Should You Date Someone You Work With?

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Sounds like a bad idea right?

I mean, why would you or anyone seriously consider dating someone that shares the same work space?  Can you imagine how uncomfortable it might become if you’re seeing someone you work with and the relationships goes sour?  That has to be humiliating, not to mention uncomfortable.

So why we are even consider dating at work as a topic of discussion for this blog?  Stupid idea all the way around.

Right?

Well, hold on a minute.  It depends if you see the glass of water as half empty of half full.  And it also depends on where you get your information.

Andrea Collins, author of Word to the Wise, talks about a concept known as Selective Exposure Theory and says that when it comes to decision making, the vast majority of us resort to applying what we have been exposed to in life. This theory reinforces what they have already formulated from opinions and pre-existing beliefs.   And I’d have to say, just as I’ve opened this blog, most people will default to saying that it is NOT a good idea to date someone you work with.  That sentiment could also be influenced by a personal experience as well that went south.  But how often have we made sweeping generalizations based on our limited personal encounters?

Let’s explore.

Believe it or not, if you’re dating online and seeking to find your life partner, you actually might stand a better chance of finding your boo at work than perusing the dating sites and apps—a much greater return in terms of producing marriages.

According to DatingAdvice.com, about 17 percent of people who date online translate to marriage.  However, according to CareerBuilder.com, 31 percent of work-related romances produced marriages.  Additionally, with the employment laws easing the impact of workplace romance, that is, as it pertains to your supervisor, there’s even an uptick with supervisors dating their subordinates.  22% of people who are dating someone they work with just happens to be their boss.  And it’s legal as long as there are two consenting adults.  Now it is often discouraged by the organization but as long as their romance doesn’t impact their job performance, they can’t be terminated.  And, to make this even more interesting, statistics suggest that only 1 out of 10 work romances end in such a bad way that the employee had to find another job.  That means that 90 percent of work romances that didn’t work, did not rise to the level of having to find new employment.  Thus, even if it doesn’t work, it’s life as usual, so to speak.

The other piece to this is sobering but true—we will spend more time with the people we work with than our own family. Startling fact but true. This is likely another factor that contributes to employees cheating with their colleagues or bosses.  When there’s trouble in paradise, it is very common for employees to find refuge with their colleagues.  And, as the old saying goes, one thing leads to another.

Now am I writing this blog telling you to start seeking love at your job?  Of course not.  But what I am suggesting is that if you’ve sparked a legitimate connection with a          co-worker, and you clearly see that their interest is genuine and they are discreet, there’s enough data that suggests it could be successful.  But I also think, even in the best workplace romance scenarios, that the two employees should preplan an exit strategy—just in case it goes up in flames—that radical changes aren’t necessary.  Now when emotions and feeling are involved, the rational thinking is likely to go out the window.  But nonetheless, chances are that a a lot more is likely lost when you have a bad workplace romance at work rather than outside the workplace.  The collateral damage can be quite extensive.

Choose wisely!

Kerry

Photo Source: Freepik

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Comments
  • Stephanie L Farmer

    Nice blog topic! It definitely fosters good communication. I think that people should be open to meeting their potential soul mate in ANY setting… I have heard success stories with MANY unlikely scenarios. It’s all about timing for both individuals.

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