Q: Is it a bad idea to become romantically involved with a co-worker? I think I’m in love with a guy at work, but I’m not entirely certain about his feelings for me. Any advice?
A: You’re wise to tread cautiously. Many office romances end in disaster. Here’s a typical scenario: a couple begins dating, the relationship doesn’t work out, and they break up. If there are hard feelings, the working environment can become a nightmare. This is true not only for the couple themselves but for their co-workers.
On the other hand, some office romances work out fine, especially when they involve two mature and thoughtful individuals. Much depends on the nature of the work relationship. Generally speaking, it’s inadvisable to date a supervisor or a subordinate. The best case is when two people work in completely separate departments. Then if the relationship sours, there’s not the awkwardness of interacting with each other every day.
If your co-worker hasn’t openly expressed any romantic interest in you, be careful of jumping to conclusions. Don’t read too much into the fact that you’ve had some nice conversations or feel a sense of chemistry with him. Guard your heart. Avoid building up a romantic fantasy in your mind. If his feelings for you are something more than friendly, you’ll know soon enough. Use the time to get to know him before allowing your emotions to run away with you. Watch him on the job. See how he interacts with fellow employees. Then ask yourself if he displays the strong character that you want in a dating and marriage partner.
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