Four simple questions that will confirm whether your work wife is your true love or just a fling.


These days, the term ‘work wife’ is thrown around with reckless abandon.

This is likely a reaction to the fact that statistically, we’re spending more hours at work than ever before, coupled with the fact that much of our downtime is spent wading through the murky waters of social media.

It’s enough to make anyone want to ensure that when it comes to career, they’ve got at least one ally who is always in their corner.

Now, not to throw shade at anyone’s work relationship, but it’s becoming increasingly trendy for people to attach the moniker of ‘work wife’ to anyone and everyone they form any sort of a bond with, but in doing so they are in fact sullying the names of true work wives everywhere.

Side note… have you ever cheated on your work wife? Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

You see, grabbing the occasional coffee together or sharing a few in-jokes does not a real marriage make. Maybe this person is more like your work pal, a fling or just Jane from accounts whose name you forgot that one time and now you feel the need to make it up to her.

All valid relationships, it’s true, but not marriages.

In order to find out if your work wife is your true love or just a fling, all you need to do is ask each other the following four questions.


If you answer yes to all four questions, then it’s time to slip some rings on those fingers and co-sign a mortgage.

1. Does your relationship exist outside of the office, or is your marriage strictly 9-5?

The first way to gauge whether your relationship is for a reason or just a season is to look at how you behave outside of the familiarity of your workplace. In short, the work wife you’ve said ‘I do’ to during the workday should also play an important part in your after-hours life.

Ideally, over time they’ve also built up a strong relationship with your family, extended social circle, love interests and, most importantly, your pets. It shows a genuine bond between you and your work wife if you seek out and enjoy each other’s company in a way that has nothing to do with venting about your evil boss and everything to do with your shared love of Rose.

2. Do you know at least one potential career-damaging secret about each other, that you’ll each take to the grave?

Ok, this is the one question that will definitely separate the flings from the lifers.

We’ve all done/said/covered up at least one thing in our careers that has the potential to ruin us if it were to ever become public.

(If nothing like this has happened to you yet, don’t worry, it’s coming).

If your work wife is truly with you until ‘death do you part’, then she not only knows your deepest and darkest secrets, but she is always ready to instantly swing into action to protect you, and your reputation, should the need ever arise.

Bonus points are awarded to spouses who committed their crimes together.

Author Kayleen Schaefer chats to Mia Freedman about the unique power of female friendships on the No Filter Podcast. Post continues after podcast. 


3. Do you have a secret and special location that you both know to head to in cases of emergency/good news/really timely gossip?

It is a fact universally acknowledged that workplace walls have ears and some work wife debriefs require just a sliver of privacy.

Whether it’s a fashion closet, a podcast studio, that weird place where the mops are stashed next to the kitchen, or a park bench around the corner, ‘our place…?’ is a shorthand used weekly between you and your work wife that indicates you need to talk, now.

If you’re a few years into your marriage, you’ll also instinctively know how to discreetly slip out of the office via different doors so as not to draw attention to yourselves, and have an unspoken agreement in place around whose turn it is to provide the snacks during each meeting.

4. Do you still support each other, through thick and thin, even after the inevitably sad day when you no longer work together?

It’s a fate that work wives across the globe fear, the day when they no longer report into the same boss or share the same office.

And while this will always be a difficult time in your relationship, you’ll soon always come to realize that your bond was never just about shared daily gripes or morning coffee runs. Instead, you quickly discover that all those hours of laughter you’ve shared, the tears you’ve cried and words of support you’ve exchanged have actually set you up to stay forever intertwined throughout your careers.

You might happen to date other people in the future whose desks are still located close to your own, but that won’t ever change your true relationship status.

Once you know, you know… that a true work wife is for life.

What was the moment you knew that your work wife was ‘the one? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Getty.