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The Perils of Dating at Work

Oct 11, 2007
In the current era of maximizing human productivity we're working longer hours and so meeting people outside of a work environment is often unthinkable simply because by the time we've finished work, we're already counting down the few short hours before we have to return, and all we want to do in the meantime is grab a bite to eat and then sleep!

If you're single and hope not to stay that way, it becomes a problem because you just don't have the time or the energy to date; especially as you just know that dating someone you really don't know so well is probably going to be a waste of what little energy resource you have! So it's logical really that you start to consider the possibility of dating someone at work, but is it such a good idea?

On the surface, dating a work colleague may seem like a great idea. You know this person because you see them every day. They'll understand your work stresses because they share them. You can "date" at lunch-time or straight from work. From chat around the water cooler you'll have some idea if this is a player or a sincere person. On the surface it's ideal. But unfortunately the surface is deceptive.

Yes, there are all the positive points above. But there's another side to it, a side that's complicated and concerns not so much your actions, but rather how others react in the first instance. If you openly date someone at work (and keep in mind that there are businesses where it's written into the employment contract that this is not allowed), then you immediately stop one problem -- that of people finding out. If you're open about the relationship, there can be no speculation and gossip, it just is. The downside of this is that there are bound to be people who aren't happy about it, those who are attracted to you or your date, and those who have previously dated you or your date for example.

Another set of landmines to negotiate for those who try out the workplace dating pool are the ones connected to the overall business hierarchy and structure. There's a food-chain in every business and unless you and your workplace date are at the same level and in the same section then there's bound to be some issues that arise from one of you having a greater level of access to information about your workplace and the people who work there than the other.

Even at the same level of personnel, competition between sections can place you within a sticky situation if your section or team is in direct completion with that of your dates. Leaks can occur that have nothing to do with you, but because of your association, you'll be the first person the finger will point at.

Supposing you negotiate the gossips, the jealous ex partners, and conspiracy allegations, but still the relationship comes to an end; you have a completely new situation to deal with; that of seeing this person every day. If you ended the relationship, it could be that you feel guilty at how depressed they are, not helped by the rest of the office muttering collectively about how heartless you are. If you got dropped by your date, then you have to contend with the sympathy of well-meaning people constantly drawing attention to the fact that you were cast aside. Added to that, if they're now going out with someone else from the workplace, you're going to be wondering if your now ex date is discussing your private life with their new partner.

There are a number of pluses to the case for dating someone from work, but when they are weighed up against the perils of it, they pale into the distance! Forget co-workers and make a commitment to taking up an activity that will cost you approximately 2 hours a week, or attending a gym twice a week, and try to find someone in that group that you can date instead!
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs a site called along with info on dating and relationship on her blog at at http://www.Hot-Firefighters.com/blog2
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