Whether you’re considering an office romance or dating your new crush that just started on your shift, remember to keep things in their proper perspective and give your libido a reality check. While fresh meat on the work front may be tempting, you should immediately take it off of your menu. You wouldn’t want to miss work from a bad case of food poisoning would you? If you’ve never had an office romance or dated a co-worker, now is not the time to start.
You think to yourself, “But I am really, really attracted to _______, what could one date hurt?” What if you go out on that one date and decide you’re really not into this person? What if you find out that they are a babbling psycho or it turns out to be the worst date you have ever had? Even worse, what if they had a really good time and want to see you again? (This would really make the next work day uncomfortable for the both of you.) Usually, when after a terrible first date, you never expect to see or hear from that person again. And if you do, it’s in a casual atmosphere with an easy exit route.
If you date someone you work with and you are not expecting it to rise to a level of “commitment” there is no escape available. Maybe, just maybe, the two of you can be adults about it and go on about your merry little way. Not likely. You will still have to interact with this person and other co-workers will catch on to the increasing tension between the two of you, especially if one of you is expecting more than the other is willing to give; there is no simply ignoring their phone calls here!
Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that you go out on a few dates. It is going great, a couple of months go by and one thing leads to another; you decide to be exclusive. That means that you will see your significant other EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY. What happens when you start to really grow tired of each other? Better yet, what if one of you wants to break it off or see someone else? This is where the difficulty starts. You are still going to have to deal with this person every day.
On the other hand the opposite, more likely scenario is that one or both of you could lose your job. Of course, things could go swimmingly and the two of you could sail off into the sunset but, dating a co-worker or starting an office romance because you think it may bring a little excitement into the work day, is not worth drowning your career due to crashing into an unforeseen glacier from below.
Most businesses have a no fraternization policy in place and rightfully so. They are there to do business, not to baby-sit and they pay you to keep your focus on your job not to create personal problems on their time. You’re at work to work, not socialize. It’s fine to have friends at work, it’s even o.k. to flirt every once in a while but lines have to be drawn. It’s like my good friend used to tell me, “You never shit where you eat.”