If we took everything we see in Hollywood movies as gospel, it’d be seen that office romances are a good thing (think Bridget Jones, 28 Days Notice, 500 Days of Summer… maybe not that last one). Whether there’s an actual office involved or if its just a workplace hookup a la Brangelina, when you throw people two people into close quarters for a long period of time (and lets face it, we’re at work for a LONG time – 37 hours a week, 1924 hours a year) feelings may begin to flourish, crushes may be developed, and hearts may well be broke.
Whilst developing a crush on somebody you work with may give you a little extra incentive to get up in the morning and make more of an effort with ones appearence, its not always a piece of cake (oooh, did someone say cake?). You envisage a Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver situation in your head where you strut in your little skirt, f!nny around with a press release, await a flirty email which leaves you blushing at your desk. Alas, this is not always the case. I’ve developed a number of crushes within the workplace and only one has ever amounted to anything more than sneaking glances from the photocopier and evisaging a rendezvous in the stationary cupboard (I imagine paperclips would get everywhere). Office romances don’t always work out, and more often than not they backfire spectacularly – as the saying goes “don’t sh*t where you eat”.
Why? A couple of examples, if you please.
Don’t try to social media suss them out…
A Friday night drunken Facebook of your office ogle buddy add may sound like a good idea once you’ve drunk a bottle of red. After all, you have “mutual friends” who are colleagues from work, perhaps they’ll just think you’re being friendly and building your work network. Alas, this is not LinkedIn, and there’s only one reason a person Friend Requests you after midnight on the weekend. If they accept you – superb. You have plenty of opportunity to scope them out, perhaps venture into a little Facebook message (BEFORE WINE) but if they reject you? Well….then you have to spend the rest of your working life with them knowing that no matter how polite they are to you in the corridor, they ignored your friend request. The shame.
It’s difficult to flirt at work…
Unless you work in the same office or speak to the same colleagues or cross eachothers paths on a regular basis, chances are you’re not going to have much one on one time to do the leg room which is required to move a crush on to the next level. Your flirting routine consists purely of exchanged glances over your monitor, flirty innuendo laced conversation about a spreadsheet, ending emails with smiley faces (that counts as flirting in an office environment right?) and just so happening to be on the tea round at the same time as him. I’m bad enough with flirting with a guy or ascertaining if he’s into me even if we were locked in a lift together, naked.
Work breakups are so very hard to do…
What if it all goes spectacularly t!ts up, they turn out to be an idiot and they start to tell your colleagues about your pet name for them, or begin to rate you out of 10, or show around those pictures you sent him that were for his eyes only? Unless its a very amicable breakup, chances are that he’s going to do this anyway with his friends, but what if his friends are your colleagues? Do you really want Tom from HR to be on first name terms with each of your nipples? Thought not.
Remember that horrible point after a break up where you sit around in your PJ’s listening to Boyz2Men, blubbering and snotting into some Andrex and drinking wine/gin/antibacterial hand wash (anything with an alcohol content)? Well, all that has an effect on how you look. “You look like sh*t” – I’ve had colleagues say to me after a pretty turbulent time with an ex. Combine that situation with the natural instinctive desire to look at your best the first time you see your ex “post split” and you have a little bit of a disaster. You don’t have time for puffy eyes, endless top knots and a scraggy old jumper you found at the bottom of your wardrobe, what you need to be is Andi from Devil Wears Prada, post makeover, with glossy hair, bright eyes and bushy tail.
I say all this to try and scare monger you into wearing a chastity belt to the office, but I’m in the full throws of an unrequited workplace crush which often leaves me fanatising about a roll around in the paper clips and kissing against lever arch files.