Office Romances: Do They Work?

Friday, 29 October 2010 13:13 Written by  Iya Bakare

It’s the place where many people spend almost a third of the day and up to five days a week. So, is it true what they say about “all work and no play”?

officeShould we follow this rule when it comes to relationships?

It can be difficult because attraction often boils down to what resources are available to you at the time. The more time you spend with someone, the more attractive the other person appears and that’s how it all starts.

Na’Kisha Crawford, M.Ed, EMBA, says whether we support work relationships or not, they are happening, primarily because work is the place the majority of people spend most of their time.

“It’s only natural to form connections with those we spend a lot of time with, and I don’t think it is a bad thing as long as both parties are on the same page about the relationship and agree to keep things professional at work,” comments Crawford. “Maturity, however, is going to be a huge factor in maintaining a successful involvement with someone at work, and it helps if the two stop after one office hook-up. There is likely to be drama if after one ends, another office romance begins with someone else.”

The professional life coach and inspirational speaker says 15 percent to 20 percent of relationships begin in the workplace, which plays a role in how couples can form in the work environment.

A problem many women face today is meeting quality men. As one leaves college, the pool of interacting with individuals with similar interests, standards and outlooks on life is limited. Crawford believes meeting someone at work is half the battle. She met her husband in college and before they married each other, Crawford and her husband decided to go into business together.

“I don’t suggest going into the workplace ‘looking for’ romance, but if something happens organically, I think it’s great,” adds Crawford. “If it’s not working, cut your losses and keep it moving while you can still be cordial to each other and respectful in the workplace. The last thing you want is tension at work.”

Some believe you can eliminate the possibility of drama or tension in the workplace by not pursuing a relationship at all.

“I believe in love and that love can hit you at any place and any time; however, the average person should not pursue romance at work,” says Rachael L. Ross, MD, Ph.D. “Work should be a place you go to escape your relationship and home life. If your partner works with you, you become submerged in it 24 hours a day, which can be relationship overload.”

Ross admits she knows of some success stories of relationships in the workplace, but unfortunately she’s heard more horror stories. She admits keeping relationships that are not platonic private from other co-workers is a must if you decide to pursue them.

“Ultimately, you need to choose between romance and work,” says Ross. “The two don’t go together at all. If you fall in love at work, part of your future plans should include one of you putting in applications at another firm.”


-Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

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