Spring is in the air and so is love. Is there a romantic relationship blooming between you and your coworker? Office romances can be dangerous if the necessary planning isn’t done. Your reputation and career are at stake, but if you feel that this relationship is going to last, then it’s time to take the next steps to going public with your relationship.
Step 1 – Discuss Going Public
You may be ready to let the whole world know about your relationship, but is your partner ready? Discuss it thoroughly to make sure you’re comfortable and ready for what lies ahead. You’ll both be looked at differently if you haven’t already. Chances are coworkers already know something is up and once it’s confirmed you’ll be the subject of water cooler talk indefinitely. After discussing you should both agree if it’s time to tell your respective bosses- but don’t make that appointment or email just yet. Review your employee handbook and read the company guidelines in regards to romantic relationships within the office. Once you have the thumbs up from the policy book then it’s time to let your boss know.
Step 2– Remain Professional, Save the PDA for After Work
Once your boss knows and accepts your relationship you may think it’s time to go full speed ahead with your office romance. No more kissing in corners or sneaking loving glances! Well, let me stop you there. Under no circumstances should you show PDA. It’ll not only look unprofessional, but it’ll make everyone in the office extremely uncomfortable. Keep your relationship professional at work, don’t email each other love notes on the company email because your boss may read it, and don’t ditch your coworkers at lunch to be with your partner. Work should still be the time for you to focus on your own abilities and work hard as an individual and team player. Focusing on your partner at work will deter you from that and affect your work performance. If you’re too distracted, ask your boss if you can change departments to be away from your partner.
Step 3– Handle the Inevitable Break Up in a Classy Manner
Let’s be honest, the chances of finding your soul mate at work are quite slim. We end up dating more frogs than princes, so once you sense things are going south remember to keep it professional. Avoid having fights are work and if you’re both in a fight try not to bring the baggage to the workplace. Tension between two coworkers can bring tension to the entire work atmosphere. Once the break up does happen, it’s time to figure out what happens next. Ask yourselves if you can both still work together in a platonic and professional manner. If working together doesn’t seem like an option then you might have to decide who quits. To avoid this tense and important conversation, have it at the start of the relationship, because you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you aren’t ready to lose your job over a relationship then that shows just how much you really may not care about that individual and this realization will save you a lot of tears and frustration. Office romances can be healthy and happy as long as both partners plan and prepare for the risks involved.