Dipping Your Pen In Company Ink – Office Dating Guide
> The office is the default dating pool for many people
The lighting is perfectly dimmed and you’re all alone in the office - well, almost.
Just you and that eye-candy from accounting.
It’s just warm enough to fan your face playfully and take off your blazer. It is past 5pm after all, no one is here to say anything.
Your carefully pre-planned flirtations are cautious and nerve-wracking. You’re about as smooth as a baby giraffe walking for the first time.
As you walk over, you shyly say, “the photocopier is jammed again, would you mind giving me a hand?”
A coy smile, and a shy nod later, you follow his lead towards the copy room.
Tripping sensually over the power cord, you direct your co-worker to what’s been flustering you for the past hour.
Now, it’s his turn to whisper sweet nothings in your ear, “I’ll get this all smoothed out and pumping again.”
You laugh and blush a little.
As he slowly unplugs the cord from the wall and opens up the copier, you can’t help but feel yourself get a little more flushed.
After the jam is freed, he disciplines the copier, “Now, don’t you put up any more fuss or else I’ll have to spank you - really hard.”
Oh if only everyone could be this smooth. Thoughts of James Bond and the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man In The World” flash by your mind.
Now, the both of you are alone in the copier room. The urge to take this further is unbearable.
He breaks the tension first, “we should name this printer, Bob Marley, cause it’s always jammin.”
Your head spins!
All of a sudden, you snap back to reality with the sounds of the copier spitting out your Powerpoint slides.
It’s been everyone’s fantasy at one point in time, hasn’t it?
A steamy office romance.
The passion, the secrecy, the flirting in code.
However, is it a good idea?
Is it as easy as Playboy and Danielle Steel make it out to be?
Why And How The Office Is A Social Place That Often Leads To Dating
Dating these days is tough business.
Take into consideration that finding someone top quality on dating apps is nearly impossible and you’re left looking closer to home.
Just think, where are we supposed to find someone who:
- Isn't a serial killer
- Doesn’t have a bunch of illegitimate children running around
- Has a decent steady job
- Has a normal car
- And doesn’t live in his car
These seem like basic things, but from what you’ve seen in the dating pool these days, you’re not sure this unicorn exists.
Or how to find them.
Yet, your mind keeps bringing you back to that new hottie at work with the amazing puns and copier fixing skills. “Get it pumping again”...how in the world does your mind come up with these things?!
Oops, better not say that out loud. HR might get after you.
But couldn’t you just see yourself sneaking into the supply closet for a little rendezvous?
Maybe, even getting away with a butt pinch here and there.
Oh gosh, if only!
What is it about the office that seems to bring people together like this?
Simply put, it’s where you spend the bulk of your time during the day with other people. And if that includes other single people, it’s a ripe formula and environment for things to happen.
Everyone Is Hanging Out
Most of us have a pretty set routine. Home --> Work --> Home. Rinse and repeat daily.
With minor additions such as appointments and grocery shopping.
And sadly, your nearest Walmart is probably not where you’re going to find the love of your life.
They don’t have an aisle for that yet.
Work is the only real social place a lot of us have. And whether we like it or not, we are forced to mingle and get to know each other. It’s where we spend the majority of our day.
This is a double-edged sword for the anti-social, anxiety-ridden self that lives inside us and controls our every action.
Not that being made to be social is fun, but at least you’re getting paid to be there and you have the opportunity to meet new people.
You See Each Other At Your Best
When you accomplish something at work, a lot of times you may consider it just a small thing, nothing to brag about. So, we often don’t bring these things up in normal conversation.
However, when you have a significant other that works in the same office as you, it allows all your work accomplishments to shine through.
We are our own worst enemies, and having someone supportive there can truly help us get through a rough day or push us to succeed better. Or at the very least, some personal recognition when nobody else seems to care.
You Know Each Other At Your Worst
Then, there’s the flipside. You’ve likely already seen that pencil being chewed in half or the middle-finger fly up behind the boss’ back.
