Work relationships are a complicated thing. Seinfeld, as always, paints a good picture for us (and no I’m not talking about the Kramer portrait).
Mr. Lippman: It’s come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual on the desk in your office.
George Costanza:Who said that?
Mr. Lippman: She did.
George Costanza:Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices, and people do that all the time.
Mr. Lippman:You’re fired!
George Costanza:Well, you didn’t have to say it like that.
So where else are you going to meet someone? Television and movies make it seem like going to the gym and bumping into your next fling is common, but it’s not. That scenario where two single people are at the checkout line and just so happened to buy the same cereal is for Garry Marshall movies.
Where does that leave us? Work. It’s where we spend most of our time. What’s hotter is when the boss says “NOBODY IS ALOUD TO DATE ANY COWORKERS!” When I hear that, all I can think is I’m totally going to date a coworker. This article isn’t about sex in the break room or sexting while at work. It’s about what happens when a real relationship develops.
I’m going to leave people’s names out so I don’t get in trouble, but I want to share a few examples.
The marketing director, or should I say, the beautiful married marketing director lady at the gym started a harmless yet heavily flirtatious relationship with one of the trainers, who happens to be one of my best friends. Over a year, this developed into much more. They fell in love with each other… to the point where she quit her job and he stayed, and the relationship continued. She eventually got divorced and they fell more in love. This has gone on for over four years now. So much is bad about that story, but the bottom line you can’t say no to love, be it in a work setting or picking out a puppy – you know when it’s real.
On the flipside, I was working at a magazine and was currently in a relationship, nothing serious. But every Monday morning at our weekly staff meeting she would stare at me, like that ‘I’m undressing you’ kind of stare. And I’m not going to lie, it really turned me on. We eventually started hanging out outside of work, but had to be super sneaky. Having to be super sneaky means super great sex. But I didn’t really like her. It was all physical.
So those are two examples of a work relationship that was real, and work relationship that was based on nothing but an attraction and knowing what we were doing was wrong.
Lastly, and this is the big time killer: HAPPY HOUR. I’m not joking when I’ve had a boss who drank only two margaritas give me an open mouth kiss when saying goodbye. Other coworkers use this happy hour to tell you things you don’t want to hear, and some go home together. There’s just something about happy hour that gets the whole office frisky. In fact it should be called frisky hour.
Relationships shouldn’t be defined, and anyone who feels alone should never give up hope. It’s a lifeguard phrase to say but someone really is out there for you. Don’t jeopardize your work for a work hook up. But also don’t jeopardize what might be real feelings because of your job. Just take the proper route, go talk to someone you trust and see what they suggest. The majority of companies will allow work relationships as long as you fill out some paperwork. Just make sure if the relationship doesn’t work out it’s an amicable breakup, because awkward workdays are worse than Mondays.
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