This week, Chiamaka takes a look at office place romance, weighing the pros and cons and situations where they're completely unadvisable.
There is a certain giddiness that comes with stepping into a new place of business to start your first days, no matter the role that you have been appointed to. Asides from the fact that there is now a promise of a steady income, there is also the thrill of getting to know the new people that would become a major part of your world. Workplace romances, especially for people who have to constantly work on-site, typically occur because of the ‘close proximity’ workmates tend to have, being around each other for several hours on end every day of the week.
People are very likely to create bonds and mesh with those who are in their primary niche. Workplace romances, however, have an added spice to them because while a lot of people get to see their partners a few hours a day ー that’s even for the lucky ones ー people who date in their office get to see their lovers a whole lot. While it’s not the worst idea on earth to dabble in office place romance, it is important to note that, in some cases, the only thing drawing you close to or giving you certain similarities to a workmate is simply because you work together and nothing else.
If you and this person, your workmate that is, have no similarities or shared interests asides from the legally binding contract you share with a company, there is no need to further grow a connection from that sort of relationship. Sometimes, a work buddy, one that you might find attractive, should simply remain that and nothing else. It helps prevent unnecessary awkward situations from arising and causing situations with consequences.
As a result of the lure of workplace romance, the terms ‘work wife’ and ‘work husband’ have now become a pretty popular thing. While colloquially, it refers to a co-worker ー usually of the opposite sex ー with whom one has a close platonic relationship, some people interpret these terms to mean real, fulfilling relationships and have no hesitancy in sharing these experiences. Some people have even admitted to having more fun with or being more affectionate towards their work spouses than their actual spouses.
While not all work relationships are set up to be adulterous or encourage infidelity, co-workers who started a relationship at work are not known to produce the best results either. While some relationships of this nature go on to become something fruitful, a good portion of them end prematurely, leaving the parties to navigate awkward, uncomfortable situations. Break-ups are already bad enough, having to work through them with someone that’s constantly in close proximity is even worse.
It is however important to accept that people cannot be stopped from engaging in workplace romances. However, some very important things need to be taken into consideration. One is that your company may have a no fraternizing rule. This means that if a squabble occurs, their employer is not obligated to interfere nor can they make requests to be placed in different departments as a result of that misunderstanding. Also, on no account is a workplace relationship with a power imbalance ever advisable. People in senior positions must refuse relationships with their subordinates, even when propositioned by said subordinate. Claiming that they came on to you is an unacceptable and ludicrous excuse. This also goes for workplaces beyond companies, such as homes and other domestic organizations.
If a person does choose to engage in workplace romance with someone who is their peer, they both must weigh the pros and cons carefully, be prepared for whatever might ensue as a result and make it of importance to leave work at work rather than let workplace clashes follow them into their home, something that, more often than not. is a difficult thing to do.