6 golden rules for making an office romance work

Yolisa Mkele points out some things to consider before you dip you pen in the company inkwell

30 October 2017 - 10:20
Watch what you do in the workplace because everyone else is watching too.
Watch what you do in the workplace because everyone else is watching too.
Image: Supplied

A mildly famous but profound poet once said: "I know what it feels like to behold and not be held." His name is Moses Sumney and, as far as I am concerned, the man was discussing office romance.

We have all been there. There is always that one person who saunters through the office destroying your train of thought and sending you on flights of romantic fancy as soon as she or he floats by your desk. Chances are you want to say something to them, but what supplication is worthy of such a divine presence?

Hell I can't help you with that but, should you convince this deity to bless you with her non-work-related gifts, experience has taught me to bear these things in mind:

1. POWER IS EVERYTHING

If he or she is a subordinate to you in any way, let it go. Worship from afar and be content with the idea that you brushed shoulders with Athena herself. Anything more does not work out well for either party involved. Dating your boss or your subordinate is like kissing a sexy scion of hemlock. Sure it tastes great but death is imminent.

2. PRETEXT IS IMPORTANT

Don't be the person who just walks up to someone random in the office and asks them out. HR feeds off this kind of thing, and more importantly no one else does. People go to offices to work so when you go to greet him, at least fake some kind of work conversation before you slip into the "what do you like do for fun" line of questioning. Prod carefully and don't make it weird. Rejection is a part of life so, if that happens, move on and continue to be cordially professional.

3. KEEP YOUR AFFECTION OUT OF THE OFFICE

Love is grand and all you want to do is lick your significant other from head to toe, but don't. Don't lick, kiss, touch or giggle. Even if you are the kind of couple that always goes on lunch together, don't. Offices talk and it won't be long before your every decision is being examined through the lens of whether or not you had chorizo for lunch. It is also deeply discomforting for everyone watching.

4. DIVORCE YOUR WORK SPOUSE

If you are unsure, a work spouse is that person at work who you always laugh with. Everyone except the two of you recognises that there is some kind of chemistry there but it's OK because you're both married. Sure it's fun to have someone at the office who you can suggestively joke with and just generally enjoy, but it's less fun when your lover sits close enough to see just how funny you find someone else's jokes.

5. SIT FAR AWAY FROM EACH OTHER

Half of Jesus' allure is that he is mysterious. You don't know what he is doing at times. Sit next to your beau and you will hear every fart and every unintended comment he makes. To make it worse, you will hear all that outside of work, too. Nothing kills romance faster than knowing too much about the subject of your romantic interest so keep a healthy distance.

6. DON'T HAVE SEX IN THE OFFICE

The two of you spend a large chunk of your time there anyway, so why not bless that sturdy conference room table with butt cheek imprint? Be careful though; most HR departments take a dim view of employees being caught in flagrante. That and the water cooler gossipers will then have months worth of content.

• This article was originally published in The Times.

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