Consequences Of Workplace Dating And Having A Crush On A Coworker
I got an email recently with this question:
I Have Heard That It Is Not A Good Idea To Date Someone You Work With. I Have A Crush On A Coworker, What’s The Harm?
Here’s my take on this sometimes sticky situation.
A large number of people do meet and date through work. After all, we spend at least eight hours a day with people we are paid to be with in a place that we often daydream about leaving. I have heard that more people die on Monday mornings than any other time. You often hear people exclaiming “TGIF!” (Thank God it’s Friday). Five o’clock — especially five o’clock on Fridays — are often employees’ favorite time of the day. If you are not fortunate enough to own your own business or be utterly passionate about your job at the office, hey, a little excitement and diversion can be extremely attractive.
That hot guy who works down the hall or in the next cubicle, or your manager at the restaurant you work at suddenly catches your eye, you start flirting, then go out after work for a drink with the gang that turns into drinks alone after work, and then… well, you get the picture. Work becomes more exciting, and you no longer dread going in, but actually get excited deciding what to wear each day. All of that is just dandy until it all goes terribly wrong. Now, some of you reading this are currently either seeing someone happily from the office or have done so in the past with no repercussions. Thank your lucky stars, because it is all too easy for things to go the other way. If it doesn’t work out between you, life at work can get very uncomfortable. You will once again be watching that clock for quitting time! Or even worse, you could lose your job.
When I was in my early twenties, I was a hostess in a restaurant in West Hollywood. I starting dating the manager, Richard, and eventually we moved in together. I had worked there for 3 1/2 years and really liked it. Dating the manager caused problems with the other employees. Richard was extremely jealous. I became friends with one of the waitresses, who was French. I was learning French and felt very happy to be included in her circle of French friends. Sometimes she would invite me to a party or to hang out with her group. Richard had no interest in going to these parties with me, so I would go without him. He was convinced that Nathalie was introducing me to French guys, so he threatened to fire both of us. I was distraught because not only was that not true, but why should she be fired because I was dating a lunatic? Because she was from France, it would not be easy to find another job as her papers were expiring. I felt that I had to tell her about Richard’s threats, and of course she panicked, was completely stressed and our and our friendship was on the line. The whole thing was a horrible mess. (Nathalie moved back to France the next year and I am happy to say that we are still the best of friends over thirty years later).
When Richard and I split up, he fired me. I was already devastated and completely stressed out over the break-up and having to find a new place to live. Then I found myself with no job either. The whole relationship was a disaster from beginning to end. These are the consequences of workplace dating and having a crush on a coworker
The problem with dating at work is that you are bringing powerful feelings and emotions to a place that should be your safe haven from everything emotional. So, my opinion on dating where you work is simple. DON’T.
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