The Dangers of an Office Romance

Is an Office Affair Worth the Risk?

An office affair is not usually something that a person seeks out. It rather seeks them out like a ravenous carnivore, hungry for the thrill and adventure of sneaking away from the apple tree. The problem with divulging in this pleasure is that it’s rarely worth the risk. In other words, the draw of an office affair almost never rewards, but rather punishes with career demolition, divorce, and loss of respect. However, before we can talk about the risk you have embarked upon, we should explain what probably got you into this in the first place.

What’s the Attraction?

1. Subordinate to Boss

Perhaps one of the greatest aphrodisiacs in a relationship is power. We look up to people in executive positions, often overlooking their undesirable characteristics (unattractive, overweight, moody, cheater, etc.). A subordinate who finds themselves in the limelight of their boss’s attention may feel giddy and excited. While the rest of the world may view the CEO of a small electronics company as average, to those within the company, he/she is the fearless leader with the premium parking space and large office. The charming head speaker, or mysterious manager who appears confident, poised, and in control. We may not always like our boss, but when they take special interest in us, they can become more interesting themselves.

2. Boss to Subordinate

The attraction of subordinate and boss goes both ways. It’s not necessarily the role of the boss that creates the opportunity to seduce a subordinate, but also the types of individuals who are attracted to these positions of power. These people are born risk takers. They’ve got where they are by riding the waves of luck and raw instinct, and conduct much of their personal life with the same fervor. Boss types believe they are in the driver’s seat of their life and career, which means they also believe they’re in control of not getting caught. If the boss is male, he may be facing a tidal wave of testosterone, created by the presence of an attractive assistant. This potent combination has been known to coerce men to leap from buildings, gamble their money away, or forsake their family for one office tryst.

3. Co-Worker to Co-Worker

A co-worker may be attracted to another co-worker by some very fundamental rules of attraction. The first rule is proximity. We grow attracted to people based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and only three hours with your spouse, this can give the office mate some advantage. The second rule is commonality. We spend a third of our life at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create an illusion of a deeper bond. The third rule is deception. The average co-worker is well-groomed, nicely dressed, and on reasonably good behavior. In a sense, we see the better of people when they’re wearing their “work face.”

4. Women at Greater Risk

Women get swept up in the emotions of an office affair, making them more susceptible to getting caught. When it comes to risking an office affair, women may also have more to lose. There continues to be a double standard, as reported by some women. What this means, is women are chastised more once an office affair has been discovered (hint: President Bill Clinton). In addition, statistics show men are more likely to remarry after an affair, and will go on to further their career, sometimes even with the same company.

Dating your boss is almost never a good idea, considering that if things don’t work out, your business relationship will not be the same. The best advice is, if you’re going to date your boss, find a different job. However, dating a co-worker may be a worthwhile venture, assuming you are both unattached, and keep everything on the down low. According to a survey by Office Mate, the office is a great place to find your soulmate. In fact, one-third of office relationships end in marriage. President Obama and his wife met as office mates at a Chicago law firm.

In conclusion, an office affair can be tempting. However, so is pulling a loose thread from your favorite sweater, and you know what happens after that. The best way out of any gooey situation, is just not to step into it in the first place.

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19 thoughts on “The Dangers of an Office Romance

  1. libby 5288

    Love the article, was wondering when was someone going to write an article like this, there are so many women n man that don’t think before they act, don’t think about the responsibility that is involved, it’s best that you don’t gamble your job for another co-worker that may show this interest, if not move from the job n see if it goes well, if it does not, at least you don’t have to deal with gossip that could have gone wrong on your side. It’s best you don’t get caught in the cross fire of business.

    Reply
  2. Manuela Cordoba

    I´m struggling myself with an office affair right now and it is just out of my control. I cannot help to think of him every day, every minute, every second. I find myself dressing up nicer, (I have even bought new clothes and shoes and perfumes, just to impress him). Up to now, nothing has happened yet (other than a few little quick kisses, hand touching and so…but it´s just a matter of days…I know..it´s so easy to say “don´t do it” but it´s actually very hard to avoid it….this is really driving me crazy.

    Reply
  3. Lloyd

    This young attorney who worked with me pursued me and pursued me for months, I finally bit and that was the worse thing that I could have ever done. never get involve with a co worker, don’t do it, as the article says it is not worth it.

    Reply
  4. eddie perez

    Reading the article and comments just as an observer, I see there is no males commenting as if only women are atraccted to men not the other way around,most probably the article was for women only.I am a male and in my life at work{i have never worked in an office,I am blue collar] I had affairs with girls from the office and as all relationships that are born at any jobsite,the flame burns intense and it flickers sometimes ,at the end it may be just the way how we humans react to the opposite sex when in close proximity,we men just love you women and women just love men, what happens next is a nice memory or a beautyful life together when you encounter your other self in an office or any other environment. I wish all of you girls happyness and luck, before you open your heart to us…9/7/11…

    Reply
  5. Robert Aloro

    My head teacher had any affair with head girl in headmaster office.I agree that people are ussing officas for seach think.

