colleague crush | 

Expert tips on surviving a workplace romance

An office romance can also illicit feelings of excitement, especially if both parties want to keep their relationship a secret

Office romances can be messy© Getty Images

Sunday World

Crushing on a colleague? Don’t worry, it’s more common than you think. But before you jump between the sheets or get hot and heavy in the boardroom, Lovehoney’s sexpert Ness Cooper explains how to navigate office romances so you don’t get caught with your pants down, figuratively speaking.

First things first, Ness explains that some people are naturally attracted to those in authority, so if you fancy your boss, you’re not alone.

"Those who have an anxious attachment style may find workplace romances boost their self-esteem when dating someone who is high up in their job, and this could also lead them to not only have an ego-boosting effect on their personality but can increase their motivation to achieve more in their own role.

“Individuals who have an avoidance attachment style may find that whilst they traditionally avoid workplace interactions, when they do engage in a romantic one within the workplace they form a deep connection with that person and they may be more motivated to work harder in their career to express love towards the individual who they’re dating.”

An office romance can also illicit feelings of excitement, especially if both parties want to keep their relationship a secret. If you find yourself navigating a ‘situationship’ at work, the relationship expert has the following advice.

Establish what both parties desire

Do you want to have a long-term committed relationship or just something that lasts briefly? Is it all about the thrills and no emotional connection or are you looking for someone you want to get to know further and more personally?

Do you want your fellow work colleagues to know, or do you both want to keep the relationship secret?

Knowing the answers to some of these questions will help you not only navigate the relationship but will help you both work out whether or not you should continue it.

Talk to HR or check your work policy

You may find that the company you work for has a policy for office romances where certain behaviour is acceptable or not. Some companies also have a clear no dating policy.

Once you’ve both worked out what type of relationship you have, finding out if it’s ok in your workplace is important, as sometimes office romances can lead to instance job terminations or tribunals even when they are consensual.

Keep personal relationship discussions at home

Arguments within the workplace aren’t the greatest of places to actually talk things through and will often allow for space for you to stay within fight or flight mode for longer as you’re having to juggle workplace expatiations and tasks too.

Avoid flirting too much in front of other work colleagues

It can be hard to hide those natural attractions and feelings, but forcing work colleagues to witness flirtatious behaviour not only puts them in an awkward position that they haven’t consented to, but it has also been shown to reduce work satisfaction and enjoyment for fellow colleagues.

If the relationship ends, keep things professional.

Making sure you are both prepared for if things don’t work out is important and understanding that if you both have to continue to work together, you need to keep things professional.

If you can’t work together after a break-up, working out if it’d be better to change jobs or not is important to avoid unnecessary work upset and conflict.

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