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Ranimi23's avatar

Is it okay to have a personal relationship with a colleague from work?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1881 points ) October 30th, 2010

I may have a problem. At my new work place, I like someone. I think she like me too. From the moment our eyes met, the connection was pretty immediate. Fun to talk to her about things that are not work.

The big problem: We are working in the same deparatment, but not at the same team. We sit on the same floor.

I’d love to know her outside of work. On the other hand, it’s my job, I’m new here, what would they say? People will talk and a lot. And if that fails? It will not be pleasant for either of us. I try to take it easy, to know her well before I take it several steps further.

Do you know couples who knew at workplace and were married at the end? Is there a legal problem with it? Is it okay to hide it from everyone especially at work until we’re sure it is what we want?

I would love your ideas and suggestions, maybe how to deal with this situation. Of course it’s just best to forget about it and do nothing. But there’s always the option that this is the love of my life and who said you can not find it in work?

Everything can happen in life, I know that for sure.

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18 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

You need to check with your employers policy on it first. They may have a problem with it and it could lead to one or both of you losing your job.

That being said, it’s really up to you. Like you said, if things don’t work out, it won’t be pleasant for either of you and people at work will talk no matter what. If you decide to see if anything is there, you should definitely keep business and pleasure separate.

marinelife's avatar

I know of many workplace romances that have ended in marriage. (Mine among them.)

We tried to keep it quiet when we were dating.

Kraigmo's avatar

If you trust yourself and her to handle this no matter where it leads, then who cares what the employer knows.

Some people are not able to put aside emotions for work purposes. You gotta first figure that out about her. It’s hard to figure out though till too late sometimes.

A lot of employers have a policy that you report any relationship such as the one you listed.

I think just keeping it quiet while you are dating, like @marinelife said, is the best way to handle it.

HungryGuy's avatar

It’s hard to hook up with people, so you have to meet people where you can. At work is the #1 place where you interact with lots of people and have the greatest chance to hook up with someone. Eliminating work as a source of potential partners will greatly reduce your chance of finding that special someone in your lifetime.

filmfann's avatar

I have had no positive experiences with this. Avoid it.

youcancallmemoonman's avatar

Been there done that three times. (but who’s counting) My question is HONESTLY how jealous of a person are you?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

As @Seaofclouds said, check with your company’s policy first. The one I worked for had a strict policy against having a romantic relationship with anyone who reported to you. Otherwise, it was okay.

In 24 years with this company, I’ve seen it happen time and time again, including some of my own experiences. Here are some examples:
1.) Couples that work for the same company but are in different fields, and you would never know that they were married or dating while on the job.
2.) Couples that work for the same company but are in different fields, and one of them has an affair with another co-worker. (The word gets out.)
3.) Couples that break up, and it doesn’t matter whether they work in the same dept. or not. (The word gets out.)
4.) Two co-workers that are just friends, but seem exceptionally close. (Gossip ensues.)
5.) Couples where one reports to another and no matter how discrete they are at work, they are spotted meeting at the local coffee shop each morning before work. (The supervisor gets fired and the one remaining is branded.)
And my favorite:
6.) The supervisor falls in love with an employee, and they agree that s/he leaves the company so that they can live happily ever after. I witnessed this happening in the early ‘80s, and the couple is still together.

Any relationship between people that work for the same company is up for speculation.

flo's avatar

No, not unless one of you is willing to transfer to a department where it won’t cause complications. There is an almost exact Q, from months ago here.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“I’m new here, what would they say? People will talk and a lot. And if that fails? It will not be pleasant for either of us.”

That’s why stalking is a much safer and work friendly pursuit than actually dating in the workplace.

nicobanks's avatar

I don’t know where you live, but I doubt there’s any law against it. Your workplace might have a policy against it, though. If they do, you risk not only your own job but also her job if you pursue it. If you really want to pursue it, quit first. As your HR department or your boss if there are any policies about staff dating each other.

If your workplace doesn’t have a policy about it, then you’re just up against the other things you mentioned: becoming company gossip, risking awkwardness if it breaks up messily, etc.

If I were you I’d wait awhile, gauge her reactions to you – you’re still new, after all. If she makes it clear she’s interested in having a relationship, yeah you might want to remain discreet for awhile – avoid all that gossip.

laureth's avatar

I work with my husband. We work in different sub-departments of the same umbrella department, and we report to different bosses. We work in different cubicles in the same big room, and eat lunch together daily in the company break room. However, we were a “thing” from the get-go: I worked there first, and when a job opened up, I recommended him and he was hired. When we announced we were getting married, our two teams charged a cake to the company and threw us a little work party.

However, if we were not working on different teams, this would not be allowed. Neither of us can be the other’s boss, which limits the ways we can move up in the company. (We live with this because, well, we enjoy the company, we enjoy each other, and having a job is better than having no job.) Most companies of any size have policies about this sort of thing, so I would second their advice up there and suggest you consult your company’s employee handbook. (You may want to think twice about talking to HR if you don’t want to arouse suspicion prematurely.) And it may be wise to keep everything on the up-and-up; should it ever be an item of question, you want to be able to say you were honest and abided by policy.

Marodr13's avatar

I feel that if you are new that you need to be careful because they have eyes on you and your actions… Relationships at work are tough, in all reality would you want to be with someone that is with you at work and at home too?? for me that is to much in my space, but ti works for other people.. Another thing is that I would suggest is get to know her better as friends, co workers can hang out without being such a huge deal… Reason why i mention this is due to the fact that my husband has a friend who dated a co worker and they broke up and they hate each other and now he is out to get her fired due to the fact that He hates her… It might be a long shot but be careful… But also there are circumstances where people date from work and its awesome due to the fact it was adults dealing with the situations and no games.. see where she is coming with…

BarnacleBill's avatar

If it doesn’t work for you, are you going to be able to handle working with her?

Before you let things get out of hand, you’d better make sure that she really is interested in you, and that you are not letting your attraction to her mistake friendliness for something more. Just because a woman likes you and has fun talking to you at work, it doesn’t mean she’s interested in dating you.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Don’t shit where you eat. And I can’t tell you how many times that lesson has escaped me and cost me ohhh so dearly. Like when you have fun with a woman who has nothing to do with you but works for the same company and then becomes your boss. Lots of fun there I’ll tell ya. Oh then there’s the one where she really digs you but your just not that into her. Yeah great office fun after she feels rejected….. good times, good times.
Go to work, get your check and then go meet the love of your life somewhere else.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Every workplace is different, check HR guidelines of conduct. My last two partners are people I once worked with. The first relationship was set up and encouraged by our mgt. team so we were fine working together. My current relationship is a bit different because he was mgt. and I am not so we kept our dating a secret even when we moved in together, even when he’d moved on to another company.

tranquilsea's avatar

I married my co-worker. When we got engaged they moved him to a separate department.

One sister married her co-worker but that was a few years after they both left the job they met at.

Another sister married a customer of hers.

Bottom line is you need to find out what the companies policy is on dating co-workers.

mattbrowne's avatar

Different departments is okay.

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