I’m kinda partial to office romances. It may be because I met my husband at work and seven eight years later we’re still going strong. So it’s no surprise that I made an office romance something central to my first novel. But, with office romances comes the possibility that things can go terribly wrong. Even in my case, my hubby (boyfriend at the time) had a messy break up while still working together that luckily turned into happily ever after instead of what the hell was I thinking.
About a week ago I came across an article that gave tips to having an office romance. It had some very good advice such as being discreet, protect your reputation and don’t ask for special treatment. These were all rules that Kenyatta and Malcolm tried to follow in my novel. Malcolm really wanted to protect Kenyatta’s reputation because history taught him how easily an office affair can damage a person’s good name. He also didn’t want it to seem as if he was giving Kenyatta special treatment because of his attraction to her.
The discretion point is harder to achieve, in my opinion. No matter how much you may try to hide that there’s something going on, people always know. In offices large and small you can tell the ones who spend more time with each other than others. It’s bound to happen. For us working folks, we spend 8-10 hours a day five days a week around your co-workers. Even without romance relationships develop. I’ve tossed around the title of “work wife” or “work husband” for co-workers that I’ve developed more of a friendship with than just the work acquaintance.
The only time I’m strongly against office romances is when one are both people are already involved in a relationship. That’s cheating. Hands down.
Tell me your thoughts on the rules for an office romance? Do you think they’re worth having?
I first met my husband in grad school. 2 years later, we shared a cubicle in the same city agency. We were just friends at that point and there was no interest in any more than that (at least not from my end). After 2 years, I moved on to another employer and we lost contact for a few months. Next thing you know, we were dating, engaged and then married over the course of another 2 years. We will celebrate our 8th anniversary in December. As you can see, we started out as an office friendship. It’s not like I waited until after I left to start something. It just happened. I don’t think there would have been a problem given that we were more or less equals in the office. However, I do know that we would have been discreet, but not secretive. You have to learn how to leave your personal business at home when you go into the office.
Congratulations on 8 years, Monica! You made a good point: leave your personal business at home. Co-workers love nothing better than office gossip. If you’re in a relationship with a co-worker keep all relationship issues at the door.
I’ve never been in an office relationship, and I think I’m glad of it. Relationships can be difficult on their own, but add other challenges to the mix, and things can even get tougher. But what can you do if Mr. Right just happens to be employed at the same place you are? I guess you find a way to make it work.
Dating in the office does add another layer of potential problems to a relationship. A messy break up can make things uncomfortable. But you’re right, if you meet Mr. or Mrs. Right in the office you can find a way to make it work.
I’m with you Synithia. I met my husband at work nearly 30 years ago. Oh my, that’s a long time. At the time, there were quite a few office romances going on. I don’t recall any ending in trouble. Most ended up married. We do spend a lot of our day with people at work.
30 years, that’s awesome, Sharon! I bet there are a lot of people who met their husband/wife at work.