“But then what happens if we break up?”
My best friend asked me this over coffee and a bagel one morning. We had been discussing a new fling that had arisen between her and a guy we both worked with at a restaurant.
They had spent many nights at the host stand together, talking and laughing in between seating tables and talking for hours after work had ended. Then one day, he told her how much he liked her.
“Maybe you shouldn’t think that way. Maybe you won’t,” I replied.
She was a realistic thinker though and I knew she wasn’t taking it. But despite her doubts, she didn’t put her feelings aside and they began dating.
They did, and then they eventually broke up, but here are a few things she told me she learned from the ordeal and what I learned from witnessing it.
1. It can get awkward.
This may seem obvious, but you have to eventually tell everyone you work with, and then continue to work with them.
Further, you have to draw the line between professionalism and couple-ism. Holding back a hug or any kind of physical contact can feel unnatural, especially in a new relationship.
2. People start to talk.
This is something people often don’t think of. As soon as you begin dating someone you work with, the entire work environment changes.
You start to hear people’s whispers and it can create some complicated relationships, especially if you find out about previous flings or those that might have a crush on your new significant other.
3. Fights happen.
Similar to the first point, being in a fight with your significant other and having to then work together can be extremely difficult.
Not only is there tension between the two of you, but it may also cause tension among you and the others you work with.
It’s hard to hide your feelings, and having to work with a boyfriend you’re mad at might just make everyone uncomfortable and hinder your ability to do your jobs well.
4. There’s a lot of time spent together.
You spend all of your working hours together. Then you go home to them and hang out after work. This can be a great thing for some people, but a scary thing for other couples.
It creates a lot of pressure on your relationship to make sure you’re paying enough attention to your S.O. at work and that you’re giving other relationships and things in your life enough attention.
5. And of course, there’s the break-up.
Most people don’t want to see their ex ever again, let alone every day at a place they need to be professional in and taken seriously.
Imagine having someone at work who knows every intimate detail about you. And because people talk, who knows who else might know those things too if your ex told them.
There’s a lot to consider before deciding to date your coworker.
The biggest lesson my friend took away from her experience is that if it’s with the right person and you can keep that line between work and pleasure intact, then it can be really good.
But for her, she prefers to keep work and dating separate in the future.