giving up this aspect of your career, should things fly south? Think hard.

So if workplace dating is such a bad idea, why do employees keep doing it? Is it because the stress of working together creates a unique bond between people?

Whether such bans on consensual relationships are really necessary has been debated many times. Based on my research on power and influence , I believe the short answer is probably not. A growing number of companies are clamping down on office romances , particularly those marked by power imbalances. And academic institutions — including my own— are also increasingly prohibiting relationships between professors and students, deeming them inherently problematic.

In the past, some organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, have been much more permissive. Opponents of these sorts of bans consider them to be paternalistic overreach, arguing that institutions ought not police the private lives and relationships of mutually consenting adults. In other words, they believe two intelligent people with good intentions should be trusted to manage the power dynamics in their own relationship.

A key problem is that people in positions of power have a hard time recognizing the coercive nature of that power in an unbalanced relationship. In one of my studies , participants asked other people for various favors ranging from the innocuous, such as to donate money to charity, to the unethical—to lie for them. Follow-up work my PhD student Lauren DeVincent and I conducted found that similar dynamics play out in romantic relationships at work.

Individuals who make romantic advances toward coworkers underestimate how uncomfortable the targets of their advances feel rejecting them.

How to Date a Coworker and Not Get Fired

Really wrong. People stopped engaging with each other. They stopped interacting.

Most people wouldn’t necessarily recommend dating a coworker, but sometimes love just happens without your say.

I do, however, refuse to date a co-worker. And I admit it: This rule is now downright old-fashioned. It later reversed the decision. The shameful holiday-party hookup is no longer the primary association with intra-office romance. And the potential problems associated with intertwining your professional ambition and your romantic relationships go much deeper than a walk of shame through the office. I concede that meeting someone at work makes logical sense.

Lines between professional and personal lives are blurrier than ever, partly for practical reasons — even post-recession, most of us are still working longer hours — and partly for cultural ones. At thriving creative and tech companies, where employees are given dormlike amenities like yoga classes and cocktail hours, it seems almost silly to draw the line at dating.

And what better place to find people who share your passions? She, like a lot of professional women in their twenties, is focused on making serious strides in her career before she has to make tough decisions about marriage and kids. Yeah, I wish this were equally true of young men, too. How, exactly, are millennial women supposed to devote themselves fully to both their job and their relationship s? So you have to date someone at your office.

I confess that at this point in our phone conversation, my mouth was hanging open in shock.

What’s so wrong with dating a co-worker? A lot

Despite all the cautionary tales regarding the dangers of office romance, countless employees wind up in relationships with co-workers every year. And as you might expect when two people try to maintain both a business and emotional relationship — while spending virtually every waking hour together and keeping the whole thing a secret — workplace dating often ends in tears.

But when this person is a work colleague, you may still have to maintain a professional relationship no matter how badly things end. Depending on the circumstances, failing to do so could cost you a raise, a promotion — or even your job.

Dating coworkers is a bad idea. I worked in a restaurant for 6 and 1/2 years and dated several of my coworkers without thinking too much about the business. I.

Dating at work, yes or no? Is there a correct answer applicable to everyone and every environment. Many would completely disagree with dating at work. Most workplaces are places where you can find a lot of unmarried and mature adults who spend a lot of time together. There may be a temptation to date coworkers, especially if you work in a large company where you meet a lot of people. Dating between co-workers is sensitive especially when we are talking about dating on different levels within the company.

Some might feel like that could be an unfair environment for others. Dating at work? Yes or No? Most relationships between coworkers start when they meet outside of work when people are relaxed and free to be themselves.

8 surprising truths about dating & relationships at work

The break-up of a relationship is bad enough, without the added complication of having to see the person every day, risking your emotional wellbeing, job performance and professional identity, potentially damaging the dynamics of your team, and breaching company policies. Many employers will have experienced the fall-out of a workplace romance gone bad — when two colleagues have been in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship that ends.

Byrne had always been interested in romantic relationships between colleagues, and its effect on wellbeing and workplace dynamics. Discovering a paucity of research on the topic, she conducted a qualitative study of failed workplace romances using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Some described it as the most difficult period of their lives. In many break-up scenarios that play out in the workplace, the challenge for the two employees is how to control their emotions at work.

The break-up of a relationship is bad enough, without the added complication of having to see the person every day, risking your emotional wellbeing, job.

Do you, therefore, have to make a choice between the two or should you strike a compromise that allows you, your partner, and the organization to be in their happy places? While many companies are progressive these days, most still implement what we call as “fraternization” or the limiting of relationships at work to the professional sphere to ensure focus and objectivity in all work processes.

Consider checking your HR manual first if your company regulates this. Companies that “fraternize” do not allow employees to enter exclusive romantic relationships and marriage some do allow if both do not work in the same department or any related function. And even if you plan to be hush-hush to avoid this regulation, do note that rumors spread fast. Seeing your partner every day at work can be a double-edged sword. On the other, it can also serve as an unavoidable distraction that derails you from your career goals.

Weigh the possibilities: is having your partner in the office for the better, e. Or is this going to be a clock sucker because you spend too much time together? You might just be sacrificing the usual time you spend on networking or pushing sales in the field. Couples who work in the same teams will always be perceived as favoring each other that may compromise fairness.

When people think you are partial to someone, they disengage and call foul. Some of them may think that you got your promotion by favor and not by merit. Visualize this possibility and see how this can compromise your relationships with other people in the company that you need for your success.

What Are the Dangers of Fraternization in the Workplace?

When it happens at work, you have a big decision to make. Do you go forward and hope for the best? Or do you shut it down before it gets out of hand? As with any situation, it helps to consider the pros and cons of dating a coworker.

If this goes wrong, how will this affect your job? It is such a tragedy to break up with your own boss, your teammate, or anyone you work with on.

Work is one of the many ways adults can meet other people. You might be thinking this is the best place to find your soul mate — you spend most of your waking hours at work so why not? But there are some things about your social life that should remain separate from your work life, and dating is one of them. Like seriously, if you want to date there are great dating apps like Tinder and websites like OKCupid.

And with dating websites you could find someone that you have tested compatible with, so why risk it with a colleague who could be totally incompatible with you? And when things end, as they do with most relationships, you will never have to see that person again. So why would you chance starting a doomed relationship with someone you will see every day after it ends?

Are you asking for pain and heartbreak during your working hours? Inter-office relationships can cause a series of problems with your significant other, both at home and at work, and should be avoided at all costs! Lust and love are easy to confuse.

Is It Okay To Date Someone At Work?