Tips for dating coworkers

You should not get romantically involved with someone thinking it will improve your standing in a particular company.

You should rely on your successes and networking to help you get ahead. Find out what the policy is on inter-office dating.

Have a thing for the guy who sits next to the printer? According to a survey, 56 percent of American business professionals say they've had some kind of romantic relationship with a coworker—whether that's a random hookup at the office holiday party or a long-term partnership that ultimately led to marriage. Likewise, avoid starting a relationship with someone who works for you.

While an office romance might sound like a recipe for disaster (and in some cases against corporate policy), there are ways to make sure the situation doesn't end in heartbreak or employment termination. There's a good chance the person in the position of power will start giving preferential treatment to his or her partner (even if it's subconscious), and other employees may become resentful. Don't date someone thinking it will help you get ahead in the job.

This isn’t based on your emotions, instead, it’s more of a build-up of sexual frustration. Where there’s prolonged eye contact, there’s an emotional connection.

It’s like touching something you’re not allowed to for a long period of time. [Read: 13 lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on] How to see signs of sexual tension between coworkers Now, you may be trying to figure out if two of your coworkers have something going on between them or how to clean your own tracks. Though the rest of these signs will help you determine if there’s sexual tension or not, the best way to go about it is by following your gut instinct. Do you feel this heat of energy inside of you when you talk or look at each other? Now, this doesn’t have to be a deep emotional connection, it can be purely sexual. If it’s a longer stare than usual, there’s something going on.

Legally speaking, in most states an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another.

(Check your state and local laws for exceptions, which do exist and are usually centered on employee privacy or limitations for employers on prohibiting nonwork activities.) However, even if legal, banning any work romantic involvement can come with its own consequences.

Or does that overstep boundaries and put too much restriction on an employee’s personal life?

People like to make jokes about having a work wife or husband.

If anything, it just shows you all the subtle signs of sexual tension between coworkers.

Have a frank discussion about how you two will act toward each other if you decide to call it quits, so that awkwardness and emotions don't interfere with your ability to get the job done. When you log long hours at the office every day, you can probably recite what kind of mustard your coworker takes on a sandwich and exactly how he or she answers the phone. It's one thing if you happen to fall for the person you take lunch with every day.

But, once you get together romantically, you might discover the person is actually a commitment-phobe, or a serial monogamist, or isn't that funny after all. But if you realize that this is the fourth time you've gotten romantically involved with a coworker, not only should you expand your dating pool, but think hard how this could be affecting your career path.

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