Dating in the Workplace

This is something that I’ve never fully been able to wrap my brain around.  I’m sure it is everyone’s fantasy to have a very taboo inter-office romance going on at some point in your life.  If you’re me, it’s specifically for the purpose of being able to hide in a broom closet, wait for your special buddy to walk by, and drag them in there for a little midday nookie.

But, unfortunately, the reality of dating someone that you work with is a little more complicated than that… which sucks.

Personally, I’ve had two experiences in this matter, but only one specifically with the workplace, as everything I’m about to say also applies, interestingly enough, to seeing/dating people that live in your building/dorm room at college.

It was the summer between my second and third years at college, right after I had just broken up with my boyfriend (for the fourth and final time it turned out), and I had gotten a job at an awesome family-owned Italian restaurant… my first ever waitressing job.

Immediately, I knew there would be no midday nookie here, as it was a restaurant… and that’s just plain gross.

I attribute the sequence of events from that summer all to my recently single status, because I needed a change, and fast.  Change for me includes physical, mental, emotional, and social things…

… That is why when I spotted him during Day 1 of work, I knew he was the one I wanted.  He would not only be my first white boy, but he also boasted an impressive assortment of facial piercings, creepy tattoos, and blue and red streaks in his black-haired mohawk.  Be still my beating heart.

In all honestly, he was definitely not my type, but at that point in my life, that was what I was looking for… a boy I could never bring home to my parents.

                                  *ding ding… we have a winner!*

The details of our frequent rendezvouses will have to be for another post… as the point of this one is specifically the consequences of dating in the workplace.

During the actual courtship there was no real issue, other than the fact that he turned out to be my boss’ son (a very rare occurrence I’m told), and according to her, made a habit of… um… ‘breaking in’ the new girlsif you will.

So, aside from the discomfort of traipsing around the restaurant and occasionally getting sly looks from his parents and vaguely annoyed looks from the not-so-new female waitresses, it was fun having someone to flirt with… etc.

Inevitably, as with all romances that have absolutely nothing in common, good things must come to an end.  Looking back on it, I probably wasn’t wild enough for him (hair dying and piercing is one thing, but tattoos just aren’t for me), but you know what? That’s okay.   Some people just can’t be about that life.

What wasn’t okay was the aftermath.  Here are some very specific issues I remember:

#1. I personally have no interest in discussing my sex life with coworkers who have ‘schtupped’ the same guy as me.  Yes, some girls do enjoy the comraderie of being able to say “Omigod Kelly, he did that to you too?!”… I’m just not one of them.

#2. There was a brief period of time when he would forget that we were no longer engaging in sexual congress in our spare time, and would accidentally/on purpose ‘invade my personal space’ during our work time.  That’s a huge no-no for me.  If you can’t touch it in private anymore, then you better believe you can’t touch it in public… 

#3. For the next few weeks after it was over, I was painfully aware of every private conversation going on in the restaurant, wondering if they were discussing my private business.  No one was, of course, because they did all that while we were actually seeing each other, but that didn’t stop me.  It is my belief that at least a slight version of paranoia is included in the Y chromosome, and therefore cannot be helped.

#4. Since the town I was living in at the time was so small, we still rolled in the same summer crowd together.  This meant that for the rest of the summer every boy I tried to talk to either began or ended our interactions with the same phrase: “Hey, aren’t you that girl who…?”  #dead.

#5. It was super awkward when the new waitress showed up.  Yeah… we know what’s up.

Granted, some of these reasons are very specific to my particular situation, but I think the general idea still applies.  Without a doubt, your little romance will end (unless, of course, your name is Beyonce and you’re in a movie called #Obsessed), and you will be faced with an awkward environment in the place you have to go at least five days a week.

For girls: you will wonder if he’s picked a new girl, you will wonder why he seems unable to fully leave you alone, you will wonder if he’s told anyone and what he told, and there will be people who keep trying to talk about it even though you’re trying to forget.

For boys: you probably won’t wonder about anything except when the next new girl is being hired, or perhaps whether or not one of the old ones might let you hit again… but eventually you’ll run out of new girls and then be forced to wander around an office full of women who have all seen you naked and are either secretly or not-so-secretly hating on your ‘package’.

In general, I would just avoid inter-office romances.  Meet someone at the gym, or something.

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