“A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other…Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever”
― Dave Matthews Band
Romance doesn’t always end up in love. More than half of the youth population has either been into or is in some random uncertain kind of a romance. We have debated and discussed over the issues pertaining to relationships in the earlier articles. This one is something you would be able to relate your past or present experience with, the workplace romance.
What Is a Workplace Romance?
Everyone of us is well aware of the fact that we are living in a fast growing times leaving behind a much slower era. Where men and women are after building a successful career with such a determination the financial security has scored over relationships. None of us have time for a long term commitment. At a workplace where men and women work together on daily basis, it is natural to develop a mutual attraction towards your colleague. But in some rare cases, romance at work does lead to committed relationships surprisingly.
There are three kinds of romances at any workplace-
- Random romance- When two people at the same working area are involved intimately with each other but without intentions to commit into a long term relation, it’s termed random romance. There is no emotional attachment in such a romance and it is more like one night stand hook ups or casual flings.
- Serious Romance- True love hasn’t died. A person doesn’t necessarily finds his/her beloved at some exotic location or a café. A workplace sometimes is a place where random romances have turned into serious romantic relationships with commitments for future.
- Extra-marital affairs- Many people think that what begins at office stays in office and as a result of this even married men/women tend to get romantically intimate with their colleagues shunning the marital boundaries. This results in many divorces and marital discords too.
“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”
― Lisa Kleypas, Blue-Eyed Devil
Why Not To Go Ahead With Office Romance?
Romance at the office could be fun and sound adventurous in its own way. It can make a rather boring job and atmosphere at your office turn interesting for you and you would end up looking forward to going to your office regularly without fail. But it carries its own set of hurdles:
- In a workplace where a bunch of people work together, it is not only difficult but impossible to stay discreet about your romantic hook up with some colleague. The news flies and everyone gets a hunch. So your romance would remain an obtrusive and a conspicuous issue.
- Your romantic partner’s casual conversations with other colleagues too can make you emotionally hurt or annoyed at him/her. Even a formal physical contact would begin to bother you.
- With your beau around you all the time, distractions at work are bound to happen regardless of your seriousness with work.
- Everyone needs some personal space or a breather, but being together all the time at a workplace would devoid you of any such time with yourself. You might land up in a desperate need of a break.
- Lastly, not to forget that many companies now a days employ professionals with agreements signed which refrains any employee from getting involved in any romantic relationship with any colleague in the office. It is believed that romance at work can complicate the positive business developments.
Advantages Of Romance At The Workplace
Having discussed the reasons for not getting into romance at work, let’s ponder over some viewpoints which support and advocate the positive side of romance at the workplace:
- If you miss your beau every now and then, you can deliberately bump into each other for a so called ‘hello’.
- Sometimes situations can be turned exciting. You can sneak in for a quick hug or a kiss when no one’s around or no one’s looking at you. Not to mention you two can at times go out of the way to explore some sexual fantasies! These incidences serve to strengthen your bond on a personal level too.
- There are sometimes hard days in office too, an argument with your boss, or a work load with some help required. In such a case, your romantic partner is surely going to be a shoulder you can lean on!
- However monotonous your workplace might be, you would end up being a regular attendee since it’s perhaps the most riveting place to be for you. Interesting, right?
When Workplace Romance Turns Awry
An agreement being signed for one self’s non-involvement in any romantic affairs post employment in certain firm, people do get hitched at office. The worst case scenario is when a married man or woman gets knotty into an adulterous relationship with a co-worker. Following are the ways in which such a romance or a case of infidelity can turn into disaster:
- When you are happily married but are involved in an explicit relationship with your colleague. You don’t mind hugging him/her in public or in front of other co-workers.
- Your moral image suffers amongst those at office who are well aware of your marital status.
- Too much romance at work hugely affects work as well as your assessment.
- Information and news never take time to take rounds, your adulterous involvement might do the rounds soon and reach your spouse as well. It’s best to put a halt to such an involvement rather than face humiliation and discords with your spouse accompanied by later serious implications of your doings, such as separation, divorce, societal embarrassment etc.
Things To Consider For Romance At Your Office
If you are seriously considering leaping the boundaries of romance at work, then the points below are worth consideration –
- Do you think it is wise to mingle work with pleasure?
- Are you both already in a relationship outside office or are you two singles? If single, do you think you both can carry forward the romance outside the office walls too, on a serious note?
- Is the romantic entanglement with the consent of both of you or is it being forced upon you? Remember, a forced romantic behaviour or inappropriate gestures at work from your senior is not an affair but a case of harassment at work.
- Are your flirtatious acts with each other taken as a positive act but both of you?
- If your relationship tends to break up and come to an end abruptly, how would you tend to react?
- Does your romantic escapes at work or any such involvements affect your work performance in any way?
- If you are married, do you think your romantic relationship is acceptable on moral grounds? Are you aware of the disastrous consequences it would bring in your personal life?
- Does your office administration gives you a right to get romantically involved with any colleague while at work?
Here’s a quick look at 10 important aspects about dating your co-worker.
- Good or Bad Way it could affect your career:
It’s alright if you’re at a part time job but if this is your dream job and you have a goal to climb up the ladder it might not be the best decision to be dating your coworker; specially your boss. You want all your seniors to give a positive feedback for your work and not get involved in office politics and be known only for who you’re dating. Often people land up in problems and make poor career choices. Be aware of the fact that dating is not the sole purpose of coming to office. Set aside a time for romantic pursuits but do focus on your core job. It’s not a great idea that your partner constantly hangs around your cubicle.
