Should you date a coworker?

Should you date a coworker? Is it worth the risks?

Growing up, you most-likely made most of your friends and love connections with other kids you went to school with because that’s where you spent the bulk of your time. Following the same pattern, you wouldn’t be silly to think that your workplace might be a great place to meet a woman…but is it really? Let’s take an honest look at the pros and cons of dating women in the workplace.

The Pros

It’s a Great Place to Practice Talking to Women

Most workplaces have a good ratio of men and women these days, so you should have plenty of women to practice your conversation skills on. If you’re a little shy, you can practice introducing yourself and experiment with being confident and funny to a wide variety of women before you go after a girl that you’re truly interested in. However, you shouldn’t practice flirting or engaging in sexual conversations until you are skilled at doing that OUTSIDE of the work environment. All guys make mistakes when they first learn how to flirt with women and making such mistakes in the workplace will often end up getting him in trouble. So, just focus on practicing to TALK to women, rather than picking them up, flirting with them, etc. It’s too risky of an environment to begin your practice in.

You Can Take Your Time Getting to Know Her

If you don’t know much about women & dating – you might find it difficult to determine whether a woman is behaving like her true self around you when you first meet her. Very often, a woman will put on a persona to impress you initially. She’ll act ‘cooler’, happier and more popular than she really is. Ironically, most guys are put off by this and feel like they couldn’t add much value to such a woman’s life.

On the other hand, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend time around a woman in your workplace to see her true personality. Since she will be mostly focused on her work rather than making a dating impression, it’s easier to see her true colors much faster. You’ll be able to determine how loyal, hard-working and intelligent she is before you ask her out.

It Can Speed Up the ‘Dating Phase’ of Your Relationship

Spending entire work days with a woman you’re in a relationship with is much different than seeing her once a week for a 3-hour date. In fact, when you work with a woman you’re dating, it’s much more like living with or being married to her. So you can determine if she is the right girl for you much quicker than the usual dating process.

You’ll have a Major Common Interest

When you talk to someone about your job who doesn’t work with you, it’s often difficult for them to relate to your situation or to care for more than 10 minutes of conversation. Without having a vested interest, knowing the work environment or the people involved, they can’t truly appreciate what you’re discussing.

On the other hand, if you date a woman you work with, she can commiserate with the highs and lows of your work life because she has experienced it all and knows who you are talking about. If you’re having a problem, she can make more useful and relevant comments rather than just guessing about what you’re going through.

However, for every situation that has a pro, it must also have a con and dating women in your workplace is certainly no exception. Let’s review the reasons you might want to consider for not dating a woman you work with.

The Cons

You’ll be Under Greater Scrutiny

Depending on your position in the company or organization, you will expose yourselves to closer examination from coworkers and bosses. Often, people who date in the workplace become subject to accusations of favoritism from co-workers when it comes to promotions, restructuring of teams or financial bonuses.

If you’re both involved in a joint-project that goes wrong, blaming each other could kill your romantic relationship and put serious tension on your working relationship. Worse still, if either of you is in a supervisory position over the other, dispensing discipline can be extremely awkward.

Your Personal Life Will No Longer be Personal

Office gossip spreads like wildfire, especially when it’s a chance to gain an advantage over someone else by spreading damaging information about them. You might suddenly feel like a celebrity because, people will be suddenly trying to pump you for information about your new relationship and/or whisper things behind your back that may or may not be true. Since these allegations are rarely favorable they can, and likely will, negatively affect your career.

It May be Against Company Policy

Many companies either frown upon inter-company dating, or absolutely forbid it by making it one of their rules. If your company has a policy against hooking up with women in your workplace and you try to get around it, you may find that you and your lady end up be fired with cause. Unfortunately, in such cases you’re usually not entitled to unemployment benefits and won’t get good recommendation for a future position elsewhere.

You May be Subject to Sexual Harassment Complaints

If your relationship does not work out, you may find that you are the subject of a sexual harassment complaint that could not only affect the company your work for and your wallet, but also will ruin your reputation with future employers and other women.

Yes, it’s often a he said/she said situation with little or no proof of wrong-doing, but with even the slightest whiff of sexual harassment, most companies would rather distance themselves from the accused worker so they aren’t considered an accessory to the situation. Whether the allegations are true or not, you and/or her likely will be let go or you both won’t be considered for future promotions for a long time.

You May Have to Face an Unpleasant Workplace if You Break Up

Breakups are never fun and running into your ex is always a difficult situation, but imagine that your ex is a co-worker that you now have to see every day. You’d have no escape from the situation and when word gets back to you that she’s dating new men, it probably won’t feel that good.

If the break up was nasty, don’t be surprised if she cries and tells your coworkers about all the bad things you said or did to her. From there, you can expect that many of your coworkers and even bosses will start to look at you in a negative light.

Yes, finding a woman to date at work might initially feel easier than going out and talking to new women, but make sure you weigh up all of the pros and cons before choosing to date in the workplace.