The Rules Of Office Romance: 8 Do's & Don'ts

How to handle workplace relationship without jeopardizing your job.
For those who are dating a fellow co-worker, the consensus among experts is to proceed with caution, because such relationships are fraught with complications. Yet despite their warnings, they also concede that romance in the workplace can work -- many of them last and studies show that between 22 to 50 percent of workplace romances lead to marriage.

In fact, work is the number-one meeting ground where people find their spouses, says sociologist Janet Lever, Ph.D. This is especially so for high-powered professionals who spend 40 to 60 hours a week at the office; whose long working hours make it extremely difficult to find love.

They turn to the workplace in search for their potential partners. In a way, some feel it's a safer alternative to blind dates and dating services because when you date someone in the workplace, at least you already know something about him or her. Because of your shared history, you don't have to start with a blank slate.

But to make office romance work, it takes the right steps to manage the relationship well, to navigate potentially delicate situations and to avoid the pitfalls. So if you're involved, check out these do's and don'ts of office romance ettiquette.

Office romance ettiquette

1. DO: Keep work separate from personal issues
It takes two well-balanced people who are mature enough to respect the distinctive roles of lover and colleague. Both you and the guy need to come to an agreement that you're not going to let emotions affect your work.

2. DO: Establish the ending rules
Make a rule about what you are going to do if and when the relationship comes to an end. Couples should agree that they will not do anything to try to hurt the other in the workplace.

3. DON'T: Broadcast your relationship
Keep it quiet for as long as possible and maintain a very professional relationship at work. It's exciting when you're in love, but if the romance goes sour and everyone knows about it, there's going to be a lot of office gossip and you'll become the fodder.

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