Working Romance

The romantic novels are full of these romantic scenes in the office – usually between the boss and a working girl. And it always ends well: the girl gets him. Chick lit has added a little a bit more critical voice in it with Bridget Jones and her unhappy affair with one boss and trying to avoid tentacles of another.

Love at the work place – a cliche that most wise women should avoid. Yet how many of us are truly wise when it comes to love. Our best intention fall apart, when interesting man walks to the scene.

When you put single (and maybe also not so single) men and women under the same roof, five days a week at least eight hours a day, the romantic feelings are prone to appear whatever is done to prevent it. Another question is, what people in the question do with those feelings. Do they act on them or do they try to work them out – rationalise. Would it be wise to stay in so little contact as possible? Are they wise? 

In the office romance there is always available the possible harassment angle – as well as accusations of favoritism, if either of partners is in higher position and able to make amendments to other. This is why many office policies are against the dating between colleagues.  Romantic feelings are also likely to take thoughts away from the work to be done.

Yet in the personal level there are even more avid concerns. If the romance does not work the way it is hoped and either partner gets hurt – the working relationship is not going to stay intact. Also other’s attitudes towards the partners may change and however discreet they think they are – people will know.  And they will talk.

I know one happy office love-story – at least happy in the field of love – not so happy in the question of work. My friend fell in love with a collegue in the office christmas party, a very nice guy that she did not work with daily. Now it is creating problems with other people in the work places. They cannot work together, because of this. She is inclined to change the work.

My own experiences on the office romance are at least as grim. Determined to not to act on them I’ve still got my feelings. And it has not made working relationship easier and people do notice, even if one would not want to – and they do talk – believe me. And I thought I was expert on hiding my feelings, which nobody seems to be in the end. 

I’ve also been witnessing rather immature man playing with a woman’s feelings at the work place in very tiny office. And I don’t doubt women can do that too. Not very nice business I assure you.

And yet I never had to change my work due to this. The unluckiest event would be the need to change the work like in the “In Her Shoes” where the heroine needs and wants to leave her job. It good if you can do it – but financially it may become a catastrophe. And this only if you are rather calm and professional personality.

There is one place I have to say the romance seems to work at least somewhat: at school. A lot of my teachers were married couples and some of them were known to have met in school. Like my computer teacher and domestic science teacher – as well as two of our science teachers. And I have to say it seemed to work, but one must agree that teachers’ work is so independent, that it is less affected.


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