A CareerBuilder survey from Valentine’s Day 2015 found that 37 percent of workers have dated a co-worker, with 30 percent of those office romances actually leading to marriage. However, five percent of workers who have had an office romance say they left their job because that relationship went sour.
So is dating in the workplace a good or bad idea?
To decide whether entering into an office relationship is for you or not, weigh the pros and cons.
Pro: You get to be with that special person every day. If you are able to see this person for eight hours, 40 hours a week, and still want to date then chances are you will have a healthy relationship in the long run.
Con: You will be with this person every day. There won’t be any excitement about seeing your partner once you leave work. Also, you may just need a break. Going on dates and also being together at work can get overwhelming. It creates an immense amount of pressure on a growing relationship.
Pro: You most likely have a lot in common. If you’re working at the same office or even doing the same job, you probably have similar interests. You may even have inside jokes based on experiences that happen at work.
Con: You could run out of things to talk about. Is the only thing you have in common your jobs? Does the conversation seem to run dry often? If so, you may need to reevaluate how you truly feel about this person and if you can live with little conversation or not.
Pro: If the company does well, so do you and your partner. You may both get bonuses, a pay raise, or some other type of benefit. This could lead to living in luxury together with a big house. Maybe even throw in a boat or sports car.
Con: If the company fails, you both end up on the streets looking for new jobs. This may be a worst case scenario, but still something to consider.
Pro: You have someone in the office who will back you up. This could be with job-related strategies, ideas, or proposals. It can be pretty exciting to accomplish something professional together.
Con: Breaking up will be hard. If one of you decides to end it, there could be tension in the office. Depending on how bad the break up is, co-workers may have to pick sides and the office may become divided. At some point, one of you may need to leave and find a new job elsewhere.
Pro: Office romances can turn into wonderful marriages. Examples include Barack and Michelle Obama, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates.
Con: Beware of scandals. Is the person you’re attracted to already married? You don’t want to be in the same situation as Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were.
Before jumping right into an office romance, think about your future. Can you see yourself with this person long-term? Do you both want the same things in life? Can you lay off the PDA during work hours? Your fantasy could be better than the reality. On the other hand, you may have found your one true love. In the end, it’s up to you to decide.
Leandra Zeller is a senior communication studies major with minors in public relations and leadership studies.