Dating Coworkers: Fair Game or Foul Play?

How to decide if workplace romance works for you

Dear Monica, I am thinking of accepting a date with a coworker. I am totally attracted to him, but I’m worried about how we’ll be able to work together if things don’t pan out. What do you suggest? — K. B., Old City

Dating in the work place can be a tricky situation. Coworkers can end up feeling a sense of connectedness to one another simply because they spend so much time together. Sometimes this can lead to sparks and when relationships begin, things can get hot and heavy. Having a workplace relationship can be a slippery slope that both of you have to navigate with poise. Here are some factors to consider.

  • First you must ask yourself: Are you putting your job at risk by dating a coworker? Many employers frown upon workplace relationships. Although it happens all the time in communal work environments, the potential downside comes if the relationship sours and there is residual friction for all who work with both of you.
  • You have to be very careful not to make the relationship public unless it has really solidified. Keep any touchy feely updates to yourself. Call your mom and sister, but keep coworkers out of the loop.
  • Never indulge in PDAs in the workplace. This will only create uncomfortable vibes for those who work around you.
  • Keep all personal details about the relationship personal. Do not share information with your girlfriends from work over coffee, lunch or drinks. Anything you say will be spread like wild fire around the office. No comments about where you go, how much he spends or how he performs outside of work.
  • Be careful what you post on Facebook. You don’t need to change your status immediately to being in a relationship. Keep any pictures to a tasteful minimum. No one needs to know every last detail of your weekend.
  • Don’t cut yourself off from the people in the office that you socialized with before your relationship. You do not want to come across as being aloof or indifferent now.
  • The office is for work only. You must maintain a sense of decorum at all times. Conference room tables, bathroom stalls and broom closets are off limits.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: [email protected]