Years ago, I walked down a hallway for a client meeting and bumped into the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Somehow I kept walking and met with said clients and didn’t come across as a blithering idiot in heat, and I got the job. I was so excited, not only because I desperately wanted this gig, but also because that meant I’d eventually be introduced to this man-god. Long-story short, I'd bump into Mr. Adonis on and off for a couple of years, and he was always nice but distant with me and later I learnt was batting for the other side.
My heartbreak aside, let’s be honest - with the 40-hour business week becoming a thing of the past, it’s natural for most of the new people we meet to be through work. But before you dive headfirst, let me give you a few tips I learned the hard way:
Photographed by Steven Meisel for Vogue
Golden Rule #1: Know the company policy about dating coworkers
There can be serious conflicts of interest. (Where I worked, there was a very strict one that seniors are not to date juniors without disclosing the fact to HR. If both parties are in a direct supervisor-supervised relationship, one of them would have to be reassigned to someone else, which was usually the more junior party.)
Golden Rule #3: Be careful to not misinterpret someone’s flirty nature
You don’t want to misread a situation and then make a good working relationship filled with awkward silences and avoiding each other.
Golden Rule #3: If you really can’t help yourself, go slowly.
That means don’t get physical immediately. Make sure this relationship has true legs before ending up being the butt of office innuendos around the water cooler.
Golden Rule #4: Of course all love lasts... but in case it doesn't, be prepared.
Beware the break-up dangers that can ensue. You don't want drama affecting how productive you are at work.
Golden Rule #5: Even in a best-case scenario, don’t forget that the butterflies will fade
Do you really want to spend all day in the office with your partner, and then go home to them as well? Can you really take orders (or give them) at work and then expect to fight fair at home over the remote control? As much as I love my boyfriend, one of the things I relish about our relationship is reuniting at the end of the day to dish about each other's work-day experience.