Cupid at work
"Offices are often the easiest places to meet and fall in love," one expert told Fortune's Anne Fisher in her February 13 Ask Annie column. Have you had an office romance? How did it turn out? Have you worked around colleagues who were dating? What tips do you have for others?
Posted by Gabrielle S. 10:09 AM 115 Comments comment | Add a Comment

I follow the advice of an old Southern expression "Don't get your honey where you get your money."
Posted By Pamela, Chicago, IL : Tue Feb 13, 11:15:18 AM  

I had a wonderful office romance, lasted for a year and a half, we both went our separate ways, still keep in touch and no one was hurt. It can be done if you are an adult about it.
Posted By Katie, Calgary, AB : Tue Feb 13, 11:20:56 AM  

I married my office romance and we couldn't be happier. The key for us was that we knew each other for 7 years before we got involved. Our office friendship gradually moved out of the office into our personal lives and then that slowly turned into a romance. My advice? Make sure you're really good friends first and that you get to know the person outside of work. After 7 years of a crush, I finally realized that I was willing to risk our working relationship and friendship because I loved him that much. Four years later we're still going very strong and I couldn't be happier.
Posted By Kathy L. Tehachapi, CA : Tue Feb 13, 11:27:46 AM  

I had an office romance with a much younger person who worked for me. I don't recommend it at all. It took a huge toll on my psyche and I have not fully recovered from it yet.
Posted By Andre, Los Angeles, CA : Tue Feb 13, 11:28:53 AM  

We have a female in our office who has been dating the (married) owner of the company for over a year now. It really screws up the morale and inter-office business dealings when he jumps in to support her all the time. It's horrible.
Posted By Karen, Ridgewood, NJ : Tue Feb 13, 11:29:32 AM  

I have an office romance. When I tried to break up with her, numerous times, She made my life a living hell, in and out of the office. So I'm back with her now, because it's less stressful than getting constant emails and phone calls throughout the day. I don't want to risk reporting her to HR because I don't want to jeopardize my job or get a note on my file. I guess I'll have to marry her now. How depressing. Word to the wise, never get into an office romance, no matter how optimistic you are. One of you should move to a different company or different area before starting anything more serious than friendship.
Posted By K in Toronto : Tue Feb 13, 11:30:35 AM  

Mine lasted for a few years, it was a good thing for me, and her to, although difficult to maintain.Eventually she called it off, and we moved on. We haven't been together or seen each other for 10 years now, but we still email. I would Love to see her again.
Posted By Larry Kansas City, KS : Tue Feb 13, 11:31:11 AM  

I did have an office romance that turned into an engagement. We ran into many problems with coworkers who tried to break us up many times. Eventually we did break up and the wedding was called off. If I had to give advice I would say that it is usually not in the best interest of the relationship to allow your coworkers to become involved in your personal affair(s). He and I did not act like we were in a relationship while at work. We chose to focus on work solely until we left work to go home.

The one thing I did notice is that there were a lot of married people cheating on their spouses. I worked at this company for almost five years and during that time I saw about seven divorces. I don't feel that a lot of these people were able to separate their personal lives from their work life. From my experience I am not totally sure I would agree that an office romance is something I would recommend.
Posted By Anonymous, SC : Tue Feb 13, 11:33:07 AM  

I met my husband at work in 2000. We starting dating about a year later. We dated for 2 years before we got married. Its been almost 4 years and 2 kids later and I would say that our relationship is great.

However it was extremely hard to keep things seperate, b/c when you are upset with someone it is hard to work with them directly no matter who it is. Especially when it's your significant other.
Just try to be discrete and professional. Good Luck!
Posted By me, Fayetteville, AR : Tue Feb 13, 11:33:48 AM  

I had a wonderful office romance that wound up ending, but we parted as good friends and still are. I have no regrets and many fond memories. It seems strange to me that people are so sensitive about office isn't just work; it's also a big part of my social life.
Posted By Steve, Fort Worth, Texas : Tue Feb 13, 11:34:22 AM  

Hi Annie --

My husband and I work for the same company. We did not meet at work, met prior. My husband and I keep things so professional in the work place often times people don't even realize we are married. I think the most important thing to remember is that the office is not the time or the place to cuddle or show affection, leave it for after 5 o'clock. It is very easy to meet people at work and have things turn into a romance but remember you just met there, not necessary to keep the relationship only there....
Posted By J Dallas Texas : Tue Feb 13, 11:34:30 AM  

It was a great time for the two of us until my wife found out.
Posted By Dave, Charlotte, NC : Tue Feb 13, 11:36:24 AM  

I am currently in the midst of an office romance and must say I am quite pleased with how it's going. Our employer has no policy against office romance. Knowing this, we still choose to keep the romance a secret. We know that some people suspect something is going on, but we are always careful to cover our tracks and keep things under wraps. To anyone interested in pursuing an office romance, I say go for it. Just keep the professional separate from the person (easier than you think) and you'll be fine
Posted By Guy Boston, MA : Tue Feb 13, 11:36:32 AM  

I've seen several office romances, and it's interesting, to say the least. People always think that no one knows, but everyone does. They end up putting more effort into hiding the romance than doing their jobs. I think that if I fell madly in love/lust/like with a co worker and it started going somewhere, it would be best if one of us transferred departments.
Posted By Mel, Los Angeles, CA : Tue Feb 13, 11:36:38 AM  

For me, office romances are a mixed bag. I had one that lastest nearly a year. We seperated however, we are still friends. I had another where it ended bitterly. I would say that it depends on the people, although I'm currently looking for someone I don't work with.
Posted By Chrissy, Maryland : Tue Feb 13, 11:37:09 AM  

Read K from Toronto's comment below.. all TOO true. And a big time thing to keep in mind. I too have a similar situation and it's a mess.
Posted By John, Boston, MA : Tue Feb 13, 11:37:40 AM  

O been there done this. I dated a guy and he wanted more and so did I he got scared and ended it. He was promoted over me and turned into Dr Jeckyl Mr Hyde. Don't dip your pen in company ink.
Posted By Tina Raleigh, NC : Tue Feb 13, 11:41:38 AM  