    Reply
  6. Marcius E. Chester

    Office Romances are not worth it. Why would anyone want to do that.
    People think that the grass is greener on the other side but it is not.
    I personally would not do it. I have to much HONOR,RESPECT,DIGNITY,INTEGRITY, FAMILY VALUES,MORALS,HIGH STANDARDS,CHARACTER to ever do something like that.
    Alot of people do not see the forest through the trees until it is to late, and when they do the damage has already been done.
    My job means much more to me. The best thing to do is STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF and stay away from it.

    Reply
  7. Carmen Knopfette Honacker

    Oh dear! Great article, Eric. I have never “gone there,” for one reason: If it doesn’t work out, I am either without a job, or worse, have to face the person every day. If it ended badly, there is no way in hell I could deal with it. In other words, not worth the problems.
    Plus, if he is married and is willing to cheat on his wife with me, chances are he’d cheat on me sooner or later too.

    Reply
  8. Annetta

    my husband had affair with a co-worker i’ve since moved out of the house and she has since moved in so i’m divoricing him so i’m putting the ball in his own court.

    Reply
  9. Charmaine McDonald

    Great article, many people still have office romances today as was in the past. It works for some and not for some, it all depends on the individuals. Have a great day. Charmaine McDonald

    Reply
  10. shashikant

    above shown the film . they takeingin the office any movement or anywhere in office or orgnisation this is called extrnal affairs . this is become a common

    Reply
  11. Marisa Bovasso

    I completely agree with the statement of “The charming head speaker, or mysterious manager who appears confident, poised, and in control. (We may not always like our boss,:Defiantly not this statement) but when they take special interest in us, they can become more interesting themselves.” My situation is quite different. In December of 2011 I met a gentleman who had a regional position in my company. I am lower management. My intent was strictly professional to seek his advice in his expertise of human resources with a women boss that I was having trouble with,for that matter most of our building had a problem with her. It was concerning a terrible review.I hardly ever saw this man. When he came back in March with other VP’s, I still had no idea he had an interest in me. Later in the morning he approached me very briefly to see if my review had been reconciled since February. I stated that she acknowledged it in an Email,but did not resolve it. He wanted me to keep in touch with him via professional email,eventually and slowly he asked me not to call him Mr. J and gave me his personal email. He had always been respectable with always wanting me to ask him anything. The first few weeks of communicating it was obvious we were attracted to one another.The email went to light texting on the phone then eventually sizzled out. I then decided to take his number of my phone. I always knew that it was a conflict of interest if anything came of our friendship. I decided to not communicate with him for several weeks then somehow began again and to my surprise he kicked it up with playful flirting,to make a long story short, I have found myself falling for this man.He’s everything I ever wanted;kind,unattached,humble,confident,spiritual & gorgeous. Loves his family also. Just recently on Thursday, September 1. It was announced that he will no longer be with our company. I was terribly saddened,could not help wondering if I had something to do with the departure, at 8pm that evening I emailed him. Within 20 minutes he reassured me that he left on his own accord due to not being able to tolerate things he disagreed with in the company and told me that he would keep in touch. He plans to pop by my building on the east coast of FL after Labor Day (He is from West coast of FL). This man has inspired me to be strong & stand up in the face of adversity. Can’t wait to see him. Please wish me the best.

    Reply
  12. miumiu

    Lovely article…am in an office relationship now wit a co-worker, its been goin on for 3months. Presently we ve had an issue. I went to see him witout informin him i was coming, kept callin him when i was there and he didnt take my calls or come to oppen d door. He didnt even send a msg on why u wasnt takin my calls d nxt day, all he said is, he was at a colleagues place and dat was all. We had a chat mis-understanding and he hasnt called since then. Dont know wat 2 do, pls help.

    Reply
  13. Jacqueline x9472

    Hi Eric,
    Great article, I agree with you having an affair your boss or even having a romantic relationship with a co-worker can be a slippery slope to be on, best advice to just not get involved.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  14. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    I read on MANY, MANY of these types of relationships……and in particular boss to subordinate relationships/affairs. I’d say that only 40 %, end happily for both parties…..

    BUT when they go bad…..WOW !….they also can end not only in a broken heart, but also in loss of a job,……..and/or seclusion, isolation and no chance of any promotion…..not to mention becoming the topic of office gossip.

    Do you really wish to gamble that ?… in a bad economy no less ?????

    And the co-worker to co-worker relationships aren’t much better…..many, usually women, wind up quitting that job because they can’t bare to look at their former lover everyday at work…..and especially if he has moved on and is flirting with another co-worker by then……( which is usually the case ).

    Eric gave great advice……IF you are going to engage in any boss to subordinate type of relationship….have a plan ,leave the job to find another,and don’t mix business with romance.
    As far as co-worker to co-worker, be prepared, just in case things don’t work out…..

    Reply

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