You probably spend more time with the people you work with than anyone else, so it’s natural for relationships to form, but it is a good idea to get involved with someone at work and what can you do if you think you may be developing feelings for a work colleague?
Office romances: the possible obstacles
An office romance is a precious source of fodder for any gossip-mongers at work but is it really wise to start a relationship with somebody you work with? You spend 8 hours a day, most days of the year with your work colleagues, so it’s not really surprising that many people meet their partner at work or through a friend at work.
Spending so much time with people is likely to contribute to the formation of friendships and sometimes, relationships, as well as professional working relationships, but there are pitfalls to be wary of.
If you start an office romance, there are likely to be people around you who want to put their two penny’s worth in and share their opinions, either with you or behind your back. It’s a good idea to be wary of what others say and to adopt a cautious approach when bringing the subject up or breaking news of a new relationship to your work colleagues. Sometimes, there are factors, which make the situation even more difficult, such as ex’s at work and broken relationships and this may invoke even more chatter and intrigue.
There is also the issue of professionalism to consider, especially if one partner is in a senior position. Your relationships can have a major impact on your performance at work and you may find it difficult to combine a professional and personal relationship. If you don’t agree with your partner on a work decision or they don’t back you in a meeting, for example, this is likely to affect your personal relationship.
There is also the issue of spending all your time together as a couple; often, spending time apart gives you things to talk about and makes you excited to see your other half, but if you work and live together, you may start treading on each other’s feet and find that you spend your entire lives thinking and talking about work-related issues. This is not such an issue if you work for the same firm but in a different department, for example, but if you work in the same office day in, day out and you have the same friends and colleagues, this could become tiresome.
If you do have a relationship with someone at work, it’s important to make an effort to keep your home and work lives separate; don’t bring work issues home and don’t take problems in your personal life to work. If you have troubles at home, this will undoubtedly affect how you feel at work, but be professional and resolve issues at home. Avoid bringing other work colleagues into spats and leave any work issues in the office before you head home. Make sure you make a conscious effort to create time for other things, such as seeing friends and family, pursuing interests and hobbies and taking time out to relax, when you have time together at home.
When office romances go wrong
Whenever you start a new romance you risk a fall-out, but if you know the person well before you take your relationship to the next level or you work with them every day, the fallout is going to be even more intense. If you have an argument, you break up or the relationship simply doesn’t work, you have to face that person every day in a very enclosed environment and this could be difficult to deal with. It could also be very awkward for friends and colleagues who are close to both partners.
What to do if you develop feelings for a work colleague?
If you start to develop feelings for a colleague, this can out you in a tricky position, especially if that colleague is already in a relationship or they are not interested in you in a romantic sense. The best thing to do is to act rationally and think before you speak or do. If your partner is already happy in a relationship, it’s advisable to keep your feelings to yourself and try your best to move on; if you do reveal your feelings, you could be rejected, the relationship could become awkward and you may lose a good friendship. You can take precautions by speaking with a London-based health professional before you act on your passions.
If you have feelings for a work colleague and you think they may have the same feelings for you, tread carefully, but be brace and bold. This could be the start of a very special relationship and it’s worth giving it a go if you think this person could become much more than a friend. Try to gauge their level of interest first and take things slowly, rather than charging in all guns blazing.