An Office Crush: 5 Tips For Handling Feelings For A Coworker

Developing romantic feelings for a colleague is as typical as encountering a broken coffee machine at the worst possible moment. However, unlike a simple mechanical fix, handling romantic inclinations at work demands more finesse and care. Whether they are advisable or not, workplace romances do occur, so it's crucial to know how to manage them carefully. Here are some guidelines:

**Pause and Reflect**  

First and foremost, take a moment to reflect on your feelings. Are they genuine, or are they a product of workplace boredom? Sometimes, the routine of daily tasks can make a new crush seem more appealing than it might actually be. Pause to consider the real depth of your feelings.

**Consider the Consequences**  

Think ahead about the potential consequences of pursuing a romantic interest at work. How might it affect your professional interactions, team dynamics, and overall career? Be aware of any workplace policies on inter-employee relationships, particularly those involving a power imbalance. Tread carefully, and familiarize yourself with the rules before proceeding.

**Choose the Right Moment**  

If you decide to disclose your feelings, choose the right time and setting, which isn't during a Monday morning meeting. Be direct and respectful when expressing yourself.

**Maintain Professionalism**  

Maintain a professional demeanor at all times. Ensure that all interactions, whether in-person or digital, remain respectful. Remember, the professional relationship should take precedence over personal feelings. If your advances are not reciprocated, accept the decision gracefully and do not pursue further. Prepare yourself emotionally for this outcome and commit to maintaining a professional working relationship.

**Set Clear Boundaries**  

If you enter into a relationship, it’s pivotal to establish boundaries that help delineate your work and personal lives, ensuring that the relationship does not adversely affect your professional environment or team dynamics.

**Plan for All Outcomes**  

Finally, be realistic about the relationship's viability. Discuss how you would handle a potential breakup to minimize its impact on your work environment. Although it might not be the most romantic discussion, having a contingency plan is essential.

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