Romance in the office – to be or not to be

We’ve all been there. You like that cute girl or cute guy in your office. And when they’re in your face almost all day, that girl or guy can be very hard to get out of your mind (and heart).

Some companies frown upon workplace romances, sometimes to the point of making it a written rule office romances are forbidden. So you have to ask yourself – is this person worth losing your job over? Especially in today’s economic climate?

And then there’s a greater problem: what do you do if the romance heats up, fizzles, and you still have to face the person each weekday? Once you’ve looked at these harsh realities, there’s another thing to consider – apart from dating websites , one of main places American singles meet each other is at work. Studies reveal that up to 33 percent of Americans met their beloved in the workplace environment.

As John Reh, a senior business executive, writes on about.com: “Office romance is somewhat common these days given that the office is where we spend a good deal of our time. Managed well it can lead to a relationship. Managed badly it can lead to a lawsuit for harassment.”

Irrespective of your company’s rules, nothing can stand in the way of love (or lust, as the case may be). And if you have an inkling that the cute clerk feels the same way about you as you do about them, then take a chance, but do so with caution and common sense.

Karl and Christine are two IT workers from the Mid-West who found love in the office. They are now married with two sons. “We were lucky,” says Karl. “At first we didn’t know whether to go public about our relationship, but we decided that our co-workers were cool people, and that it was a progressive company with no anti-romance rules. So we took the chance and came right out and told our colleagues that we were dating.”

Adds Christine: “We found out that not only was everyone happy for us, they all knew we were attracted to each other before we even realized it ourselves!” Asked if they would have gone ahead with the relationship if their company had been stricter about love in the workplace, Karl replies: “Christine is the woman of my dreams. I would have risked my job for her. Even if it didn’t work out, at least I knew I gave it my best shot.”

Lifestyle expert Dr. Laura Berman, offers some great advice on Yahoo.com: “Maintain professionalism as much as possible when on the job, and hold off on the cutesy nicknames and special treatment for when you have left work. In addition, don’t dedicate all your time to each other. Upholding a rapport with other colleagues is part of being an accomplished businessperson, as you never know whether you will need those contacts again at another stage”.

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