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Most people have either dated a co-worker or have thought about pursuing a co-worker, but there seems to be an underlying hesitance to do so because of the “sexual harassment” fear. It is perfectly okay to ask a co-worker on a date as long as you do not make them feel uncomfortable or imply that it will affect their status at the company. The reality is that it is very common for co-workers to date co-workers, managers to date employees, and CEO’s to date secretaries. Bill Gates even met his wife, Melinda French when she was a Microsoft employee.

Office Dating Guidelines

  1. Do NOT repeatedly ask the same co-worker to go on a date if they have said no once.
  2. Develop a personal relationship before you develop an office relationship. It takes an extra layer of due diligence on your potential mate if you share the same work environment. Be sure to know each other well prior to getting involved so you know the potential consequences.
  3. Start out slowly. You want to start the work-place relationship slowly because you do not want it ending on a sour note. If you get to know each other well and take things slowly in the beginning, the chances of a bad ending are lessened.
  4. Agree to set up relationship rules. A rule could include “no flirting at work”.
  5. Do not be afraid to address “sexual harassment”. It is always good to be open and honest when communicating. Talk about all issues that you might keep in the back of your mind.
  6. Be ready to address the rumors! Rumors of your work-place relationship will most likely get out. Be ready to address them with your employer if necessary but do not be afraid. Tell him/her the truth about the relationship and that you two will keep your relationship professional at the office. Make your employer feel as comfortable as possible with the relationship and everything should be fine.

Related Post:

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34 Comments »

Comment by Gary Lee
2007-04-17 10:43:50

So who’s the apple of your eye at the office John? hahaha! Great Post! I need to move to a bigger office for me to apply these tips though!

Comment by Jane
2007-04-17 21:02:21

Good thing it’s not me!!! hahahaha…sorry, had to throw that in!!! :P

 
 
Comment by Jeff Kee
2007-04-17 12:02:26

I’ll add a rule :

7. Make more use out of the storage room or the janitor room if available. May as well fill your fantasies about a quickie at the office while you have the chance.

Comment by john anthony
2007-04-17 13:08:18

LMAO Jeff!

 
Comment by Shane
2007-04-17 15:07:24

Ah! I can’t believe you beat me to adding this very rule! I will add this though …

7b. Don’t get busted “looking for supplies” in the supply room. :)

Comment by Jeff Kee
2007-04-17 21:39:40

7c. If you get busted by your hot superior, well, you got nothing to lose - invite her in. If she refuses.. well. Nothing lost, she would have fired you anyways.

Comment by Jane
2007-04-17 23:00:06

LMAO!!! LOL…LOL…LOL!!!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
Comment by Samir
2007-05-08 12:52:43

Aha! So this is why everyone has always prodded me to get a job and be ‘gainfully employed’.

I feel so deprived by being a freelancer now. :D

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
Comment by Jane
2007-04-17 21:03:48

ummm…janitors room???? gross!!! hahahaha

 
 
Comment by Derrich Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-17 13:03:07

Tried it. Didn’t end well. Although, I wouldn’t be against it. It was primarily because she was a….hey, look at that. A bird outside my window.

Anyway…where was I? Oh yeah…love Rule #7, Jeff.

 
Comment by Dan and Jennifer Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-17 13:34:00

Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

It’s really easy to get infatuated with a co-worker because it seems that they care about the same things that you do when in reality, work may be the only thing you have in common.

I’ve seen too many people throw away marriages for an office fling.

Having said all of that… Dan and I met at the office :-).

Comment by Jane
2007-04-17 21:05:53

Yes, I completly agree with you guys. It’s some dangerous grounds you walk messing with people at work…make sure its worth it if someone happens to figure it out :)

 
 
2007-04-17 13:56:40

[...] "6 Ways To Make An Office Romance Work" [...]

 
Comment by Dan and Jennifer Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-17 14:14:44

Hey Jeff,

LOL - very powerful rule there. You can always spot a true at heart entrepreneur and free spirit by their risk tolerance.

Something that I too have been blessed with, just ask Jennifer. :-)

Years from now you’ll care less about losing that job and more about the adventure you had. And you’re virtually guaranteed to smile.

Have an awesome day!
Dan

Comment by Jeff Kee
2007-04-17 21:37:49

eh. I dont work in offices, I have my own busienss and I go meet people.

I shamelessly flirt with receptionists (if any). I’m not bound by the HR regulations whatsoever. As long as I stay away from the bosses daughter… but then, one contract lost over it might be worthwhile. :)

 
 
Comment by Scotty Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-17 14:22:03

I’d say, it’s not worth your career. Chances are, it will turn ugly, and someone will have to leave.

If you can’t find someone outside of work, you got no game.

Comment by Mark Raratonga Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-18 15:06:10

I’ve had to leave work once before, this girl I worked with went loco!

Comment by Jane
2007-04-18 15:07:57

Those crazy girls :-)

 
 
 
Comment by Dan and Jennifer Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-17 16:44:22

Hey Scotty,

I can see your point, but donno… every situation is unique, and it may just be worth it. That whole “many shades of gray” thing.

