Should You Date Your Co-Worker?

Last year, I worked in an educational institution for some time. During my leisure, I would sit in the staff room with my coworkers either to eat or to discuss certain issues. 

Everyone was trying to get acquainted with one another but we didn’t really have the time to associate properly till after school hours.

After a month, one of my colleagues started flirting with me. At first, I brushed him aside but he wasn’t someone who gave up easily and he kept on pestering me. 

The major reason I didn’t want to get involved with him was because he had earlier told me that he had a girlfriend who was far away at the moment. 

So, I sort of saw him as an “out of bounds” zone for me. After much disturbance from him, I agreed to be just friends with him and nothing more.

Gradually, we started getting really close! We did practically everything together; during working hours, we ate together and after work, we went home together. 

Sometimes, we even helped each other with difficult issues at work. Everything felt so right! I was having so much fun!

One day, I went to church in the evening and guess who I saw? Yeah, you guessed right! My coworker was also my church member and I just found out. What a coincidence! 

I saw it as a sign from heaven that I had found my soul mate. What more could I ask for? We worked together and we went to the same church. It was awesome!

I started participating fully in the church so I could see him often. If he was going to attend any event outside the church, I made sure I attended it too.

One cool Saturday evening, my coworker and his friend took me out to a nice bar near my area. After ordering three plates of goat meat pepper soup and cold drinks, his friend asked me to draw closer to him. He said he had something to tell me. 

I thought he was going to tell me all the good things his friend has said about me or that his friend wants him to propose on his behalf. 

But to my surprise, he said “my friend wants to begin the traditional marriage rites of his fiancée next week. I am sure he has mentioned his fiancée to you before”? OMG!! I can’t explain what I felt at that moment because I think I stopped breathing. 

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My heart felt as if ice was wrapped all around it! I almost choked on the spicy meat I was chewing! I was silent for the rest of the evening and the only word I said when they dropped me off was ” Good night”. 

I didn’t have anything to say to them; my head was full of questions but I didn’t know where to start asking them.

The next few days, work was tense and awkward. I started avoiding my coworker and my fellow colleagues noticed. What was I supposed to say to him? 

I couldn’t explain why I felt so jealous and bitter. I mean I was aware from the beginning that he had someone else but I didn’t expect him to get married so soon. 

Anyway, the wedding day came and I had to attend because I didn’t want anyone thinking I was too heartbroken to attend. 

When the honeymoon period was over, my coworker resumed work and things were never the same for us. We could no longer do all the fun stuff we did together. It just didn’t feel right anymore and there was no future for “us”.

If you ask me if you should date your coworker, my answer would be “hell no”. After my bitter experience, I vowed never to go down that road again. But we are all different people and your experience could be much different from mine. 

People find love in unexpected places so if you really want to give it a try with your coworker or you’re already in a relationship with a coworker, please bear these tips in mind:

1. Make sure your co-worker is single:

Before diving into any relationship with your coworker, ensure that he or she is actually single. You can either ask him or her about relationship status or do some background check on him or her.

2. Keep it platonic

Remain friends with your coworker until the both of you are ready to commit to an emotional relationship. Sex shouldn’t be the main theme of your relationship.

3. Don’t rush things

Take things slow and make sure you’re ready to move from one stage to another. Be patient and nurture your relationship to fruition. Give yourself time to think about what you really want.

4. Be serious with your job:

While you’re busy bonding with your coworker, don’t forget to do your job. Remember what brought you there in the first place. Don’t become so engrossed with your colleague that you forget your assignments and deadlines.

5. Keep your relationship secret:

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Be confidential about your relationship. Don’t go around announcing your affair to your fellow coworkers the minute you get into it. 

Allow it to grow for a while before confiding in anyone. Since you’re not sure where the relationship is headed yet, it’s better to keep your romance secret at first. Give it about a month or two before telling everyone.

6. Don’t expect too much

If you really want your relationship to work, don’t expect too much from your coworker. If he can’t openly express his affections for you in the office, don’t cajole him to do it. I’m sure he’ll involve you in the bigger picture when the time is right.

7. Always communicate your plans to each other:

Try to communicate your feelings to each other so you’ll both be carried along. Don’t assume that he knows what you want since you spend so much time together. Be honest and transparent.

8. Don’t ignore your instincts

While you’re busy enjoying your coworker’s company, don’t forget to follow your instincts. If you feel something doesn’t feel right, talk to your coworker about it.

9. Know when to jump out:

If you stop feeling the relationship, don’t force it to go on. Know when to let go of something that is no longer working. Don’t remain stuck in an unhealthy relationship.

10. Even if your relationship ends, remain professional:

If things turn sour at any point, don’t behave irrationally. Keep your emotions in check and avoid dragging your emotional drama into your workplace. Don’t allow your broken affair to interfere with your behaviour in the office. 

Even if you’re no longer dating your coworker, be polite and professional at work. It would be advisable to quit your job if you feel you can’t handle the tension between you and your coworker.

Dating someone you work with could be so much fun especially when you have to spend more time together. Just be careful about how much pleasure you are mixing with business! 

Have you ever dated a co-worker? How did it turn out?

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