The pros and cons of mixing work with love

When you spend at least one third of your week working, a good chunk of it sleeping and another trapped in traffic or on public transport, there's little time left for the searching, dating and game-playing that comes with meeting 'the one'.

That's why many of us multi-task. Rather than hitting the best single hangouts on the weekend, sitting through an awkward 'blind date' organised through a friend of a friend, or losing endless hours to RSVP.com, we simply take a good look around the environment we know best: our office.

And there's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of men and women meet their life partners through work -- either within their own company or the wider industry.

Of course a work romance has the potential to end very, very badly and should be handled cautiously. I have a few rules: no flings, no public affection, no testing the boundaries of what may constitute sexual harassment and no getting into something you wouldn't want your colleagues to eventually find out about.

From there, there's potential disaster and potential life happiness-making, available in every potential work-related romance. You just need to weigh all the pros and cons before getting too involved.

The pros:

Convenience. Dates on your lunch break, quick little flirt in the lift, no time to 'miss' each other during the day. Perfect for the multi-tasking, busy woman.

Things in common. Wouldn't it be nice to go home and talk about what happened at work that day with somebody who actually knows who and what you're talking about? And wouldn't it be great to get a better opinion on whether you're handling that office conflict correctly from somebody who can understand both sides of the story? This is certainly not for everyone but a definite pro for those who like to discuss work ALL the time.

Possible carpooling. Less money on petrol and parking, more time with each other, a definitive pro!

Shorten the 'honeymoon period'. Work relationships are often so full-on that you find yourself skipping all the dating games and the intrigue and getting straight to the point. A good pro if you want to cut the charades and quickly get accustomed to their worst habits. Not such a pro if you'd prefer to keep believing your new found loved one is without flaws a little longer.

Cons

Distractions. This could outweigh the convenience factor. With he or she always around, there may be little time to actually get on with and think about work.

Where's the romance? A work relationship can be like moving in, meeting the parents and seeing your new partner's worst habits all on the first weekend. There's little mystery to who they are and what they do once you've seen how they work. As mentioned above with regards to 'ending the honeymoon period' this could also be a pro if you're keen to cut to the chase of knowing exactly what you're dealing with.

One too many things in common? So you're a match: presumably then you have a lot of things in common such as favourite travel destinations, hobbies and places to spend the weekend. Being in the same line of work may just tip the commonality factor too far.

It's unprofessional. I can see why some would argue this is the case but given the amount of time we're spending at work I believe it's unprofessional to think a single person interested in meeting a life partner wouldn't consider the individuals they meet through work as potential options. As long as it's handled professionally, appropriately and well away from anything bordering on sexual harassment, a work-related relationship can thrive.

You'll be the subject of gossip. Yes you will. But so what? Unless you're embarrassed about who you're with (meaning you probably shouldn't be with them in the first place) this shouldn't me an issue. Keep it professional and appropriate and let them talk about the fact you've found a happy and convenient relationship.

It could end... Badly. Like any relationship there's the very real potential for somebody to get hurt. But in the case of dating someone at work, getting them out of your life may not be as easy as deleting their phone number and unfriending them on Facebook. This is a serious con and requires proper consideration before going too far.

There are many, many pros to dating someone at work and just as many cons. What are yours? Share below.

Last modified on Friday, 13 November 2015 16:36
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Meredith the Mentor

Meredith is a contributing writer to Women's Agenda. She is is not a consultant, or a management guru. She's not even a published author. Just someone who's made plenty of mistakes, and learnt a few lessons along the way.

×
Stay Smart, Get Savvy

Must-know news for Professional Women

×
Stay Smart, Get Savvy!

Must-know news for Professional Women