The general rule of thumb is that you keep your work and home life separate. Although this will probably end terribly and potentially make work very awkward, if you absolutely must, we’ve got some tips to turn that office crush into an office romance:
1. WTF Is an Office Wife?
What, you don’t have one already? Much like an actual wife, a work wife is someone who has your back when things (like office politics) get messy. “I’ve had a work husband for 24 years,” says Dr Elna McIntosh, a Joburg-based sexual health practitioner. “We spend about 20 hours a week working together – and we’re always totally focused on work.” Just don’t be a fool and try to make a move; it will go badly.
Related: Happy Wife, Happy Life Says Study
2. There’s No Harm in a Bit of Casual Sexism, Right?
Are you kidding? A comment like “Nice pins, Toots,” is likely to get you slapped with a sexual harassment charge. And rightly so: there’s a difference between a compliment and a lecherous pass. Be specific (“Your hair looks great”) not sweeping (“Damn, you’re hot.”) The attention to detail might pay off. “If a man is aware of the small things, it signals that he may be a good lover.”
3. So You’re Doing the Office-Party Walk of Shame
Staff functions are a recipe for disaster, laughs McIntosh. “They’ve kept me in business for years! But if you do have sex with a colleague, be safe – STIs and unwanted pregnancies are a real danger.” And, of course, there’s the tricky situation of dealing with the fallout. Handle it with some tact: don’t blank her, don’t apologise, but do offer to talk about it – if she’s moved on, so should you.
4. I’m Crushing Hard on a Colleague. Is There a Right Way to Start a Relationship Here?
“The same rules of any romance apply,” says McIntosh. “Keep your private life out of the office, even if you’re making a move on a colleague.” Our advice: make your feelings known and, if things go your way, keep details out of your water-cooler conversation. Same goes for PDAs, “and be careful what you put out on social media,” warns McIntosh.
Related: Are You Dateable or Just a Fling?
5. What About Actual Sex at the Office?
If doing the nasty on the boardroom table sounds like a good idea, you’re either a teenager or have a serious imagination deficiency. “Sex in the workplace is overrated,” says McIntosh. “The thrill of getting caught isn’t worth actually getting caught.” You’ll regret it when that cellphone video of you and the intern in flagrante on the photocopier is doing the rounds. “Maybe it’s time sexy selfies replaced this cliché,” says McIntosh.
6. Ah, You’re Hot for the Boss
If you’re even entertaining this fantasy, think again. “However you think it’ll go, don’t do it,” warns McIntosh. “It’s never going to end happily.” If you and the boss do end up together, though, McIntosh advises that you resign from your job and date your former boss outside of the professional environment. It’ll be better for you, your colleagues and, ultimately, your relationship.