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  1. sean fletcher says

    Very thought provoking indeed, Shelly! My wife and I were an office romance. So, at the same level and no issues at all. We worked in a large corporation with many married couples and office romances, often in the same area.

    The issue with office romance is when it happens between an employee and an executive. This scenario is highly destructive and difficult to resolve with staff from a perception point of view. The main issue is when one of the couple throws their weight around and gets their own way on things. Now, I can assure you this does, unfortunately happen, and I have had to come in afterwards on a number of occasions and clean up the mess, as it were.

    The most destructive type is when the CEO is having a relationship in the office and starts showing favouritism, promoting the other party into key roles and so on. Now this gets amplified even more if they are a married couple. In the public sector here, such activity, if reported, is brought before the Corruption and Crime Commission. I had one situation where Party A in a key role refused directives from Party B, the head of the organisation. Once they had moved on, I then had the task of rebuilding key systems, processes and relationships in that organisation.

    So, in the normal scheme of things, office romance and marriages – full steam ahead. But when the couple exist in a power imbalance as it were, key people, unfortunately need to step up and have serious discussions with the couple and see what happens from there. It might be a case of true love, and if it is, then unfortunately, one of the couple has to move on.

    I hope what I have said is not seen as a downer. It’s not meant to be.

    • Shelly DS says

      Thank you so much for this perspective Sean. Definitely not a downer, and I agree with you 10000%! The power imbalance thing is definitely a problem. In my first job, my colleague was married to the general manager and we could all see the abuse of power. It’s not great for team morale or for the business, and I can completely agree that it shouldn’t be allowed if the two are essentially boss and employee. As for the bilateral romances, the biggest issue I have with them as a woman is that people WILL make assumptions about your character. They will judge your professionalism and they will assume it’s okay to gossip about your relationship. In this scenario, I think it’s best to drone out the noise and forge on.

  2. LoseWeightWithAng says

    I chose not to date anyone from work anymore after giving it a try once. After you break up with someone who’s immature or toxic, you run the risk of them spreading rumors about you at work, or turning everyone against you. I’d rather just cut them off so they can’t affect my life if it’s a bad break-up.

  3. petespringerauthor says

    There is always the possibility of things getting awkward if a couple breaks up, but if I was in love, I would go for it. I think it might be different for me if it were a management/employee situation. Two of my teaching colleagues got together. They managed to keep it secret. One of them later became the superintendent which created some awkwardness as sometimes other teachers complained about the administration.

  4. AP2 says

    Interesting read Shelly. I think your question about whether it will be ok if things don’t work out is an important one. At the end of the day it shouldn’t be a problem unless it becomes a problem for your colleagues. When I was in university my girlfriend of 2 years and I broke up before we moved in with our friends for the final year. Spent a whole year living with her after we broke up. I certainly can’t recommend that approach. 😂 Wishing you well Shelly 🙏

  5. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says

    Like you, I met my husband at work. Shortly after we started dating, I left for greener pastures. It wasn’t a place where either of us planned to spend our careers, anyway.

    I work for a large, global company. Many people met their life partners there. We even have an affectionate name for them “Manu-mates” (the company name is Manulife). Over the years, I’ve seen some office romances work, and others end in disaster. It really comes down to the individuals and their level of maturity.

    The only time I frown on an office romance is if one partner is in a position of power or influence over the other. Even if they manage to keep things fully professional – which is pretty tough to do in my opinion – perception is an issue. There will always be someone who points fingers, or spreads rumours and lies.

  6. Anonymous says

    Although I like the thought of working with the person I love, I’m not sure if I would go forth with doing it – my pessimism would make me think of the consequences of the breakup before I even start dating the person 😭
    I also think that because of the kind of person that I am, not working in the same place as my significant other would give me more clarity when working as well as cherish our moments together even more since we wouldn’t be spending the day together.

  7. bosssybabe says

    Great post! And tough question! I don’t know if I would simply bc of the points you brought up. I’m so glad it worked out for you! 🙂 I love the question of “will you be okay if it doesn’t work out instead” which is a better indicator of how you feel about the idea..

    I’ve seen this not work out so great for ppl in my life so I guess I don’t have great examples of this having a positive outcome!

  8. Twishaa says

    I love the way you write. So relatable. I am guilty of being involved in an office romance. No regrets though, I was young and moved on from the job (and the relationship) soon after it started 🙂

  9. Anonymous says

    Good for you! We need to give ourselves licence to meet the opposite sex and explore relationships in any of our contexts. Personal relationships leading to marriage trump any silly corporate guidelines, and are worth all the risks, even if it doesn’t end up working out. The best part of life happens when we pursue our passions and interests and careers, and look sideways every now and then to see who’s moving in the same direction. It sounds like that’s what you did. Good on you.

I'd love to read your thoughts on this!

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