Having a crush at work happens effortlessly. It’s the “moving on” part that can be quite hard.
If you are someone who’s currently trying to move on, this is for you!
We’ve gathered 5 experts to share tips on how to get over a crush at work.
See their top insights below.
Alice Wood, MSc, ACC
Relationships and Sex Coach | Sexuality Educator, fltrgirl
A crush at work is a completely normal reaction to the social environment in which you spend a large part of your daily life.
For some, it can be described as a longing for or simple interest in a colleague, while others develop sexual fantasies and desire to turn this longing into a relationship.
A crush at work can be very disruptive in terms of productivity and professional communication among colleagues.
Therefore, recognizing that you have a crush at work and being proactive at minimizing your fantasies is the first step to get over the crush.
Dealing with an office crush can be tough, but here are some useful ideas I usually recommend to my clients as a relationship coach:
- Do not unnecessarily initiate contact
- Stop stalking them on social media
- Find a new distraction
- One of the best ways to “get over” feelings is to talk about them and share them with someone
- Go ahead and allow your self some time to dream but be realistic
- Getting over a crush at work can be done by focusing on why you are at work
- 1) Avoid them online
- 2) Reduce or totally remove real-world interactions
- 3) Give yourself time to heal
- 4) Feel the pain
- 5) Get rid of your rose-colored glasses
- 6) Be honest with yourself
- 7) Stay busy
- Related posts (article continues below)
- Related post (article continues below)
- 8) Reach out to your support system
- 9) Write down what you’re thinking and feeling
- 10) Get your friends together and have some fun
- 11) Learn your lesson
- 12) Learn to love yourself
- 13) Find a new crush
- 14) Do things you love doing
- 15) Practice patience
- How You Can Get Over a Crush: Sum Up
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- 1. Do something to make yourself feel special.
- 2. Allow yourself to lean into the heartache.
- 3. Spill your feelings to a friend.
- 4. While you’re at it, ask them to lay off talking about your crush.
- 5. Toot your own horn.
- 6. Go big on distraction.
- 7. Stop looking at their social media accounts.
- 8. Try to limit contact with your crush, if you can.
- 9. Repeat this to yourself: I’m not the first one who has gone through this.
- 10. Bust out your journal.
- 11. Stop idealizing your crush.
- 12. Dive into a new hobby.
- 13. Whatever you do, DON’T go looking for a new crush.
- 14. Instead, focus on what you can learn.
- 15. Go on a few “practice dates.”
- 16. Give yourself some closure.
- 17. See a therapist.
- 7 Fail-Safe Ways To Get Over An Office Crush
- You’ve got a crush on your coworker—now what?
- Determine whether or not it’s worth it
- Expect the inevitable
- Find out your company’s policy
- Keep the drama at home
- Talk about a breakup
- A Guide to Surviving the Workplace Crush
- Workplace Crushes are Normal
- Navigating Your Workplace Crush
- What to Do When You Have a Crush on a Coworker
- Workplace Romance: A Recipe for Scandal or Success?
- Professional Paramours and Job Performance
- Love on the Clock: Practicalities and Policies
- When Mixing Business and Pleasure, Motive Matters
- Follow Ladders on Flipboard!
- 1) Dress to impress:
- 2) Ask them for their advice or help with work:
- 3) Acknowledge their achievements:
- 4) Make them a cup of tea:
- 5) Water cooler flirtation
- 6) Make them laugh:
- 7) Suggest after work drinks:
- 8) Buy them their favourite treat:
- 9) Ask if they want to grab lunch together:
- 10) Leave them funny messages on post-it notes:
- How to know if you’re falling in love with your colleague or you’re just experiencing ‘vicinity attraction’
- Vicinity attraction
- How To Tell If A Coworker Likes You
- 1. You are the one he likes talking with most
- 2. He’s not afraid to smile at you in meetings
- 3. He makes a point of bringing you java
- 4. He’s always asking how your day went when you weren’t at work
- 5. Asks you out for lunch
- 6. He chooses to sit next to you in meetings
- 7. The “accidental’ touch or brush
- 8. He’s ready and willing to help you with work
- 9. He’s quick to defend you to coworkers when the need arises
- 10. This man gives you sweet nicknames
- 11. This man remembers days that are special to you, including your birthday
- 12. He brags about you to other coworkers
- 13. This man keeps trying to figure out where your relationship stands
- 14. He’s always got something for you to talk about
- 15. All of a sudden, his work schedule matches yours
- 16. His body signal tells you straight-up
- 17. This man has no issues making excuses, so he can spend time with you away from work
- 18. This gentleman makes sure your lunch break aligns with his
- 19. He is mister agreeable
- 20. This guy asks you out
- The Flip Side Of The Coin…How To Tell If He Doesn’t Like You
- The psychological reasons why you fall in love with your colleagues
- Close proximity can push your boundaries
Do not unnecessarily initiate contact
Once you develop a romantic longing for a colleague, there is no doubt that you want to give them all your attention even if it interferes with your work tasks.
