Love Advice: Finding Love at Work

What does it take to be successful?

Office romances, so often forbidden in bygone eras, are now commonplace and even acceptable at most work sites. In our modern culture, men and women work more closely together, on more equal terms, and in much more equal numbers than ever before. With American productivity higher than anywhere else in the world and people spending more hours on the job, romantic attachments are inevitable and unavoidable. Of course, it's also where we're on our best behavior, looking good, and thinking fast, smart and 'out of the box.' All of the elements necessary for chemistry to ignite between Mars and Venus come together at the workplace.

What Creates Chemistry?

When attraction exists, these elements can converge to spark magic as we work on teams, travel on business trips, and celebrate project completions.

  • Complementary Needs - When a man has what a woman needs, she feels chemistry.  When a woman needs what a man has to offer, he feels chemistry. What better place for a Venusian to request, accept, and appreciate a man's help than as part of a work team? What better place for a Martian to excel in fulfilling those requests?
  • Maturity - We automatically feel chemistry with someone who reflects our own level of maturity and depth. This does not necessarily have to be age-related, but often it is. People who work closely together tend to be at the same maturity level and are often close in age.
  • Resonance - When we respect and admire one another's values, chemistry grows. At work, we often have the opportunity to learn about one another's values. Although we will not and do not need to agree on every issue, we will feel chemistry if our values are similar.

Avoid the Pitfalls

How do you keep the image professional while the passion is flowing? Both Martians and Venusians want to be taken seriously at work, yet it's easy to become distracted when love is in the air. Although discretion is the goal, office romances rarely remain secret.  Be aware that cameras and colleagues' watchful eyes will be everywhere.  This means no stolen kisses in the copy room, no "playing footsies" under the conference room table, and no holding hands in the lunch line. Corporate email is not private. Stave off accusations of favoritism by staying completely focused on the job during working hours and being extra-productive.

Demonstrate your commitment to the team by taking the initiative to do extra little tasks for co-workers. Be on time and work overtime as necessary. Never miss a deadline or call in sick together. Grant co-workers the advantage of your good mood -- shower attention and good will on everyone and smile, smile, smile!

Working Together, Playing Together

Spending so much time together can present special challenges in keeping a relationship fresh. Although it is nice to have a sounding board and someone empathic about your job stress, being together day and night can become a bit tedious or irritating. We've all heard the adage, "How can I miss you when you won't go away?"  Sustain the chemistry and interest in your relationship with these helpful ideas:

  • Set limits on "shop talk" after hours.
  • Give each other space -- schedule some time alone each day.
  • Cultivate separate hobbies.
  • Do activities, like sports or shopping, with your own family or friends.
  • Develop couple friendships with people who do not work at the same location.
  • Take mini-vacations out of town together several times a year instead of one long vacation.

For the Long Term

Falling in love at work is here to stay and it's encouraging news that more people meet their mates at work than anywhere else. Our surveys show that fifty percent of office romances lead to marriage. Many couples that met in the workplace and then married confess that they would never have fallen for each other if they met in any other fashion.  "We fell in love gradually over time," they tell us, and this can be the strongest bond as it was formed based on compatibility and not just on initial attraction.

So look around your workplace tomorrow, it's one of today's best bets for finding your soul mate!

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