Office romance is never a good idea, but that does not mean that it is not there. All the way from casual dating to one-night stands to eventual marriage - office romance is always in the picture. So should you do it or not? When companies are forcing their employees to work long hours, there is hardly any time to go meet new people. Plus, there are a lot more women who are now ready to work late nights or weekends or go on business trips, increasing possibilities of being attracted to their colleagues or becoming an object of desire for their colleagues.
So what is the first thing that you should do when you realize that you are attracted to someone at work. Review the company's policy on this issue. If the company does not have a written policy, you can ask for a clarification (though you will need to be careful how you ask since the HR folks will immediately get suspicious). The best excuse is that you have seen some behavior in the office that you are not sure is appropriate and before you report it to anyone, you want to make sure that it is a violation of the company's policy. Hence the desire to read the policy.
Let us review what Paul is going through. "I like this girl at work very much. Every time I am around her I feel as though I could die. It is like my heart is going to burst out of my chest and I might pass out. I never felt this before. She gazes at me sometimes and I glare back, so she might be interested but when I talk to her she seems cold. I don't know if it is because we are at work or if it is because I am talking to her. Now when I see her or pass by her at work, she is always looking down and so am I. Please help. I don't know what to do anymore."
Ouch, this must be pretty painful for Paul. He is definitely in love, but I hope he realizes that romance at work (while quite common) is still frowned up by your friends in the HR department. If anyone finds out, it can be quite messy, particularly if you two work together and one of you may be in a supervisory capacity over other. And even if you don't, the gossip and the rumors can make life difficult for those involved in it.
Having said that, do you still want to pursue this relationship? If she is avoiding you for the reason that she does not think that workplace romance is a good idea, then you have no choice really since she may be afraid of losing her job and it will be terrible if it were because of you.
Another possibility that seems very strong is that she may be simply shy. I think what you may want to do is to interact with her a little bit more rather than just look at her. Most people get scared when someone stares at them but if you develop a friendship with her, you might have a better idea of what frame of mind she is in right now. Maybe you can go out with her and others in the office at lunch (or happy hour drinks) and chat with her in a more relaxed setting to get to know her and tell her more about who you are. She will first need some assurance that she can trust you and that you will keep the relationship a secret. Only then it is likely that she will consider dating you. So focus on building a friendship before suggesting a date or dreaming of a romantic relationship right away.
And if you have a choice, please find love elsewhere.
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