You understand what makes the other blow-up in high-pressure situations. Which is wonderful for two main reasons and a bonus.
1) You can avoid these situations in your relationship
2) You already know how to counter and calm them
If all else fails.
3) You can remove yourself until they settle down since you recognize the symptoms
You Don’t Need To Explain Why You’re Tired
Do you ever find yourself justifying why you’re tired by going over every little thing you did at work today?
This is especially common when one person is in an office and the other is not. Whether it be a laborer, teacher, doctor, grocery store clerk, it doesn’t matter.
As soon as you work in an office, it automatically means you do nothing but sit there and just casually peck at a keyboard all day long.
HA - IF ONLY!
Most people don’t understand what mental fatigue is.
The American Psychological Society published this article explaining that “mental fatigue is a psychobiological state caused by prolonged periods of demanding cognitive activity,... and [is] characterized by subjective feelings of “tiredness” and “lack of energy.”
So, if your significant other works in the same office, you no longer have to explain why you’re so drained because your partner already knows exactly how you feel.
The Office Scale Adds 2 Points
Because we have a tendency to do nothing but work and go home, we start to see people in a limited scope.
For example, puns have always made your hair stand on edge, and Mr. Accountant Hottie is full of them.
But since there is no one to compare him to outside of the office, all of a sudden your ranking of him at 6/10 turns into an 8/10.
Or inversely for guys, when there’s only a handful of women in the office, that girl that’s normally a 4 out in the wild is more like a 9 in your small office population...that’s a 49er.
Secrets Are Sexy
We always want what we can’t have or shouldn’t have.
Do you remember your parents saying “no” to nearly everything you asked for?
No, you can’t have that cookie.
No, you can’t have that toy.
No, you can’t drink alcohol.
And what did we do in response?
We secretly ate the cookie, we stole the toy, and we snuck alcohol out of the cupboard and drank it with our friends in the hideout spot.
It gave us a sense of power and made us feel like a total badass.
It’s kinda the same when it comes to dating at the office.
You know you shouldn’t, you know you have to keep it a secret. But boy oh boy, doesn’t that just turn you on more. It’s like 8 hours of foreplay.
The Joys And Pitfalls Of Office Dating
The good and the bad. Light and dark. Yin and yang. The good old fashion pro and con.
You can’t get away from it. And rightfully so.
So many decisions in life are based on this quaint little dichotomy. And, it’s no different here with office dating.
As we mentioned above, you already know you can be around each other all day. You’ve been spending 40 hours a week with one another, what’s a few more?
So, let’s see what else the office dating world has to offer you two lovebirds to-be.
1) Being Understood
You know what makes the other tick and there is a chance they do too.
You’ve probably already vented about how annoying “Gary the close-talker” and “Sue the one-upper” are. Or how about the fact that Cindy the Bitch has a new “target of the week” and is going after Carol now.
Not only do you mutually dislike these people together, but you also know who they are and why they are annoying.
When you try to explain these internal office issues to someone that doesn’t work with you, things may get lost in translation. It takes more effort to describe things.
They may think to themselves, “Could she really be that bad?” Which in turn could spark a fight or at the very least, frustration on your part which doesn’t help your cause.
But when you work together, they know. They know exactly how bad she is. Validation at its finest. It’s being understood.
2) Overtime Blues Are A Thing Of The Past
Chances are if you’re working over time, so are they.
Overtime hours is what gets in between a lot of couples. Not only do you get to spend less quality time together, but it can also start the “are they cheating” thoughts to form.
So while no one is at home to make dinner, you can at least know how hard they are working, and they know how hard you’re working.
And nothing says romance like a reservation for two at 9pm for McDonald’s.
I hear the late night special is a lightly grilled boneless chicken breast, delicately enveloped with a creamy tomato and herb sauce, covered gently with a bouquet of mozzarella, tomato, red onions, and romaine. Served blanketed on a brioche bun with frites du France.