Office or employment relationships can be misleading. In my case, I married a guy I worked with only to find out that once our career goals shifted from where we once met, we had really very little in common which ultimately led to a divorce. So be careful, because sometimes that "common ground" effect can be a temporary phase and not meant for the long haul.
Posted By Patricia Dallas, Texas : Tue Feb 13, 11:44:16 AM  

Almost got me divorced!
Posted By jim frederick, md : Tue Feb 13, 11:45:48 AM  

I married someone with whom I had an office romance. We met in '84, became friends and started dating in 1990, then married in '95. The marriage lasted about 4 years. We weren't very descreet in the office, and he spent about 6 months convincing me to go out with him. He had an entire cheering section within his group of coworkers. It was exciting, fun and very romantic. You'd think after knowing each other so long and being such good friends, it would have worked out. But I learned quickly about the "wolf in sheeps' clothing" theory. One image in the office and while dating, a completely 'nother one once we were sharing a home. We had a very ugly divorce and people took sides. I don't know that this is the usual way of an office romance, perhaps just a bad match no matter where we would have met.
Posted By Jan, San Diego, CA : Tue Feb 13, 11:45:55 AM  

It almost got me fired from my job when my bvoss found out. And my employer harassed us for it. Good thing we found out later our boss wasn't ALLOWEd to fire us for it. Kept our paychecks comming in. :)
Posted By K - Ontario : Tue Feb 13, 11:48:46 AM  

Never fish from the COmpany Pier...NEVER. Possible disaster to your career, life is too great. Everyone needs to GET THIS in their heads. Dont date a co-worker. Chances are it will end up more ugly than bliss.
Posted By Chris, Cleveland Ohio : Tue Feb 13, 11:49:18 AM  

I had an office romance that turned into a marriage. We did keep the romance a secret for a while, until we moved in together. We have known each other for 5 years, been married 2 1/2 years, and we are thinking of starting a family next year. I married my best friend and I couldn't be happier. He has now moved to a different company, so I miss my commuting partner, but things are still going strong! The key is to keep the romance at home, work in the workplace.
Posted By Monica, Fredericksburg, VA : Tue Feb 13, 11:55:11 AM  

I have a "work husband" and he takes care of me while I'm at work. His wife knows and isn't bothered. Ultimately, I'm no threat, it's just good to have someone looking out for you in the workplace.
Posted By Stephanie, Little Rock, AR : Tue Feb 13, 11:55:35 AM  

I once dated my administrative assistance that worked for me for three years, fell in love, got engaged, and bought a second house.

She then got fired, wrecked our relationship over it, broke it off, and stranded me with two houses and one income.

While I may be attracted to my new administrative assistant, I'm not going there.
Posted By Kit - StL, MO : Tue Feb 13, 11:56:07 AM  

My boyfriend got a job at my company about three months ago, AND moved in with me at the same time. So far we haven't murdered eachother. Our jobs have NOTHING to do with one another, which is nice. And I'm moving to a different floor next week, so we'll never see eachother.

The biggest problems:
We talk about work ALL THE TIME
It's hard to know how to behave at work.
I work several levels above him, so if we socialize with eachother's departments it gets kindof weird.

The biggest bonus:
I know more office gossip than probably anyone else in the company.
Posted By P, Chicago, IL : Tue Feb 13, 11:58:04 AM  

Two members of our management team are inseparable. One has now filed for divorce. It's made the work environment hell in more ways than I can count. And when someone spilled the beans to a spouse, they went into defensive mode, actually accusing people of spreading untrue rumors. There is no way it's not true...we've all seen too much proof. I agree with the post that says 'don't dip your pen in the company ink.'
Posted By anonymous, MI : Tue Feb 13, 11:59:29 AM  

My current relationship began as an office romance 3 and a half years ago. It is the best relationship I have ever had.
I left that company over 2 years ago.
Posted By craig -Madison, WI : Tue Feb 13, 12:00:36 PM  

I've had several chances to do this, but ultimately decided it wasn't a good idea for me. Bottom line is that it makes you vulnerable in a way that's hard to overcome. In one case, a guy I had flirted with a time or two started running around talking to all his friends about it, which made me wonder what he'd be talking to them about if we got involved. So I backed off and am glad I did!
Posted By Kathy, San Antonio, Texas : Tue Feb 13, 12:01:11 PM  

I met my husbnd at work. We dated for 7 years and have been married for 13. Not only do I still love him, I still like him. I do agree that discretion is paramount!
Posted By Laurie, Dallas, Texas : Tue Feb 13, 12:02:25 PM  

My wife had an office romance with a co-worker at the same time we were seeing a marriage counselor. I found out about this the day after my daughter was born. My wife told me she wasn't sure the baby was mine. The DNA tests proved that, in fact, the child was mine. The rest of the details get too sordid for me to write.

I can't decide if I should have an office romance (or several) to get back at her.
Posted By John, New York, NY : Tue Feb 13, 12:04:01 PM  

I met my husband 30 years ago; we worked at adjacent desks for two years before we were married and worked together for two years after.Our marriage is grounded in friendship and shared values. My parents also met at work, and my younger brother met his wife at work.
Posted By Karen, Lincoln NE : Tue Feb 13, 12:08:52 PM  

I am currently in an "office" relationship. "X" and I keep things very professional in the work place and have not allowed co-workers into our private affairs. As a matter of fact I often hear from both male and females associates that I should consider dating "X". It can be difficult at times especially during company functions outside the work place but the key is to keep communicating.
Posted By MK, San Diego, CA : Tue Feb 13, 12:11:37 PM  

Married assistant and I am single. Immediate connection which led to an intimate relationship for close to a year. I am beginning to look for a way out.
Posted By Jim, Omaha Nebraska : Tue Feb 13, 12:15:22 PM  

I too married my office romance. I agree with Kathy L. on advising to be friends first then if something develops, keep it hush-hush. No one needs to know your business. We kept our secret for a good 2 years before people at the office found out and when we got married there were still a few people at work that didn't even know - they are sure in for a surprise. We will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary next month and are so very happy.
Posted By Patti N. San Diego CA : Tue Feb 13, 12:16:11 PM  

