4 Things To Do Before Starting a Workplace Romance
Dear Selfless Esteem,
My co-worker and I get along really well. We eat lunch together every day and occasionally hang out on a weekend night. I am starting to have romantic feelings for her but I’m not sure if I should act on them or if she feels the same way. I have heard so many horror stories about workplace romance. How do I do this without it blowing up in my face?
You are not alone. Having romantic feelings for a coworker is common. According to this article by Brandongaille, 38% of American workers have dated a coworker at least once in their career.
Even so, you are wise be cautious. If the relationship ends, you could find yourself in a difficult and awkward work environment.
Another aspect is that employers typically have dating policies to avoid conflicts of interest. The rules are more stringent if one of the staff is in a supervisory role. Your employer could change your shift or location. If you become related through marriage, your employer could even terminate your employment.
So how do you know if it’s worth the risk?
Here are 4 Steps to Take While Considering a Workplace Romance:
1. Turn to God in Prayer
First and foremost, pray about it. God loves you very much (John 15:13), and He understands your desire to have a significant other (Genesis 2:18). He made every person in the world (Acts 17:24), and so He knows who is the best match for you and the perfect timing. See the postsm “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”
2. Examine Your Heart
Make sure your feelings aren’t coming from a place of desperation. “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” (Proverbs 27:7). In other words, when people are desperate, they are prone to start a relationship hastily and indiscriminately, hoping that the other person will save them from loneliness and other negative feelings and circumstances. You may be interested in the posts, “How To Be Happy Single,” “The One Thing All Single People Should Know.”
3. Consider Her Character
Take time to study her character. Matthew 7:18 says, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” For example, her attitude, personal relationships, values, interests, and activities reflect her character. This will help you make an informed decision about whether you want to pursue the relationship further.
4. Seek Another Viewpoint
Talk to someone you trust about your thoughts and feelings, such as a family member, pastor, therapist, or mentor. Doing so can give you an objective perspective.
Is the Feeling Mutual?
It’s possible she is developing feelings for you, but you are unable to read her mind. And using the childhood method of picking petals off a flower while saying, “She loves me…She loves me not…” isn’t reliable enough. ✿😄 If you decide it’s worth the risk, one way to find out how she feels is to talk to her.
If you choose to disclose your feelings to her and she expresses that she does not want a romantic relationship, then you cannot in any way bring up the topic again or else it could be considered sexual harassment. At the same time, be on your guard against any feelings of rejection that may arise. Beware of going downward spiral of self-criticism. (See the post “Defeat Self-Criticism.”) Instead, focus on God’s love. (See the post “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self Esteem” for details on this process.) Spend time with your Heavenly Father, who always accepts you (Ephesians 1:6) and loves you more than you could fathom (Ephesians 3:19).
What if you choose to disclose your feelings to her and she expresses a romantic interest as well? If you decide to enter into a relationship, proceed slowly. When people get too close too quickly, it’s hard to backtrack. Consequently, one or both of you might feel compelled to take a break or end the relationship, which can be painful.
Whatever you decide to do, keep God in the center of your life. You can’t go wrong with seeking a relationship with Him.🕊
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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