Dangers of the Office Crush

If your office vibe is upbeat and chatty, it makes coming to work on Monday morning more tolerable. When your coworker attentively asks about your weekend plans, you start to feel like Wednesday's really closer to the end of the week than the beginning. And when that hottie from another department smiles at you every morning, it gives you something to gossip about with your work pals.

Then, something changes. You find yourself dawdling in the kitchen waiting for those dark brown eyes to flick your way, yearning for a flash of those pearly whites. You start hanging near their cube, chatting with neighbors to see if you can get noticed. You're hoping to earn a laugh in addition to that dazzling morning smile.

When you do, the thrill hits. And you blush. And your coworkers notice. Then you're confused…and embarrassed…and you feel that rush.

Yep. It's official. You've got an office crush.

What you do next could change your whole future.

Check on Current Status
First, you need to find out if your crush is attached—married or living together. No, actually, first you need to make sure the target of your affection isn't your boss or someone you supervise. If they are, it ends right there. If they're not, then go back to the attached question.

Two big no-nos when it comes to work crushes:

  • No dating your boss or your employee!
  • Don't mess with married!

Either one of those could, and probably will, get you fired. So if you're feeling one of those urges, you're going to have to tell yourself no. Just no.

There's no wiggle room there. Those colleagues are out of bounds.

Beware of the Aftermath
If you just can't resist an attraction to someone outside your chain of command, make sure you protect yourself from office gossip. Even if you're technically in the clear to date, keep in mind some other danger zones.

Dating someone in your own department can be disastrous if you break up. It will be uncomfortable for everyone if you can't bear to be around your ex and it's necessary that you interact to do your job well.

Yet if you date someone in another department, you're taking a risk in other ways. You've got to be careful not to share any super-secret info that could get you in hot water with your boss. Even if you don't, when some strategic info leaks out, you still might be blamed.

Keep It Cool
If you still can't help yourself and decide to get involved with your hot colleague, make sure you keep things cool in the office. Flirty banter in the break room will get broadcast as fast as a fire alarm.

Even if you wind up in an exclusive arrangement, remember to keep your hands off at work. No matter how private you think your office is, it's not. Your coworkers' radar will go off any time you and your sexy sweetie go into a room alone together, so no lingering in lust there.

Before you act on your office crush, make sure you think further than the first kiss and be sure it's worth the risk. Don't let a temporary temptation send your career into a permanent free-fall.

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