Falling for a co-worker happens. We are young, good-looking, and going for it sort of makes you feel alive, but despite how it may seem right to you, getting involved with someone at work is just another very attractive mistake. You jeopardize your social life, not to mention your job, and it will ultimately bring you more stress than fun- trust me. Here are ten reasons why falling for your co-worker is just a bad idea.
- Work-Life Balance. The obvious problem when your co-worker and significant other are the same person is the lack of distinction between work and personal life. In an ideal situation these remain separate, save the occasional company happy hour. By dating a co-worker, these lines get blurred and all of a sudden your personal life is sitting next to you during a work day and your co-worker is sleeping in your bed.
- Harder to make work friends. One of the best things about working in an office environment is expanding your network and branching out. Oftentimes your co-workers become some of your greatest friends, and that makes spending 8 hours inside on a summer day almost sort of worth it. Being coupled up in the office takes away from these encounters because you might feel pressured to spend time with your significant other instead of meeting new people.
- No Escape. It’s all bad when your office is a place of refuge after a fight with your significant other: a place where you can catch up with co-workers, check off a list of monotonous tasks, and guiltily read nonsense news articles, without having to worry about your personal life.
- Awkward Breakup. You think you’ll be able to keep a breakup with someone you work with a secret? Think again. Despite how cool both parties can remain, it won’t take much time for people to notice how you’ve suddenly become more available for lunch breaks, more tipsy at company happy hours, and slightly more aggravated at meetings. When they start talking you’ll have to as well.
- Power play. You can try to fight this all you want but you’ll eventually realize how easy it is to lean on your significant other throughout your work day. It can start with a favor on a busy day or asking for ideas to collaborate on a project, but over time this can cause an imbalance of power that can carry over to your personal relationship.
- Too much togetherness. You go on dates. You hang out after work. You do those cute coupley things like Sunday morning coffee and shameless Madmen binges. It’s adorable and fun and you love that time because the majority of the week is spent doing your own thing. Working with your significant other changes that dynamic because instead of missing that person during your time at work, you’re always physically close. You’re also sharing a lot of the same stress, making it difficult to separate work stress from your personal life.
- Office Gossip. People talk. Regardless of age, status, or amount of spare time, we all do it, and relationships are easy targets. Getting into an office romance is setting both parties up for a lot of extra unwanted attention and could distract from professional accomplishments.
- Distraction. Maybe her skirt is particularly short that day, or maybe he’s looking way hotter in his suit and tie than his everyday gym shorts and t-shirt get up; but like it or not you’re distracted.
- That stuck feeling. Break-ups are hard enough, but when working together, break-ups get even more complicated. You think having to give up your favorite sunglasses you left in his car was hard? Try working on the same projects.
- Extra pressure. Like having a full time job, being in a relationship comes with it’s own set of pressures and mixing the two can be more than overwhelming. If you aren’t careful, pressure at work can easily bleed into your relationship or combine with your life outside of work until you can’t differentiate the two. You know what that means: explosion.
It may suck to fall for a co-worker, but we all know it happens. If it does it’s important to remember work and personal life should remain separate. Understand your company policies and make sure both parties follow them, maintain discretion, and don’t forget to give your partner (and yourself!) the alone and personal time you need. It can be tricky, but I’m sure some people do it. Good luck out there.