The do’s and don’ts of dating a work colleague

When it’s all added up, we spend around one-third of our lives working. Unless you’re self-employed, this will typically mean you toil in an office, surrounded by people of a similar social and cultural background, many of whom will have registered on your sexual radar. So what are the dos and don’ts of actually dating someone you work beside five days a week?Do be sensible about this trystYou can’t behave as if this romance is just like any other you’ve enjoyed previously. At the outset it would be important to set some basic rules about how you intend to conduct yourself. It might not seem romantic, but a crucial aspect of an office romance is having the foresight to discuss what will happen in the unfortunate event of you splitting up. Look upon this as your equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement, an understanding of what will happen if you do part company. The basis of this should be to act with maturity and professionalism rather than resorting to spiteful recriminations.For the sake of keeping your career paths as untroubled as possible, you need to agree the fact you are no longer an item in your private lives will not affect your relationship one iota. If everything does go belly up, don’t fret. Keep your professional head on, stay calm, and consider getting into dating non-colleagues by embracing sites such as quickflirt.Do follow the company policyA basic aspect you need to be aware of is many organizations have specific rules abour employees getting involved in relationships with each other. One of the most obvious reasons for this is the fallout from a break-up can be considerable, especially if it impacts on your work. Human nature being what it is, there can be acrimony when a partnership splits, and this could be very awkward if it spills into meetings or other collaborations. Management could well take a dim view of any relationship being conducted in a clandestine manner. Honesty is the best policy.

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Don’t discuss on social mediaA work-based relationship has to be treated differently to any other. Much as it would be tempting to post those loved-up selfies or snapshots of raucous social occasions, remember your day jobs. Your basic job description will require you to appear to be professional at all times, and this is magnified if you are part of the same team. Also, you don’t want to be giving any colleagues something to gossip about that has nothing to do with your actual responsibilities.Do exercise restraintIt would be decidedly unprofessional if you came across as lovey-dovey at your place of employment. So much as you might be tempted to hold hands and stare into each other’s eyes in the canteen, there is a time and a place for showing affection in public. Being caught in a passionate embrace in the lift when the doors open to reveal your boss and various members of the board would definitely be frowned upon. This degree of celibacy should also extend to social occasions, whether that be nights out, Christmas parties or office away days. Remember, the key is to maintain strict barriers between professional and private lives.Don’t get involved with your bossOne colleague coupling to avoid like the plague is getting involved with your boss. This is pretty much a no brainer. Imagine you did become an item, you would then become tied to this partnership quite unnaturally, fearful of doing or saying the the wrong thing. Because the ultimate sanction would be losing your job.