Met my wife at work, she was married to someone else as was I. Both of us got divorced so we could get married. 14 years and two beautiful kids later, I find out that she's been having a long affair with someone else that she works with, and refuses to stop. They have a "connection" and she doesn't know what to do about it. Psychotic? You bet. So I end up having my own affairs to compensate. Bottom line is, if you're going to fool around, have the decency to leave the relationship that you're in BEFORE you start another one.
Posted By John K, DFW, TX : Tue Feb 13, 12:16:15 PM  

A couple in my office got together secretly while working together. It's not clear if they were together when the guy was still reporting to the woman, but gossip and rumors about their relationship spun out of control when the guy was clearly favored by management and quickly promoted in his job. It created divisive feelings, hostility and conspiracy theories in the office. I would recommend that if you are serious about having an office romance, be upfront with your boss and coworkers and keep the romantic relationship outside the office.
Posted By Pam, New York, NY : Tue Feb 13, 12:18:22 PM  

I was hired by this very nice gentleman and worked for him for over a year. When I requested a move back to my home state, since I was always on the road, he okayed it. Then he started missing me....contacted me and I very carefully considered the possibility of a relationship with him and its consequences to me personally and professionally. We kept it very quiet for several months until we were sure things were going well (and the fact that we were in different states helped keep things out of the office glare). It was the best decision I ever made. We've been together four and a half years now and it's as strong as ever! We both still work for the company, but I've since moved on to another area with the blessings of our upper management who are very supportive of our relationship.
Posted By J.R., Chicago, IL : Tue Feb 13, 12:19:01 PM  

I married my office romance a little over 4 months ago. Before that, he was my best friend for about 5 years. We kept it a secret from other co-workers until we decided to move in together (hard to hide the same address). After the secret broke, there was certainly concern of how comfortable other employees would be. After the co-workers realized nothing had changed in our actions between each other at work, everything was fine. I would never say I would regret my relationship, but it is hard to have such a success story. If you have feelings for another co-worker proceed with caution. You MUST both be very mature about the situation and not take things personally at work when you disagree with each other. On a side note, working together & driving to work together also takes away from your own personal time. I do miss the excitement of seeing your husband at the end of the day, meeting him with a kiss and discussing our days. There is something to be said about they saying "Distance makes the heart grow fonder".
Posted By Sarah, Ann Arbor, MI : Tue Feb 13, 12:23:18 PM  

The love of my life, someone I had waited for all my life, came into my life at work. You just have to be smart about it and keep work at work, and private life, private. Its not that hard to do if you both have respect for one another and others around you. You have to have the intelligence and instinct to know how to juggle both. If you are truly meant to be together, you will be. It's not easy sometimes, but if it's worth it, take the chance, because if you pass it up, it may never come your way again. Im glad I saw my chance and took it. Married and happy for the first time in my life, and I met her at work. She's my soul mate.
Posted By H. T. Tucson , AZ : Tue Feb 13, 12:24:05 PM  

I will be taking my x BF career down into flames very soon. If we didn't work together I wouldn't have this power. Makes you think??
Posted By Andy - CA : Tue Feb 13, 12:34:11 PM  

My husband and I met at work, dated for 6 months than married. That was 28 years ago. We still both work for the same organization. One down side, is he is management, I'm not. There are times he needs to talk but can't say anything to me cause I know who he's talking about. On the plus side, we have lunch together almost everyday. It's a good "pick-me-up"to see your spouse in the middle of the day.
Posted By CLL, CIncinnati, Ohio : Tue Feb 13, 12:37:13 PM  

Had a strange office "romance". She was very into me, I not really into her, but as a man, there are things one can't refuse. We were buddies.She wanted more, I didn't. It did not end happily. A few other times it was just physical and both the women & myself knew it. Very clear, clean, pure lust, no problem.I know friends who have had terrible "Fatal Attraction" scenarios. Generally, keep your pants on at work.
Posted By Jeff, Newark, NJ : Tue Feb 13, 12:38:47 PM  

My wife and I started our relationship as a work romance and after dating for about 2 years we got married. Since then it has been a wonderful marriage that is going on 9 years this summer!
Posted By James, Sandy, UT : Tue Feb 13, 12:40:06 PM  

i started dating the office secretary almost 2 years ago. and we are happily living together, and going stronger than ever.
Posted By bob, laguna hills, ca. : Tue Feb 13, 12:45:12 PM  

There are several reasons for the increase of relationships happening at the office that ahven't been addressed here. One, Casual Fridays and the overall idea that comes out of that day. You get to see, "Wow! So this is how that guy/gal dresses, or IS, outside of work" This used to only happen at holiday parties which we all know what those are famous for. Two, People stay at one job for a shorter time now, so the idea that if you meet someone, you can always get a job elsewhere opens up options. Three, more divorces and vulnerable co-workers. Other things too, but I gotta get back to work. --Tompopp
Posted By Chicago : Tue Feb 13, 12:55:15 PM  

I have been in a few office romances, some turned out good, others, not so much. However, I did meet my wife here at work and we have been married for almost 7 years and have a son. Before we got married, we checked into our company's policies on the subject and found that we were okay.
Posted By Bob, Cincinnati, OH : Tue Feb 13, 12:58:23 PM  

Started dating a lady at the office 3 years ago and now we are engaged and very much in love. It was awkward knowing how to act at first, but things began to feel natural after a few months. It helps that we work in seperate departments. I have to agree with the previous poster that said one problem was that they "talked shop" all the time... When that gets out of hand, we both agree to not discuss work for the rest of the evening... Seems to work great.
Posted By Stephen, Spokane WA : Tue Feb 13, 01:01:52 PM  

I am married with two kids to a coworker. When our relationship went from Best Friends to Romance, I looked for another job. I couldn't resist kissing him at work so it was better to work elsewhere. We've been together for 11 years now.
Posted By Anna, Denver, CO : Tue Feb 13, 01:02:59 PM  

I met my husband nearly 22 years ago on the job. While we dated, we kept things very professional at the office. We dated for nearly 10 years before we got married...and very much like Dallas, my husband and I kept such a professional atmosphere...that the only way people figured out we were married is if they noticed our last names were the same on the inter-office phone directory.

