There are a lot of cautionary tales against dating a coworker, but let’s be honest: You spend most of your time at work, so a lot of the guys you meet are going to be those hotties in IT or accounting. So you can pretty much ignore that whole “don’t shit where you eat” rule, because first of all, it’s pretty gross, and second of all, no mentally sound person defecates in the cafeteria anyway.
That said, dating a coworker does require some panache, a lot of tact and quite a bit of maturity. Here’s how to canoodle with your cubemate without risking your job nor your relationship.
Get familiar with HR’s policies on fraternization.
Most offices don’t expressly prohibit coworker romances, but lots do have rules against superiors dating their employees. If you’re dying to bone your boss, know what you’re up against before he’s up against you in the supply closet.
Keep it clean.
No one wants to see you slap your receptionist Jim’s ass by the copier. Save that for the bedroom, not the boardroom.
Keep it quiet.
While you don’t have to necessarily keep your coworker romance a secret, not everyone needs to know about it. In fact, most people don’t want to know about it. And keeping it semi-clandestine works in two ways: By not getting everyone else on your floor involved in your drama, you avoid problems, gossip and speculation later. And by keeping it somewhat quiet, you and your boo have a secret that’s just between you. And that’s cute.
Don’t talk just about work.
You don’t want to bring home a bunch of lame spreadsheets, right? Neither does he. Go to a movie when you get out. Watch The Walking Dead together on Sundays. Go for a walk. Read books. Have enough outside interests to keep the conversation and spark going that have nothing to do with your boss’s toupee slipping during your morning meeting. (Unless your boss is Donald Trump. Then talk all the shit you want.)
Don’t be afraid to take a chance. But don’t take every chance you get.
If it doesn’t work out with one coworker, a guy in another department may be willing to treat you better. But when you’ve got a 1 to 10 bedroom rating next to every name in professional Rolodex, that’s going to lead to problems: jealous coworkers, gossip, an unfair reputation and really awkward Christmas parties. Assess whether this is someone you can deal with seeing everyday if it goes south. Look before you leap. Especially if you’re leaping into bed with the guy who answers your phones or schmoozes with your boss.