Doesn’t that just make your mouth water?
And if you take it home, you can pair it with a Papier Carton du Vino Rouge, 2019 Vintage.
In layman's terms - chicken burger with fries and boxed red wine!
3) Your Personal Work Cheerleader
You are there to help each other when you feel down.
No longer are the days of texting your significant other and waiting to get a response when you’ve been having a shitty day.
Now, when you need to see the comfort of your partner’s eyes, they’re right there. Even a short glance or smiling walk by is enough to lift your spirits when you’re down in the dumps.
And, they’ll inherently just know and feel what you’re going through without having to ask because chances are that they’re experiencing the same too.
You become each other’s greatest supporters.
4) Your Daily Lunch Date
You never have to worry about eating lunch alone again.
Eating lunch together not only allows for daily mini dates, it actually makes it cheaper than going for dinner dates. Plus, the smaller portions are great for your waist size and the cheaper lunch meals are great for your meager saving account.
If you don’t want to go out and eat, you actually have the opportunity to become even more creative with your relationship.
Make a little scavenger/bingo lunch list and try to knock them all off within the month.
- Feed birds on your lunch
- Take someone in need to lunch
- Have a picnic
- Go to an arcade
- Eat a lunch that includes every letter of the alphabet
You have the ability to be as playful as you want.
This can be especially helpful if the both of you have to work late or are too tired after work.
You have 5 lunch hours a week where you can spend some valuable time together. Whatever you do, don’t stay in the office. Or it will be interrupted by work, co-workers, and everything else.
We’ve mentioned the happy moments, but to be realistic, when you spend all that time together, eventually some things may start annoying you.
And these things aren’t necessarily anything that your partner is doing either.
Sometimes, being next to someone all day can be annoying too. We all enjoy having a bit of time to ourselves too.
1) Office Gossip
The water cooler can be a nasty place for negative gossip.
In Africa, a watering hole is a place of peace. A place where all animals come to drink with the mutual understanding that no one will hurt another.
The water cooler at the office, makes the conversations in a high school girls bathroom seem fun and light-hearted.
This is a place where dad jokes go to die and gossip arises straight from the circles of hell.
People are not blind. They are going to see that something is up. And because you have to keep it a secret, it may just turn into something completely different and awful.
All of a sudden, you may hear things about you or your significant other that are not only lies but also extremely hurtful.
Just imagine Cindy the Bitch getting wind of something suspicious. Next thing you know you’ll hear words such as:
- just trying to get a promotion
You have to be fully aware that keeping your relationship a secret will mean dealing with nasty rumors.
And sadly you can’t just blurt out the truth, because that may put everything in jeopardy.
2) You’re Always Together
You spend your mornings having breakfast together.
You drive/walk to the office together.
You work together.
You have lunch together.
You go home together.
You eat dinner together.
You start to realize you are spending too much time together.
Everyone needs some space.
Many people feel that going to work is enjoyable for them because it does give them that space and time away from their families.
And as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
And when you spend every minute of every day with one another. You start to think some pretty murderous thoughts.
3) The Possibility Of A Break-Up
It won’t happen to us, right?
And if it did, it would all be cool. We’re chill people, we’re professionals.
There is no way any excess emotions from the break-up will leak into work.
Even if that piece of shit needed a few staples, you’d give him those. A couple to his lips to shut up him, maybe staple his hands to his thighs so he can learn to keep them to himself for once
But that’s not that bad.
Though the small things are definitely going to start getting to you now.
Remember how cute it was when she blew bubbles with her gum at her desk, yet now that sound gets under your skin and you just want to pop the bubble on her face.
This is why talking about the possibility of this happening as soon as you get together is a good thing.
You need to have a plan in effect that you can fall back on in case all goes to hell.
This may very well be the discussion about which one of you leaves the office.
4) Sexual Harassment
Making sure your actions are 100% consensual is incredibly important.
