Ah, dating at work. We all know it’s a minefield, fraught with potential HR fallout and in many cases, enough risks to seriously outweigh the benefits. But the heart wants what it wants.
And sometimes, it wants your colleague.
For every relationship that started in a meeting room and ended in marriage, there’s one that ended in someone inevitably leaving (or at the very least, feeling horribly awkward in the kitchen the next day.) If you haven’t been there yourself, you probably know someone who has.
We asked seven brave women to share their worst colleague dating experience – the full, unfiltered story.
On our adults-only podcast Overshare, the girls discuss why getting fired can actually be a good thing (and yes, they talk about masturbation, too). Post continues after audio.
“I was friends with an office team leader. She was super nice and took me under her wing because my boss was quite mean. This did not end well… She and another male co-worker (not her husband, by the way) would stay back and drink and then hook up. The woman later said she liked me and I laughed it off and said I have a boyfriend. At an office party, they asked me to join them at a bar afterwards and I said yes. BIG MISTAKE. They took me to a swingers’ club! I walked out and reiterated I have a boyfriend, but the guy texted me saying I could “just watch.” The next day they acted like nothing happened, but a week later I told her to never put me in a position like that again.”
“I know it’s a cliche but I kissed a guy from my team at our office Christmas party, we were both really drunk. Everyone saw it and the party was on a Thursday, and we both coincidentally called in sick the next day… I swear we didn’t go home together! It was one cheeky kiss near the toilets. But on Monday it was all anyone was talking about, everyone assumed we had slept together. We had a meeting first thing Monday morning and you could cut the tension with a knife. Later that week we each got separately asked to see HR and had to defend the kiss, there’s nothing more awkward than telling someone you see every day that you pashed someone and nothing else is going on. Seriously!!”
“About two years ago I was an office assistant in my first job and would often work the reception in the mornings. One of the guys who was higher up in the firm obviously took a liking to me, and he’d stop by for a chat every morning. He even asked me to get a wine. I could see he didn’t have a wedding ring so I assumed he was single. Anyway a few weeks into the flirtation I got a DM from his girlfriend, she’d found me and wanted to let me know he was very much taken! She was “warning” me not to steal her guy but yeah, I think she had that one the wrong way around.”
“I was in a senior management position at a previous job. We had a guy on the team who was pretty cute and you couldn’t deny we had a thing, but obviously I couldn’t acknowledge it in the office. We ended up seeing each other on the down-low and, after a while, we let our guard down a bit. I would drop him at work or we’d get coffee in the mornings, but we didn’t think anyone knew. Unfortunately due to a company restructure we ended up having to let people go, and he was one of them. He thought I made him redundant because of our relationship – and the worst part is, so did everyone else on my team!”
“Full disclosure, I ended up marrying the guy – so it’s not exactly a story gone bad. But I got together with my boss. He hired me to do graphic design at a creative agency. One night we were working on a brief that was due the next day, so we ended up working late together. We thought we would sneak into the bathroom which is unisex and has cubicles – and had no idea one of the girls had gone to the gym then come back to change for dinner. She was doing her makeup in the mirror and she spotted us entering the toilets together holding hands and giggling…there was no sneaking out of that one… My partner ended up having a chat with her, I was mortified.”
Do you have a story to share about dating at work gone wrong? Tell us in the comments.