It can work...but only if you keep the "friendly game of grab-butt" to hours when you're NOT at the office.

Rose, Jamaica, New York
Posted By Anonymous : Tue Feb 13, 01:11:55 PM  

I am dating my boss who is married with 3 children. We fell in love instantly when I started working on his project. He told me he was in love with me in less than 6 weeks and since I felt the same, I knew we were headed for trouble. We have been dating for 6 months and it is still going strong. Nobody in the office knows, although there are suspicions. I am crossing my fingers that nobody ever finds out and that the relationship never goes sour!
Posted By Anonymous, Minneapolis, MN : Tue Feb 13, 01:17:56 PM  

I am in a working relationship with my fiance and everything is great. We both got jobs at the same company at the same time but had been together for more than a year before that happened.

My advice is to keep it professional at work as to not let it affect your work or your coworkers. If we have a fight at home then we don't take it to work.

I've been in another relationship that started at work and it wound up being pretty bad. We ended it on not so good terms and still had to work with each other. We hid our break up for as long as we could before it got out which made it harder having to see each other every day at work.
Posted By Joe, Monterey, CA : Tue Feb 13, 01:19:18 PM  

I worked in an office where there were three of us who worked directly with my boss but my immediate supervisor was having an affair with him. She was a manipulative drama queen before the affair started but she turned into a little monster when she realized her power over him, twisting everything to suit her purposes. He was a helpless idiot around her and so didn't try very hard to keep the evidence of their affair from us. It became extremely uncomfortable for us particularly because I worked closely with the man's wife. It was a horrible atmosphere to work in.
Posted By Carmen, Los Angeles, California : Tue Feb 13, 01:28:08 PM  

I had an office romance 13 years ago. We're still married with 3 beautiful children. Ignoring my friends who warned me about getting involved with someone at the office was the best thing I've ever done.
Posted By David, Phoenix, AZ : Tue Feb 13, 01:34:16 PM  

I had an office romance.We've been together for over a year now and are looking to get married this fall. We worked together for close to a year with no hang-ups, but the afterwork conversations got a lot more interesting when I changed jobs.
Posted By Cindy, Medford, OR : Tue Feb 13, 02:22:17 PM  

Avoid it at all costs. I met my now ex wife at the office. Just as she and I had established a relationship at the office, she did the same thing with someone else after I left that company for a better job elsewhere.
Posted By Chris - Louisville : Tue Feb 13, 02:26:25 PM  

My husband decided to have an affair at work with a married woman. As the spouse I can only say, it destroyed my trust in him. My opinion about us females: sometimes we just don't know how to behave and recognize that married man are to be left alone!!!
I have no idea what it did for her, but for him, I can assure all you readers: I HAVE GIVEN HIM HELL and there is more HELL to pay.
Posted By undisclosed, Beaumont California : Tue Feb 13, 02:36:31 PM  

use common sense I married my co worker we knew how to handle it.Now she stays at home with our daughter and I slave away at work ,its the best thing that ever happened to me
Posted By Tom Indy,IN : Tue Feb 13, 02:44:28 PM  

Take it from one who knows, don't do it!
It's nothing but trouble. If/when you break up, she is rarely nice enough to just quit her job and get out of your life ;-)
Posted By smb, Tucson, az : Tue Feb 13, 02:57:29 PM  

I met my husband at work and we worked together for almost five years before he took another job. We did not work on the same projects or for the same manager. Our relationship developed slowly and we kept it quiet. Neither of us wanted to be embarassed if things didn't work out. The first time our coworkers saw us kiss was at and offsite holiday party after we had been living together for nearly a month. We had a policy of never bringing our arguments to work. My theory is that an office romance can work out but only if it is a healthy romantic relationship, neither party supervises the other, and the relationship is not openly flaunted at work.
Posted By Lynda, Dallas, TX : Tue Feb 13, 03:04:01 PM  

I met my wife at one of the most romantic places: getting a cup of water from the office kitchen! We worked in the same department, but I was new to the company, and we were reporting to the same boss. I believe that the key to its success in the beginning was that we didn't work on the same projects, so actually had no interaction on a work basis, just had a lot of lunches together. We kept it discreet, but not secret. We told our boss on the day we got engaged (3 months after meeting one another); he was in shock! 2 months later my wife changed jobs, but not because of any problem in the workplace - she just got tired of the job. We look back now and think that it was probably a good move for other reasons; reduced comments around the office and concerns from our boss. I think the office is a great place to meet people, but probably not the best to sustain a long term relatioship. Better that one of you should change jobs or departments before problems emerge. 8 years later, we're very happy with 3 kids.
Posted By Jason, Aliso Viejo, CA : Tue Feb 13, 03:05:19 PM  

I started out being friends with a co-worker and then he initiated a relationship 3.5 years into our friendship. I left that job not because of our relationship but for it. It didn't work out.....then. But our friendship is strong. We are now working together to have the relationship that we wanted then but weren't ready to have until now.
Posted By Jessica, Ft C, CO : Tue Feb 13, 03:10:48 PM  

We're part of the 22% that got married and now going on year 15. I'm sure some people knew, but we were discreet and didn't flaunt the relationship. The first company wide function after one of us made a career move out of the company was entertaining. "What are you doing here? I thought you left." was a common question.
Posted By Hank, Dallas TX : Tue Feb 13, 03:13:25 PM  

Two couples where I worked had romances. The first started dating when she was hired. It lead to marriage, but it was SO annoying because when they worked together, they just wanted to be all "cutesy". The other couple was a little different. One was in a management position. EVERYONE knew, but they didn't admit to it until he quit. I thought it was wrong. You shouldn't date someone you work with.
Posted By Krystina, Mecosta, MI : Tue Feb 13, 03:22:48 PM  

Come on people, lighten up....what's the big deal here anyway? Give us a little break alright. We work our asses off for the shareholders and the guy in the corner office; what do we get...a quickie???
Posted By Peter Toronto-Canada : Tue Feb 13, 03:24:52 PM  

I am currently involved in an office relationship. I couldnt be happier. We were friends firsts, and slowly became involved. He is the love of my life and I wouldnt have it any other way. The key is to just be professional. We work in different Departments, so that helps. I think if you love someone, it doesnt matter if you work with them or not, you will find a way to make it work.
Posted By Jess, New Jersey : Tue Feb 13, 03:27:04 PM  

I had an office romance once. We kept things very discreet; no hand-holding or any other type of "flag" unless we were outside the office. He'd leave little notes, but would never sign them. There were other romances there as well--two were affairs between married/unmarried types. I remember when I broke up with my sweetheart so long ago--it hurt and I had to see him all the time. No transfers were possible, nor was quitting.

