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.)
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.