Jim and Pam from The Office, Don Draper and Megan from Mad Men, and McDreamy and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy. We constantly see office romances play out on television, chock-full of drama and extreme romantic gestures, but is it worth it to have one in real life? There are perks to finding that special someone while you are on the job but they also come with some drawbacks. Read below for the 10 potential pitfalls of an office romance.
1. People will gossip
Office gossip will always exist and an office romance can add fuel to fire. Try your best to be as discreet as possible to lessen the potential for office pow-wows about your romantic life.
2. You could lose your job
We deem this the biggest pit-fall of all. Make sure to study your companies’ policies about workplace relationships before you jump right in. Often managers and subordinates or individuals in the same department aren’t allowed to date without transferring or losing placement. Review the policy to safeguard yourself from potential unemployment.
3. Objectivity can go out the door
It’s easy to let your feelings for your significant other affect how you feel about your job. Remember to think with your head and not your heart when it comes to decisions about work projects or your opinion of co-workers.
4. It could limit your growth
If your manager wants to create professional distance between you and your partner, it my limit your options in terms of internal growth and movement. Also, you should keep in mind that your attachment to a co-worker might make it difficult for you to leave job or a company that you’ve outgrown.
5. It breeds competition
A little competition between co-workers is natural and often times healthy but be wary of the potential ugly dynamic with your sweetheart. If you and your significant other receive a promotion or a raise, you may lose equal footing at work and resentment can arise.
6. Suffering work-life balance
It’s hard enough to separate work life from home life without having to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend to work with you every day. Try to maintain the balance by avoiding talk about work at home and remember not to bring personal relationship problems into the office.
7. Others may resent your relationship
Be sensitive to others and try not to flaunt your relationship in the office. Some people may judge you for finding an office romance, especially if the person you are with has a more or less established career than you.
8. It may be isolating
No one likes to be the third wheel and an office romance can easily become a workplace clique custom made for two. Remember to build friendships with others at work aside from your significant other; otherwise people might feel unwelcome or uncomfortable interacting with just the two of you.
9. Shared triumphs and troubles
Sharing your successes doesn’t pose much of a threat, but what happens when you hit turbulent waters together? If your company falls on hard times and you both lose your job, then what? Be sure to create a more substantial rainy-day fund in cause your dual-income household suddenly is demoted to a no-income one.
10. A professional relationship can last longer than a romantic one
Breakups are upsetting, awkward and straining enough when you don’t work together. Imagine having to see your ex every day (and still maintain productivity). It’s important to have a conversation with before you begin dating about how you plan to handle continuing to work together even if the relationship doesn’t last.
About 56% of business professionals have had office romances, many of which have resulted in marriages or other significant relationships. We aren’t saying you should avoid getting to know the cute Office Coordinator down the hall, just make sure you safe guard yourself from the potential fall-out of an office romance.