Dating a co-worker can seem like a great idea. You spend almost everyday together, which can make it extremely convenient. If you ask most people, however, they would recommend against dating a colleague. While dating a colleague may make Monday mornings more fun, and cause you to look forward to going to work, the repercussions of a break-up can be devastating. This isn’t to say that dating a co-worker can’t lead to a long-lasting love, just that there are certain precautions you should take before doing so.

A Slippery Slope

Dating a co-worker can be an extremely slippery slope. One minute you are perfectly happy, the next you are miserable and the office is divided because of a break-up. Thus, it is extremely important to be absolutely sure before you start anything. This includes approaching a co-worker. The last thing you want is to make a co-worker feel uncomfortable by approaching them if you hardly know them or if they don’t feel the same way. You need to also consider the consequences for your job. If you think your co-worker is interested, consider the pros and cons of dating a co-worker. One of the things you need to consider is whether your co-worker is your boss or if you are the boss. You also need to know if workplace romances are allowed, as some companies are known to ban them.

businesswomen drinking coffee

If you still want to ask your co-worker out, ask them on a date, but take things slow. Keeping it casual and friendly at the beginning can help you both decide if dating a co-worker is worth all the potential negative consequences. If you do decide to date, it is important to find a common ground outside work. The last thing you want to do is spend all your free time talking about work, because that is the only thing you have in common. You may also want to keep your relationship quiet at first. That way, if it isn’t working out early, you don’t have to face all of your co-workers asking you what went wrong. If you are fairly sure that it is a serious relationship, however, you should tell your co-workers that you are dating, so you don’t have to sneak around work. If your relationship does end, always be professional and classy. Leave your anger at home, and be polite to your ex at work.

Create Boundaries

Whether you are dating a colleague or not, it always important to create boundaries at work. To do this successfully, you need to be able to communicate clearly. For example, if you don’t want your co-workers to contact you at certain hours, you need to tell them that you will only be available for certain hours. If one of your colleagues violates one of your boundaries, you need to bring it up immediately. You do not need to be confrontational or angry; instead, just state that what they did violated your boundaries and you would appreciate it if they did not do it again. If you are dating a colleague, you may set personal boundaries at work. For example, you may be uncomfortable showing public displays of affection, particularly in a professional setting. Creating boundaries is important to ensuring that you are productive, but most importantly, comfortable while you are at work.