Would I have one now? No way! One must maintain a level of professionalism at all times. Friendship is one thing; romance another. I would not recommend it to anyone. Talk about a CLM (career-limiting move)! My current employer strictly forbids anyone romantically involved to even work in the same area--one must be moved or must resign if a place cannot be found in the company. It simply isn't worth it.
Posted By Penny, Apple Valley, MN : Tue Feb 13, 03:54:02 PM  

Wow, are the posters here all over the map! It seems as though people are making associations that are not valid. For example, if a co-worker you date starts acting psycho, they would very likely have been psycho if you'd met them outside of work--I see little reason to blame the workplace for that and therefore it is not a logical reason to not date a co-worker. Ditto for those who cheat--they would have cheated if you'd met them in a bar too so that also is not a reason to not date a co-worker. For a lot of us, the workplace is where we perform 90+% of our interaction with others, and therefore it's the only viable shot we have of meeting and dating others.
Posted By JKT, Wilmington DE : Tue Feb 13, 04:18:32 PM  

I met my husband in the place where I worked. We were co-workers for several years before we started dating. We just celebrated our second anniversary last month. My advice is to keep your work intact no matter what, treat the office romance as any other romance, take it outside of work.
Posted By Helena, Mamaroneck, NY : Tue Feb 13, 04:38:47 PM  

Right on JKT from DE! I agree with you 100%. If you are meant to be together you will find a way, and work it out. Its all about how you handle certain situations. I am all for dating in the work place. Kudos!
Posted By Diana, NJ : Tue Feb 13, 04:51:13 PM  

When I was 27 I got a job with a big corporation and my secretary seduced me. She told me she was manic depressive after the fact and flipped out on me. She saved every dirty text message we sent each other and made jokes about how she could sue me. Looking back it probably wasn't a good idea. I cut it off pretty quick and things are pretty much back to normal. If I didn't work so much I would have time to meet girls out of the office. Moral of the story, don't work so hard!
Posted By Mike, Dallas, TX : Tue Feb 13, 05:07:51 PM  

I�m surprised that Annie didn�t mention sexual harassment. I would never, ever, date a subordinate. This could leave the manager and the company in an uncompromising position if a sexual harassment suit is brought up. Even the Samantha Jones character in Sex in the City was smart enough to fire one of her employees before she had sex with him! I�d look for a transfer within the company to break up the management chain if the person is that irresistible. That way nobody gets fired and the manager is protects themselves.
Posted By Hank, Flagstaff AZ : Tue Feb 13, 06:53:20 PM  

I fell in love with a woman at work and it lasted 4 years. The relationship stalled, mostly on her end. I wanted to keep it going, move forward and live happily ever after. We broke up and it was gut wrenching for me. We still work for the same company location, I don't have any contact with her whatsoever, except professionally, because it tears at me. 2 years later I'm much better, I'm still in love with her and I see her everyday, yet can't and won't socialize with her. I won't ever let this happen again, it hurts too much.
Posted By Mark, Schaumburg, IL : Tue Feb 13, 07:12:34 PM  

My coworker has been at our company 6 years now. There was an instant attraction, but we worked in different departments, and rarely saw one another. I left the company and came back more than once over that time. Last summer we began working in close proximity with one another and found ourselves calling each other on the drive home. We find we have a lot in common with one another, and feel like something's missing when we don't talk regularly. I am single while my coworker is married and on the heels of separation. We've been sleeping with each other for 2 months now, trying our best to keep our tryst under wraps. It's difficult at times, and while there's some thrill in sneaking around, it gets to you. We care for one another greatly, and coworkers often joke about the two of us as an item. When you can sneak in a kiss while no one else is around, it's a great moment in the midst of a busy day. Realize what you're getting into before you start hooking up, and talk about what could happen if things went sour. We've had our moments when one is more scared than the other, and wants to put on the brakes, but we keep running right back to one another. We've agreed it's important for us to talk about what's going on, and quite honestly- it makes the romance in the bedroom that much better!
Posted By JD, Long Beach, CA : Tue Feb 13, 07:40:32 PM  

Met a terrific girl at Bear Stearns about 20 years ago. We were perfect for each other. It didn't work out but I still think of her every day. She won't return my phone calls or letters. She was perfect.
Posted By John Winnetka, IL : Tue Feb 13, 08:07:41 PM  

I vote against mixing work with pleasure unless you can handle moving to a new job if needed when the current romance doesn't work out.
Posted By Wendy Spiegel, Gen Plus, Los Angeles, CA : Tue Feb 13, 08:18:39 PM  

"If I didn't work so much I would have time to meet girls out of the office. Moral of the story, don't work so hard!"