However, do your best to avoid unnecessary contact with the object of your longing. Don’t waste time by the coffee machine hoping to catch a glance of your crush, don’t come to ask questions that are not directly related to your work objectives.
This might turn into a major challenge, but it will help you focus on work and obsess over your crush less.
We live in the digital age and we share a lot about our personal lives on social media.
Do you know what your crush ate for breakfast, where s/he went on holiday, how s/he spent the weekend with their girlfriend or boyfriend?
Admit it – you have been stalking your office crush! Unfollow them immediately on all the apps you use and make no exceptions.
If social media is something you can’t live without, better use it to communicate with friends, arrange nights out and meet new people.
Find a new distraction
Remember that office hours do not make up your whole life. Think of a new hobby that you can distract yourself with!
Have you ever attended a yoga class? Have you always had an interest in books but have never had time to join a book club?
This is the time to develop your hobbies and, who knows, maybe you will come across a very good-looking person there who will take your mind off your office crush.
You could also download a dating app that will connect you to people outside your professional circle. Whatever you choose to do in your free time will occupy your mind and help you think less about your work crush.
Casey Lee, MA, LPC, NCC
Couples and Marriage Counselor, Rooted Hearts LLC
To answer this question responsibly, I need to know the context of the situation. The answer to this question depends on a couple of things.
First, do you have a significant other or partner in your life right now? If so, do they know you have a crush on that person at work?
Of course, sharing with your partner about your crush can be very scary. How will my partner react? Will they get angry and berate me or push me away?
They may be angry at first, but underneath those feelings are tender feelings of the fear of losing you or the fear of losing your love.
If you have a secure relationship with your partner it will bring you closer together talking about your crush.
But if it isn’t secure or one of you has been through betrayal or bad relationships growing up it may be more complicated.
Guilt and shame can also make you want to hide from your partner. Shame grows when it is kept in secret.
Being vulnerable and taking a risk to share with your partner is a big step in “getting over” those feelings as they can be a support for you and you can grow closer knowing that they love and care for you.
If you don’t feel comfortable telling your partner or if your relationship is not secure you probably want to find an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist to provide you a safe place to talk about your fears of hurting your partner with the crush you had or the fears that were triggered in your partner.
Couples or marriage counseling can be very helpful to strengthen and grow the bond and love you have for each other.
If you are trying to”get over” the rush of feelings of attraction that you have on the crush you need something, someone, to replace that void.
There is the obvious physical attraction that comes from a crush. But there may be another factor of attraction that comes from an emotional place in your heart.
If you are a human being with a heart you want to feel important, adequate, valued, special, wanted, loved, and cared for by someone. Your partner is that person to help you get those feelings met.
If you don’t have a partner, talking with trusted friends can be a great way to process your emotions. Journaling is also another great way to sort through your emotions.
Whether you have a partner or not, creating boundaries to establish an emotional distance can help you “get over” a crush.
It means deleting them from social media or deleting their contacts on your phone. At work, it means limiting conversations with this person or even trying to avoid seeing them in person.
That may be difficult at work so it may also mean leaving your job if those methods above doesn’t work and you really wanted to disconnect from this person.
As you establish boundaries to emotionally distant yourself you may go through a time of grieving. Depending on the extent of your relationship you may feel sadness over losing this relationship.
You may also be grieving over the dreams you had about the relationship. You may also feel angry at whatever the reason is that you need to “get over” the crush. If the reason is that the other person doesn’t like you the angry would be directed at them.
If it is because of work reasons you may be angry or resentful that your job is preventing you from being with that person. If the reason is you have a partner already you may be angry at your partner while at the same time feeling guilty and shameful for having a crush at work.
All these feelings are normal to have when you have lost someone you were connected with or you were dreaming of connecting with.
Finding healthy ways to cope is important when all those feelings of sadness, anger, fear, or guilt come up. Engaging in activities you enjoy like hobbies, exercise, social events, games, movies, etc. can be temporarily helpful.
