In 2017, I was working at a small communications company in New York City when I became involved with a coworker. I\u2019d never dated anyone at work before and agonized over whether to ask him out\u2014since there were only about six of us on staff, I knew it could get messy. But the attraction and feelings were so strong that it felt like something I couldn\u2019t let go of. It was more than a mild crush; it was the strongest and most deeply I had ever felt about someone. \u201cJeff\u201d was smart and funny. We had an undeniable chemistry and attraction that I hadn\u2019t experienced with anyone before. We worked in an intense environment with some crazy people and having him to commiserate with helped both of us endure the long hours. We joked about our coworkers and their ridiculous habits and\u2014like something out of The Office \u2014would pull light pranks on our colleagues. When we first started dating, we had the same title, so the melding of our personal and professional lives wasn\u2019t an issue. After we\u2019d been dating for about a month, though, things changed: I got promoted, another colleague left, and the company restructured a bit internally. When our teams were reorganized, I became the team lead, and he had a supporting role. A trusted colleague knew about our relationship. During the internal reorg, she said to me, \u201cYou\u2019re his boss now.\u201d I panicked. This was what I had worked so hard to avoid. I knew he was a little insecure about the differences in our titles, and I knew these changes would make everything infinitely worse. And, sure enough, they did. At first, I let him do his thing, convincing myself that I trusted him enough to let him have autonomy. Things got uncomfortable whenever I saw the need to give him guidance on something. We\u2019d had a rule: No talking about work outside of the office. But it didn\u2019t stick. He became resentful when I corrected his work, even though he tried not to show it. He\u2019d go out of his way to say, \u201cI\u2019m so glad you got promoted! I don\u2019t have any issues with strong women!\u201d Obviously, he was trying way too hard to prove something. Things only got worse. After two months, we both began looking for other jobs. Ironically, he was interviewing for a position somewhere else at the same level I had been promoted to. I\u2019d recommended that he apply for a position at his current title, and earn their appreciation and trust and get promoted based on merit. This pissed him off, I think, because it starkly illustrated my view on the differences in our quality of work. Eventually, I left the company and we began seeing less and less of each other. Around six weeks after I started a new job, we broke up. Even though the entire experience was difficult in so many ways, I\u2019m grateful for the lessons I learned as a result. If that person is someone you can do without, or you\u2019re interested only in having a fling, hold back, because the potential for disaster is enormous. If the potential for something special is there and you decide to go for it, just keep things hush-hush. Leave work at different times. Sit apart at office gatherings. Don\u2019t post photos on social media. Act polite but disengaged with each other in front of coworkers. Be alert about places you may bump into colleagues on the weekend\u2014people pick up on things quicker than you realize, especially in small settings. We were extremely careful with everything we did to never give ourselves away. Conventional wisdom rails against office relationships, but\u2014in the end\u2014the heart wants what it wants.