I hope you can help me. I work as an account executive in marketing in Southern California. Recently Ive been flirting with this cute guy at work, and Im starting to really like him. I think hes interested too, since hes been hinting that we should hang out after work. Also, he makes every effort to touch my arm or joke with me when we are together. Hes also talked to me about some personal issues hes had with girls hes dated. I work so many hours that I never meet anyone, and hes a really great guy.But Ive been holding off because Im kind of nervous about whats going to happen. I heard that I might get moved to his team in the next quarter, and what if things dont work out? I dont want things to be weird. Do you think I should go for it? What should I do?
Dear Girly Girl,
Its hard being a single professional woman in the dating world. A few years ago, Forbes.com published a highly controversial article titled, Dont Marry Career Women. The author cited research encouraging men not to marry professional women because their marriages would likely end in divorce, that they would become unhealthier, and their career-minded wives would likely cheat on them. Its hard enough that we put our personal lives on hold to advance our careers, but to be trashed by the media for doing so is horrendous. Such articles and misconceptions about professional women makes it that more difficult to find a compatible mate. So its understandable why you would be drawn to someone at your workplace, where you spend the vast majority of your time.
However, I would encourage you to think twice before plunging into an office romance. First off, your instincts are right – what if things dont work out? Do you enjoy talking to your exes? Well you will be forced to work with this ex and see him every workday should things not work out. What if he cheated on you, or you end up hating him? Things can be very weird and uncomfortable. Second, what if the dynamics change at work where one of you is promoted, or given the lead on a project? The change in position may cause a strain on your relationship. If you break up, things may get even hairier. Finally, do you want to become the topic of gossip and office fodder? Many work environments spread gossip like its junior high school free period. Can you stand the attention and extra scrutiny? Some employers may also require you to disclose office relationships. Some go so far as to discourage and frown upon such relationships.
Given the above considerations, at the end of the day, you have to decide if the guy is worth all of the potential headaches involved with an office romance. If he is, then go for it! If not, there are plenty of fish in the sea, and with online dating sites, the possibilities are almost limitless. Good luck and happy fishing.
Kara B. Krafty
For more information on dating or finding a match online please see my previous blog on surviving the first week of a breakup and dating on match.com.
Photo courtesy of StevenDepelo via Creative Commons
Karaism is an advice column by Kara B. Krafty. Every Wednesday morning, The Professional Girl’s Guide responds to a pressing concern from a reader. A new question is featured each week. For this week’s current advice, click on Advice Column.