There are unhealthy ways too when we become attached and addicted to something too much like drinking, drugs, over-eating, under-eating, over-working, or even rushing to another relationship.
However, as mentioned above, if there is a hole left in your heart, you have to fill it with something. The best thing is with healthy relationships.
If you find yourself not “getting over” your crush at work and coping in unhealthy ways after a month talking to a professional licensed relationship counselor may help. I recommend finding an Emotionally Focused Therapy counselor as they are trained specifically in relationships.
Katie Leikam, LCSW, LISW-CP, BC-TMH
Therapist | Owner, True You Southeast
Go ahead and allow your self some time to dream but be realistic
Crushes at work are tough. You are in close proximity to them sometimes on a daily basis and you start to develop feelings for your coworkers.
If you are developing feelings for a coworker and you know it won’t work, go ahead and allow your self some time to dream, but be realistic.
Be realistic about what would happen to your job if you decided to pursue this. If you have to, make a cost-benefit analysis of keeping your crush or letting your feelings fade.
But, stay grounded and stay realistic about what would really happen if you pursued them. Sometimes thinking about reality and keeping your financial needs can help you get over your crush.
Katie Ziskind, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wisdom Within Counseling
If you have a crush on someone at work, these feelings can interfere with the quality of the work you do at your job.
If you have a crush on someone, you may feel nervous talking to them about work-related tasks.
If you have a crush on someone, try not to let it get in the way of doing a good job. It’s a bad idea to get in a relationship with someone who you also work with at your job. If you break up, one of you may need to leave the workplace and find a different job.
If you have a crush on someone at work, see if you can distract yourself by focusing on someone else who you’re attracted to outside of work. Get out and about and expand your social circle.
By meeting new people, you may find that you develop feelings for someone outside of your workplace and may even end up dating them instead.
Personal Trainer, Personal Develop Fit
Getting over a crush at work can be done by focusing on why you are at work
To get your money and go home and pay your bills and spend your money on fun things or forwarding yourself towards your goals and dreams.
Also get on apps that will get you focused on getting into a relationship outside of work. On your lunch break, you can search for matches online instead of looking at your crush.
We’ve had all had this happen in our younger years:
You’re in school, running along the hallway to go to class. As you approach the classroom, you bump into someone you don’t know.
But here’s the magical thing:
The moment you look up, you see an unfamiliar yet pretty face. “It’s love at first sight,” you think. And since then, you’ve been eyeing this person every single day.
Your friends know all about your infatuation — and you can’t help but feel the butterflies in your stomach every time you see their eyes or their infectious smile. “It’s fate.”
But what if you’re getting too distracted?
Having a crush isn’t a bad thing, but you can’t let one person take up all your attention.
You have responsibilities like everybody else.
Here are 15 proven ways to get over your crush and move on with your life:
1) Avoid them online
Here’s the deal:
The online world is no different than the real one. What’s different is that the Internet makes it easier for anyone to stalk and drool over their crushes anytime they want.
What you should do is the opposite:
Avoid looking at your crush’s social media profiles.
If they’re your Facebook friend, unfollow or unfriend them ASAP. You can even block them so that you won’t see their comments on other people’s posts.
The goal here is clear:
Prevent yourself from constantly remembering the person. No photos, no messages, nothing.
If you’re thinking of sending a message, take a deep breath. Relax. Count from 1 to 10.
Afterward, ask yourself:
“Should I really PM my crush?”
When your mind is clear, you most likely won’t send that message.
And don’t just focus on Facebook:
Be sure to keep your crush away from your Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Viber, and Twitter accounts.
Instant messaging apps are your worst enemy if you want to forget someone.
Just because messages on Snapchat are regularly removed doesn’t mean you won’t remember them.
2) Reduce or totally remove real-world interactions
Removing your crush from Facebook is one thing, but what if they’re a constant part of your everyday life?
Think about it:
You always see your crush at school because you have similar friendship circles. Or perhaps their cubicle is right next to yours in the office.
The point is that totally ignoring them in these cases doesn’t make sense because there are legitimate reasons to talk to them.
Here’s what you can do:
First, decline your crush’s invites to attend an event together — but remember to be polite! Also, don’t sit close whenever you’re eating in the canteen or office pantry.
Don’t initiate a casual conversation with your crush. Stop going to places where they often stay. And if possible, perhaps you should relocate your classroom seat or work cubicle.
The point here is to keep interactions at the minimum. Your crush does not need extra time and effort from you.
3) Give yourself time to heal
Even if you’re getting over someone you never dated, it can hurt when someone doesn’t return your affection.