You may be able to get away with a lewd joke, or "Russian hands and Roman fingers" in other environments.
But at your workplace, this could mean losing your job.
And not just that, you could lose your credentials, degrees, position in the professional community, and most of all, your reputation.
Not to mention, sexual harassment suits can cost the companies millions of dollars in legal fines and costs - which makes companies very aggressive in firing people with the slightest possibility of harassment.
It’s a very real risk, one not worth getting fired for.
Office Dating Advice - What You Should Know
Whatever you do, don’t go into this without doing some good amount of research.
This doesn’t have to mean knowing everything right off the bat, because that would be impossible. Not only because there are two main variables, but also because every relationship is different, and will need to be treated as such.
That being said, try not to make a habit of office dating - that is a whole can of worms you’re opening there.
You don’t want to be known as the office mattress or player.
Stage 1: Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self - Interest vs Risk
Relationships are risky enough, now try adding work in the mix. And we’re not talking about getting caught canoodling on your lunch break.
There are real risks involved with this, which means you have to weigh each step and each scenario to ensure this is what you want.
Start by asking yourself:
Do I want a relationship or a fling?
Do I just need to get laid?
Am I after the taboo thing?
Am I willing to risk my job?
Can I be professional?
Can I be diplomatic?
If I have to judge my partners’ work, can I give an unbiased opinion?
Next, take a look at these 3 major things that could happen if you did decide to pursue something.
You Could Lose Your Job
We’ve mentioned it a few times before in this article now and it’s because this is a huge deal.
Whether you chose to leave your job, get fired, or be “asked” to move on, losing your job can be detrimental to your career and your financial life.
You Could Lose Your References
Depending on how things end you may have to leave the company, and the references you need to get another job may no longer be there.
This is especially true if you are dating your boss.
You Could Get Charged With Sexual Harassment
This happens more than you think.
What one person finds cute and flirtatious behavior, may not necessarily be what the other person sees or feels.
When you decide to pursue someone at the office, make sure the feeling is mutual. And if there are any signs that it’s not, drop it immediately.
Now, we want you to go back and ask yourself the same questions again.
Just by knowing a little bit more on what you’re sacrificing, you may not so easily let office dating become a thing in your life
Stage 2: Early Flirting - Check Their Interest
This may not even be on the romance radar if you have a particular flirty co-worker.
In fact, flirting is a common stress reliever and quite common around the office. Who doesn't love some subtle and under-the-radar flirtation? Or getting some of those blissful mid-day butterflies.
And it’s especially better if its invisible to others in the office.
If you’re not sure if your flirtations are too much, dial it back and keep things casual and business-like. Otherwise, going overboard and heavy on the flirts may make the recipient and others uncomfortable - better to be safe than sorry.
So, it’s definitely best to be cautious and keep an eye on how they treat other co-workers in the office before delving too deep into anything.
However, if you find those flirtations coming right back at you, it could be the start of something new and interesting.
Stage 3: Start Out Slow - See What Happens
Quite commonly, you will see that co-workers group together to go for lunch, dinner, and/or drinks after work.
This is usually once you start realizing you may have something outside the office. Luckily, this is a great safe space to slowly see how things develop.
Once you feel more comfortable, you can start by going for coffee/tea on your short breaks. This allows you for one on one time in a smaller time frame.
If you feel comfortable, you can slowly start moving towards dinner, drinks, movies, etc.
The nice thing about this stage is that if things don’t work out, it is a relatively clean slate you two are walking away from.
Unless it went horrid and one of you got blackout wasted and sang Shania Twain’s “Man, I feel like a woman” on the restaurant table to no music, you should be ok.
Stage 4: Consistent Dating - Check HR Policy
If things are moving in a positive direction and you’re now consistently dating, it’s time to take a close look at your company’s HR policy on dating. It’s wise to have a clear understanding of the company’s guidelines.
Now, nobody can stop you from dating each other, especially if things are mutual and going well.
