6 Things to Consider When Crushing On Your Coworker

By Marina Krivonossova on December 7, 2020

Your years spent in college are a great time, full of new experiences and endless possibilities. You may have recently moved out of your parents’ house and living on your own for the first time. You’re meeting people everywhere you go, and of course, the person you realized you’re now crushing on is also your coworker. Now, going to work at the local coffee shop becomes more than just a time to earn some pocket money. Going to work becomes an experience filled with excitement, nervousness, and all sorts of nerve-wracking emotions. You’re also faced with a major dilemma: “Do I try to pursue something, or do I bury my feelings and pretend they were never there?”

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. Here are a few things you might want to ask yourself before deciding on an appropriate course of action upon realizing that you like your coworker.

1. “Is this a silly work crush, or is there a chance it’s something more?”

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Maybe your coworker is fun to talk to. Maybe you like the rush of feelings when you’re flirting and bumping into each other at work. Maybe you like making them laugh. But is that all it is? Not all crushes lead to serious feelings and intentions of starting a relationship. Sometimes, a crush is just that — a crush. You might be crushing on multiple people at once, or you might be flirting with a lot of people at the same time — and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to pursue a relationship with every person you’re crushing on. So, if you don’t think that this crush is going to blossom into anything more serious, then don’t worry about it. Flirt, chat, hang out and enjoy working together. No need to complicate things by putting your feelings out there. However, if you feel like you’re genuinely interested in this person and feel that this is more than just a typical crush, then move on to asking yourself the following questions.

2. “Will I be okay if sharing my feelings ruins our work relationship and/or friendship?”

Not every person you’re crushing on will like you back. It’s totally normal, and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. But getting rejected by a person from a dating app or from your history class is much less stressful than getting rejected by a person whom you have to work with indefinitely. So, ask yourself — if I confess my feelings to this person and they’re not interested, is there a chance the friendship and/or work relationship we have will be ruined? If you’re not willing to take that risk and potentially sacrifice that relationship the two of you already have, then keep that crush to yourself. Otherwise, read on to see if it’s still worth sharing your feelings.

3. “Would we be going against any ‘no dating’ policies at work?”

(Image via pexels.com)

Some places of work have strict “no dating among coworkers” policies in play. Other places of work have recommendations to not date coworkers, as it may not end well. There are also some places of work that have absolutely no guidelines regarding dating coworkers. From my personal experience, some places that have these emphasize that the guidelines aim to simply minimize work drama, while other places take these regulations seriously. If your place of work doesn’t have any rules against coworkers dating, then this isn’t even something to worry about. Otherwise, understand that by pursuing something with a coworker, you could be placing your job and your income in jeopardy (and your crush would be doing the same by pursuing something with you, if they so choose to).

4. “Will I start paying less attention to work if I start dating my coworker?”

Dating at work can be distracting. Some people are able to keep their work and relationships separate, and if that sounds like you — that’s awesome! I myself know that I’m unable to do that. Dating at work has gotten me into a lot of trouble that could’ve been avoided if I just kept my work life and love life separate (which is ultimately the route I took). It’s just too easy to get distracted at work when you’re there with your significant other, so sometimes, the best course of action is to avoid getting yourself into that situation in the first place. Building up your resume and making money as a student or recent grad is already difficult enough, without the added pressure of working with your partner.

5. “Am I willing to deal with the employee gossip?”

(Image via pexels.com)

People love drama and gossip. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re working in or how professional you feel your coworkers are — there will inevitably be gossip. And I promise you that there’s no way you’ll be able to 100% keep your relationship with your significant other at home if the two of you work together. People will notice subtle changes in your behavior, and before you know it, you’ll be the talk of your workplace. Personally, gossip never bothered me. I firmly believe that people will talk no matter what, and I refuse to adjust my life accordingly based on the words of other people. However, if you find yourself easily influenced or bothered by the words of those around you, you might want to steer clear of getting into a relationship with someone from work.

6. “If things crash and burn, will I feel awkward at work?”

Most relationships fail — that’s a statistical fact. And when you’re a college student or recent grad who’s still growing and trying to figure out what they want from life, your relationships are even more likely to come and go. So ask yourself — is it really worth sacrificing workplace comfort to date someone for what could be just a month or two? Would you feel awkward at work if your relationship failed, for whatever reason it may be? Life happens, and so much is outside of our control. But if you can keep your workplace a space in which you feel happy, motivated, and comfortable by avoiding getting into (and then getting out of) a workplace relationship, you might be preserving your own sanity and general peace of mind.

At the end of the day, remember that your love life is 100% within your control. The advice I provide and ideas I reference are simply guidelines to help point you in the direction of making the right decision for yourself. So, if reading this made you realize that perhaps pursuing something with a coworker isn’t the best idea, that’s great. But if you still feel that you want to confess your feelings and give that relationship a chance to blossom, then that’s great too! The best thing you can do is consider your options, weigh out the pros and cons of each approach, and act accordingly in a way that makes sense for you. People can try and offer you advice, but ultimately, it’s your life to live, and your decision to make!

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