Ask The Swag Gal – December 22, 2010

This week we are delving into Seth’s question regarding dating in the workplace. He asked:
Dear Swag Gal,

What are your thoughts on dating in the work place? It is sort of a taboo thing, but could it work depending on the circumstances? I’ve worked for both small and large companies and have mulled it over a few times, but never took action. It’s so tempting!


Dear Seth,

Thank you for sending in this great question, as I am sure many of our fellow Swaggernauts are dealing with the same confusion.

My advice to you is to keep your work life separate from your personal life. Believe me, I understand the temptations and frustrations you have experienced. It is very difficult to work in an environment when you are constantly in the presence of a hunky co-worker. However, it is important to find that line between work and play, and try not to cross it. It is nice to have an outlet from your professional life, just as it’s nice to have an outlet from your personal life. If you combine the two, you may get the feeling that you are stuck.

I think that dating in the work place is a dangerous avenue to go down. Just think about it. Think about the early stages of dating and how exciting that is. You meet up a few times a week, maybe grab dinner or a movie, and you’re not in that “relationship” stage yet. The rest of the week you are left to think about that person, and you give yourselves a chance to miss each other. Distance in the beginning of a relationship is important. You don’t want too much too soon, because then the relationship tends to fizzle out. You need to be left with time to wonder and imagine – that’s what adds excitement to a relationship.

Now picture dating somebody at your place of work. You aren’t giving yourselves time to think about each other, because you see each other everyday. You also do not have the liberty of having one of the simplest, most common conversations that typical couples have, which is the “how was your day” convo. Well, you already know how the day was, because you were there. You also won’t be able to send cute texts or e-mails back and forth during the day, just to let each other know that you’re thinking of them. Think about that split second when your heart stops because you see their name light up on your phone. I’m sure it’s happened to you, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s happened to me, too. It’s important to let yourself get excited by the little things.

Of course the most obvious reason to steer clear of dating at work is the “what if you break up” scenario. I know many people would attempt to rebut with “we’re not going to break up,” or “we’re going to get married,” but it can never hurt to explore the “what-if,” as it is always important to be prepared. Break-ups are a sure thing, whether it happens to you or someone you know. And break-ups can be extremely tough to deal with. Getting over somebody is a difficult feat, but it will be enormously tougher if you are forced to see that person everyday.

This is your place of work – a place where you are getting paid for your commitment, hard work, and dedication. You certainly would not want to do anything that could potentially compromise your reputation. I am all for friendly, comfortable work environments, and I would certainly encourage getting to know your co-workers. However, I would try to keep your dating life separate. It’s a safer, more appropriate, and overall better option.

Happy Dating!