No one can tell you who to date, and even you cannot choose who you’ll like, so if it happens to be your coworker, there are certain rules that you need to follow. Firstly, you need to determine whether it is just a fling or you really want to date your coworker. Secondly, get to know them, before you decide to call it a relationship and engage in office romance. The problem occurs, when you really fall in love and start being creepy at the office, so pay attention to your behavior, so that you don’t endanger your good relationship.
1. Keep it Slow and Quiet
You cannot know if your relationship will last, as people act differently at work and at home. Therefore, you need to take it slow and get to know the person you are dating. Don’t make a fuss about your relationship and don’t imagine going down the aisle after just one week.
When you start dating, the worst thing to do is tell everyone, because the rumors and jokes in the office might negatively affect your relationship. You don’t want your relationship to last like the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries because of the constant pressure at work.
On the other hand, even if it lasts that short, it won’t be a scandal in the office, as no one will know. Therefore, keep it slow until you get to meet your partner, and don’t make it public if you aren’t sure where your relationship is heading.
2. Don’t Stare at Them all the Time
It may look cute when Jim stares at Pam (The Office 2005), but is it adorable when you do it in reality? Staring at someone can make them feel uncomfortable, as it will be really creepy. You will look like a stalker or a mentally challenged person, and the co worker you are looking at will feel unpleasant and be annoyed. Therefore, focus on work and give your sweetheart a flirty glance every now and then.
3. Don’t Avoid Your Partner
Let’s say that you’ve started dating and no one knows – this doesn’t mean you should avoid each other. Act like before, chat, have coffee and go on a lunch break together. However, if you act like your partner is your nemesis, it can be really awkward, especially if you just walk away whenever your partner approaches. So, if you are standing next to the watercooler or talking with a group of colleagues, and your partner comes, don’t just stop talking or walk away, as it will be suspicious to you coworkers and be really uncomfortable for everyone.
Moreover, avoiding them all the time can make your partner feel that you are ashamed of your relationship or that you don’t feel good around them. Make sure you act naturally, and not like you’ve seen a ghost.
4. Don’t Act Like a Top Dog
Many people change their behavior when they start a relationship, as they gain more confidence. If you start playing mister popular or miss fabulous, there is a huge chance that your partner will find the sudden change creepy and disturbing. Moreover, flirting with other coworkers is forbidden, as your partner won’t see you as more attractive, but rather a jerk. There are definitely other ways to be an office rock star, than just making yourself look ridiculous. Remember, you are no Mr. Grey, so lose the arrogance and stop trying to make yourself feel more important.
5. Sexual Harassment or Love?
Some companies have a policy on romances at work, so you should definitely read it and find out if you can get sued or even fired. Before making it public, talk with your HR rep and find out what upper management thinks of office romances. While it might not be in the handbook, there is still a chance that they think it’s inappropriate and are against it.
If you’ve realized your relationship is a meaningful one, it’s better to go straight to your boss and consult with him or her. It’s definitely better to tell them directly and assure them that you will stay professional, than have them find out by seeing pictures on Facebook or Instagram.
6. Make it Public, But PDA Really?
You kept your relationship secret for some time, and if you realized you are happy and it will last, it is definitely time to make it public. Don’t put it in the company’s newsletter – after consulting with your boss, make sure you inform your co workers personally. You both need to show your boss that you are capable of doing your jobs well. You shouldn’t make a big fuss about it, just act natural, and people will get used to you being a couple. Moreover, many of your coworkers won’t care about your romance.
Telling everyone that you are together might be tough, but the hardest part will be keeping your hands off each other and not kissing. Every corner of your office, copy room and janitor’s rooms will look like a bedroom, but keep your sex life separate from your professional life. Since everyone knows, you’ll feel comfortable kissing at work, even if someone catches you, but reality is a bit different. None of your coworkers wants to catch you kissing in the kitchen, so find another way to spice up your love life. One more reminder, don’t forget that there are a lot of video cameras in offices.
7. Don’t Tell Weird Jokes - a Gentleman Never Tells
It is understandable that you want to be funny, but don’t exaggerate with jokes. As you are dating, everyone knows you are having regular sex, so there’s no need for making jokes related to your private life. Moreover, it is even worse if you make jokes when your partner is not around. Not only are you putting everyone in an awkward situation, but you’re also ruining your partner’s reputation. There is a time and a place for dirty jokes, but the office definitely isn’t one of them.
8. Lose The Nicknames
You made it public, you are happy, but is there really a reason to show everyone at work how happy you are? Unless you’re having a celebration at a club, there is no need for creepy nicknames such as hon bun, pumpkin, boo bear, cuddle bunny or papito. Their parents named them, so there is no need to give them a new name, especially at work. You want to practice proper office etiquette, so act professionally, and don’t even think about changing your partner’s name when sending a business e-mail.
See Also: How to Date an Entrepreneur
In order to have a healthy and good relationship with your coworker, you need to separate your business and private life. Act like before you were in a relationship, and don’t let your love life interfere. Small quarrels, words of endearment and details about your vacation plans should be left outside the workplace.