Keep it professional at work

When I was single, I had a rule that I would never date anyone at work.

It was too messy, kind of awkward if you broke up and it’s like showing your underwear to the whole company, because they can CLEARLY see how into each other you are.

Plus, all those annoying “lunch out.. AGAIN? *wink wink* ” jokes.

I vowed: NEVER! I will never! UGH!

But then….

….ironically, I met BF at work, and I couldn’t have been happier.

I do have to admit that the circumstances were a bit different.

He was a local consultant and I was an out-of-towner who was just there for 3 months.

If things didn’t work out, I’d just fly back to my own city after the project was done, and never see him or feel awkward at work again.

Unless we had to work together on another project.

Thankfully, we are still together 🙂 And it’s all moot.

But what about now?

Now that I am in a relationship, and I don’t want to open any doors to potentially jeopardizing it?

Everyone always says: I will never have an affair, and mean it at the time.

But did you know that:

Nearly 60 percent of couples have had an affair, with most affairs occurring within the 25-39 age bracket.

Over 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce.

Half of emotional affairs become sexual affairs.

Source of facts here.

From what I understand, affairs happen by accident, and less by intentionally wanting to have an affair.

Research points to certain characteristics that are most often linked to infidelity, such as being raised in a family where having affairs is considered normal, having a personality that values excitement and risk taking over marital stability, having coworkers and friends who believe affairs are acceptable, and feeling unhappy or emotionally distant from one’s spouse.

So if you are happy in your relationship, and want to protect it and avoid getting into a big fat mess, I’ve come up with my own ground rules:

  • Never be the first to flirt. Even as a joke, like “Wow you look good enough to eat today!”
  • Don’t have work spouses of the opposite sex at work. *Unless they’re gay.
  • Do not meet colleagues or clients of the opposite sex alone, and out of a business context (like a conference)
  • Imagine that your partner is CC’d on every email and phone call you make. If you squirm and feel uncomfortable, then you may have crossed the line.
  • Don’t have more than one drink with a co-worker, alone. *Since I don’t drink, I’m good. But just an FYI.

These help me feel more comfortable separating my personal life from my professional life.

And while I don’t want to feel like I am imprisoned or pigeonholed into unnatural behaviour, I do understand that others may not see my friendly nature just as it is — friendly — and mistake it for more.

It’s better NOT to open the door or allow it to even start germinating.

What are your rules for staying professional at work, when you are in a relationship?

Or do you not have any?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.