Friday, January 24, 2014

The Forbidden Office Romance

I am going to talk about something that I have a great deal of experience romance. Ok I only have experience with one case of it, but I think my case turned out pretty well. How? I met my husband at work.
I never thought I would be one of "those" people. I always thought it was "forbidden" or at least not a good idea to date someone you work with. I had a college friend/roommate who ALWAYS told me that it was never a good idea to date your co-worker. 
Sure you spend 40 plus hours a week with that person, probably more than your friends and family, but to "dip your pen in the company ink" (he always used that phrase) was not a good idea. 
Since you spend so much time with your co-workers, they begin to look suitable for dating. You have your office flirting or your office husband/wife. Then it turns into drinks after work. Then you are dating your co-worker and you're involved in an office romance.  It is so simple and easy to fall into.
Let me tell you my story (short fast version, I hope). I started my job almost 7 1/2 years ago, and my husband was in a relationship. I barely knew him and was already giving him grief about when he was going to marry his long time girlfriend. A few months later, they called it quits (which worked out for me!), and we went on a few dates. My roommate warned me, but I didn't care. We literally dated for a week or two before I bailed. Yes, I got scared that he wasn't over his ex and I didn't want to take on his baggage. So I did what any other normal girl did. I ignored him. 
My situation was exactly what my roommate said would happen. You go out with your co-worker, break-up, or in my case, stop talking to him, and make it awkward. My husband even tells me it was like the Jay-Z song, Holy Grail, "One day you screaming you love me loud, The next day you're so cold". 
But this story does have a happy ending, I promise. He eventually forgave me for being a bitch and not talking to him. We became really good friends. Such good friends that I would try to set him up on dates with my friends. So glad that didn't happen or work out. We started dating (for real) about 4 years ago. My friends did not know about the first time around that we went on dates (only my roommates). They kept urging me to date him, but I kept thinking it was still a bad idea. I did have a big crush on him though, so I finally gave in. 
But when I gave in, we kept it a secret for quite awhile. I recommend this unless your work requires you to disclose it. Ours did not at the time. We actually kept it a secret for 10 months because we didn't want drama if it was to end. Our friends found out about 2 months in (though they had their suspicions), but it was our friends who accidentally told our co-workers about it inadvertently. 
Several months later, my husband was promoted at work, and that meant that we had to change teams. It was for the best and makes the work environment so much easier.  Fast forward to dating for three years and we got engaged.  We had a six month engagement before getting married in August 2013.  It can work out.  It did for me.
Oh I forgot to mention that the same roommate who told me not to date a co-worker moved to California and started dating a co-worker. Their story doesn't have as happy of an ending as mine did, as they broke up. But they dated for 4 years and changed jobs during their relationship. I called kettle him. 
Now for some rules on dating your co-worker from my experience:
  • Try not to interact so much at work. This means go to lunch and hang out with others.
  • Have your own space. Work at opposite sides of the office if you can.
  • No fighting at work. Don't bring your home problems to work and don't discuss your home life at work.
  • Keep it a secret until the relationship is more mature.
  • Tell your boss once it is more serious. Unless it is required to tell them up front.
  • Avoid PDA at work.
Office Romance can be lasting if you really want it and really work at it. Do you have any experience with office romance? Did it last?
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  1. A lot of people do meet at work although I'd be as nervous as you were. I think your rules are spot on!