Don’t Put Your Honey Where Your Money Is
When it comes to dating in the workplace, my mom and grandmother had one thing to say: don’t do it. The exact saying is “Don’t put your honey where your money is”. Remember that- it can save you a lot of trouble. My grandmother had to work multiple jobs raising six kids as a widow and without government benefits. On top of that, she only had a tenth grade education and sexual harassment laws were nonexistent during the majority of her lifetime. She literally couldn’t afford to lose a job- she had six mouths to feed. Even when my grandfather was alive, he didn’t make enough to support her so, she had to work. So, if she knew this piece of wisdom, you need to know it too. It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD, run a company, or work at McDonald’s- this is useful advice. Consider it.
First, you could get a reputation as the office tramp. Sleeping around is never a good idea within your work place. In an office setting, this may not happen a lot. But, in some settings, it does. My parents both worked in the criminal justice system and saw it a ton. Three words: don’t do it. Ever. I’ve also heard horror stories of employee’s sex lives getting around at the office. If you want to sleep around (which I don’t recommend), the office isn’t the place to do it.
Most of the time, this will end in drama. A majority of relationships don’t work. It’s a sad fact of life but, there is a lot of weeding out to do before you find Mr. Right. While your coworker may be Mr. Right, there’s a good chance he isn’t. If he isn’t, there’s a good chance that things could get awkward, at the least. I won’t start listing scenarios but, business and pleasure seldom mix.
At work, you have to see them daily. If things don’t work out, this can get really awkward. I remember one couple that worked together that worked but, they were both teachers, married, and in their separate classrooms for the majority of the day. So, they ended up being okay. I also know a couple that ended up divorcing after he transferred to her work place and they were in the same police department, co-parenting, etc. So, tread carefully. It’s not a risk that I would take or feel is wise to take. I would be lying if I said I’ve never come close. But, my advice would be don’t do it. Ever.
You’re there to work- not socialize. How can you contribute to your company? If you’re a teacher, first responder, nurse, or other profession like that, how can you do your best to help those who need it? Work isn’t the time to flirt at all. It’s okay to be friends first. But, if he is that serious about you, he needs to transfer to another company or division of the company.
Now, I’m not talking about someone who works in a different department or in the same building. My parents actually worked in the same building and my mom refused to go out with him until he transferred to a different agency (she didn’t tell him this). This might work. But, I would still be very careful in that situation. If you do date someone you work with, be extra discreet and careful. Make sure you know your company’s HR policies and tread carefully. Definitely don’t show any displays of affection at work or let on that you two are dating.
There are also some occupations that cross paths a lot. For example, a lot of police officers end up dating nurses and others in the medical profession. Why? Their paths frequently cross. It’s also fine to date someone in your field. But, I would advise against it if they could be related to helping your career advance.