office romance

You can’t help but notice that hot colleague of yours passing by your desk every day. Their perfume tickling your nostrils. Their contagious laughter at the water cooler. Their subtle compliments and a cheeky wink for you during the lunch break.

Office romance is tempting, right? You see that person every day, they understand the lame work jokes you make, and having an after-hours vent is therapeutic for both of you. Work is probably the first place since school where you spend all your time with one group of people. So what if feelings develop? It just means you have more in common?

Well, you know that old saying: don’t sh*t where you eat? That has come about for a reason. Unless you are one hundred percent sure you shouldn’t try, and even then might not be enough. Here are some reasons why.

1. You will have to hide your relationship

If you are head over heels over your colleague, you probably haven’t thought about the fact that your office romance will be frowned upon in the company. Would you want to hide your relationship from your colleagues? Having secret bathroom rendezvous might be fun at the start, but having to constantly watch your behavior gets old quickly. Not everyone is into public displays of affection – nor is it appropriate to be petting each other at work – but having the option would be nice. The last thing you want is your manager asking awkward questions about your personal life. It’s like having the birds and bees talk with your parents again, but somehow grosser. Blegh.

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2. Everyone will know everything

There’s no gossip like work gossip. Do you really want to be the hot new piece? How great is it when Karen from finance finds your new partner’s ex on Facebook and forwards them to everyone… Soooo great, right? Better to skip that joy altogether and date someone she doesn’t know about and can’t stalk. Or maybe even take it to the next level – date someone Amish. Give up the day job and go drive a horse and cart. Problem solved.

3. Your life will become very insular

When you eat, sleep, work, and play with the same person, where is the variety in your life? Maybe you’re not interested in getting out and meeting new people anymore, but nothing kills a relationship quicker than boredom. It’s easy to fall into a comfortable routine and before you know it – your world is filled with one small group of people. If your partner works somewhere else then you will have an entirely new pool of friends. Like the Amish community, I was just talking about.

4. You will be labeled as a unit

If you are dating a co-worker, it’s hard to keep your individuality. People will tell one of you something and assume the other one automatically knows. Like some sort of weird couple telecommunication. And even worse – a weird nickname. Which is fine if you can get something cool like Brangelina (RIP), but what if your names aren’t made to mix? Do you really want to be called Cake for the rest of your life? Be honest.

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5. Everything is a secret competition

Let’s say Cake is going strong and you both start getting invited to all the mundane weekend activities that suck up your precious free time. Baby showers, fun runs, non-boozy pub lunches, you know what I mean. If Ca always goes and Ke always doesn’t, then Ke is automatically the lame one in the relationship. You will suddenly get stick for not attending events you never would have before, just because everyone expects to see you as a pair. So what if you want to spend all your free time inside not socializing? You do you.

6. Your lower your standards

Remember on your first day of work when Mark in the chinos wasn’t even worth a second glance? But now two years later you suddenly find them endearing? Plus the chunky, bobbled cardigan is now quite cute? This is where you need to stop and reassess. Maybe you were being harsh the first time around, but maybe he’s also the best of a bad bunch and you’ve lowered your standards without realizing it. #justiceforMark, but also if he was The One for you, don’t you think you would have noticed sooner?

7. Your achievements might cause tension

Even though you adore them, when your partner gets a promotion and you don’t, it doesn’t feel good. Let alone if you don’t think they deserved it. Work is work and home is home, but we all know the combination of the two can be nearly impossible. The last thing you want is to have a massive argument over your partner doing well. Yes, maybe they didn’t deserve the promotion, but who says you did? There’s only one thing for it – you have to try and underachieve as much as possible so this never happens.

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8. You will face them after the breakup

There’s one thing breaking up in a group of friends, but at work is a new form of torture. You can’t split your time between different people until it cools off – you will have to see that person all day every day. Even if it wasn’t that dramatic, just trying to stay professional after a breakup adds a new level of awkwardness to the whole thing. God forbid if you are on the same team and actually have to interact… how about you just email each other in the same room for the rest of your lives?

So maybe these don’t sound too bad and you’re thinking – yeah, my relationship is worth it. But is it? Is it really? Is your future work happiness worth balancing on this one attractive human? We all know more relationships fail than survive so statistically this is going to end in awkward work tears, but there is one glimmer of hope to hold on to, just get them fired so you’ll never have to deal with them again. Easy.

Cordelia is a graduate from Bath Spa University with a BA degree in Creative Writing, followed by MA in Writing for Young People. She loves the boundless freedom writing creates and is a chronic pen chewer, but don't hold that against her.

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