We often don’t get the answers we need to give us closure.
Why won’t they like me back? Why won’t a relationship work between us?
These are just some of the questions that you may never be able to answer. But don’t beat yourself up over it.
The brutal truth is this:
It’s over, and there’s not much you can do about it. It hurts, we know. Nobody likes getting rejected.
However, the most important thing you can do for yourself right now is to allow yourself time to process what happened.
You’ll need to be kind to yourself for a while if you want to get over this crush.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Many people have had crushes before, and it hasn’t worked out. But in time, everyone gets over it and moves on.
4) Feel the pain
While it may seem counterintuitive to say “feel the pain,” it can actually help you make meaning of the situation and come to terms with it faster.
We all hate feeling like crap, but sometimes, we need to feel that way to allow our brains and bodies to process what is happening.
Otherwise, we’re just ignoring how we’re really feeling, and that’s never good for your emotional health in the long run.
At first, you’ll probably want to blame yourself and say it’s all your fault that it didn’t work out with your crush.
But the truth is this:
You have no control over how others act and feel. The reason it didn’t work out might be something that’s totally out of your control.
Instead, focus on your feelings and sit with them for a while. You might find that it’s just silly thoughts and feelings that are upsetting you.
Maybe you can take a step back and realize that it’s not as bad as you think.
The more you’re able to process your thoughts and feelings, the easier it will be to move on.
(If you want to learn the surefire way to make him fall hopelessly in love with you again (or at least give you a second chance!), check out this article here).
5) Get rid of your rose-colored glasses
Whether you’re trying to get over a girl or a guy, it’s easy to see the good in people, especially if they’re good-looking.
Here’s what you should do:
Be realistic. Those rose-colored glasses you put on every time you see your crush should be thrown away. Nobody’s perfect, and neither is your crush.
Sometimes, people make the mistake of making up an ideal version of their crush. Don’t turn a blind eye on the obvious flaws and reasons not to be with this person.
It’s a wake-up call if your crush is:
– Already vocal about not wanting to date you
– Dating someone else
– Always skipping classes or not going to work
– Addicted to drinking and other unhealthy habits
Look, you might already know these reasons before. But what matters now is to remember that these are signs that your crush isn’t the right person for you.
It’s time to ditch thinking that your crush looks ‘cool’ for not wanting to do their responsibilities. Being an alcoholic also isn’t a good thing.
And most importantly:
Don’t spend so much time on someone who’s already in love with someone else or who literally told you that things aren’t going to work out between the two of you.
Face the facts, and you’ll soon see that prioritizing this person no matter what doesn’t make sense at all.
It’s going to be tough, but accepting the truth is much better than fooling yourself over and over again.
6) Be honest with yourself
During your time away, ask yourself the hard questions: what did you see in them in the first place? Do other men have those qualities? (hint: they do!)
What did you hope to get out of a relationship with this person? Are they really as great as you previously thought?
What does their choice in girlfriend/boyfriend say about them now? Are you just jealous or are you better off?
Could you find someone better that would be deserving of your attention? (hint: yes you could!)
What about doing something nice for yourself? Could you better yourself for just yourself and not for the sole purpose of getting a guy to pay attention to you?
Could you take some time to think about what life was like before you met this guy or girl? How can staying single provide you a chance to grow and learn about yourself?
What are the things that drove you crazy about him? What flaws does he have? Why wouldn’t it have worked out?
(What if I told you there is a kind of relationship “thirst” all men experience? A kind of thirst that’s impossible for him to quench on his own. Check out my new article where I reveal what it is).
7) Stay busy
We don’t mean that you should drown yourself in schoolwork or work deadlines, but those are good ideas as well.
Related posts (article continues below)
If you want to move on from your crush, you must make time for other things. Doing so prevents your brain from randomly thinking about this special person.
Related post (article continues below)
So what exactly can you do?
Well, we all have something we’ve always wanted to do. What’s yours?
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw or paint. Go to the art supplies store and get yourself a sketchpad and start making art.
Going outdoors is a good way to relax from all the things that make you worry. Learning how to play basketball or badminton is both fun and healthy.
In fact, working out will help you out a lot since this causes the release of endorphins, a group of hormones responsible for making you feel happy and satisfied.
Don’t want to do all these things?
That’s perfectly fine as well! You can also keep your mind off your crush by simply playing a video game or hanging out with your friends.
Just keep bringing more people and interests in your life so that your crush will no longer fill a big place in it.
8) Reach out to your support system
Remember one thing:
You are not alone. No matter what you’re going through, you’ll always have your family and friends.
