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Office Dating Decoded

Office Dating DecodedOffice dating is usually a taboo subject amongst most men believe it or not. If everything goes smoothly, it can be fun and thrilling just because of the risk involved. Also, due to said risk, it can go down the toilet at any minute. Just think about it, if you have an argument or a split in the relationship, you still have to see this woman everyday! However, If you're a hard working kind of guy who spends 8 or more hours a day at your job, what are you to do? You may have some gorgeous women surrounding you and maybe even flirting at the same time. There are many angles to cover when you're moving into the realm of office romance and hearing about the experiences of others may decode the mystery surrounding it. Via Wall Street Journal

When Sarah Smith first moved to Dallas, the only people she knew were her co-workers at the hotel where she worked. So she began dating one of them.

The 24-year-old was determined to not let the relationship make her look bad at work, so she hid it from colleagues. Still, when the two broke up after a few months, it affected her work.

"Our roles relied on each other," she says, but every time she'd contact her ex about something work-related, he'd try to rekindle their relationship. So she stopped speaking to him, which made it harder to get work done. She now wishes she'd never gotten involved.

Work can be a great place for young people to meet potential mates, since co-workers often have a lot in common and form deep friendships. But it's problematic, too.

The first step is figuring out if dating a co-worker is acceptable at your company, says Susan Sommers, a business etiquette specialist in New York. While some companies have formal policies, most of the time you'll have to feel out whether it's OK. Pay attention to whether colleagues are dating each other and the general attitude toward these relationships.

Office romances are usually OK at publishing houses, tech start-ups, ad agencies and other creative companies. But they may be taboo in finance or accounting, since having a special relationship may violate certain rules in these industries, says Stephanie Losee, co-author of "Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding -- and Managing -- Romance on the Job."

Tara D'Alessandro, 25, says she knew it was OK to date her co-worker at a New York marketing agency because many colleagues were openly dating or married. More important, he wasn't on her team and was at a similar level at work.

By contrast, dating a superior can be very risky because of the conflict of interest it creates. Some companies that allow dating in general either prohibit these relationships or have both parties sign a "love contract" saying the relationship is consensual. If you date your boss, expect colleagues to think you have an unfair advantage, says Nicole Williams, a career expert in New York. And it's likely that you'll be transferred to another department or even lose your job.

Dating clients is also risky. Colleagues might think you earned a client's business because of your relationship, and if a break-up causes you to lose a big account, you could be in big trouble.

If you're dating a co-worker, don't share too much with other colleagues. Sharing any intimate details about your relationship with them is unprofessional and could make them uncomfortable, says Ms. Williams.

And if you two work in the same department, tell your boss about your relationship before he or she otherwise finds out about it. Don't have personal conversations with your significant other over company email or cellphone -- these may be monitored by your employer and get you into trouble.

If colleagues are your Facebook friends or read your Twitter feed, think twice about any lovey-dovey posts.

And if you break up, it's important that you strive to maintain a professional relationship. Cutting off your ex like Ms. Smith did should be a last resort, says Ms. Williams. If your bosses know about your relationship, tell them that it's over and reassure them that your productivity won't be affected.

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