David Letterman’s recent escapades and his subsequent blackmailer’s attempt have put a spotlight on the office romance. By no means am I passing judgment on the work hook-up, but it just seems to me an overall really bad idea that most likely doesn’t end well.
(As a therapist and wellness advocate, there are some “absolutely not” connections. Those involve abuse of power in a boss/subordinate relationship, sexual harassment and any behavior that makes co-workers feel very uncomfortable or even unsafe in the work environment. I won’t go into those here because most of you hopefully agree those are beyond uncool.)
Can’t you hear all those HR personnel scurrying around to get an official “Office Fraternization Policy & Guidelines” in place? While working in Corporate World, I don’t remember anyone formally addressing the issue. I do, however, remember what it was like when co-workers were more than pals. In one company I worked for, a salesman and his secretary were “secretly” married. I thought it just odd when I found out, but it explained some of the weird energy I’d pick up on in their office.
Another work site romance, while it did involve a manager and a VP, mostly provided the staff with opportunities for humor. There was a re-org rumor and we peons wondered if “Mom & Mom had to split up, who would get custody of the kids (us!)?”
Until your HR dept. rolls out their new or revised policy, here are a few tips:
* If you’re going to date a co-worker, pick someone in another department. The distance is good.
* It should go without saying, but keep the PDAs under control. Eeeww.
* This can be a huge boundary issue. If you don’t have healthy boundaries, you are not a good candidate for mixing the work/personal. Trust me.
* Limit to whom you share info about the relationship. Workplace gossip. Duh.
* Hey, here’s an idea – just don’t do it! Find another dating pool.
This is a guest post by Nancy LaFever. You can read more from her at the Centre for Emotional Wellbeing blog.