5 Tips For Handling A Workplace Romance

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Nov. 9 2022, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Having a crush on one of your colleagues is much more common than you may think. But if you find yourself falling for someone at work, it’s no secret that things can become messy in a hurry. So what is the best way to navigate workplace romances?

To answer this, Lovehoney has partnered with sex expert at The Sex Consultant Ness Cooper to explain why we can often be attracted to our boss or figures of authority and how to navigate workplace romances.

Why are we often attracted to our boss or figures of authority?

Those who have a particular attachment style may find satisfaction from workplace romances, particularly with work colleagues who they look up to or who are in a higher position.

Those who have an anxious attachment style may find workplace romances boost their self-esteem when dating someone who is high up in their job, and this could also lead them to not only have an ego-boosting effect on their personality but can increase their motivation to achieve more in their own role.

Individuals who have an avoidance attachment style may find that while they traditionally avoid workplace interactions, when they do engage in a romantic one within the workplace they form a deep connection with that person and they may be more motivated to work harder in their career to express love towards the individual who they’re dating.

If a workplace romance or attraction occurs that needs to be kept secret, some individuals find the experience thrilling and that it can make work more interesting for them.

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1. Establish what both parties want.

Do you want to have a long-term committed relationship or just something that lasts briefly? Is it all about the thrills and no emotional connection or are you looking for someone you want to get to know further and more personally? Do you want your fellow work colleagues to know, or do you both want to keep the relationship secret?

Knowing the answers to some of these questions will help you not only navigate the relationship but will help you both work out whether or not you should continue it.

2. Talk to HR or check your work policy.

HR meeting
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You may find that the company you work for has a policy for office romances where certain behavior is acceptable or not. Some companies also have a clear no dating policy. Once you’ve both worked out what type of relationship you have, finding out if it’s ok in your workplace is important, as sometimes office romances can lead to instance job terminations or tribunals even when they are consensual.

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3. Keep personal relationship discussions at home.

Even if they seem like positive conversations; keeping both positive and negative relationship talks for when you’re in private at home is important so you don’t disrupt the work environment.

Arguments within the workplace aren’t the greatest of places to actually talk things through and will often allow for space for you to stay within fight or flight mode for longer as you’re having to juggle workplace expatiations and tasks too.

4. Avoid flirting.

It can be hard to hide those natural attractions and feelings, but forcing work colleagues to witness flirtatious behavior not only puts them in an awkward position that they haven’t consented to, but it has also been shown to reduce work satisfaction and enjoyment for fellow colleagues.

There may be many reasons why colleagues may be uncomfortable witnessing fellow workmates flirting with each other and it can lead to these colleague connections not being as strong as before.

5. Keep things professional.

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Making sure you are both prepared for if things don’t work out is important and understanding that if you both have to continue to work together, you need to keep things professional. If you can’t work together after a break-up, working out if it’d be better to change jobs or not is important to avoid unnecessary work upset and conflict.

This article was written by Brenda Kimble and originally published on Your Coffee Break.

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