But, there are most certainly rules that forbid dating your boss, supervisor, and/or direct manager. Things get a bit fuzzy around dating other coworkers.
Don’t kid yourselves to believe you can do it completely secretly. This risks both your careers and future job prospects.
When they say love is blind, they actually meant that the people IN LOVE are blind.
Everyone else can see it a mile away.
While we recommend not telling anyone for a few months, do educate yourself with the policy.
Stage 5: Set Boundaries - Separate Personal/Professional
You need to be able to keep your personal life at home and your professional life at work. Intermingling the two is only going to create messy issues for the both of you and make others in the office uncomfortable or worse, gossip crazy.
While you’re at work, you want to make sure that you are staying 100% professional.
This will include not discussing relationship issues, not fighting about who did or didn’t do the dishes the night before, and definitely not the ol’ PDA (public display of affection).
While ensuring that you’re professional at work, you also need to be able to leave work at work.
If you end up bringing it home, then you’ll feel like you have no relationship at all. Your home then just becomes a more casual extension of the office and who the hell wants that?
Take this time to be romantic, kiss, flirt, and have all the crazy sex you need to get it all out of your system for the next work day.
Stage 6: Smooth Sailing - Option To Let Others Know
If things are going smoothly on the dating front and the both of you have successfully set and follow boundaries, you can then opt to notify HR and/or your boss.
While you don’t want to go parading around the office yelling you’re in a relationship, it is key your boss knows.
This way he can make smarter and more informed decisions when it comes to projects and gives him/her a better understanding of what’s going on in the office.
If and when you feel comfortable about your relationship being public, you can then casually let your respective managers know. Don’t make a big deal of it though.
You want to be certain about this, because if you do it too early on, you may end up having to explain the break-up over and over.
In our honest opinion, just keep things to yourselves because you never know if this is just a short-term fling or a long-term relationship.
Stage 7: Breaking Up - Keeping Things Professional
As we mentioned above, you may think that the both of you can keep things “cool” after breaking up, however, that’s not always the case.
One side is almost always going to feel more jilted than the other.
We understand that talking about breaking up is not a normal discussion you have in a regular relationship. However, when you work together, this should be addressed at the beginning.
Keep It Professional
In layman's terms, your job > than your ex. So why would you jeopardize it for them?
The more professional you act, the better chance that everything can just smooth over nicely and everyone can move on.
Focus On Your Work
After a breakup, we all actually already have the tendency to delve deeply into our work.
This is actually one of our finest self-defense/avoiding tactics we use to manage emotional pains.
You may even find yourself with this amazing new superpower of organizing and cleaning your whole work area/work self.
It’s such an ugly word and an even uglier act.
Some office folks are total gossip addicts. They want all the juicy details on what happened. They’ll now be coming to you to get all the dirt on what happened. What your ex is really like, how he or she is in bed., etc.
Just remember, they are going to your ex as well in hopes to get the same kind of dirt on you.
It’s not worth it. It’s a game no one will win. Don’t feed the beast and avoid the gossip trap.
Here’s hoping you’re not cubicle buddies!
Time heals all wounds and limited interaction helps speed that time up.
If you have to have daily interaction, keep it professional, courteous and straight to the point.
Take The High Road
Feelings will be hurt and there may be a chance you or they want to say something. However, the office is neither the time nor the place.
Grab your BFF and head out for some beer or wine and bitch to your heart's content. But at work, keep it to yourself.
If you find that they are not taking the high road themselves, just kill them with kindness and remember, this too shall pass.
The Quick Do’s And Don’ts
We’ve compiled all the latest and greatest advice for you, to make sure you can experience office dating and come out the other side alive.
Do discuss plans if things don't work out
Do take it slow
Do educate yourself
Do keep the office PDA to a minimum
Do talk to your partner about how you are feeling
Don’t have sex on the copy machine
Don’t post your relationship online
Don’t date more than one office person
Don’t talk about home stuff at work and vice versa
Don’t use revenge tactics when you break-up
The Biggest Don't Of Them All...
