Having a crush on a coworker is kind of a rite of passage. But hooking up with a coworker? Now, that’s a whole different ballgame.
I get it. It’s easy to get lost, and fall (lustfully) head over heels for the cutie a few desks over—or for the sexy line cook who makes you little snacks after the dinner rush. Some work crushes stay in the flirty stage forever. But after mustering up the courage after a few post-work happy hour cocktails, you may find yourself leaping at the opportunity to hook up with your coworker crush. And while this spontaneity can lead to some really great sex, there are also a few things to take into account before hooking up with a coworker.
Whether it’s a post-happy-hour-one-night-stand, a casual FWB situation, or even something that blossoms into a full-blown relationship, here are five rules to follow before (and while) hooking up with a coworker.
Be On The Same Page With Your Intentions
Workplace relationships typically fall into two categories: there’s the Jim and Pam “our flirting grows into this beautiful little love story that ends in marriage,” or the complete opposite—just two people who are sexually attracted to each other and want something with no strings attached. Maybe get something to eat after the deed is done, preferably.
Either way, you need to go into this relationship (situationship?) honestly. Do you see a future with this person? Are they the only reason you’re staying at this job? If your answer to either of these questions is a “yes,” it may be best to reel in your temptations and channel that energy into building a relationship. The beauty of a workplace romance is that it doesn’t interfere with your actual work, if done correctly. So, if this situation goes sour, it’s best to have the foundation for a drama-free split.
Before taking things to the next level (or even after you have, tbh), talk to your coworker about what this means for the future. Are both of you fine with seeing other people? Are you looking for a label? Be sure to ask questions and clear the air so you can be on the same page with your priorities. And thank us later.
Keep Things On The DL
If your office crush is the entire office’s crush, it might seem necessary to scream your situation from the rooftops. However, to avoid as much workplace drama as possible, try your best to keep things discreet and secret. This means no touching or flirting at work, and no water cooler confessions with your other coworkers.
Make it known to your partner that you want a relationship on the DL, and only hook up with coworkers that you trust to keep things secret. Overall, be clear with them about this boundary, and save both of you the drama and mess of a workplace-hookup witchhunt.
Never Hook Up With Your Boss
Yes, this typically goes without saying. But I’m going to say it: never, under any circumstances, should you hook up with anyone that will eventually give you a performance review. This goes for any supervisor, manager, sous chef, head of house, CEO, boss…really anyone that has a position of power over you in the workplace.
The same thing goes for people who may report to you, if you’re in a managerial position—or similar. Power-play is not okay in a professional setting, and by engaging in such, you’ll find yourself in dangerous territory. I’m talking losing your job territory—whether you’re hooking up with your boss or the person who works under you. Steer clear. It’s not worth it, and they’re not worth it.
Simultaneous Relationships Are A Recipe For Disaster
This is another rule that everyone knows. But low and behold, people I once worked with never seemed to learn their lesson: never, under any circumstances, should you hook up with a coworker that’s married or in a relationship. Not only is this inherently (for lack of a better term) bad, but it’s also an absolute mess waiting to happen. The repercussions are not worth the risk with this.
There are tons of fish in the sea, and there’s bound to be lots of single people working the same level job as you. And if you really want to hook up with a coworker, make sure that they’re uncuffed and unattached.
Just Be Responsible, K?
For some people, that workplace crush to coworker hookup is inevitable. So, just be smart and responsible about it. Practice safe and consensual sex, communicate effectively in and out of the bedroom, and overall, just have fun. And if someone finds out, just own up to it—and maybe prepare for a really awkward HR meeting.
Some employers make it a requirement to report it if you start seriously dating a coworker. While this isn’t the policy at everyone’s workplace, simply be prepared to have some uncomfortable conversations if people find out, or if your DTF turns into something more. Hey, if they’re worth it, they’re worth it.