How to Recognize the Dangers of Dating in the Workplace

by eHow Careers & Work Editor

Unfortunately, dating in the workplace isn't always an accepted practice. Before you decide to date a co-worker, you should both take some time to discuss the ifs, whats and hows of your potentially blossoming relationship. Take time to recognize the dangers of dating in the workplace, and your relationship will start out smoothly.

Talk about positions of power. In companies without dating policies, it's typically best for partners to be on the same level or in different positions of power in different departments. If the two of you break up, it might be awkward if one of you is the other's boss.

Figure out a way to break the news to your respective supervisors. It's best to keep them in the know, or else they will feel you are being duplicitous. As long as you aren't letting your personal relationship affect your work, chances are your respective bosses will be happy for you.

Set ground rules for contact at your workplace. Recognize that meeting for the occasional smooch in the broom closet isn't professional. Keep your personal life compartmentalized for after the work day.

Devise a way to let your co-workers know that you aren't dating on the sly. While a formal announcement isn't necessary, telling your colleagues one by one will help you avoid "are they or aren't they" gossip behind your backs.

Discuss how you would handle potential rejection. Sometimes a few dates don't lead to anything. Are the two of you adult enough to get past the end of the relationship and continue to share the same workplace? If not, it might be best to keep things platonic and avoid the dangers of dating on the job.

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Tip

  • Do keep the lines of communication open. The rules you two set now about your workplace romance may need to change later on as your relationship progresses. If you recognize the dangers of breaking up in your relationship, your promise to keep talking will help you two keep everyone else from talking too.

Warnings

  • Don't date your co-worker if your company has a policy forbidding it. Both of you may be risking your jobs. If you two are truly inseparable, one of you should consider seeking employment elsewhere so that you can have a relationship together.
  • Avoid public displays of affection at work, even if you think no one is looking. You will make your co-workers uncomfortable, and that might be enough for them to lodge a complaint.