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Dating a Coworker: Can It Work for You?

Anna Hennings

August 24, 2009

The Excitement Factor

And of course office relationships have a definite positive side: The excitement factor.

One former colleague, Megan, describes her fling thus:

He’d send me long looks in the hall or comment under his breath to me in passing. Pretty soon, everybody knew something was going on even if they weren’t sure exactly what. If I could do it all over again, I’d probably have asked him to tone it down a bit even though it was exciting to be getting that kind of attention in such an illicit place … OK, maybe it was fun exactly how it was.

Don’t depend on it, but admittedly, an office fling can definitely spice up your life. And don’t forget the mating ground that is the office party. As my friend Julie learned, "I’ve hooked up with a coworker after a particularly … shall I say … “festive” office party, but nothing really came of it. Until, uh, we did it again. I don’t regret anything, but, to be fair, I don’t really remember much either." Oops!

That having been said, at a time when so many of us are holding on for dear life to the jobs we have, or desperately searching for another one, it’s not unlikely that you’re putting in a little extra time on the job, and regretting how little time you have to further develop and explore your personal life. But what if that special someone is in the cubicle kitty-corner to yours? The person in sales you hear making calls all day? The one you run into at the instant coffee machine at least twice a day?

Yeah. Okay. Maybe. But more likely than not (read: there are exceptions, and I’ve witnessed them!), office relationships are doomed to failure.

Next Page: How Do I Handle My Office Relationship — the Good and the Bad?