As mysterious, secretive, and adventurous it can be, an office romance can be equally painstaking to handle. I remember the time I was in a relationship with a woman from the same workplace as me. Our journey was quite like a rollercoaster ride. When you are in a new relationship, there are several things you have to be mindful of, emotions, responsibilities, etc.
And, when it is an office romance, the list of things to be cautious about doesn’t seem to end. But, is the only way out would be to end the relationship? Well, this answer will be contextual and very personal to your situation. Let me share a few tips and lessons that I learned through my experience.
Company Policy on Office Romance: Check
Handling an office romance should begin with checking your company policy and compliance with respect to dating and relationships. In some organizations, you might be going against the policies if you enter into a relationship at the workplace. While in others, it just might be looked down on. To be on the safe side, do check your company policy. This shouldn’t become a reason for your termination, should it? Fortunately for me, my company did not have a policy against office romance. I made sure that wasn’t violating any office laws by entering into a relationship with my coworker.
Even if your office doesn’t have a policy against office relationships, there is no reason to go and shout out about your dating life. Do not go about tooting your own horn. Telling everyone you are dating that ‘her’ from the third floor or you are in a relationship with ‘him’ from the sales team may not be your finest move. While it may be within the legal bounds, it might still be looked down upon. Of course, I don’t mean that you lie if a confrontation takes place. If a senior or someone asks about your relationship status with your partner at work and the reason behind the question is logical, you might want to open up to them. But, be mindful of who you tell and how much you share.
A Big No to PDA: Maintain Professionalism
While this is the most obvious one, still make sure that you don’t engage in public display of affection. While my organization did not look down upon office romance, I was mindful of maintaining a professional decorum. This means a big no to hugs, no kisses, no snuggles, even in areas which do not have CCTV. You need to maintain a distinction between your personal space, outside of work and your professional space at work. Handling an office romance requires you to act around your partner in the same way as you do around other coworkers. From personal experience, I would suggest not even exchanging romantic looks and gestures if you wish to be taken seriously.
Don’t Lose Sight of your Professional Goals
One important tip to handle an office romance is to ensure that you keep an eye on your professional goals that you had before you got into the relationship. I have seen many of my friends and coworkers slip out because they were dating other colleagues. There can be several reasons for it. You might be distracted with their presence in the same workplace. Or maybe, when they are getting a hard time from their superiors, you might end up taking that too personally and end up picking their battles too. Make sure that while you have a relationship to maintain, your office romance should not be a reason why your professional ladder’s steep growth came to a standstill. And, the best way would be to leave your relationship out as you enter your workplace.
Be Prepared for the Repercussions
Finally, there are repercussions that you might have to face with an office romance. If you feel you have the strength to deal with them, only then sign up for it. Firstly, how do you plan to deal with a situation where both you and your partner have to fight for a promotion. Secondly, what would be your plan of action in case the relationship doesn’t work out. What if the things get ugly? These are some questions you should definitely have an answer to.
At the same time, in an ideal situation, try not to date someone senior or junior to you. The whole notion of ‘favours’ upon a breakup can come into play. Situations like seeing the person you used to date, dating someone else, or having to quit your job willingly or unwillingly can be a possibility. Make sure you are brave enough to deal with them.
Office Romance: Is It a Good Idea?
There is no right answer to this question. Even though I have personally been through a situation like this, I don’t think I could definitely say that office romance works or not. All I can say with certainty is that it is a journey of various trade offs and caution, and you need to strap on your seat belt before starting the ride. On a related note, if you are looking for a single professional to spark a meaningful relationship, WeHitched has a lot in store for you, stay tuned!