Dating a Colleague – The Do’s and Don’ts

Some people say that you should never get romantically involved with a co-worker. But, we can’t help who we are attracted to, and some of the best relationships began with two people meeting at work. And think about the amount of time you spend at work with your coworkers from 9-5! The problem is, dating in the office can be tricky, and it can be hard to figure out where to draw a line between personal life and business. Here are some do’s and don’ts of dating in the office that will help you to build a great relationship.


  • Comply with Company Policy – If you want to start dating a colleague, it is important to be aware of the company policy regarding fraternizing. Some companies do not allow employees to date one another. Others don’t allow management to date non-management. Don’t let a romantic interest affect your career.
  • Set the Ground Rules Early – It is important that both of you discuss how you are going to act with one another while at the office, and when you are around other co-workers. You also need to talk about what you want out of a relationship, and how you will handle a breakup (this can make working together pretty uncomfortable).
  • Take it Slow – There is no need to rush into anything, so take the time to really get to know each other before announcing to the rest of the office that you are in a relationship. It is already obvious that you have much in common, considering you work in the same field. Get better acquainted on an emotional level, before telling your co-workers about your relationship status.
  • Avoid Sending Romantic Emails – You never know when someone is going to end up seeing something you have sent to your romantic partner while you are at work. Not only do you risk having someone see it when you aren’t ready to announce your relationship, you could mistakenly end up emailing the entire office. It is best to avoid sending out any romantic emails at all, just to be on the safe side.


  • Don’t Boast on Social Media – It is best to keep an inter-office relationship quiet, at least in the beginning, until you know if things are going to work out. For the time being, keep your relationship status off Facebook and other social media. Your co-workers don’t need to know all of the details of your relationship, and if you are trying to keep things hush hush, social media isn’t the way to do it.
  • Display Affection in the Office – Your relationship should be kept separate from your professional life. There is no need to shows displays of affection in the office, including kissing, hugging, loving looks across the room, or even holding hands. Follow this advice at work, and at any work-related events, including office parties. Save the lovey-dovey stuff for when you are alone.
  • Date Your Boss – It is never a good idea have a romantic relationship with your boss. For one thing, it can lead to a huge power struggle in a relationship. If you do end up dating your boss, ask if you can be transferred to another department so you can work under a different manager. If you are a boss who wants to date an employee, arrange for them to report to another manager.
  • Travel Together for Business – If you both travel for your jobs, and you are not ready to make your relationship public, try to make it a point to not travel together for business. Anything that happens, or doesn’t happen, will end up as a he-said, she-said situation, and it won’t take long before office gossip to start.

Posted by Jane Hurst

Jane Hurst is a content manager from San Francisco. She enjoys her yoga classes and loves reading chick-lit. Being a bookworm she loves spending her evenings reading. Find Jane on Twitter!

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