Are you contemplating dating a coworker? Office romance could be exciting if everything works out well for both parties involved. But for some people, dating a coworker doesn’t usually end well and I’m one of those people.
A few years ago, 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 that he had earlier told me that he had a girlfriend who was far away at the moment.
So, I sort of saw him as “out of bounds” 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; we ate together during lunchtime 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 beautiful evening, my coworker and his friend took me out to a nice bar near my area. After ordering some plates of food and some 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 for 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.
My heart felt as if it was buried in ice! 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 ” Goodnight”.
I didn’t have anything to say to them; my head was full of questions but I didn’t know where to start and who to ask. For several weeks, work was tense and awkward. I avoided 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 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”. He tried remaining friends with me but I was hurting so bad I couldn’t even look at his face. It was a terrible time for me!
Now, if you ask me if you should consider dating a 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 and date a coworker or if you’re already dating a coworker, here are 10 things you need to know before getting involved with your colleague:
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN DATING A COWORKER
1. Make sure your co-worker is single:
The first thing you need to do before diving into any relationship with your coworker is to verify that he is actually single. Ask him directly about his relationship status and do some background check on him to make sure he’s not seriously involved with anyone else.
Don’t skip this step because it’s going to be disappointing and heartbreaking to get involved with a coworker and find out a little bit too late that he is engaged to another woman. So, do your homework thoroughly and only accept to date him if you’re sure he’s single.
2. Keep it casual:
When you decide you want to date a coworker, start off as friends first and keep the relationship casual. Try not to mix business with pleasure especially during office hours. It could be tempting to steal a few kisses in the hall but it’s dangerous because you’ve not laid a strong foundation for a healthy relationship.
If you want to have a healthy relationship with your coworker, remain friends with him until both of you are ready to commit to an emotional relationship. Sex shouldn’t be the main focus of your relationship except you’re just looking for a ”no strings attached” affair.
3. Don’t rush things:
When you’re in a new relationship, there is a tendency to rush things so you can get to a stable and committed level fast. If you rush things, it will backfire in the end. Take things slow and make sure you’re ready to move from one stage to another.
Take your time and get to know each other well before diving into a serious relationship. Be patient and nurture your relationship to fruition. Give yourself time to think about what you really want and why you want it.
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.
Don’t be tempted to spend too much time with him in the office. Create time after work hours to spend time together so you don’t neglect your duties at work. It’s not really worth it risking your job for a relationship that may get sour in the end.
5. Keep your relationship secret:
When you start dating a coworker, it’s essential to keep your relationship secret from the public until you’re ready to let everyone know. Be confidential about your relationship in the early stages. Don’t go around announcing your affair to your fellow coworkers the minute you start dating.
Allow your relationship to grow for a while before confiding in anyone in the office. 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. It’ll be better that way!
6. Don’t have high expectations:
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 force him to do it. He will involve you in the bigger picture when the time is right.
Don’t try to play mind games with him or force him to commit to you when he’s not ready. And don’t expect him to marry you 6 months after you start dating. Men usually take a while before they commit to any woman unless you’re really special and he falls hopelessly in love with you.
7. Always communicate with each other:
A relationship could go sour pretty fast due to a lack of communication. 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 in everything you do. Tell him exactly how you feel and what you’re thinking to avoid unnecessary fights. Communication is the backbone of every successful relationship. Learn how to communicate effectively.
8. Follow 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 him about it. If you sense he is hiding some things from you, ask him about it.
If you hear suspicious talk about him in the office, verify the information before attacking him. Always involve your heart and your mind in any relationship you get into to. Your instincts will never mislead you; learn to listen attentively and follow any nudging you get.
9. Know when to let go:
It’s pretty normal for a relationship to start off great and suddenly get cold or distant. If you stop feeling the relationship, don’t force it to go on. If you date for at least a year and you don’t feel excited or passionate about your coworker, it could be time to let things cool off.
Not all relationships lead to marriage so know when to let go of something that is no longer working. Don’t remain stuck in an unhealthy relationship simply because you don’t want to be single. If you don’t let go of what you’re currently holding, something better won’t come along.
10. Even if your relationship ends, remain professional:
If things turn sour at any point in your relationship, don’t behave irrationally. Keep your emotions in check and avoid dragging your emotional drama into your workplace. Don’t allow your broken relationship to interfere with your behavior in the office.
Even if you’re no longer dating your coworker, be polite and professional at work. If you can’t handle the tension between you and your coworker, it would be advisable to quit your job and find something else so you can get over the breakup fast.
Dating a coworker could be so much fun especially when you spend a lot of time together at work. But, if you don’t play your cards well, you could end up resenting your coworker and the office environment would become chaotic. Just be careful about how much pleasure you are mixing with business!
Have you ever dated a co-worker? How did it turn out?