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How to date a co-worker while maintaining a professional relationship

Your job is your #1 priority.
Your job is your #1 priority.
Seth Anderson

What's more thrilling than tossing your notebooks in the dumpster on the last day of school? Your first summer job of course! Granted not everyone will share the same enthusiasm but nevertheless you are looking forward to a summer of responsibility, a weekly paycheck and maybe a cute boy or two. Over the summer, your workplace will become a second home with the hours spent there, and your co-workers will soon become friends. So it's almost unavoidable to innocently flirt with that charming boy who just happens to also be your co-worker, right?

Flirting with a co-worker is one thing, dating on the other hand is a whole other issue. Dating a co-worker is generally not encouraged, but sometimes you can't help but say yes to going out with that adorable boy/your co-worker when the chance arises. So how do you date a co-worker while maintaining a professional relationship? Here's how!

When dating a co-worker:

  • Bring the flirting down a notch. Your sweet-talking is not only making the rest of your co-workers gag, but it's completely inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Get non-physical. That means no kissing, hugging, tickling, hand holding-nothing. Save it for a date!
  • Tell your boss. If there's no policy against dating a co-worker, then its best to give your supervisor a heads up. They're a lot more observant than you think!
  • Your job is always priority #1. Whether your a lifeguard at the community pool or folding shirts at the mall, your relationship should never distract you from the task at hand.
  • Take your relationship woes off the clock. Work is never the place to air your dirty laundry with your boyfriend.
  • Understand the consequences of a breakup. Don't expect anyone to switch around schedules and tasks just so you can avoid your ex.
  • Date outside of work. Don't count the time spent together at work a date. Take time to get to know each other outside of the workplace.

Telling somebody not to muddy the waters between your work relationship and your dating relationship is easier said than done. The reality is it's difficult to establish where the line begins and where the line ends when your relationship began in the workplace. You might occasionally cross the line but if you can easily backtrack and focus on your job, then you'll find that deciding to date your co-worker was worth the risk.