Office romance: how to make it a success
Romance is as much a part of office life as coffee machines. Many employers have discovered that trying to ban work romances is like trying to ban Christmas. Its not even necessary. More people meet their partners at work than anywhere else and most workplace romances don't cause problems.
The key to successful office romance, whether it lasts or not, is how you handle it at work. It isnt easy bringing together two areas of your life: work and relationships. It often requires juggling, discretion and patience. But it can be done, without rocking any corporate boats. Heres how:
Thinking about it
So you fancy someone and youre trying to decide whether to take it any further? The rule for success here is, Go Slowly. Think about who this person is at work. Theres no point dating a cut-throat man who fires people at the drop of a hat, and then wondering how you lost your job after he dumped you. Get real about who the person is and whether you like and trust them.
Liz remembers, I fancied my boss. But he was obsessed with work and did crazy hours. I knew hed drive me nuts in two weeks.
If you decide to go ahead, Be Wise. Dont use the email system or hang around the object of your desires office or desk. A discreet phone call suggesting a drink after work is better. If they say no, accept it. Never pester. If they say yes, then meet well away from the office, out of work hours.
Jodie recalls, I bumped into him on the train going home. It was too good a chance to miss. I asked him for a drink and it took off from there.
Romance has blossomed
Resist the impulse to walk around at work with a huge, smug grin on your face. Remember to Be Discreet. This means dont gossip about it, snog your new love in the office, try to meet behind the filing cabinets or anywhere else and, above all, dont practise favouritism.
Accept that people are going to know. Be honest.Yes, Im seeing him and leave it at that. With no gossip to fuel it, interest will soon die down.
Louise says, We were the talk of the office. But, much as I wanted to talk about him all day, I didnt, and so within a couple of weeks theyd found someone more interesting to gossip about.
Next page: when things go well...