I have had a crush on coworker since I started my job almost a year ago. I thought it would pass, but the feelings have only intensified because of our shared values and interests. We are both single, close in age, and I know he has not been in a serious relationship in a while. I wouldn't act on these feelings while we are in our work roles (and I know he wouldn't either) but he's getting ready to leave his position in a few weeks. Is it okay for me to express my feelings to him now? Or should I wait until after he leaves he position?
Anna, 27
Answered by:
Relationship Educator

Love lives and office romances are complex right now because of all the creepy guys in a power position taking advantage of actors and employees. For that reason, I would never recommend manifesting your crush on coworker if you were both going to continue to work at the same company. But since he is leaving and you have had feelings for him for a whole year (wow!), you cannot let him get away. Rather than coming on too strong, I would say something like “I would love to stay in touch when you are in your new job. A few of my friends are going out for drinks next Thursday, would you like to join us?  Here is my number.”

Good men are hard to find, and studies show that people who meet at work are more likely to marry than couples who meet anywhere else. Knowing someone at work is a great advantage because you will probably see and interact with them more than anyone else. It is hard for someone to hide their true nature eight hours five days a week. You get to know if that guy is honest, temperamental, bossy, rude or kind and generous. I met my husband at work. We were peers so neither one of us were the other one’s boss. I did use the casual approach I mentioned above and it took 3 tries before he agreed to go to the movies one night. We fell in love and had lunch and coffee together at work, but we kept our relationship a secret until we got serious. We got married about two years after we met and we are very happy.

I think dating peers at work is fine as long as you don’t have sex with more than one person. If you do have sex with someone at work, make sure it is an actual relationship and not a random hookup when you are both drunk at the office Christmas party. I know people love office gossip, and it can hurt your career and reputation. Consequently, if you have a crush on coworker, don’t recount all the details of your love life with your best work friend. It will come back to haunt you. In fact, sharing details about fights you have with your partner with family or friends can make them all turn against him and question the relationship even after you two have made up. It breeds suspicion.

If your company has a no dating policy between colleagues, you eventually will have to choose between the job and the relationship. I do know some companies make employees who are in a relationship sign documents stating it is mutual consent. That protects them down the road should anyone sue or claim sexual harassment. Your dream guy is leaving, this won’t affect you two. You can have a great relationships free of office politics. So enjoy and here’s hoping he lives up to your year of daydreaming about him.

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