Love is a very tricky thing and if you fall in love with your colleague, there isn’t much you can do to change your feelings about him/her. You will just have to go with the flow and I speak from experience.
Experience has also taught me that it’s difficult to work in the same organization as the person you love but I guess that one was just a one off situation and it doesn’t happen to everyone. In fact, I know people who dated colleagues and eventually married them! However, here are a few pointers you should keep in mind if you are keen on dating a work colleague:
Check to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules
The first thing to keep in mind before dating a colleague is to speak to the HR to make sure that dating co-workers is allowed in your office. Certain offices can be very strict about their ‘no dating’ policy so it is your job to check the dating policy in your company before making the big decision. I am sure you wouldn’t want to lose your job to date someone, will you?
Keep it completely professional at work
After you start dating your colleague, do not let your emotions interfere with your professional roles and responsibilities. When you meet her/him in office, maintain a very formal air. Under no circumstances should your personal and professional life intertwine. Not only will such unprofessional behavior warrant the stares and questions of others but it may also affect your work quality.
Don’t send the wrong signals
Do not keep your colleague in suspense regarding the status of your relationship with him/her. If possible, make your intentions clear from the very start. If you are looking for a fling, let him/her know that so as to ensure compatibility. Unless both of you are looking for the same thing, be it a casual fling or a steady relationship, there is no point in complicating things by dating a colleague.
Be on the same wavelength as your partner about keeping/not keeping the relationship a secret
Before you share your new status at work, talk to your partner to ensure that the decision to publicize the relationship is mutual. Whenever the two of you decide to reveal the secret, do it together and say the same thing to everyone. Since this will impact your professional life, the decision regarding the disclosure of your relationship status should be mutual.
Once you start dating her, you might develop feelings for another person. In case you do, don’t try to hide it from your colleague/partner. Getting rid of your feelings for someone else is a lot easier said than done. It’s best to be transparent about such matters because if you cheat on your partner and get caught, it will affect your personal and professional relationship with your partner. It’s better to be truthful and lose someone you don’t love than to be a liar and risk your professional growth.
Have faith in your partner
Another usual trend observed in office romances is the jealousy factor that gradually surfaces. When at work, keep your personal interests at bay and have some faith in your partner. It is normal for a person to interact with their colleagues to satisfy professional and social needs. Communication with co-workers cannot be done on the basis of their genders and it is illogical to expect either of the partners to avoid interacting with people from the opposite sex. Even if there is someone you don’t particularly like, convey your feelings to your partner and let them take care of the situation. To misunderstand your partner’s intentions and to doubt them is only going to increase your woes so show some trust and keep things uncomplicated.
Keep the office gossip between the two of you
When I was dating my colleague, we used to share a lot of office gossip. Both of us had different friend circles so the gossip reservoir was enormous. However, both of us made a point to share gossip only with each other thereby avoiding our participation in the gossip grapevine. Office gossip can be very malicious so it’s better to stay out of the circle because if you talk about a colleague, someone else may start talking about you.
Avoid dating someone who is in a much higher or much lower position than you
Whether you like it or not, a relationship between people of unequal position in the same office can be very troubling. If your partner is in a higher position than you, you might develop an inferiority complex and become insecure. On the other hand, if your partner earns less than you, you might develop a superiority complex and expect too much from them. So, to avoid all these unnecessary complications choose wisely.
Don’t let your productivity falter
Another important thing to keep in mind when dating a colleague is that either of your productivity should not suffer, especially if everyone knows about your relationship with a colleague. Usually, partners are the first people to be blamed for depreciation in the work quality so make sure your relationship doesn’t interfere with your responsibilities.
Be prepared to maintain civility even if the relationship ends
This is a golden rule you should prepare yourself to follow before going out for your first date with a colleague. Usually, when an office romance ends, things tend to get bitter between the two people involved and everyone gets affected in some way or the other. It also creates a lot of office gossip and eventually, politics. Be prepared to face all this and try to be as civil to your ex-partner as possible even if things don’t work out for the two of you.