We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

14
September

6 Reasons NOT To Date Your Co-Worker. Seriously, don’t do it.

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Being attracted to someone you work with is fun… initially.  Looking forward to work is rare, but not when there is a new, hot guy!  A new, hot guy is a great reason to actually put some effort into getting ready in the morning. You can look forward to flirty banter and way too many emails or gchat conversations.  That being said, I will tell you what most of us had to learn the hard way.  DO NOT DATE A CO-WORKER.  If you do, prepare for lots of secret, flirty fun, some casual sex, interoffice drama, and then for it to blow up in your face while everyone tells you “I told you so.”

Yes, there are women who will tell you they met their husbands at work, but these women are like eclipses or comets.  They are rare and fleeting.  While it totally makes sense that you may meet a guy you connect with in the place you spend 40-60 hours a week, it isn’t sensible to casually start hooking up or dating this guy.  Taking cocaine makes sense to a lot of people, and we all know how great an idea that is.  I dated a co-worker.  Twice.  The first time ended up being a pretty embarrassing, shitty situation.  I swore I’d never date another co-worker.  About seven years later, I did it again, and is if by karma, it was an even more embarrassing, more shitty experience.  I know it sometime works for people (if it’s not your career job, you work in entirely different departments, or you don’t interact with each other much during the day, you stand a better chance), however, most of us have horror stories.  Why?  Here are 7 reasons not to date a co-worker:

1. You Just Invited Every Other Co-Worker Into Your Love Life

Since most workplace relationships start in a very downlow, casual type manner (he walks you to your car after a happy hour and before you know it you’re making out in a TGIF parking lot – or so I’ve heard), this downlow status will make every co-worker immediately interested in your love life.  Work can be monotonous.  Even in the busiest workplaces, there is a sameness to it.  What is better than discussing the “Breaking Bad” cliffhanger on a smoke break? Discussing the fact that they are pretty sure Brad walked you to your car the other night, and you both seemed super flirty this morning.  You get the idea.  Every action, encounter, meeting, group discussion, and interaction with ‘Brad’ will be watched, analyzed and discussed.  All of a sudden Tricia in HR will bump into you in the elevator and ask “So what’s up with you and Brad.”  Normal relationships would deteriorate under such scrutiny, but a casual, we’re-just-hanging-out thing will most likely crumble under the interest of everyone else you work with.

2. Casual Hook-Ups Make For Awkward Morning Meetings

One of the good things about dating a co-worker is you have a common language.  You can both make fun of Davey the weird graphics guy or your shared bond over hating Lindy will give you lots to laugh about together.  However, if you two are still in that new, texting/hooking-up/we’re into anything serious/we’re just friends mode, sleeping with each other can make Monday mornings complicated.  Like most casual relationships, one of you may be more into it than the other. You’ll both be cool with the casualness until someone else starts dating or hooking up with someone else.  Also, hooking up with someone you don’t see that often or unless you call is one thing.  Drunk texting a guy you’ll definitely see at 8:30 the following morning is another thing entirely.

3. Someone Will Kiss And Tell

Most times it’s the women.  When I had my first office fling, I worked with a very close friend. I told her everything.  I don’t know why it shocked me that my office fling discussed details with the other guys at work, but I was.  Worse than having an office tryst is everyone else in the office’s interest in it.  It’s mortifying to know that a guy you barely speak to knows intimate details of your sex life.  It’d be one thing if you never saw that guy, but when he’s the one you have to call when the server goes down, it’s a new level of mortification.

4. Promotions Just Got Weird

It’s one thing if you work in entirely different departments on different floors.  But often times you work closely with this person, and if you work together and one of you gets promoted and the other doesn’t, it can put a strain on the relationship.  Worse yet, if he is your boss or in a superior position, no matter what a kick-ass worker you are, you’ll be seen as getting ahead by sleeping with the boss. Or he may not promote you for this very reason. Sometimes your manager won’t want you both working together so you get pulled from a project you’re right for, or given worse shifts, etc. In the end, a work relationship will have direct repurcussions on your work.

5. How Many Office Hook-Ups Have Their Been?

When I started dating an older guy in my office (years ago), we lasted about 4 months.  He was an Account Director and had much more clout and influence than I did.  While he was only a few years older than me, he’d been transferred into the office from the London office and was kind of big deal (at least he thought so, and sadly, so did I).  After we broke up, I found out about another co-worker he had hooked up with as long as rumors about the other guys I’d been hooking up with. (I hadn’t been with anyone but him – but as I learned, the fact that I’d secretly been fooling around with older Account Director guy, it made it very believable that I was also secretly fooling around with someone else in the office.)  As women in our profession, having a crappy reputation can have long-term repurcussions.  If this is high school and you both work at the movie theatre, well, I’m sure a summer fling with the projectionist isn’t going to kill you.  But if you’re trying to build your resume and career, having a reputation is brutal.

6.  Begin With The End In Mind

While no one wants to be a debbie-downer, your work romance has HUGE odds of failing.  You thought breaking up was bad? Try breaking up with someone and seeing them every single day. It sucks.  If anything went down badly (ie cheating on, never calling back, dumping, etc), you not only have to see this person every day but possibly take direction from them, work alongside them, share space, and have social functions together.  Do you remember nothing from Bridget Jones Diary people?  And don’t even get me started on work Christmas parties with an ex.  Basically, it makes work a total nightmare.  And depending on what the job is, it’s not something you can easily leave or change.

 

 

 

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