Office Romance: How to Handle a Work Romance

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Apr. 14, 2016

You know you shouldn't. It's a bad idea. And yet ... you just can't help yourselves. Office romances happen, but they're not easy to handle. Sarah Ivens, author of numerous Modern Girl's etiquette guides, has some tips for sailing the stormy seas of office romance. Check out Howdini.com for more.

How to manage an office romance

Office romances are pretty common in America. You usually spend more time with your co-workers than anyone else, so sometimes it's inevitable to develop a crush or even fall in love at the workplace. Just make sure you play it right. Sarah Ivens provides excellent advice on how to avoid the potential pitfalls of an office romance.

If the office you both work in has a rule forbidding office romance, it is best to come clean to human resources and your boss. It is one thing to break office policy, it is worse to get caught lying about your work romance. It isn't necessary to tell other co-workers, however.

Don't have any kind of sexual relations in the office.

Avoid having a work romance with someone you have to report to or someone who reports to you. The power dynamic will be different at work than at home and could cause tension.

Jealousy can be a problem in the office among colleagues. Keep the relationship low-key. Don't go out for lunch together every single day or hold hands in front of others or be making out at office parties.

Don't gossip about the relationship with colleagues if you want to keep the relationship private. Talk about an office romance can very quickly become public company information.

If the relationship becomes very serious, it is best to consider relocation for one or both of you. Whether you change teams, departments, or location, it could be good to make a move.

Married couples who work together sometimes lose their working identity and become simply "the company couple". Maintaining your individual identity is important in general, but is particularly important in the workplace.