There are multiple things in the workplace that are considered taboo: drug and alcohol use, sexual harassment, unethical business practices. But, one of the most universally accepted no-nos of the corporate climate is dating a coworker. For example, the Society For Human Resource Management suggests the following rhetoric for their proposed employee dating policy:
[Company Name] strongly believes that a work environment where employees maintain clear boundaries between employee personal and business interactions is most effective for conducting business and enhancing productivity. Although this policy does not prevent the development of friendships or romantic relationships between co-workers, it does establish boundaries as to how relationships are conducted during working hours and within the working environment.
So, sure, dating a coworker isn’t always highly advised or encouraged. Most would suggest to err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to canoodle with a colleague. And honestly, I would too. It’s potentially harming to your career, work tensions could seep into your personal life (or vice-versa), and an end to either type of relationship could create uncomfortable strains that you can’t rebound from.
But, the real reason you should never date a coworker? It’s just fucking lazy.
Today’s dating pool is bigger than it’s ever been before. The world’s population is soaring, we are no longer limited to the confines of simply meeting others face-to-face, and networking is the new schmoozing. Hell, you can even find an estimate for the number sexual partners you’ve been exposed to, and that number is likely in the millions.
Our parents lived in a much more confined society. Their blind dates were our Tinder matches. Their dance cards were our casually flirtatious iMessages. Their friend-of-a-friend was our Instagram follower. They were handcuffed by their location and the complete lack of technology to overcome it, but guess what? They still managed to find love (or even just sex) in all the right places.
Yes, you may have a “work husband” or “work wife” — a person that gives you the rundown should something happen while you’re out of the office, a confidant you share inside jokes with, an emotional adviser who may know as much about you as your significant other. But the number one rule of having a work spouse is to not cross the boundaries of the pre-defined relationship. There should be no dates, no accidental hook-ups after the company Christmas party, and (above all) no relationships. That attitude should be adopted with everyone else in the office.
If you tell me that the workplace is an appropriate or viable place to find a hook-up or life partner, I’m going to tell you to get the fuck out of my face. There are over 7 billion people in the world, so if you can’t sift through the connections you have outside of the workplace to find someone to bump uglies with, you’re just a lazy bum who values convenience over conventionality. There’s simply too much to risk.
You need to look forward to going home to the one you love. You need to have an intimacy with someone who can put your work life in perspective for you without being clouded by their own personal interests. You need to get out there, use the resources the world has offered to you, and find someone who’s making a life for themselves outside of the four walls where you spend 50+ hours a week. Your career will thank you. .
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