Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner and Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. What do all of these celebrity couples have in common? They met on the job. Even though you're not making a movie, meeting a romantic partner at work can happen in any profession. If you're crushing on a co-worker, getting her to date you takes a blend of tact, patience and thorough knowledge of workplace policies.
Before you launch yourself full force into getting a co-worker to date you, consider the implications of what you're about to do. For example, in a study on communication and dating at the workplace -- reported on the Psychology Today website -- researcher Sean M. Horan, Ph.D., found that dating your boss decreases your credibility with your co-workers. Aside from how your other co-workers will view your budding romance, your company may have a policy prohibiting dating between employees or require you to disclose your dating status to human resources or management.
If you're feeling nervous or shy about approaching your co-worker, don't wait to do so until a a celebration such as a holiday party. Even though the relaxed atmosphere of a Christmas gathering or night out to celebrate a momentous sales day may seem like an opportune time to get things going, your potential partner may perceive your party-day advances as a one-time occasion. For example, your co-worker may interpret you stealing a quick kiss under the mistletoe as part of the merrymaking, and not as the beginning of a dating relationship.
Step Away From the Cubicles
Asking your co-worker out in front of the entire office or while other people are milling around isn't likely to get you a date. Unless you're 100 percent sure that the object of your affection will see this as a romantic gesture, keep the big ask private. On top of the potential embarrassment factor, asking the cute guy in the cubicle next to you out in front of everyone may get the workplace gossip mill going. Wait to bring up the idea of dating until the two of you are alone or call your co-worker after hours. For example, wait until the two of you are on your dinner break to talk to him.
Casual and Cool
Whether it's an after-school job or you're starting your adult career, dating in the workplace is tricky in almost every situation. Even if your co-worker likes you, she may feel nervous about starting up a romance at her job. Instead of compounding the stress by expecting her to immediately jump into a serious relationship with you or asking her out to a formal affair such as your company's charity ball, keep things light and casual. Relax and act like it's no big deal as you say something such as, "Do you want to grab a cup of coffee after work sometime?" This takes the pressure off and includes a low-key date option.
- Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images