Dating a co-worker can both be a wonderful and stressful thing. It can go from one to the other so quickly that it can (and will) end in a total disaster if not handled with care, compassion, and maturity. Such is the reason why most people avoid finding romance within the confines of an office space. But what can you do when love suddenly hits you during office hours?
It will inevitably happen; someone, maybe from another department, will leave you enamored and waltzing between “I want to know you more” and “Let’s not shit where we eat.”
Whichever side you’re leaning towards, it pays to know what it is you need to expect and be prepared for. After all, dating a co-worker isn’t entirely a bad thing, but it isn’t entirely a good thing either. In the end, you get to decide for yourself what’s best for you. In the meantime, here are the pros, cons, and a handful of tips when dating a co-worker.
PRO: You see each other everyday
One of the biggest pros of dating a co-worker is that you’ll never know loneliness. You have someone to get morning coffee with, eat lunch outside with, and walk to the bus terminal with after work. Working overtime hardly becomes a bother now, too.
CON: Everyone knows when you’re not in good terms
Sadly, your relationship is like an open book to your other co-workers. They know when you’ve just had a fight or are not in good terms. But honestly, how can they not know when they see you with a sour face, typing angrily on your keyboard, and trying to avoid looking at the general direction of your lover’s desk?
This is one of the reasons why office relationships can’t work unless both of you are emotionally mature enough to solve personal issues right away. It’s okay to have the occasional tampuhan, but don’t let huge fights turn ugly and unresolved during office hours. No one wants to feel that awkwardness and tension.
PRO: You’re generally more motivated
No more sick leaves and AWOLs; you’ll look forward to coming to work every day, if it means getting to see and be with your partner.
You’ll also become more motivated to work productively because you have someone to encourage you and wish you luck just when you need it.
Being so near your special someone gives you even more things to think about and/or stress over every day. No matter how focused you are on your work, you can’t help but be conscious of your partner’s every move — where they are, who they’re talking to, what they’re doing.
Such distractions can impede your performance, but it isn’t something that is impossible to resolve. Try tuning out from your surroundings by listening to your Spotify productivity playlist or having a Pomodoro timer to keep your attention focused.
PRO: They’ll understand what’s going on in your life
Being in a relationship with your co-worker means that you’re safe from ever having to explain why you have to reschedule dinner dates and why you’d rather stay at home during weekends. They’re fully aware of your situation at work, so you can rant all day long and they’ll think your complaints are valid. They will also give you the best advice and maybe even lend a hand when you find yourself needing to work overtime.
CON: The line between your personal life and professional life are blurred
There are downsides to having your professional life invaded by a significant part of your private life. You’ll have to keep yourself constantly in check in both situations — at work, no PDA, no visible signs of being upset over fights you just had, no googly-eyed glances; at home, no extensive discussions (or, god forbid, meetings) about work. It can be exhausting to switch between two personalities around someone also struggling to do the same.
CON: You have to find ways to keep your relationship a secret
You’ll enter the office separately so it doesn’t look like you carpool together every morning. You’ll eat with other people during lunch break just so you could eat together (but not alone). You’ll put stickers on their faces when you post on Instagram stories. You’ll try everything to keep your relationship low-key, hoping no one will find out about it (even though everyone will eventually) and that your career won’t be jeopardized.
(Still, even though it’s difficult and risky, it can be a little exciting — sexy, even — to be in a secret relationship that no one must know.)
PRO: Company events are much more fun
Company events are much more fun now because you have your plus one with you all day long. No need to ask permission to grab a couple of drinks with your officemates, or get into a heated argument about why you got home so late.
You also have an instant travel buddy for annual office outings! It’s much easier to fulfill your couple travel goals as a result because you’ll get to explore new countries together and get tons of couple photos out of it. Plus, you won’t have to spend money and effort buying pasalubong for them.
What are your additional pros and cons? Share them with us below!