Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, intimacy, and well-being, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.
The Allure of the Office Romance Is Undeniable
Stolen glances over the laptop, prolonged chats during your coffee break, playful emojis at the end of an email; the allure of the office romance is undeniable.
We spend more than one-third of our lives in the office. We go through an array of emotions; love, date, bitterness, frustration, and sometimes agony. Work pressures bring out the best and worst within us, and we crave someone who can give us a shoulder and support us in times of need.
In an age when our professional and personal lives are more blended than ever, it’s only natural that office relationships happen. Sharing long hours with like-minded people can be a major relationship catalyst.
But there are pitfalls to be taken care of.
Marrying work and love (and maybe actually marrying your co-worker) might sound like an ideal situation. Still, navigating intertwining schedules and office hierarchies present their own pitfalls, not to mention spending all that time together.
Only one mistake it takes, and you are destined to live and see your ex every single day in the office until one of you quits. Needless to say, it is an uncomfortable situation to be in.
5 Ways to Handle a Romantic Relationship at Work
- There Is No Space for Jealousy
- Neither Hide It nor Flaunt It
- Beware of Company Law
- Split the Bill
- Keep It Under Control
1. There Is No Space for Jealousy
If you thought jealousy was an unfortunate staple of a regular relationship, it’s a big red stapler in office romances.
She will have her own official commitments and would be interacting in her own socio-official circles. She will also have targets to meet and people to oblige.
The “Who was talking to you at 1 in the night” type of question does not work here. You also need to prepare and be ready for things like promotions. What if you’re both going after the same one? This type of competition can create resentment and jealousy.
So, if you are one of those who hate the idea of your partner being slightly involved with someone else, then office romance is not for you. Both parties should discuss their career aspirations before entering the relationship.
2. Neither Hide It nor Flaunt It
You are in love, and everybody can see it. No point in hiding it. But don’t make it obvious. Maintain a professional balance.
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Talking about your relationship too much can be irritating, but actually displaying your new love and affection in the workplace or front of colleagues is much worse.
Not only will you appear unprofessional and distracted, but such displays may also seem like a power and status play over your colleagues, creating an apparently united front as a couple against those around you.
And PDA(Public display of affection) is a strict no-no. Not only should you be considerate of how your colleagues feel about your PDA, but you also need to show that your work and treatment of other co-workers won’t waiver.
Do everything you can to squash the perception that your girlfriend is receiving special treatment because of your relationship.
3. Beware of Company Law
Although no specific laws prevent office romances, your company might have its own policy.
Richard Isham, an employment lawyer at Wedlake Bell Associates, says:
“Office romances are usually frowned upon because of the issue of confidentiality.”
For instance, a company would be worried if the head of IT was in a relationship with another employee. Important security information could be transferred during pillow talk. Allegations of misconduct can be made.
Do not use office mail for personal exchanges. Such messages create a paper trail where your relationship is on the official record. This could be used against you, should your partner turn on you and decide to involve HR (or indeed if someone complains), and is valid evidence in any legal proceedings
Read your contract thoroughly. Both of you have a lot at stake here.
4. Split the Bill
It should go with every relationship, but it is mandatory in an office relationship.
Don’t let your partner pay all the time. You don’t need to split every bill, but you should pay alternately. This will keep things simple. Remember, people are watching you. You are not only undermining your hard-earned reputation but would also appear like a cheapskate freeloader if he/she pays every time.
Yes, while splitting a check might seem awkward in the early days of the relationship, it is mandatory to be implemented at the earliest as it makes any relationship much easier and more transparent to manage. And as you go along, it shouldn’t be as much of an issue as you share a financial future together based on trust and integrity.
Don’t let money matters put undue stress on your relationship.
5. Keep It Under Control
It happens sometimes. Things spiral out of control. You get entrenched in a quagmire of office politics. And your integrity gets questioned. Rumourmongers work overtime to undo all the hard work you have done so far. Don’t let love take a backseat in such trying times.
Talk to each other and make some hard decisions. Either of you may have to consider moving to another department or leaving the company altogether. Navigating the twists and turns of a serious office romance can be difficult, but knowing what’s important to you and being flexible with the outcome can help you make any life-altering decisions.
As James Baldwin has rightly said.
“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle; love is a war; love is a growing up.”
- How to Manage an Office Romance
- How to Manage the Inevitable Office Romance
- How to manage love at work
- Five ways to manage an office romance
- How To Effectively Approach Office Romance
- Relationship OCD: A CBT-Based Guide to Move Beyond Obsessive Doubt, Anxiety, and Fear of Commitment in Romantic Relationships -Sheva Rajaee MFT
- Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships- Sue Johnson
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ravi Rajan