My office whateverthehellyouwanttocallit is the only thing keeping me sane.
Posted By P, NY, NY : Tue Feb 13, 08:51:08 PM  

So, my husband (now soon to be ex-husband) and I met at work...he was in a form of management and I wasn't, so we had to keep our relationship totally top secret when we were dating the first time around. Anywho, we didn't workout the first time around and he dated someone else at our job and it got really awkward b/c the other girl knew that he and I dated in the past and I didn't like her and she didn't like me. They broke up and he and I started dating again...which caused even more tension between myself and the other girl. Anyway, he transferred to another store so once our relationship became public it wasn't a big deal any longer...but boy did it cause a lot of tension and anger and hostility between myself and the other girl. Sad to say my husband and I are now getting a divorce...but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I think it's fine if you date a co-worker...but you need to really look at all aspects of the relationship as in how it'll affect your job, your relationship with one another and other people, so on and so forth. You spend 8 hours of your day at could you not fall in love with someone whom you work with?
Posted By P Chand, Rancho Cordova, CA : Tue Feb 13, 09:42:42 PM  

The biggest mistake of my life. She was so hot that I still have the scars from the burns.Never, get involved with a co-worker exspecially if your married.I have been doing damage control for six years now and had to leave a great job just to keep my sanity.
Posted By Stupid,Cleveland,Ohio : Wed Feb 14, 08:55:46 AM  

Wonderful office romance - met my soul mate there. We've been married for 11 years now and we're still on the honeymoon. He gave me a beautiful diamond necklace this morning for Valentine's. He'll get his Valentine's present tonight!!
Posted By Lynda, Rock Hill, SC : Wed Feb 14, 09:57:44 AM  

I left my wife, 4 kids, dog and boat for the hottest secretary at my job. I loved the look on my wifes face when I told her. Happy Valentines Day, to my ex-wife that is.
Posted By Jason, New York, NY : Wed Feb 14, 10:13:37 AM  

I have been having an affair with a coworker now for 4 months. We have an agreement of friends with benefits. We are both married, neither happily. Things haven't gotten wierd at all. We see each other when we can. Our marraiges are not good, so we have found solice in eachother. I'm very happy the way it is.And so is he. We both keep it hushed. We have alot to lose if it were found out by anyone.
Posted By l, phila, pa : Wed Feb 14, 10:19:27 AM  

I met my now fiance at work back in 2003. Our relationship was straight out of the movies. The whole thing was very surreal. Not only did we work together, but he was older and already married! Believe you me, it was not an easy relationship.

We definitely had many rough times, but we came through it all and are still together. He got divorced. I got a new job. And, now we are happily waiting on our wedding day!
Posted By T, Atlanta, GA : Wed Feb 14, 10:26:08 AM  

I met the most wonderful woman in my entire life at work at a company in Virginia. She taught my heart of stone to actually feel true love for the very first time. Alas it had to end, but I am so thankful I met her. Gossip help kill it, and I did'nt help, as I went crazy in love. But if I could do it over, I gladly would, for someone as wonderful as her.
Love will happen wherever people are, and that could be anywhere, including the office.
Posted By aston george, orlando, florida : Wed Feb 14, 11:47:49 AM  

I'm involved with a man in management at my company. I look at this as a win-win situation. If the relationship works out I will have my soulmate. If it doesn't work out I will be able to leverage our relationship into a pay-off for my trouble. I have saved every email and note he sent me on the off-chance this doesn't work out. The proceeds from the sexual harassment suit will ease my way into another job. I say "go for it!"
Posted By ME2, Omaha, NE : Wed Feb 14, 11:49:57 AM  

He walked into my office and left my life 4 years later. We had an amazing 4 years, but in the end decided we were on different paths - which is ok - we are still awesome friends.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone though - you don't always end up friends in the end - even though you think you might!
Posted By Susan, Thunder Bay, ON Canada : Wed Feb 14, 12:03:33 PM  

You people who are having affairs with co-workers then saying "don't date a co-worker" are a bunch of morons. How bout don't cheat on your spouse? That sounds like much better advise than "never date a co-worker". It doesn't matter where you meet someone. If you're a cheat, you're a cheat and nothing good will ever come from it.
Posted By Bud, Mesa, AZ : Wed Feb 14, 12:28:13 PM  

Met my 2nd wife at the job, while married to my 1st. I always knew she was the one. Got divorced and thought I never had a chance. After a few dating experiences, there she was, standing way ahead of the crowd, waiting for me to say something useful, like, "Would you like to have lunch?". There were some rough patches with co-workers who thought they were entitled to opinions and to give their seal of approval. Through it all, we stood united and strong, got engaged. Through company mergers and what not, we ended up on different floors and then eventually, different jobs. It's lasted a good 14 years in all; soon to be 12 as a married couple with one son.
Office romances just have that one fatal flaw: "What if doesn't work out?" Our strength together in the beginning is what keeps us stronger today. We kept it all proffessional and then when work was over for the day or weekend, it was the greatest and wildest times ever. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. As long as you pick a winner, it all works out in the end.
Posted By Dave, NY, NY : Wed Feb 14, 01:38:39 PM  

I am a teacher and I dated the technology specialist at my school. We had a wonderful relationship, we kept our romance and thoughts about eachother to ourselves, leaving the "entire school district" wondering about our relationship. It was very hard trying to keep it a secret. However it did not work out because he was married and I had just came out of a bad relationship. I have moved to another state to start my life over, but we still keep in contact via cell phone and email.
Posted By Olive Branch, Mississippi : Wed Feb 14, 02:15:03 PM  

When I started with my current company, my marraige was already in trouble. Not long after I passed out of training I met a woman in the area I was being placed in that was alot of fun and I enjoyed being around. We'd take breaks together alot, usually "talking shop" and venting about the calls we were getting. Occasionally helping each other through a work-related problem. Shortly afterwards, she seperated from her husband and was looking for a roomate. After her female roomate fell through, I agreed to take the other bedroom in the apartment she was renting. Rumours had already been swirling about us for months and we had just found them funny. Then we started wondering if they saw something we didn't. We decided to give things a try "no strings" (yeah right!), but everything went really well. We came to find we were already very much in love. We lived together and dated for over 3 years and back in October 2006 we were wed. I can't say that I recommend it for everyone, but... as someone else has said... Friends FIRST! Once you have a rock solid friendship, then you have a true basis for more.
Posted By Tom F Twin Cities, MN : Wed Feb 14, 02:18:59 PM  

I started at a firm in April, as an administrative assistant. At my firm, I worked with engineers and took to one of them within months of being there. He is ten years older, and divorced, so I was skeptical, but couldn't resist his charm when he asked me to lunch. We have been dating since July and even though that darn "L" word hasn't been flung out there yet, I know we have great chemistry and are very supportive of each other. We managed to keep our relationship in check at work, and saved the personal issues for outside the office and everyone respected our relationship and actually were very encouraging. Just last week, my boyfriend and several others in my company got laid off due to budget reasons, but our relationship will only be that much better because we can be there for each other through hard times. I would call this a great example of a successful office romance. :)
Posted By Heidi, Minnesota : Wed Feb 14, 02:30:03 PM  

worst part of office romance is the gossip. you try and keeep it quiet but the rumor mill adds a multiplier to those they think you've been with. you may have had a trist with only one person, but by the end of the day you've been labeled as the office hound.
Posted By James, Chicago, IL : Wed Feb 14, 03:01:13 PM  

