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Dating A Co-Worker

Ah... love is blooming for you at the copy machine. But you do have some concerns about dating a guy you work with. Well, I have some advice if you're considering dating one of your co-workers. I am a self-proclaimed expert. My boyfriend of a year works with me, and I believe I have gone through all (or most) of what you will experience.

The Chase The chase is always the most thrilling part of a relationship. You are getting to know someone new, and you want to "catch" him and make him yours. It's a challenge on every level 'so you begin dressing nicely, wearing some perfume, maybe even a sexy pair of heels. While this is a normal thing to do at a club or bar, expect to get teased by other co-workers who may know you better and suspect that something is up. "Why, don't you look all dressed up!" they may say. "Who are you trying to impress?"

Believe me, people notice. If you have no problem sharing the fact that you have a crush, more power to you. Just remember that if you begin dating this guy and things go wrong, your office friends are probably going to gossip about you. Even if you try to keep things private, they will gossip. Office friends notice EVERYTHING. Remember, gossip is much more intriguing than work. No one really wants to work, but they do love to talk. At the very least, if you keep things to yourself for the most part, your office friends can't run back to your boyfriend and tell him you told everyone that he's a lousy kisser.

There is also the part of the chase that involves that wonderful, heavy flirting. Just keep in mind that you and your guy are at place of employment. Sneaking some affection in the break room, while exciting, can cause you embarrassment if someone catches you. Take into consideration, as well, that most companies monitor email. So before you send him any provocative photos of yourself 'picture the IS guy seeing them, or even worse, your boss.

The Romance Once you catch your man and become a certified couple, the office can be a fun place. What is better than seeing your beloved every day and taking lunch breaks together? Just keep in mind that when you date someone outside of work, you probably have conversations on dates about your day, and the people you work with. But when you date someone you work with, you already know everything about his day, and he already knows how Judy from Accounting tripped and fell down the stairs. To keep the conversation and the level of excitement in the relationship up, it takes more effort than normal. Be prepared to add some spark in the relationship early on, so that things don't get dull.

The Lover's Quarrels The hardest lesson I learned as I've dated a co-worker is that you MUST learn to keep your disputes out of the workplace. Running into your boyfriend's office, screaming at him for not calling you last night, and slamming his door shut is going to send some unwanted attention your way. If your boss catches wind of it, you may get told that you need to control your behavior, and you may even get written up if it happens enough times. In the end, you look like a fool in front of your boyfriend as well as the entire floor who witnessed your episode. And the people upstairs will talk, too (remember, gossip travels quickly).

Last, but not least, consider what will happen if the two of you break up. Do you have to work with him to get your projects completed? If so, this will make for some stressful situations. Plus, getting over a love isn't easy when he sits next to you every day. If he starts dating someone else, you are going to know about it. Nothing is worse than that.

It takes a brave, strong personality to date a co-worker. Be sure that you can handle it before you press "Start" on the copy machine and on the button to your heart.

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