Office Romance: Yes or No to Dating a Co-Worker?

You all loved this article on whether or not you should date a co-worker. It's getting chilly and you may want to just look across the conference table for someone to snuggle with.
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Business man and woman

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much “closure” for Matthew, as Lauren’s seat got moved to the one next to him. “For awhile, work was terrible,” he says. “It was difficult to function. It’s really hard to move on from something when it’s thrown in your face eight hours a day.” Matthew eventually got past the drama with Lauren and began seeing his current girlfriend, Ellen – who, at least, sits on the other side of the office.

“It’s easier to meet people at work because expectations are lower, at least in terms of dating,” says Matthew. “You just have to be careful who you talk to, I’ve learned. It’s definitely important to keep your private life private.”

This theory makes sense when you consider the number of hours worked per week versus the actual time one spends going out. I normally don’t leave my apartment until after midnight on Saturday, which means my total time to mingle and meet women is less than four hours, when you factor in New York City’s last call. (Thank God I’m no longer in Boston, where everything closes at 2 a.m.!)

At least in the office there’s time for the relationship to grow organically, rather than having to rely on a 15-second drunken introduction at 3 a.m. (Besides, my grandma always said that the best way to know someone is to live with them or work with them, because their true colors are bound to come out eventually.)

Read Is it a Booty Call or Is He Really Into You?

On the flip side, if a girl at a bar flat-out rejects me, my bosses and co-workers aren’t going to know all about it. (Unless, of course, I write about and share my failures with the world.) But if a girl I work with turns me down, it’s going to become all the rage around the old water cooler because, honestly, work is boring and gossip is exciting.

After experiencing two relationships in the same office, Matthew knows all about these highs and lows. “Work can be a great place for a relationship or an awful place,” he says. “If it’s going well, it’s great because you see them all the time. If it’s going poorly, it’s awful because you see them all the time.”

OK, he may have a point, but if I’ve learned anything from Matthew’s experiences dating co-workers, it would be “if at first you don’t succeed, try again until you do,” especially if there’s a really cute brown-eyed girl on the other side of the office who catches your eye….

Wish me luck.

Tell us: Have you ever dated a co-worker? What happened?

Justin DeMarco is a New York City-based writer. He co-wrote Hockey: The Musical with Rick Wilson, which premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2008.

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26 thoughts on “Office Romance: Yes or No to Dating a Co-Worker?

  1. Hmmm… I dated my co-worker when I worked at a bar, and although we didn’t tell anyone at first, it was so awkward. My other co-workers would say things like “You guys would be so cute together,” or “he’s flirting with you,” blah, blah, blah. It just made things weird, but it happens a lot in bars. I worked at a different one, and EVERYONE there was dating each other… the bar backs were dating the bartenders, bartenders were dating the cocktail waitresses, boss was dating the hostess. It was crazy.

  2. I do know someone who got married to the coworker she started dating in secret, but that’s the exception. Most of the workplace romances I know did NOT work out.

  3. I’d definitely think twice before doing it (and wouldn’t want to hook up with someone I worked directly with), but “Grandma” has a point — you really DO get to know people much better when you spend time with them day-in and day-out…

  4. …well sometimes I guess you just can’t help it & thing just happen. I guess as long as their is no problem between both parties once the relationship is over it should be ok. ..that is unless there are strict policies. then your just screwed!! lol!

  5. Keep your work and personal life separate; if professionalism is kept at work and individuals are treated the same way despite their favoring towards each other, I really don’t see a problem. I work with my boy at times when shifts needs to get covered and it never is a problem. Put your head into the game and act your age- PROFESSIONAL 😉

  6. I don’t think it’s a good idea…it will become “everyone’s business” and make for water cooler discussions. But, the post-it idea was cute!

  7. There are so many really nice guys where I work but most of them are married or too young. One of my mangers told me we should go to happy hour together (total babe) but he’s married with three kids yikers!! What’s a single girl to do :)


  9. I have a question in regards to making my move on someone at work. I’ve had a crush on a guy at work for awhile and initially thought he liked me too, but quickly gave up hope. However, I was recently told by another co-worker that he does have feelings for me. His birthday is in about a month and I thought it would be cute if I got him a small inexpensive gift and left it on his desk. Should I leave a little note as well and, if so what should it say?


  10. Hi,On the off chance that you are into an office romance,you may need to keep it secret at first.Some secrecy dependably helps in light of the fact that on the off chance that you see that the co-worker you are dating is not the best match you can have,then it is times better when not everyone around thinks about it.When you have dated for some time and you see that the things will work,you can report your affair yet and still,at the end of the day bear in mind that your office is not a private boudoir and dodge public display of affections.Kissing and hugging before your colleagues is absolutely not what a true professional will do!Thank you.

    @Amie Stark.

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