Don't Date Your Boss
This is a HUGE faux-pas. Dating outside of your corporate level is difficult enough, however, dating your boss can be challenging in ways you never knew. And in most cases, it’s not allowed.
If you’ve fallen for your boss and vice versa. The best option is to have one of you make a lateral move to another position within the company to another department or group.
Don’t Limit Yourself - The Office Isn’t The Only Venue For Dating
The reason we are comfortable with the idea of dating in the office is that we have time to really get to know someone before pulling the trigger.
You don’t have to make a split second decision whether you want to date them or not. There’s not that awkward kiss at the end of the first date.
Instead, you have a safe environment to truly feel out what kind of individual they are.
However, we’ve all heard the flip side: don’t shit where you eat.
Diversify and Expand
Getting out there may seem like the most terrifying expedition in the world, but it truly is as safe as you make it.
Work really does feel like the safest place to date because there is a structure and organization you are familiar with.
However, there are other places outside of the office where you can find this sense of community and familiarity. It just takes a bit of effort on your part.
Groups, Gatherings, And Play Dates
If you can think of it, there is a meetup group or club for it.
Are you a wine drinker who loves romance novels and crochet? No problem.
Interested in games like chess? Board games? DnD? Clue? Game niche groups are a plethora out there.
Perhaps, you’re more of an outside enthusiast?
Well, there are groups for hiking, climbing, biking, and even just sitting outside, staring at the clouds and finding shapes.
You can choose anything you can think of, including:
- Join a gym
- Join classes
- Join Yoga
- Go to a new dog park
- Attend a games night
- Go to a new coffee shop
- Try an art class
And the best part is, each of these groups gets even more specific.
You can specify by:
- Age range
- Only women
- Only men
- Just meeting friends
And anything else you may think of.
These are many safe environments out there that you can explore and become a part of.
The point here is that you don’t need to sign up for a dating site.
Just find a group that shares the same interests and hobbies as you do. And use this common interest as a foundation for meeting new people.
The Pyramid Scheme Of Friendship
One thing we know for sure is that from a business perspective, pyramid schemes are something you should stay away from.
However, there is one simple premise that is part of their business model that can actually help you grow your friend group, and help you meet the potential “one”.
It’s easy, if you know three people, and they each know three people, then all of a sudden you know twelve people.
So, get out there and try to make three new friends. You’ll be surprised how many new people you will know all of a sudden.
Whether it’s a hobby or something completely different, try to expand your social circle.
Watch this six-minute video clip from Matthew Hussey, a UK dating expert. He explains why expanding your circle of friends outside of work is a great way to get “social proof” of potential date-worthy guys/girls.
VIDEO: Is It Okay To Date A Co-Worker?
YOUTUBE: Matthew Hussey
> The workplace is a dating zone due to all the time we spend there
> The office provides “social proof” of each other
> Increase your social circles outside of work to meet new people
While there may be a dreamy sexual fantasy about hooking up with your co-worker in the broom closet, or this urge to bring that pun-loving accountant home, just know that there are lots of other avenues to find a worthy relationship.
Don’t limit yourself to the office. It’s a great big world out there - take advantage of it.
Jumping into new and unfamiliar environments isn’t the most fun or comfortable thing to do sometimes, but once you get your bearings, it can be the best thing ever.
Meeting new people that share your common interests or passions can re-stimulate all your joys that normally gets suppressed by work.
In fact, trying new things is not only a great way to meet new people, it’s also a proven way to make your weekends feel longer.
And while you can’t force love to happen, you can definitely make it easier for Cupid to hit some targets for you. Help him help you.
You can do this just by being yourself and hanging out with people and at places that make you smile, laugh and get giddy with happiness.
You can find yourself a true 8/10, or better.
We know you can. So, get out there and stir up some fun for yourself.