The going advice for whether or not you should be dating a co-worker is plainly, ‘don’t’. You are not destined for a Jim and Pam style romance. Television has tricked you into thinking that everybody in the office wants to see you in a dating relationship and happy – but they don’t.
So if, by chance or stupidity, you become one half of an office couple, the best advice we can give is to keep it on the down-est of the lows. Eventually everyone will find out you’re dating but they will do their damnedest not to acknowledge it.
Keeping your feelings on the inside and covertly being a couple in the office is a mission and a half, though not impossible. Here are five tips for dating someone in the workplace on the sly.
1. Cherish your time at home together
When you leave the house (if you come to work together) leave the dating conversations at home. Try your best to revert to how you were before the fateful Christmas Party/Summer Party/Friday night lock-in. You’ll be more productive and it’ll make speaking at the end of the day all the more special.
2. Text under the table if you need to talk dating
We’re asking you to dig deep into yourself people. Resurface that amazing skill of texting under the table that you used to do in school! It’s easier than ever now, you don’t even have to press a button four times to get the letter ‘s’. Emailing is too risky, so keep things casual and on the phone.
3. Eat separately
If you’re dating seriously, you probably have breakfast together. Personally, I don’t think eating a soggy bowl of cereal together is the most intimate a date a couple can have, but since the two of you will most likely be having dinner together too, use lunch as a chance to get some alone time or socialise with other co-workers.
4. Have a break-up bug-bag
Breaking up is something you never hope to have to think of but, being honest, you need to. The post-breakup awkwardness is the reason most shy away from office dating, but if you prepare in advance, you can make the whole transition smoother. If it’s not working out, destroy the relationship cleanly and without collateral, then move on with your careers and lives.
5. Don’t let your work suffer
At the end of the day, your office pays you for a set quality of work. As soon as your dating in the office starts to affect that, you and your co-workers have got a problem on your hands. Whether it means going public with the dating or keeping it top-secret, do what you’ve got to do to keep your gainful employment. And remember no office hook-up has been worth losing a job over…