Dating blogger Maura Kelly shares her tips for avoiding the dangers of an office romance. For more from Maura, check out her blog: A Year of Living Flirtatiously
It's clear that dating someone you work with could be a large-scale disaster. If things go bad, there will be no avoiding the person in question. A bad breakup affects your concentration at work regardless, but if you have to see the bozo who has caused your misery EVERY DAY — during every single staff meeting, no less — it's going to be excruciating.
So if you're going to do it, here are a few things to keep in mind to minimize the damages:
1. SIZE MATTERS.
As Ask Men points out, having a big office will make it easier to keep a distance from the person in question if things don't work out, whereas a tiny office could help to make things mighty uncomfortable.
2. DATE, UM, HORIZONTALLY.
The person you're having nookie with is the head honcho — or your underling? That could have a damaging effect on your career, as an Excelle article notes. "If the focus of your desires is in your line of authority, such as your boss or your subordinate, you're on very risky ground," Jerry Talley, a former Stanford professor and therapist, tells Excelle. "People can lose jobs and get sued. Best to keep your feelings to yourself." In other words, it's a safer bet to date someone who is on the same level as you — a fellow account executive, fellow marketing associate, fellow teacher, etc. Or, even better, date someone from another department: that cute guy you are always bumping into at the coffee station, or the adorable girl who always seems to be getting into the elevator just when you are.
3. KEEP IT QUIET.
Help minimize any potential damage by zipping your lip about the whole business till you and your office-mate are officially, like, going steady. So, hold back from sending that inter-office memo about how the IT guy finally asked you out. That way, if the two of you get wasted on tequila shots and end up sleeping with each other on the first night, only to regret it immediately, no one else has to know what went down. And even if you're going on Date #10, there's no reason anyone else in the office has to know about it.
4. CHECK WITH H.R.
Some companies have strict rules against employees dating each other. So, before you get yourself in head over heels, you might want to have a confidential, professional meeting with your HR liaison. No need to name names; just ask what the company's policy is.
5. SEE IF YOU CAN HOLD OUT.
If there's any chance you or your workplace love are going to be transferring offices, moving to a new company, or taking off to start grad school any time soon, do your best to wait before firing up the romance grill.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
15 Grown-Up Backpacks That Also Fit a Laptop
They're stylish enough to show your coworkers.
By Julia Marzovilla
Natalie Portman, Who Never Comments on Her Marriage, Just Commented on Her Marriage
After rumors swirled that her husband, Benjamin Millepied, had an affair, she called speculation about their relationship “terrible.”
By Rachel Burchfield
If You’re Looking for Travis Kelce Right Now, You Can Find Him On a Private Jet Headed to Sydney, Australia
Kelce took to the friendly skies to support Taylor Swift as she prepares to play four shows there beginning on Friday.
By Rachel Burchfield
Peloton’s Selena Samuela on Turning Tragedy Into Strength
Before becoming a powerhouse cycling instructor, Selena Samuela was an immigrant trying to adjust to new environments and new versions of herself.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
This Mutual Fund Firm Is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Future
Amy Domini and her firm, Domini Impact Investments LLC, are inspiring a greater and greener world—one investor at a time.
Power Players Build on Success
"The New Normal" left some brands stronger than ever. We asked then what lies ahead.
By Maria Ricapito
Don't Stress! You Can Get in Good Shape Money-wise
Yes, maybe you eat paleo and have mastered crow pose, but do you practice financial wellness?
By Sallie Krawcheck
The Book Club Revolution
Lots of women are voracious readers. Other women are capitalizing on that.
By Lily Herman
The Future of Women and Work
The pandemic has completely upended how we do our jobs. This is Marie Claire's guide to navigating your career in a COVID-19 world.
By Megan DiTrolio
Black-Owned Coworking Spaces Are Providing a Safe Haven for POC
For people of color, many of whom prefer to WFH, inclusive coworking spaces don't just offer a place to work—they cultivate community.
By Megan DiTrolio
Where Did All My Work Friends Go?
The pandemic has forced our work friendships to evolve. Will they ever be the same?
By Rachel Epstein