While some crushes are okay to have, some can affect your emotional and mental health. Getting over your crush can be difficult, but you shouldn’t keep everything to yourself.
Real friends will always be there in both the good and the bad times. Likewise, your family won’t judge you — they’re your home.
Rant and scream all you want. Go in detail about how it’s been unhealthy for you to keep this crush. Even talking about it is therapeutic and will help you move on from that person.
But what if you can’t find anyone to talk to?
That’s no problem at all. If you’re in school, approach a guidance counselor or a therapist in the university hospital.
If you have the money, you can pay for a couple of therapy sessions to sort your mind.
9) Write down what you’re thinking and feeling
Writing down your thoughts and feelings will give you clarity on your emotions and where your head’s at.
Writing has a way of slowing down your mind and structuring the information in your head. It will feel therapeutic like you’re releasing your emotions by expressing them and understanding them.
Remember, a huge part of getting over your crush is to express, understand and delve deep into your differing emotions.
If you’re wondering how you can begin journaling, try asking these three questions:
How am I feeling?
What am I doing?
What am I trying to change about my life?
These questions will give you insight into what you’re feeling and prompt you to think about the future, which is what you have to do to move on successfully from your crush.
10) Get your friends together and have some fun
Another great way to get over someone who wasn’t really yours is to blow off some steam with your friends.
As we mentioned above, your friends are your rock and your support network. Let them do their job and take care of you.
Go out and get a drink or coffee with your friends. Let them remind you how awesome you are. Meet new people. Enjoy life!
When you realize that there’s a lot more to this world than the crush you had, the quicker you’ll start feeling better.
11) Learn your lesson
Moving on from your crush will help you prevent making the same mistakes over and over again.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
It’s not your loss.
The two of you might not have been together, but that doesn’t mean you’re the loser. If anything, you win back your time and focus.
When you’re finally over someone, you begin to know what you truly want in a person.
Perhaps you realized that you don’t want a highly talkative person or that you don’t want someone who has the same exact interests as you.
There are valuable insights to be gained from having a problematic crush.
No matter what, take what you’ve learned to heart. Doing so will help you someone in the future who’s not going to stress you out just because you like them so much.
12) Learn to love yourself
When you’re trying to get over a crush, it can be easy to slip into thoughts of self-loathing and self-doubt.
So if you’re telling yourself “they’ll never like me because I’m not good enough,” you need to stop this negative cognitive bias because it’s probably not conducive to reality.
As we mentioned above, the reason they don’t like you might have nothing to do with you. Most likely it’s something that’s completely out of your control.
It’s important to love yourself and realize that there’s a lot that you have to offer. You just need to meet the right person.
So take this time now when you’re feeling a bit crumby to get to know yourself. As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Here’s a technique that can really help you:
Sit down and write down a list of your top 10 biggest strengths. After you do that, you’ll have a better idea of what you bring to the table. It will become a lot easier to believe in yourself.
(To learn how to practice self-love, check out my guide to loving yourself here)
13) Find a new crush
You’re not going to feel hurt forever.
As they always say:
Time heals all wounds. Even if you want to think back to the ‘good old days’ with your old crush, you’re going to grow tired of it.
You’ll be busy with many other things and you’ll meet people that are actually worthy of your attention.
And when you’re completely over your crush, your heart will tell you when it’s ready again.
You won’t know when you’ll have a new crush. Such a moment can happen while you’re eating your lunch or doing schoolwork. It can happen after a few weeks or several years.
If you want, you can help your heart find a new crush. You’ll stop thinking about them and think about someone new. Download any dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid to quickly find someone who’s got all the qualities you’re looking for.
Even your classroom or office can be a place where you find someone special.
Perhaps you’ve been ignoring an otherwise amazing person nearby just because you were so fixated on your crush before.
What matters is that you are prepared. No emotional baggage. Only a willing heart.
14) Do things you love doing
One of the best ways to get over someone is to focus your mind on things you love doing and you’re passionate about.
What makes you feel free? When you’re traveling? With family? Helping others? Perhaps it’s a new hobby you haven’t tried yet.
Consider what you gets your juices flowing and do more of it!
If you’re passionate about traveling, think about what solo trips you can do.
Whatever it is, doing things that you’re passionate about will distract your mind and will help you get over your crush.
15) Practice patience
Above all else, you need to practice patience with yourself.
