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The Downsides And Upsides Of Dating In The Workplace


While office dating can be risky, I am of the opinion that love can be found in the strangest of places.

It has been six months since he said he wanted a break. She had assumed it was the pressure from work. At first, she didn’t believe it when her friends told her they had seen him with the girl he said he was just friends with at the cinema, first on Wednesday, then on Saturday. And at the groceries on Sunday.

There had to be some kind of explanation. She still remembers how dazed she felt when he said he was moving on. She thought she would die. How could he? She had more questions than answers, but she poured her energy into her work and was the best performer for two consecutive months in her unit.

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Love Can Be Found Anywhere

Her mind snapped back to reality as she sighted the new addition to the company. He had a first-class in civil engineering and an MBA from Lagos Business School. The dude is Head of Sales and the gist is he’s very good. He had set new sales records in the three months he has been around.

Her first interaction with him was at the Monday strategy meeting and she felt he had stared at her a second longer than necessary or maybe her mind was playing tricks on her. Then he asked her to lunch, then drinks after work on another day, movies over the weekend, and then another dinner.

She was no kid, she knew where all these were going. No doubt she liked him. He dressed well, didn’t talk much, and had a huge sense of humour, though he managed to conceal that part of him at work. No, she wasn’t head over heels in love with him, at least not yet, but she knew that they had a flow and she felt good being around him.

Can she date a colleague at work? Google had 61 million answers to that question. One should not ask Google about such sensitive matters. Or, maybe, one really should.

As with most things in life, there are positives and negatives, upsides and downsides. But the choice lies with us at the end of the day.

Upsides To Dating In The Workplace

What could be the upsides of dating a colleague at work? There is a sense in which proximity brings closeness. You two would likely come to work together (depending on where you live in the city), go home together, hang out after work and feed that feeling of assurance that your partner is closer than a call away. He or she is a glance or a few steps away, depending on the physical size of the office.

There is also the workload. When you work in the same office or organisation, it is easier to empathise when the workload gets heavy or the management is breathing down the neck of your co-worker partner. Your partner can see, feel and almost touch the pressure, and should ideally offer support. Chances are high that you would have mutual friends among your work colleagues and also have several shared moments together. Your routines are in sync, and that can be a plus.

See Also: How to start a successful logistics business.

Downsides To Dating In The Workplace

However, ever heard the saying about familiarity breeding contempt? Or the term “see finish”, to put it in local speak? That is one of the biggest downsides to dating a colleague at work. The tendency of getting too close or familiar with your partner to the point where the relationship loses what makes it special and unique. You see him or her all the time leading to boredom and routine.  What more? There is the tendency to become material for the gossip mills at work. Now there’s the issue you both have to decide on – if you want to make the relationship open or “coded”.

Some companies around here frown at office romance. They think it is a distraction and should not be encouraged. Others have no qualms with it as long as your work and performance level isn’t affected. You need to understand your company policy on the issue. Beyond official policies, how do you manage office politics?

How do you manage it when you find yourselves on opposite sides of the table having to defend a position or budget? How do you manage advances or propositions from other “interests”? Worst of all, how do you manage a situation where there is a breakup with your partner? That’s another question for Google and even with over 50 million answers to that question, the ultimate decision lies with you.

Follow your heart, life is short, live happy.

Here are the do’s and don’ts of dating in the workplace.

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