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The Pitfalls of Office Romance

by Women Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

You're in love with a colleague. Both of you have managed to keep the flirting subtle, but everyone eventually found out anyway. You ate lunch together, exchanged glances whenever the opportunity presented itself, and walked out of the office holding hands.

A few months later, your first real fight happened-a serious one. Given that you share the same office, you found it hard to concentrate on your work. The decline on your performance soon became evident. The relationship kept getting sour until the two of you decided to cut ties. Suddenly, you felt your world become smaller.

The office, which was once a happy place, transformed into a prison - there was no escaping the ghost of your dying flame. The story of your romance ended, but not the misery that came after.


Office romance is usually a death trap; a disaster waiting to happen. Although it's not a universal truth that workplace love affairs are always bound to end tragically, most people who have taken that road-and failed-know that falling in love or hooking up with a co-worker is a bad idea. They learned the hard way that getting involved with an officemate may potentially lead to regrettable consequences, which can impact your work performance, or even your career in general.

Nobody can deny the practical benefits of finding a significant other at work. First, it saves time and money in socializing on your free time to search for prospects and a date. Secondly, you already have an idea what she's like by spending at least 40 hours a week together under the same roof.

But you might want to put a little more thought on dating a colleague with several drawbacks just around the corner.

Possible Conflict of Interest
Love affairs at work may render your integrity questionable, especially on relationships between a boss and a subordinate. Imagine you're the superior, and everyone knows that something's brewing between you and one of your staff members. Whenever your partner gets ahead of everybody, be it a raise or a promotion she could have gained even sans a relationship, it's inevitable for some to think that you're playing favorites. It doesn't matter if it's true or not; your reputation is already tainted by having a deeper relationship with an employee you outrank, or vice versa. Apart from the potential conflict of interest it may create, any suspicions toward practice may harm the morale of the rest of your staff.

Lack of Space is Never Underrated
Like trees, people in relationships need room to grow. That room isn't going to be very spacious if all of your time is spent on your partner day in, day out. Regardless of how well things are going, there will be friction in the relationship. Distance is a key ingredient for making romantic partnerships work. Spending some time alone or with other people is good for your well-being. And those who are deprived of this are more likely to burn out faster.

Kissing Your Privacy Goodbye
Even if you master the art of discretion, it's only a matter of time before everyone finds out that love is in the air. All eyes in the office will be on the two of you, and even your most insignificant actions will be noticed. Although you're cool about putting your relationship out into the open, some things are better kept just between the two of you. No fight is too small to remain a secret if you work in the same building, let alone the same office.

One Always Has to Go
Some company policies frown upon office romance, as it may interfere with your ability to perform your professional duties properly. If things work out, one of you may have to resign to avoid breaching the ethical standards of your organization. If your company doesn't implement such regulations, one of you may still need to leave if the relationship ends.

The office is not the best place to find love. In fact, it's ill-advised by many experts. But if you must, if you really can't help but find yourself powerless against the attraction you feel for a colleague, you have to work harder and put more effort into making the relationship work.