Just when you thought your workplace couldn’t get more boring, Mr. Clooney-look-a-like winked at you when walking by the photocopier. Hmmm, just an innocent wink, or has he noticed you eyeing him in those amazingly perfect fitting dress pants? A little office hanky-panky might be just what you desire to get through an endless day of paperwork and meetings, but before you have a rendezvous in the supply closet, brush up on your office romance etiquette and see ELLE’s list of pros and cons. Our two Toronto-based relationship experts, Dr. Rebecca Rosenblat (aka Dr. Date) and Lori Denis, give tips and office romance etiquette advice.
“You get to check out the goods before you take them home,” says Rebecca Rosenblat. No ladies, not just the goods you look at, but mood swings and behavioral patterns, too.
You get to know his whereabouts. “You don’t have to worry about what he’s doing with the cute girl in accounting, since you are already in the know,” says Rosenblat.
Playful perks. When no one’s watching, you get to share a glance, or brush hands in the elevator. It makes that boring desk job fun when you are bumping into your cutie.
Dressing up for work as a new meaning. “Your stilettos are bound to hurt his neck more than your back!” says Rosenblat.
5. “It feels like high school, lunch dates, stares across the room, love notes … ” says Rosenblat. Ahh, to be 16 again.
When a fight happens at home, it gets dragged into work, and we mean dragged. It’s hard to separate work from home and, “It can lead to too much togetherness, with no personal space,” adds Denis.
The inevitable break-up. It’s awkward and hard to avoid each other. “A broken heart is harder to deal with in front of an office full of people,” explains Denis.
It’s all fun and games until you get caught. All of a sudden the mystery vanishes as quickly as your memory of that first kiss. “Your jobs could both be on the line,” says Denis. You could also get slapped with a sexual harassment charge.
4. The constant need to look your best and impress all the time. “It can be totally exhausting!” says Denis.
5. Someone in the office is bound to not like the relationship and cause trouble. Not to mention the office gossip. “You will become the gossip of the day or the week,” warns Denis. Beware of the green-eyed monster in co-workers, too!b>Tips, tricks and techniques on proper office-lovin’ etiquette:
1. Never, ever date an immediate boss or subordinate. Think bad break-up and the words “power struggle.”
2. Keep it quiet. Mum’s the word when it comes to personal relationships at the office “it’s bound to turn into office gossip,” warns Rosenblat.
3. No making out in public — this should be a no-brainer. Same goes for mushy-gushy emails. You’re at work after all. Be professional.
4. Check out work policies before hand “Some places strictly forbid it,” explains Denis. “Both you and he could lose out on a job you have worked very hard for.”
5. Think about your co-workers. “An office relationship can completely change the dynamic of an office,” says Denis. “Keep a balanced relationship with your co-workers-have lunch with them once in a while, and don’t tell them everything.”
Rebecca Rosenblat (aka Dr. Date) is a Toronto-based Certified Relationship and Sexuality Therapist and has been working with couples for nearly 10 years. Visit www.drdate.com for more information.
Lori Denis is a Toronto-based Psychotherapist. You can learn more about her by visiting her web site, www.talktherapy.com