Finding a Date at Work

Having a romantic relationship in the workplace is a common occurrence. Sometimes it happens in secret, without the knowledge of fellow co-workers, while at other times it inevitable becomes known. Deciding whether or not to disclose that you are dating someone at work to fellow colleagues may not be a choice that you can control, however. That’s because some companies have rules that dating work colleagues must disclose such a relationship to human resources or to a specified manager.

Company rules to disclose dating and romantic relationships at work are often in place to prevent abuse of power, sexual harassment issues and allegations of favoritism. But despite such rules and some pitfalls – problems that may arise – the workplace will remain a prime place to find a date.

  One reason the workplace will remain a primary location to find a date is because of the role physical attraction plays. Physical attraction is often the first factor that gives rise to interest in wanting to date an individual. That factor comes into play in the workplace because if there’s someone you find physically attractive, you likely will be seeing the person all the time. Consequently, your desire to date the individual increases.

Additionally, because the workplace requires a particular mode of dress, it’s a place with many people who are reasonably well dressed all day. That means, even someone who is not actively seeking someone to date may just have their interest sparked by frequently seeing another co-worker whose appearance is always eye-catching.

Attire and physical appearance are not the only qualities that may be frequently seen in co-workers to make them interesting candidates for dating. Co-workers will also be professional and have a certain level of knowledge, skills and intelligence, which are all positive qualities.

Another reason finding a date at work may seem attractive is because the constant interaction with co-workers will provide some knowledge of their personality. It will therefore be easier to decide if you really like the person and would like to date him or her to learn more about the individual. The interaction at work gives an opportunity to sort of test the waters with an individual without actually having to go on a date.

There are however, several potential problems that you should be aware of before deciding to plunge into dating someone with whom you also work. One of the first things to be aware of is the potential for allegations of sexual harassment.

If the dating experience goes sour, it is quite plausible for one party to report some of what happened as unwanted sexual harassment, which is a very serious issue. Depending on the positions of those involved, if one person holds a higher title and, or, has supervisory capacity over the other, there’s also the possibility for abuse of power.

And such abuse of power can occur in a hidden way when the person with the power holds sway over the other. What can happen in such a situation is that the person with some authority may make promises to the other such as getting a promotion, facilitating a move to another position in a different department or even a salary increase.

The abuse occurs when the promises made can’t be fulfilled but it is used to hold sway and have control over a person for the dating relationship to continue.

If the date goes sour and then doesn’t work out, if one party is disappointed or if other disagreement develops then it could spill into the workplace and become a case of he said – she said. Along with dealing with the fallout, you also will still be working with the person and will have to face seeing him or her on a daily basis.

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