When in a workplace people grow bonds with their co-workers that go beyond just friendly ‘lunch’ meetings. They grow in-depth relationships that deepen into romance. A place where people share a common interest and spend most of their time provides the perfect opportunity for love. While love can make one do crazy things, it is important to keep a clear mind and realize the pros and cons of developing a relationship with a co-worker.
An added complication is that one or both partners involved in an office romance may be married or in a relationship outside of the workplace. Co-workers aware of an adulterous workplace relationship may become uncomfortable, viewing themselves as a party to the deceit.
Nevertheless, here are a few tips on how to stay professional while handling office romance.
- Gradual Friendship.
Adhere to the “one-year” rule by only gradually letting a workplace or business acquaintance become a friend. Even then, try to keep it a casual friendship. This should go on until you are sure who that colleague is deep down inside, and not just what they want you to see.
- Be Vigilant.
Be careful, especially if you are new at a job or in an extraordinary situation (like a trade show or a conference) and someone seems overly friendly, prying into the intimate details of your personal life. Keep your calm, maintain your distance, and survey first.
- Test the Trust
Test your business friend or colleague with “low risk” trust tests, to see how reliable they are. Is something you shared repeated to others? Are you discovering references from private conversations being mentioned in staff meetings? Does the new friendship seem equal and reciprocal or one-sided?