Posted By PETE,MASTIC BEACH,NY : Wed Feb 14, 03:15:14 PM  

Our "office romance" is closing in on our 10 year anniversary in May.
It wasn't easy, and it probably helped that we both left the company a little over a year after we started dating.
Posted By Pat, virginia beach, VA : Wed Feb 14, 03:17:13 PM  

Think twice...then think again before you act on any feelings. I fell in, then fell out of love with a coworker who sat very near to me. It was a nightmare to end it. She got fired for harrassment at the end of a long, ugly, and very public break-up.
Posted By Will, NY, NY : Wed Feb 14, 03:32:13 PM  

I met my wife in my office and we have been nmarried for 17 years.
Posted By Bullet Atlanta Georgia : Wed Feb 14, 03:45:26 PM  

I worked at a place that was owned by my then-husbands friends. A new man came to work there and it was fireworks. I left my first husband (people suspected but only good friends knew and supported my decision). Eventually my first husband came to work at the same place. My ex and current husband got along great, although people were expecting a fight. I am now married nearly 14 years and still friendly with my ex, although we rarely run into each other. We are all onto other jobs now and everyone is happy.
Posted By J, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : Wed Feb 14, 04:19:06 PM  

I fell madly in love in my office a few years ago. Everything was great things were moving along when suddenly, out of nowhere, he said he could not continue. He wasn't ready or something. He gave no more explaination than that.
I was devastated and heartbroken. I had fallen deeply in love with him and I had dreams of being a stepmother to his small children who clung to me when they visited the office.
We had managed to keep the relationship secret so our office mates didn't know anything.
When it was over, it was impossible for me to be friendly and I could hardly be in the same roon with him. We didn't work directly together, so no one caught on. I, however, spent many days barely hiding tears and barely functioning.
To this day, he was the love of my life.
I would say never to get involved at work. If it ends badly, you're in for hell on earth.
Posted By Jennifer, Charlotte, NC : Wed Feb 14, 04:26:00 PM  

I had an office romance, and 4 years later we got married (married now for 4 years). As we were both members of a very close project team, we kept our relationship a secret from our colleagues for the first 9 months (and much to my surprise, none of them caught on until we let them know). We work in a constantly changing industry, so we haven't worked for the same company in 6 years. I have only positive things to say about my work romance experience. It doesn't work out for everyone, but when it does it is a wonderful thing!
Posted By Stephanie, Warren, NJ : Wed Feb 14, 04:49:16 PM  

I was involved romantically in office with a girl who worked alongside with me. It was all good in the beginning until we became too close to each other. The fights outside work started to affect us inside the office almost everyday. One fine day it all imploded into an ugly physical confrontation and it ended up both of us getting fired. My advice: no matter how well it goes, office romance is not worth it. Its risky, unnecessary, and should be avoided at all costs.
Posted By Mark, Kansas City, Kansas : Wed Feb 14, 05:09:47 PM  

Well I have read almost all of the comments and It hasn't really help me. I work or manage a building that has mostly males in it, there about 35-40 males mostly married and there mostly older then myself. Well most of them are nice to me and deal with me on a professional level. But there is a guy who is married and is a couple or rather 4 1/2 years younger then myself that I'm totally into. I think we are both in love with each other but I'm trying my hardest to resist him and I can tell he is doing the same. We have a lot in common but he is married. I'm single and have been for almost three years and I have not been in a serious relationship in seven yrs. So I fall in love at the drop of a dime, but this guy is special he is sexy, smart, great sence of humor and a body to die for. And on top of it he has an accent he is from another Country. He happens to be a writer like myself and we seem to like a lot of same things. I we got into are first argument yesterday which I blow up and came to find out it was all a misunderstanding and I looked so silly. Well once I told him I was happy again no longer angry we perceed to have a conversation about work like nothing ever happen. I know it's a matter of time we both will lose this battle and I'm looking forward to it. You can'nt help who you love, and your not suppose to. So everyone will know I have never cheated on a person I was dating or married too this will be the first time something like this has ever happen to me ( The way I see it there is a first time for everything) Signing off hopeless in Love
Posted By Susan,Denver Colorado : Wed Feb 14, 05:31:07 PM  

Met the hubby at work 15 years ago. No one knew we were together until I started wearing an engagement ring and people asked who I was marrying. We were both single and kept at our jobs professionally. I moved to another company two years later because the company was going downhill and we needed at least one person at a stable company. We are still together and make a great team. The keys - 1) Keep it to yourself, 2) Keep doing your job, 3) Dating only applies to single folks...if either person is married, it's called CHEATING. Big difference and a big disruption to your coworkers. And to the ladies that think their married bosses will leave their wives for you - think again! You are usually not important enough to them to risk 50% of their money. You are just being used, darlin's! Find a single guy like I did. There are still plenty good ones out there!!!!
Posted By Tillie, Houston, TX : Wed Feb 14, 05:31:29 PM  

I dated a co-worker briefly. It was great when we were together but things didn't work out. After we separated it wasn't easy going back to the office everyday. No one else in the office knew about it. I left the company several months later for other reasons. I do not recommend an office romance. If you are involved with a co-worker it is beneficial to be discreet.
Posted By Jane, Toronto, Ontario : Wed Feb 14, 05:39:00 PM  

My current boyfriend and I met at our previous job. We knew each other for a year before I even saw him in that light, and both had other relationships during that time, until he expressed interest in me. As a previous co-worker told me..."When you put a group of young, good-looking people in a place where they see each other more than their friends/families, attraction is bound to happen." I got to know him both personally and in a professional setting which told me everything I needed to know. We're looking at buying a place together and things are looking like we may fall into that 22%!
Posted By Christy, Chicago, IL : Wed Feb 14, 05:39:35 PM  

It's not worth it, period. Never get your meat where you get your bread. I dated a co-worker who I fell for madly. Turns out he was a total player, juggling who knows how many other women. I was the receptionist and once the affair was over, I had to answer calls from all of his other women (back b4 days of cell phones). I ended up having to leave to get away from this horrible, insensitive man. If it feels too good to be true, it is!!
Posted By Kay, Madison, WI : Wed Feb 14, 06:50:47 PM  

I met my wife when she sat down at the chair by my desk as she'd been directed to see me on some questions. Four months later we were married. We worked together for another year and a half and have been married for eight years and counting.

