Did you know that the majority of adults tend to spend a minimum of 1,680 hours per year in the office?
This means that people are bound to spend more time with their fellow colleagues than anyone else.
If you turn on the TV right now, chances are that you’ll stumble across several movies with office romance scenes. Do you think this is a coincidence? I certainly don’t.
The reason why so many movies contain the elements of office romances is that they are something that has been happening for a long time in real life as well. It’s happening right now as I’m writing this.
Some guy/girl is subtly flirting with their fellow coworker, pretending to need help with a task only to get close to them, going for lunch/dinners together, drinking a little bit more than intended, laughing (you fill in the rest)…
Perhaps this is happening to you at the moment (or it might happen in the future)? Maybe your coworker has a secret crush on you and is flirting with you regularly without you even being aware of it.
Below you’ll find the answers to all these questions, including do’s and don’ts when it comes to office romances!
The reasons why we fall in love with our colleagues are perfectly legit!
The number one reason people fall in love with their coworkers is that they spend A LOT OF TIME together (unless they’re working remotely, of course).
That means people spend more time with their coworkers than with their friends or family outside of work.
We all know that the more time you spend with someone, the more you connect with them. Hence, office romances!
But not all relationships end up as romances.
There are many strong friendships, and some people agree to stay friends and nothing more than that (especially if their company policy doesn’t allow office romances among colleagues).
The more you have in common with someone, the easier you connect with them.
Let’s say that your partner works in a completely different niche than yours. This means that you’re in two completely different worlds, and only your colleagues can fully understand you.
Your coworkers are people with whom you have so much in common regarding work, and your mindsets are almost identical given that you’re in the same work niche.
You have your inside jokes that others don’t understand (and often don’t find funny).
All these things contribute to developing feelings among coworkers because ‘they come from the same world’ and share many things in common.
Strong friendships have higher chances of turning into romances.
When you date someone random you know nothing about, you start from zero. You spend a lot of time getting to know each other, go on dates, texting becomes more frequent, etc.
It takes them time to establish a meaningful relationship with another human being, but when they are your colleague, this becomes relatively easy.
Your colleagues are already your friends (if not best friends), and strong friendships have higher chances of turning into romantic relationships.
When I look back to my romantic endeavors, I notice that every romantic relationship I’ve been in has one thing in common: They were my good friend first and then gradually turned into being my lover.
Given that you’re bound to spend so much time with your colleagues, strong friendships are often inevitable (unless you’re totally anti-social). Just kidding.
Office romances don’t start abruptly; they develop gradually.
Nope, you don’t just wake up one morning and decide that you’ll start liking that one coworker of yours and subtly flirt with them every day.
Of course, some office romances happen at a fast rate, but most of them don’t.
Most office romances develop gradually because it takes time to get to know each other and create a special bond with that person.
You go to work every day. Every time you see the object of your affection (your coworker), your heart starts beating faster, and you can’t help yourself but feel drawn to them.
Because of that, you start thinking of ways to spend more time with them at work, during lunch breaks, etc.
Not to forget business travel with co-workers where the majority of romances come to life (if you catch my drift).
The movies present this fact vividly: Wine, laughter, hotel rooms, some more wine… and there you have it: The beginning of an office romance (or should I say a business travel romance?)
When you have feelings for your coworker, you literally date them every day at work.
Even though you’re in a working environment, there are still opportunities to get to know them better, share your fears, worries, dreams, etc.
If you’re not sure whether this is happening to you at the moment (or you want to be sure when it happens in the future), one of the most obvious signs a coworker likes you is them being interested (and I mean really interested) in your life outside of work.
This includes your past relationships, current love status, hobbies, preferences, and other details from your personal life.
Female and male coworkers express their affection in a slightly different way.
It’s been said that men are from Mars, whereas women are from Venus. Well, this hypothesis can be applied to office romances as well.
Men and women express their affection differently when they like a coworker. To be more exact, males and females exhibit different signs of their fondness for a coworker at work.
To help you understand it better, there are some things you need to pay attention to in order to know if your female or male coworker likes you as more than a friend:
If a male coworker likes you more than a friend, he will…
- Offer to help you (all the time and even when it’s obvious that you don’t need any help).
- Brighten your workday with funny texts (after all, a sense of humor is every guy’s specialty).
- Remember every single thing you say to him.
- Get jealous when you talk to other male colleagues.
If a female coworker likes you more than a friend, she will…
- Notice every single change in you (we all know that women are “detail professionalists”).
- Put a lot more effort into her appearance than before (outfit, hair, nails).
- Tell flirty jokes (yes, women can get flirty too when they like someone).
- Pack extra food and share it with you (a nurturing side is her inborn quality).
There’s one thing in common with both the male and female species: being great at hiding (or trying to hide) their feelings for their coworker.
They will subtly touch you, always offer help with tasks at hand, etc., but it will take some time until they open up to you and your romance becomes official.
‘Love at work’ has its own do’s and don’ts.
As with everything else, office romances have their own do’s and don’ts to which you should pay attention to if you’re in a similar situation:
- Be familiar with your company’s policy on relationships among coworkers. (The last thing you need is getting fired because of an office romance).
- Be discreet.
- Be prepared for other colleagues gossiping about you.
- Set boundaries and act professionally.
- Let it affect the quality of your work (or distract you).
- Date your boss.
- Move too fast (instead, take it slowly).
- Get involved if they are already in a relationship.
‘Love at work’ also has pros and cons.
Having an office romance usually means skipping that fun part of getting to know your partner (their quirks, flaws, and how their mind operates).
Let’s be honest. You already know so much about them, which may not be interesting to some of you.
As always, it’s your choice to decide whether you’ll pursue an office romance or not, and here are some pros and cons that could help you with making the right decision:
- You get to spend all day together.
- You’ll sympathize with each other.
- You’ll always have someone to have lunch with.
- You can share lifts.
- They’ll always have your back.
- They’ll be your silver lining at work.
- You get to spend all day together.
- Your colleagues might find it weird.
- If you break up, will you continue working together? Hmm…
- You could start neglecting your other workplace friends.
- It could get totally awkward (especially if they get a promotion and you don’t).
- Going to work after an argument might be an issue.
Office romances can be a huge advantage but sometimes also a burden.
The biggest advantage is that you can spend all day together, which is something not many couples experience.
Still, this can become a huge burden through time as well because spending too much time together can backfire in every relationship.
Because of all these facts, it’s really hard to classify an office romance as positive or negative.
After all, every romance is unique with its own ups and downs. In the end, the outcome of your romance (be it an office one or not) greatly depends on the strength of your connection, commitment, and loyalty.