Are you currently dating a coworker? Perhaps you are considering dating a work friend? Find out what are rules and risk involved when you’re dating someone from work from this list of do’s and don’ts below.

Dating someone who’s in your circle of friends isn’t new. In fact, it makes a lot of sense because the closer and more familiar you are with someone, the higher the chances of you liking them. But what if it happens outside of your circle of friends and at your workplace, instead? Yikes? Not really! Sure, dating someone from your work would be risky. But here’s a guide to help you out on what you should and shouldn’t do when your date is your coworker.

Related: 18 Best Gift Ideas for Your Co-workers

couple hugging

Advice and Rules for Dating a Coworker

1. Do: check if there is a company policy on dating a co-worker

Okay, so, first things first. Say that you work in a company you love, and your guy also likes working at the same company, but both of you have to check out with the human resources first. You can even just check your employee handbook and see if it’s allowed.
More often than not, there is a rule about it. Unless you’re really serious in getting into a relationship with your co-worker and not just fooling around of some sort, you have to talk to your HR. It’s a part of their protocol to have both parties involved sign a contract saying that the relationship is voluntary and consensual. You have to understand that companies have to do this to protect the safety of the workplace.

2. Don’t: rush into it

So, you like this cute person from the same department. Don’t rush things! This is actually a tip that works everywhere even if you’re not dating someone from the workplace. But, the fact that you’re developing feelings for a co-worker makes matters more sensitive.
The same process applies! You should get to know the person and see if he’s worth taking the risk and trying it out. By not rushing into it also means that you are willing to take it slow. The slower it is (but hopefully not that slow!!), the more chances of the both of you getting used to your new work environment.

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3. Do: establish ground rules

set rules to avoid conflicts

Since you are going to see each other almost every working day, you have to enforce it as early as possible. Clarify that it’s not like you’re putting restraints on the relationship and how you should both act, but it’s more of like being sensitive on your work environment.

Some of the rules you can agree on are the following:

  • Not talking about work when you’re on a date.
  • Not talking about your relationship when you’re at work.
  • Not leaving and arriving in the office together.
  • Not displaying any kind of public display of affection at work.

These are just some of the ground rules you can apply in the relationship. But these are just suggestions. If you think that other grounds are necessary to talk about, then go ahead. Just make sure that you are both on the same page when making these ground rules – that is willing to make the relationship and both of your careers work at the same time.

4. Don’t: let your relationship take over your life and your work

This is probably one of the hardest things not to do when dating a co-worker. Everybody falls in love, yes. But they get to distance themselves from their partner when they’re at work. This time around, it won’t happen with you. The odds of your relationship taking over your life and work are higher because the two of you are working together.

However, it’s reasonably easy to avoid that situation. It will take a lot of effort and understanding both on your part and your partner’s part, but it will work. Of course, it will be hard to balance it out for the first time especially when you’re all in your happy and giddy phase. It will get even harder when the frame shifts and you’re both starting to stress out with either your relationship or work (or both).

So one of the earliest steps you have to do is to balance your relationship with your life and work, in general. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll be easy for both of you to handle anything that comes along your way.

5. Do: be considerate to your other colleagues

be considerate to other coworkers - dating a coworker

This doesn’t talk directly about how you should show less public display of affection. It’s more of how you interact with each other. There’s a lot of chance that you’re going to have inside jokes and things that only you and your partner will understand. Stay away from that. Nobody wants to feel like they’re the third wheel, especially when they’re at work.

6. Don’t: act weird around each other at work

This is one of the major birthing pains any new relationship could have. Maybe it’s because you’re not used to having this person around before, and then suddenly, you know that you like each other enough to be dating. It’s completely understandable. But, as much as possible, do try to act as normally as you would around your partner. It only makes sense because you’re supposed to feel comfortable around the one your dating. Don’t worry; this will only last for a short time.

7. Do: talk about work

Yes, it’s completely normal to talk to your partner about work. You can choose to not talk about it but you don’t have to avoid it. People talk to their partner about their work every time. Sometimes, it helps them leave off some steam. Now, the situation is perfect for both of you to talk about work. You don’t need to go through the hassles of introducing who’s who or orienting them about what you do and the technical terms you use at work. It’s a lot easier to communicate. Who knows! He could be needing your view, too on something work-related. The key here is you should help each other grow, and be a positive reinforcement to each other.

8. Don’t: ONLY talk about work

Sure, there’s a fine line between your relationship and work. And this is one of the places wherein you should draw the line. It’s absolutely healthy to talk about work, but it’s nowhere near healthy to talk ONLY about work. See the difference? What’s the sense of dating someone when all you talk about is work? Every person, even you, will surely get turned off with that. You should use this time to know more about each other.

9. Do: continue to keep each other motivated

motivate your date

Your guy is at work! That saves you time on thinking if he’s really working, what he’s doing, know who’s hanging out with, and the like. Focus on your own work, as you should be doing, and keep your partner motivated as well.

The problem with couples at work is that someone may tend to underperform, while one is performing at the peak of their career. This can lead to potential fights and discussions, but you should learn how to handle it. Remember that your partner isn’t your competition. Just because you’re working at the same company, maybe even for the same project, you have to compete with each other. The two of you should continue to maintain a harmonious work relationship even if you’re dating.

You can also give this a chance for both of you to perform to both of your fullest potentials. After all, if the relationship goes along very well, both of you will benefit from each other’s successes.

10. Don’t: keep the relationship going just because you work together

Maybe it didn’t quite work well between both of you. But it doesn’t certainly mean that you can’t break up because you work together. Stay together, break up, or even taking a break from the relationship — is the choice is entirely your. But no matter what you do, never forget your professionalism. You should be able to act professionally even if you are dating someone from the office or have just broken up with someone at your workplace. Sure, it’s going to be hard. A suitable closure will suffice, and then you can start moving on with your life! You, too, will need your growth.

Don’t stay in an unhealthy relationship because you get to see each other every day and it might affect your work dynamics. You’ve managed to work with the same company before even when you’re still not dating him! So, what difference would it make now that you’re single?

Abide By These Rules When You’re Dating Your Coworker

Dating someone new is fresh, thrilling, and exciting! Sure, it has its complications along the way, and it’s more challenging when you’re dating someone from work. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone. You have the guy you’re dating with you, and both of you will face this together.

You shouldn’t get too much clouded in the fact that you work together. That’s just one piece of the big picture you’re trying to put together. The more you are engulfed with the thought, and the more you let get into your head, the harder it is for you to adjust to your life. Act as normal as you can, and embrace every second of it.