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Five Rules for Office Romance

How to Keep Love at Work from Derailing Your Career

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Office romances have been around for as long as offices (or other workplaces). While meeting someone at work can be great for your social life, it can be like a train wreck as far as your career is concerned. Although you know you should avoid an office romance sometimes your judgement goes awry. If you find yourself in a relationship with a co-worker, a subordinate or your boss, these rules may help minimize the impact on your career.

  1. Be Discreet: With social networking sites and tv reality shows encouraging us to let the world into our most private moments, discretion may be a dying art. When it comes to a workplace romance, it is much better to keep your relationship private than it is to flaunt it. This doesn't mean you should lie about it. Just don't put it out there for everyone to watch unfold.
  2. Set Rules and Have an Exit Plan: Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Decide how you will proceed with your relationship as far as the office is concerned. Also figure out how you will handle it if your relationship doesn't succeed.
  3. Be Honest With Each Other: Honesty is, of course, important in any relationship, but dishonesty can add to the bitterness that often accompanies the end of a romance. You don't want to end on bad terms, particularly because you will have to see each other regularly.
  4. Don't Let Your Feelings Get in the Way of Your Job: This may take quite a bit of effort, but if your feelings for your partner influence how you do your job, you may find yourself looking for a new one (job and partner).
  5. Stay Within the Law: Sexual harassment suits are unpleasant for everyone involved. Be aware of what constitutes sexual harassment and avoid doing anything that can invite those accusations.
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