When you spend most of your time at work, it’s tempting to use your workplace as a dating pool, but it can also lead to plenty of problems. Office romances can get complicated and they can also have negative effects on your career.
Check out some of the biggest reasons to avoid workplace romances, and decide for yourself if acting on the attraction is worth the risk. From the difficulties in keeping your personal and professional lives separated to some other problems, here are the reasons why you shouldn’t date a coworker.
Your Productivity Might Suffer
If you’re a career oriented person, you can’t deny that thinking about your personal life at work can have a negative effect on how productive you are. Even if that’s not true for you at all, other coworkers or even your boss might attribute any small mistake on your infatuation. That’s a problem because it affects your professional image and it might also create obstacles when it comes to achieving your professional goals.
Keeping Your Private and Professional Life Separate Gets Harder
When you interact with most of your coworkers on social media, they have access to your private life. Posting on Facebook or Twitter about your relationship with a coworker will get everyone gossiping about it, and that’s one of the big reasons to avoid workplace romances.
Office Rumors Can Affect You
Even when you do your best to be discreet about your relationship, and so does he, rumors will start circulating sooner or later. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s working in a higher position than you, even if he works in a different department, some people will still insinuate behind your back that you’re sleeping your way to the top.
See also: 10 Reasons to Date a Nerd
There’s a Risk of Power Imbalances
You might start your relationship both of you are in the same position with the same paycheck. But what happens when one of you gets promoted? Just because you’re not starting a relationship with your boss or someone who’s working under you doesn’t mean that you can avoid any power imbalance in the workplace, and that’s one of the reasons to avoid workplace romances.
It Can Get Weird
Public displays of affection are usually a big issue when you’re dating someone at work. One of you might think that they’re fine because of a more informal workplace, the other might not be open to them. For the sake of staying professional, you should avoid them, but if you’re not on the same page with your guy, that can lead to tension.
You’ll Struggle to Decide When to Be Open About It
One of the biggest reasons to avoid workplace romances is the fact that you’ll have to handle a lot of pressure when it comes to making it public. You shouldn’t tell your coworkers about it after just a few dates, but when things get serious, you might want to consider that. And you have to accept that it still will make some of your colleagues uncomfortable.
You Should Accept the Long Term Career Implications
Even without an HR policy against workplace romances, this type of relationship can cause create conflict, and it may impact your career in the long run. Sexual harassment lawsuits are a risk, and if you ever end up dating two different people at work, be prepared for the professional equivalent of slut shaming.
You’ll Have a Hard Time Keeping Things Separate
You might think that it’s easy to keep personal conflicts out of the work place, but an unresolved fight can influence your behavior towards him at work. That and potential jealousy are also among the reasons to avoid workplace romances.
You Could Face HR Complications
With a no dating policy in your workplace, things can get complicated quickly, even if you’re really discreet about the relationship. Worst case scenario, one of you would have to find another job in order to continue being a couple.
The Breakup Can Get Tricky
One of the biggest reasons to avoid workplace romances is the fact that you have to prepare for the situation in which things don’t work out in a different way. You’ll have to let it go quickly, and be ready to see your ex every day.