As a rule of thumb, I think there’s always at least a 30% chance of game. :-)

Have an awesome day!
Dan

Comment by Jane
2007-04-17 21:08:17

It’s all about getting the courage to step off the bench…those that don’t well, that’s where the 70% come come in.

 
Comment by Derrich Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-18 06:17:43

That’s ridiculous. I’ve got game, and hooking up with a woman at work doesn’t necessarily equal “no game”. I’ve only had 1 experience, but why wouldn’t you take an opportunity if it fell in your lap? The opportunity, not the girl. Just so we’re clear on that.

 
 
Comment by Jeff Kee
2007-04-17 21:42:15

Funny story :

I was quite flirty with my manager at my last corporate job, and she was a hot lil thing. Anyhow, one day she was plugged into my phone, listening in on a call (they do that for quality control at call centres), and while we were waiting for a call on a slow day, i noticed she dropped her receipt from the grocery store.

I just picked it up, and started reading them out loud just to bug her as she was glaring at me - and i guess Freud had a point, without even realizing it, I read out..

“cucumbers… bananas… carrots..”

And then my coworker on the next booth met my eyes, he gave me a horrified look, and I realized my mistake and I stopped abruptly. She didn’t mind though.

Comment by Mark Raratonga Subscribed to comments via email
2007-04-18 15:09:37

lol, did you end up going anywhere with her?

It reminds me a lot of Michael Scott and Jan Levinson from the Office.

 
 
Comment by Scot Smith
2007-04-18 16:28:19

This is an interesting post, you don’t see much writing on this subject.

I was always under the assumption that you weren’t to date a superior, as your relationship might affect your treatment at work?

– Scot

Comment by Jeff Kee
2007-04-18 17:46:02

That’s exactly why you date a superior. Suck up to him/her and get preferential treatment! :) hahah

 
 
2007-04-18 18:42:07

Great article (and fun replies! haha), actually i met my girlfriend at my last job, we worked for almost 5 years together, but we had rules (no flirting at work… no rules for lunch breaks though ;) ), well we both quit this job, and we’re still a happy couple :P

Comment by Jane
2007-04-18 19:49:52

Success is possible!!! Great to hear. I think for something to really work, you have to set rules. Because the minute you let your professionalism down at work because of the relationship, trouble comes to play.

 
 
Comment by Nate
2007-04-18 21:17:33

When I worked at Apple I got involved with a girl there. Things were great until I got sick of her “ways” a few months later. Thankfully, I was in the position to quit Apple and work my business full time. That being said, I now live by the saying, “don’t dip your pen in the company ink.”

 
Comment by HMTKSteve
2007-04-20 07:09:17

I’m reminded of an old office joke.

Three woman, a blond, a brunette and a red-head all work for a very important and tough female boss.

Everyday the boss always leaves two hours early. Getting their courage up they all agree to leave work a half hour after their boss and enjoy the afternoon.

The next day they all leave early and go their separate ways.

The brunette goes shopping, the red-head goes to the beach, and the blond goes home.

Upon getting home the blond finds the front door to the apartment she shares with her boss unlocked. She quietly creeps in and spies her boss in bed with her boyfriend! She hurriedly leaves.

The next day the three woman are talking about their wonderful afternoon off early except for the blond. At the end of the conversation the red-head suggests that they all do it again. this is when the blond speaks up, “Easy for you to say but I almost got caught!”

 
Comment by msdanielle
2007-04-27 13:48:11

JA this post is freakin HILARIOUS! lol

i don’t think i could ever date anyone from work, or anyone online for that matter. (but thanks for posting that coupon for everyone) ;)

anyway…i think your 6 rules can be applied to ANY relationship. begging for dates is such a turn off… but you know, i guess it has to be said. sadly, some people don’t get it

Comment by msdanielle
2007-04-27 13:49:21

um, i meant *thread* not post… sorry not mocking your article… you know what i mean *sigh*

Comment by Jane
2007-04-27 13:54:58

hahaha…she’s mocking, she’s mocking…. :-P

jk, I gave him a hard time about this one also…but it is a good one.

 
 
 
Comment by zoid
2007-04-28 13:24:43

This tips does not work in my work environment

 
Comment by Business Twins
2007-05-03 16:02:48

My father used to work for a guy who was dating one of his ’secretaries’ and it can also turn out really bad. She basically ruined this guys business and is only dating him for the money. Every decision made in the company started to be influenced by this lady and the owner (my dads friend) started to change..a lot. He started arguing with people, telling people to work harder, and basically told everyone that they weren’t doing their job.

Now he has a bad rep, my dad started his own firm, and people around town don’t trust this lady because she was having an affair without anyone noticing way before my dad started working for them. She then started to spread rumors (lying) that she wasn’t the one cheating on him and that it was her wife, and people found out that she was lying. After that everything went downhill from there.

 
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