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Is There a Professional Way to Handle a Coworker Crush?

April 6, 2019 by

It is not uncommon for people to spend the majority of their waking hours at work. However, this often leads to personal lives and professional lives intermingling.

If you have ever had a crush on a coworker, you may have found your feelings to be completely inappropriate at first. But what if those feelings don’t go away? How do you handle the situation and still keep things professional at work?

In this article, we will look at how you should handle your crush on a coworker in order to stay out of trouble.

1. What does the policy say?

If your company policy explicitly states that employees cannot date each other, then you should think about which is stronger– your love for you job, or your love for your crush. If you are going to jeopardize your career by expressing your feelings, don’t put the other person in a situation where their career could also be on the line.

2. Know the risks of secrets.

If you choose to go against your company’s policy and pursue a relationship in hiding, be aware of the strain that could put on the two of you. You may also be putting other coworkers in an awkward situation if they find out that you two are dating. Also, it will be more obvious than you think to other people.

3. Keep your flirting minimal.

If relationships are allowed at your company, it is ok to start flirting with the other person, but keep it light. Bring them a cup of coffee or ask them about their weekend– but don’t be seductive or blunt in any way that could come back and haunt you as being sexual harassment. If the person starts giving you the cues back that they are also interested in you, you can add a bit more flirtation, but start slowly.

4. Keep it out of the office.

Don’t consider every day at work to be a date with your new crush. You have to make sure that you are still paying attention to doing your job and allowing the other person to do theirs as well. Ask your crush out for a cup of coffee or a drink after work, but don’t spend the entire day in their office.

5. Keep the dual relationship in mind.

If you go out with your crush and it works out well, keep in mind that you will be seeing them the next day. And the next. And the next. You don’t want to blur the lines of your personal and professional relationships and you definitely want to keep in mind how things could be at work if the two of you break up. The important thing here is boundaries, so make sure to establish them with yourself, and eventually you may need to establish them with your partner.

6. Don’t chase them.

If your crush is not into you, don’t keep pursuing them. You don’t want to make them uncomfortable and you don’t want to make yourself vulnerable. Even more so, you don’t want to make someone uncomfortable to the point where they feel like they need to alert a supervisor. Continue to be friendly, but give your crush some space until you allow some time to pass. It will all eventually blow over.

In the end, it is ok to have a crush at work– but only if you are able to not draw too much attention to it and not put the other person in a bad situation. Just try to keep it cool, and if it doesn’t work out, work can still be bearable if you haven’t made too many waves. Keep this in mind if the two of you begin to casually date so you won’t be setting yourself up to have an awkward time in the future.

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