Q: All the guys in my office are married except me. My colleagues regularly push me to ask different single women at work. Not only do they want me to date one of them, but they keep talking about how I should get married at my age (35). I don’t want to date someone who works in the same company as me, and above all, I like being single and having periodic relations when I want. My colleagues make comments daily and I slowly get angry. It was funny at first; now it’s odious. I don’t like being the subject of their daily conversation.
A: Making jokes on the same topic gets old fast, especially when co-workers turn you on the joke. No matter how friendly you all are at work, you have a right to privacy in your personal life. Who you go out with and if you go out is up to you. A simple statement about ending their focus on you should suffice without being rude, crass, or forceful. It looks like a joke that expired a long time ago. If a colleague refuses to drop the subject and is more irritating than others, talk to them privately. If you have to, reverse the joke and tell her that pushing you into a relationship won’t make her relationship better. People who cling to this boring subject can be unhappy in their own relationship, so be careful.
You might want to consider another option: drop your rule of not wanting to date someone from work. Also familiarize yourself with your company’s dating policy, but rules or no rules, 27% of employees admit to being open to dating someone from work. After all, employees spend more time at work than at home (not counting sleep).
Work is a great place to get to know a person. Seeing someone every day allows you to see the light side of a person, as well as the deeper side of their personality and temperament. Loving someone is a healthier start to any relationship rather than experiencing fireworks at first sight, which most often die out quickly. It is especially unwise to develop romantic feelings about someone who displays temper tantrums or an upright personality.
As the pool of employees at work is diverse, it’s a good place to compare rather than meeting potential dates at a local bar where the first trait you learn is what type of drinker he or she is. While it’s certainly an important character trait, and one you’ll want to rule out if you’re not a drinker, getting to know someone at work gives you a fuller picture of how the person behaves in various situations, including under stress. .
Once you’ve relaxed your no-dating rule, assess their emotional intelligence. This could require serious discussions before any meeting. Decide if you can both handle disappointments with maturity. You don’t want a rerun of the films “Fatal Attraction” or “Sleeping with the Enemy”, although a true psychotic breakdown may be difficult for a layman to predict.
A rule that most companies require is that there are no meetings between managers and subordinates. Between a possible accusation of sexual harassment or a report for extreme favoritism at work, you will both be the subject of gossip until the company investigates the situation. Dating at work can be risky, but a CareerBuilder survey found that 38% of employees have dated someone at work. Couples have been successful, sometimes with one or both quitting their jobs. positive, 14% of relationships that started at work ended in marriage.
E-mail [email protected] with all work experiences and questions. For more information visit www.lindseyparkernovak.com and for previous columns see www.creators.com/read/At-Work-Lindsey-Novak.
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