The things that made it work:
1. When we announced our engagement, my office-mate's reaction was, "You know her?"
2. We didn't often work on the same thing.
3. We didn't work for the same organization within the company.
4. Other than arriving and leaving together, you'd have no idea we were married to each other while we were at work.
Posted By GK, Memphis, TN : Wed Feb 14, 06:55:23 PM  

Met my late wife at work and the marriage lasted 21 years
Posted By Jim Loftin League City Texas : Wed Feb 14, 07:00:13 PM  

I had an office romance that worked out beautifully. It was love at first sight from the minute we met. We're married (five years) and unbelievably happy. Incidentally, we don't work together any more. I'm self-employed and he changed jobs two years ago.
Posted By Dale L., Torrance, CA : Wed Feb 14, 08:20:22 PM  

I have been dating my boyfriend fr 3 1/2 years and I am totally head over heals for the man.We work in the collection recovery field and it is very hard not to cross paths.We actually met through a friend of mine that he worked with....anyways,we moved in together about a year ago and shortly after he was laid off from his job.He started working at the same company as me in a different dept.He then changed jobs again...and we work side by side at the same company and I feel that because we can relate to each other on a higher level, we help keep each other in line,motivated,and competitive to constantly be the top dog. I love it. One thing I dont love is when people dont understand that even though the couple is in touch with eachother,they are not looking to share every little detail about the relationship with friends at the office. We also have absolutly no physical contact with eachother untill we are in the privacy of our own home. I wish the other people at our office would figure out that its just inappropriate and should be taken somewhere else....Just today saw 2 co-workers making out right in front of the door, and blocking my entrance... It is just a little sick!!!
Posted By Sandra Tabor. Minneapolis, MN : Wed Feb 14, 08:29:31 PM  

My boss took me golfing for months under the guise that it was important for me to be a better golfer for work. We both new that we were falling in love, but we really did keep it very professional until one Saturday. We were golfing and it was my turn at the tee. With my back to them, the guy we were with (a stranger) asked if I was his "girlfriend" he said "No, but one day she is going to be my wife." That was it. Now we have two children and are happily married. Life at work was hell though for both of us for at least a year until my husband found another job and we moved. We endured some really routh times prior to moving though. Jelous co-workers and subordinates can come out of the woodwork at this type of vulnerability. My advice is don't do it unless it is mutual, real, and will end in true happiness.
Posted By Kristi, Greenville SC : Wed Feb 14, 11:36:34 PM  

I married my office romance! We met in April of 98 on the sales floor, started dating in May of 99, then married in January 2000. We are still very much in love. We continued to work together for a few years after we married. My advice would be to never date anybody that would be considered your Boss. Ive seen good and bad as far as office relationships go, but for the most part at our company most couples ended up married. I think it worked cause we were a large company..easy to move around..if it were small Id probably NOT recommend dating...just be friends.
Posted By Cherie, Sacramento, Ca : Wed Feb 14, 11:56:36 PM  

I married a co worker, divorced that coworker while we still work together and am now seeing another co worker and we all still work for the same company. I'd love to not date at work but i spend more then 60 hours a week there. When working in such close proximity it sometimes seems impossible to avoid.
Posted By claire, chicago, il : Sun Mar 11, 01:44:47 AM  

just read the comment by jim of texas and i'v got to say thanks!im in a romance right now and its been on about 6 months.looking foward to more than your 21 years.have to say any relationship has to be worked at whether office grown or not. just keep it real.God bless
Posted By enkae,lagos nigeria : Tue Mar 13, 02:01:43 PM  

I started dating my boss after my husband and I split. I had a very hard time getting past the break up and my boss was there for me. He approached me with a request to date and I was feeling very alone and afraid and it was nice to be able to have a place to land. He is the Vice President and there is no policy against inter company dating. As a matter of fact there are several Husband and wife teams employed there. However I was fired when we got married because they said as I was the HR Director and he the Vice President we were employed on a different level than the other married teams. I am now in this new rebound marriage to a wonderful man but think I was treated unfair in this work situation. I lost my 70K a year job and independance and jobs are hard to find right now. He still has his job and that is good for us since he makes much more than I did. My x husband walked out on me but at least I had a job. What if the same happens again and now I don't have a job. It is hard to get past these fears and my husband doesn't understand. He has been with the company for about 18 years and supports the owner all the way. He says that he has a good job and I don't have to work. This is true but it gives him all of the control. I know he could pull the plug anytime. I think because of past experience I am scared and don't know how to get past this. I am open to suggestions.
Posted By Juanita Lewis Collierville Tennessee : Tue Mar 27, 09:59:29 AM  

Getting involved with someone at work scares the hell out of me for many reasons: 1) Even coming on to a girl at work to show her you are interested can (and has been) be taken as sexual harassment - end of job; 2) Even if you are successful, you are together 8 hours a day at work, and 16 hours at home. Even married couples say they need "alone" time away from their mates to socialize with others. Being joined at the loins for 24/7 you tend to get tired of each other's presence really fast. Even when I was in the military and two people from my squadron got married - within 1-2 years they were divorced because of this very reason: They lived/eat/slept/worked together 24/7 without a break. They needed time apart!
Posted By Dave, Kansas City, MO : Tue Mar 27, 04:41:46 PM  

Or feel free to send a letter to the editor about this story. Top of page

About this blog
Anne Fisher, Fortune magazine senior writer, answers career-related questions and offers helpful advice for business professionals. To submit a question, please e-mail Sign up for her weekly newsletter here.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.