- Avoid Creating Scenes at the Office:
You know yourself better than anyone else. If you’re the kinds who are impulsive and throw a tantrum right when you’re upset this could be a very bad idea. Making eye balls turn for all reasons at your work place is worst than a night mare. Avoid loud arguments, fights, tantrums and show of tears at the work place at least. Wait to get out of office and you can do whatever you want. If you have a conflict to resolves, work place is not the right place.
- Have a Plan for the Exit:
There is a probability that things wouldn’t work out and tearing apart is your only option. Have a pre planned strategy in mind for that and make sure that he/ she are mentally prepared for the same. Even if you continue to work at the same place things should be cordial between you two. Keep in mind you will have to encounter each other every single day! If you cannot bear the sight of each other then resigning could be one option. If you want to continue with the same job, make sure you do not make it embarrassing for both of you.
- To go Ahead or Not:
You first need to decide whether you want to jump into it or not. Attractions are common but when it’s related to your work you need to be absolutely sure and confident that you want the relationship. Check yourself for all available signs. Make sure this isn’t just another crush you have only then proceed. Remember, more office romances fail than succeed. Make sure you have sorted out your feeling before proceeding into the relationship. It’s easy to say yes to a proposal but very difficult to manage it. If you say, make sure you stay cool and maintain your professional decorum.
- Be ready for some Attitude change from your colleagues:
You might start missing on some interesting or maybe important office gossip. It’s a normal trend at offices to discuss every new project coming up and there is always a buzz about employees, promotions and every new subject. Now that you’re with someone in a relationship your friends/colleagues might not be as comfortable in opening up before you. This change in their outlook towards you may bother you. So you need to weigh what you gain and what you lose and be happy about it. You may also be under the constant scanner of some vigilant colleagues and it’s difficult to keep in under the carpet. If you have the maturity to keep it under the veil completely, go with it. If you cannot be totally secretive about it, then accept it and tell it to your colleagues. . It’s stupid to deny a relationship and then get caught at the coffee shop.
- You both might be competing:
If you are from the same team, chances are you will end up competing with each other at some point or the other. Both of you need to be matured enough to understand that your work is your own and not expect the other to sacrifice his/her opportunities for the other. And when one achieves more than the other there has to be a feeling of pride rather than jealousy! Professional friction and ego clash could be the worst thing happening to any couple. Ensure you do not become a victim of these nasty things. Talk out each other’s expectations and learn to adjust to things at work.
- Lunch, meetings, projects – everything is not made for romance.
In the beginning of dating, you want to hang around your mate 24X7 literally. Sometimes you send messages and bend through your cubicle to see their expression when they read it. Quite dreamy and fun. But make sure every place is not the ground for romance. DO not start romantic stuff while you’re in a meeting or doing some project. It not just affects your performance but makes things embarrassing for others. It’s justified if you steal a few moments for talks and lunch, but do not become a topic of discussion for sticking like glue to each other.
- Managing your difficult time
When you have a bad day at work, you don’t have to wait to get home and release your anger. Your partner will sense your stress and is there to console you. We often find it difficult to find a true friend who helps us in work and listens to our problems at work. People often fear information being leaked or passed on to bosses. So, when you are in love, you have a best friend at office. He/she can help you in assignments, listen and give solutions to your problems and be there for you all the time. Even working late isn’t a problem. You do not owe any explanation unlike some of your friends who are dating outside the professional space.
- No PDA please!
You may enjoy looking into each other’s eyes, caressing, hugging and holding hand in hand. As a couple, your entire world revolves around each other. Fair enough but remember you are employees at a place for professional reasons. The company pays you for work and not to watch your romantic involvement. Public Display of Affection (PDA) is the most irking thing about people dating in an office setting. Even disastrous is that when you are caught making out in lifts, canteens and behind the stair cases. The adrenalin rushes is understandable but learn how to control your outbursts. Wait for office to finish and you can enjoy it to the fullest.
- Your job performance
Your work performance is likely to be affected by the presence of your loved one around. It may be positive or negative. For some people, their partner brings out the best in them. Constant motivation, help and moral boosting can take you places. Some not so lucky ones may destroy their careers in love. Often some partners are more demanding, nagging and start dominating your work sphere. Unfortunately, many people break up and leave their jobs for avoiding the aftermath. This often leads to wrong career decisions and make your professional life disastrous.
When Flirtations turn into harassments
At a work place people come from various backgrounds and different regions an interests. You might find yourself sharing some of your hobbies and interests with any of your colleague which deliberately or unknowingly might develop an emotional attachment between the two people. Such an attachment can very well be a friendly one most of the times, but might turn more than friendly in some situations.
Situations arise at a workplace when your senior or a colleague is flirtatious in his/her acts towards you. Don’t ignore the advances in such cases. Any physical advancement towards you without your consent or liking is termed as physical harassment and molestation. If you have been facing any such situations or verbal abuse, derogatory remarks or casually addressed inappropriate epithets, then, this is a serious matter and needs to be reported legally for your own good.
Not to forget, every romance doesn’t end happily, some end in heart breaks and the abrupt office romances are one of those which end without a warning. Be fair with yourself and judge the situations, whether or not it favourable to go ahead with office romance.
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