The Situation: You’re dating a guy you met at your summer job/internship
Christine*, a Central Michigan University student says, “I met a guy while working at a hospital this summer. We’ve always been kind of flirty during our shifts, and then, finally, one day he asked me out. It’s only been a few weeks, but so far, so good. I just hope he likes me as much as I like him and isn’t just using me.”
Pros: The two of you can exchange flirtatious looks and inside jokes at work. It’s thrilling to know that while you’re at work you have to keep your relationship professional, but then afterwards you can go out and be romantic. Dr. Lieberman says this is a good summer dating situation because, “You both share the same interests and enjoy working on the same challenges together.”
Cons: Your relationship could cause harm to your job and vice versa. Let’s say you get a promotion and your guy doesn’t. I’m willing to bet things will no longer be A-Okay in your romantic relationship. There’s also the chance work is the only thing you two have in common – and you can’t keep a relationship going with that. Dr. Lieberman says, “This temporary situation may obscure the fact that in other ways you are not compatible.”
What To Do: Spend time together outside of work and try not to let your conversations steer in the direction of patients or promotions. If there’s still a connection, voila! Also, try not to let your co-workers know that you two are romantically involved because dating on the job is frowned upon in many business settings.
The Situation: You’re going out with a guy your aunt set you up with
Courtnee*, a Michigan State University student says, “Last summer my aunt set me up with a guy named Ron* who works with her. He is a year older than me, but we go to the same college. At first I was hesitant, but then I decided I had nothing to lose, so I agreed to go on a date with Ron. Besides the normal first date awkwardness, things went pretty well. Ron was a nice guy and took me on a lovely date (minus the part where we went bowling, and my friends coincidentally showed up and bowled in the lane right next to us). Then he asked me on date #2. Again, I said yes, but there were no sparks. Ron, on the other hand, felt some sparks fly. I needed to end things before I dragged this guy along. So the next time he asked to hang out, I said the words guys never want to hear: sure but just as friends. That was the last time I heard from Ron, and according to my aunt, he barely spoke to her at work the next week.”
Pros: You get to meet a new guy and go on fun dates – what collegiette™ doesn’t love that? And your aunt gets to play matchmaker. The more you date, the more you learn what you like and what you don’t like when it comes to guys. Although Ron was super nice, you simply weren’t attracted to him, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The good thing? “You make your aunt happy for having tried, and you have a new experience,” Dr. Lieberman says.
Cons: Anytime you let someone play matchmaker, you have to consider the possibility that you may not like the guy. This situation is ultra sticky because work and relatives are involved. May I suggest keeping your work life, love life and family life separate? Otherwise, you may end up in the same situation as Courtnee, Ron and Courtnee’s aunt. This could be bad because as Dr. Lieberman says, “The guy gets angry at your aunt because you don’t return his attraction, and he makes life miserable for her at work.”
What To Do: The best solution is probably to find your own dates from now on or at least be okay with telling the guy things just aren’t working. Whatever you do and no matter who is involved in the set-up, do not settle.