Dating a co-worker: Fair play or no way?

Apparently, gyms and grocery stores have nothing on the workplace when it comes to dating hot spots. According to a 2009 survey, 40 percent of people say they’ve dated someone they worked with at least once. Surprisingly, of those surveyed 32 percent said they actually ended up marrying their office girlfriend/boyfriend.

There are upsides to finding romance in the workplace, like the spark of energy it can give you on a gloomy day. It’s also convenient. And I’m not talking about carpooling. The ease of getting to know other singles at work – as opposed to your neighborhood tavern – can make pursuing romantic relationships hard to resist. It has also become more acceptable over the years by companies and employees alike.

Not that you should consider any of that an endorsement of on-the-job dating.

Should love turn to scorn, there’s really no escape from your ex. Mutual friends, the parking lot, elevators, meeting rooms, hallways and the cafeteria have all been known to act in accordance with Murphy’s Law of Workplace Romance, which states that ex-boyfriend/girlfriend co-workers must awkwardly bump into one another at least six times a week. Other complications include alienation from colleagues and office gossip.

What’s your take on dating a co-worker? Have you tried it? Is mixing business with pleasure a no-no at your company? If so, would you do it anyway?

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3 comments Add your comment


July 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Can’t mix my honey and money in one place.


July 30th, 2010
3:57 pm

Don’t fish off the office pier.
Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.
Don’t get your nookie where you get your cookies.
Even a dog knows not to cr#% where it eats.


July 30th, 2010
4:16 pm

In 2004, my ex had an affair with his subordinate, against IBM rules. Until I let him know I knew of the affair, the manager-subordinate relationship and her name, they planned to keep it a secret from IBM, me and others. I am opposed to dating between superior and subordinates for obvious reasons of lack of fairness. I cannot believe that a manager would deny giving a subordinate lover a good bonus and a good raise. This is unfair to the subordinate lover’s peers because someone is going to get less than what they deserve so that the lover can get more. I don’t have a problem with office dating as long as both people are NOT reporting through the same chain of command. If, though, they want to date, it needs to be reported to both their management to ensure fairness to others.