You need to make time for yourself and allow yourself to remember what is great about you, without giving all of your power away to some guy who might not have even known you existed.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but the truth is that if you didn’t get in front of him to let him know you liked him, then you can hardly blame him for hooking up with someone else.
Don’t beat yourself up thinking that you won’t make the same mistake again in the future. Just allow yourself the room to grieve and then move on.
Love hurts and it’s real, no matter how far away you loved someone from. Give yourself time to process what has happened and don’t try to explain it away.
Accept that he’s found someone who is not you and work on finding yourself before you go out looking to give your attention to someone else.
How You Can Get Over a Crush: Sum Up
No matter who the person is, a crush is simply a crush. They will occupy your mind for a while, but they won’t stay there forever.
You shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things with your friends and family. After all, everyone develops feelings for a special someone at some point in their life.
The good thing?
Everyone also moves on from their crush. Don’t fret about it.
You’re doing great. You’ll be fine.
NEW VIDEO: If you want to learn the surefire way to make him fall hopelessly in love with you again (or at least give you a second chance!), check out this article here.
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In the beginning, crushes are thrilling—the swarm of butterflies invading your stomach every time you’re near them, the ridiculous outfit-planning on days you know you might see them, the conversation starters you log into your brain **just in case** you run into them unexpectedly. But getting over a crush? Not so thrilling. Nope, not at all.
The concept of a “crush” comes from this very sucky truth: You like someone who doesn’t like you back—or isn’t available to rightfully do so—leaving you straight-up crushed. And even though the term sounds totally juvenile (perhaps it stirs up thoughts of that Chris Hemsworth–looking camp counselor), crushes happen to adults, too.
Who hasn’t found themselves geeking out over a colleague, friend of a friend, local Starbucks barista, or (eek) hot roommate? Developing feelings or falling for someone is all part of this messy thing called life—but luckily, so is getting over them.
If it’s any consolation, while this article can’t mend a bruised or broken heart (that’ll take time), it can give you much-needed tips straight from experts to help you let go of your crush and confidently move on. Here’s your how to get over them:
1. Do something to make yourself feel special.
Okay, cutting bangs in stressful situations is usually a no-no, but Jane Greer, PhD, a relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, says updating your look, splurging on a fancy meal, or even trying a new workout routine might just be the temporary mood booster you need to jumpstart the moving-on process.
It’s hard feeling like you and your crush didn’t grow old together because they didn’t notice you or preferred someone else, so to start treating that bruised ego, she suggests doing something to remind yourself that you deserve the best because you do.
Been considering eyelash extensions or new silky sheets? Go for it, babe.
2. Allow yourself to lean into the heartache.
You know you’ll get over this. Remember how much you lusted over your middle school chemistry partner…whose name you totally can’t remember now?
But bottling up your feelings is going to do you jack in the emotional department. “Feeling what you feel, without judgment is the only way to get to the other side,” says licensed marriage and family therapist Lesli Doares, author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage. “Berating yourself for having feelings isn’t going to help.”
While you don’t want to agonize over this crush forever, it’s important to “give yourself the time and space to fully experience painful emotions,” says clinical psychologist Suzana E. Flores, PsyD, author of Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives. That means sitting with whatever comes up, as it comes up, instead of telling yourself that you’re silly or stupid for having developed unrequited feelings for another person.
“Doing so can help you to properly examine your emotions, so you can then release them,” she says.
3. Spill your feelings to a friend.
Sometimes you’ve just got to talk it out with someone you trust. So make a date with a friend, open a bottle of wine, and let loose. “It really does help you get out to the pain,” says Barton Goldsmith, PhD, author of The Happy Couple.
Often by talking about everything, you can get more clarity on the situation and hopefully be able to move on faster, he says. (Plus, being around other people you love—who love you back—will remind you of how awesome you are.)
4. While you’re at it, ask them to lay off talking about your crush.
If your friends know your crush, ask them to pull back on talking about them so that you can more easily get them off your mind.
There are absolutely zero benefits to hearing about the bar where your friends saw the guy on Saturday night or the promotion she just got at work. It’s hard enough already to stop fantasizing about them at all—your friends don’t need to add to the struggle.
Of course, telling your buds what they can and can’t say might not go over well, so Greer recommends putting it this way: “Hey, I don’t want to even think about them, so it would really help me out if you kept conversation about them to a minimum. The less I know and hear about them, the better for me.”
Chances are, you won’t get any push back after that. After all, your friends have had crushes before—they’ll get it.
