Is Workplace Affair Worth the Risk?
Q: My direct supervisor at work recently asked me out on a date and I'm torn. We've known each other for two years and have fought the attraction, but it has become increasingly difficult to deny these feelings. In spite of working at a very progressive company, I can't help worrying about what the ramifications may be if our relationship doesn't work out. I love my job and the department I'm in, but wonder if this chance for love is worth risking it all. — Bethany, 42
Dr. Susan: Let's start with the easiest question: Are you both single? If so, does your company have an actual policy against dating among employees? If not, then you and he might begin dating very slowly, and keep it low-key for now. It can be very hard to remain friends with ex-lovers you see daily, especially if he, for example, begins openly dating someone else. Can you trust both of you to behave professionally if your dating ends up nowhere? Or especially if it turns into a torrid affair and then ends? Maybe a lunch or coffee date would be a place to start. Talk about your mutual expectations of this or any relationship. The more you know about his personal life and character, the more able you'll be to decide how to proceed.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.