5. Toot your own horn.
Sure, you feel like you’ve been knocked down a few pegs, but that makes the moving-on process the perfect opportunity to remind yourself of all that’s going well in your life, says Greer. You’re intelligent, you’re a hard worker, and just because the person you wanted wasn’t feeling you back, someone else will and they’ll see you for the badass that you are.
Stand in front of the mirror and gas yourself up. Seriously, says Greer. Look at yourself and say, “I am a complete and valuable person who’s excited to meet somebody who I can share my best self with.”
Even if it feels cheesy or weird, remember it’s the truth.
6. Go big on distraction.
“It’s not easy to stop the brain, so distraction is a fine way to get through this,” says Brandy Engler, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in relationships.
The alternative is sitting around and obsessing, which is seriously unhelpful. “Obsessing or ruminating are just ways to get stuck in your head,” Doares adds.
So to actually move forward, spend time pursuing activities that make you happy. Go all-out in yoga, hit up happy hour with your friends, or plan a girls weekend away.
“Spending time doing things you enjoy isn’t just a distraction—it’s reminding you that there are still things you enjoy that don’t involve your crush,” Doares says. “The more enjoyment you have away from your crush , the faster you will move through the grieving process.” Preach.
Seriously, this is important. Not only does continuing to follow or “check in” (you know what I mean) on your crush’s social media accounts put them right there in front of your face, you’re also seeing an airbrushed version of their life, abs, etc.—which isn’t reality. “You’re not seeing the full picture,” Doares says.
Plus, “following a crush on social media can keep you from moving on, since constant exposure to their posts gives the illusion that they are still a part of your life when they are not,” she says. If straight-up unfollowing them would raise suspicions, hide your crush’s posts from your feed (or “mute” them) to give yourself time to heal.
8. Try to limit contact with your crush, if you can.
Your ability to pull this one off depends on how often you see your crush. If you work together, it’s going to be tough; if they’re a friend that you wish was something more, you can dodge their invitations to hang for a while.
“Every time you see them, it’s going to cause an emotional zinger…why put yourself through that?”
“Every time you see that person, it’s going to cause an emotional zinger,” Goldsmith says. “Those zingers aren’t comfortable. Why would you put yourself through that?” I know why: You probably think that the more time you spend around them, the greater the chances they’ll develop feelings for you, too. Well, it’s time to let that go…for your own sake.
Also, keeping them out of sight for a bit allows you to experience other things—and people—in your life while you’re trying to move forward.
9. Repeat this to yourself: I’m not the first one who has gone through this.
When you’re going through a heartache (even if it’s not from an actual breakup), it can feel like you’re the only person, ever, who knows what this feels like. But the reality is that most people have experienced this on some level—and reminding yourself of that fact can make you feel less alone in the whole thing.
“Knowing you’re not alone in having an unrequited crush can make it easier,” Doares says. You can also try thinking back to your younger self, when she got over a painful crush, too. If you did it once, when you had less life experience and healthy tools to get you through it, you can do it again.
10. Bust out your journal.
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Sometimes your friends aren’t available to chat about this, or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable verbalizing your feelings for your crush. Whatever it is, writing things down on paper can make you feel better, Goldsmith says.
You could just let your thoughts spill out, or you could write a letter to your crush that you’ll never send. This is your chance to be totally honest with yourself, btw, so really lean into those feelings (a la step number two).
I mean it: There’s absolutely no reason to edit your thoughts—no one else will see this. (Just make sure you don’t have a little sis who might go behind your back…To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before–style.)
Want to take it further? Consider a little therapeutic ritual, like ripping out the pages and trashing or burning them to emphasize the fact that you’re finally (and actually) letting this whole thing go. So cathartic!
11. Stop idealizing your crush.
Here’s the thing: Crushes are usually based on a fantasy, not fact. Sure, your crush seems perfect, but nobody is.
In reality, they have annoying habits just like everyone else. “They’re not perfect,” Goldsmith says. Reminding yourself of that can help you take the fantasy part out of the whole situation.
Speaking of idolizing crushes…Find out who the celeb crush was the year you were born:
Once you ditch the heart eyes you had for your crush, says Greer, you’ll be able to “take a step back and take a good look at them.” Getting a peek at how needy they actually are, or realizing they have a tendency to speak with their mouths full, will help you see them as more human, less godlike, and, in the end, way less crush-worthy.
12. Dive into a new hobby.
“New is always good,” Doares says. “It gets you out of the old routine and doing something that requires attention and effort.” A new hobby can help connect you with people who aren’t familiar with your crush—and that can help you move on, she says.
Plus, you can get so wrapped up in learning or doing something new that you won’t have time for thoughts of your crush.
13. Whatever you do, DON’T go looking for a new crush.
Remember what I said about going big on distraction? Well, I wasn’t talking about another person.
“While would help take your mind off somebody,” says Greer, “the goal is to move from fantasizing about somebody to actualizing an interaction and an encounter where you can get into a relationship.”
Besides building up your self-esteem and getting the bad taste of your former crush out of your mouth, what you really need (when you’re ready) is someone who’s accessible and with whom you can establish a healthy relationship. Otherwise, you’ll just end up having to read this list again if and when your crush doesn’t blossom into something substantial.
14. Instead, focus on what you can learn.
If you’re constantly wrapped up in the drama of a crush gone wrong, that’s not good.
“A crush, as opposed to a relationship, is based somewhat in fantasy or unrequited feelings,” Doares says. And there’s a lesson to be learned in that.
It could be that you’re constantly picking people who are unavailable because you love the chase or you’re nervous about being in a real, reciprocal relationship. Whatever it is, figuring out what’s driving this—and fixing the underlying issue—can save you a lot of hurt in the future.
15. Go on a few “practice dates.”
Yeah, you’re probably not ready for anything legit in the romantic department at the moment. But going on dates (not hookups!) increases the odds that you’ll meet someone who is into you the way you deserve.
Goldsmith recommends looking at these as “practice dates” since you’re likely not emotionally available right now. And if you happen to meet someone new, exciting, and into you, it’s just an added bonus. Proceed if you’re feeling it, too.
16. Give yourself some closure.
Sure, this wasn’t a full-on romantic relationship, but you still had feelings for your crush and they don’t just dry up overnight. That’s why Engler recommends giving yourself some closure around the whole thing. Maybe it’s getting rid of things around your place that remind you of them, or no longer going to a place that you feel like was “yours.”
Whatever is it, “creating meaning and a narrative about the relationship and its ending helps people get closure,” Engler says. “You don’t need the partner for closure—you can do it on your own.”
17. See a therapist.
If you try everything on this list and still feel stuck, and it’s impacting your work or everyday life, it may be time to consider talking to a therapist, Doares says. Ditto if you have to see your crush all the time and you just can’t let your feelings go.
“It can take a little time to get over this kind of thing.”
But in general, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack. “It can take a little time to get over this kind of thing,” Goldsmith says. And there ain’t no harm in that—you’ll come out the other side stronger.
Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. Aryelle Siclait Assistant Editor Aryelle Siclait is an assistant editor at Women’s Health where she writes about relationship trends, sexual health, pop-culture news, food, and physical health for verticals across WomensHealthMag.com and the print magazine.
7 Fail-Safe Ways To Get Over An Office Crush
We’ve all been there — staying late with a coworker, going over some reports, and out of nowhere their pants start to fit them really well. And not only that, when they lean over you to get a better look at a document, you suddenly notice they smell really good. And not only that, after they make a cogent point about the notes from the meeting, you realize they’re actually kinda smart. Oh no. Are those freakin’ dimples??
Holy sh*t. You like them — like like them. And now you have to work with them erry damn day.
An office crush is a complicated thing to navigate. There is no easy way to quell the situation. Sharing your feelings could lead to personal hurt and professional difficulties. However, suffering in silence can also be problematic. A workplace crush can affect your attention span and ability to concentrate on the task at hand, leading to a downswing in production. Spending time stalking your cutie around the office, and trying to come up with ways to start a conversation messes with your priorities and could jeopardize your career. Not to mention, that work could hit some serious snags if you lose the ability to effectively collaborate with someone in your company.
Alas, it is impossible to stop a crush from developing. Feelings hit us like a slap in the face, whether we want them or not. We spend so much of time at work that it’s only natural to form relationships with those we interact with daily. These working relationships can be helpful in moving our careers forward, though a crush can sometimes stop that momentum. So how does one deal with these pesky feelings? How can we put an end to those looks of longing across the boardroom? If revealing how you feel is not an option, there are a few helpful steps you can take to get over an office crush, with minimal consequences.
1. Talk To Someone Outside The Office
We oftentimes work so closely with certain individuals they become like our work-husbands and work-wives. We develop close emotional ties with these people, barring the romantic or sexual aspects and we rely on them for their help and advice in professional and personal situations. But when you catch feelings, it’s time to turn to friends outside the office. Those who are not involved with your work will have a clearer view of the situation. You want advice that’s in your best interest, not tainted by office politics or gossip. If talking with friends isn’t quelling the desire, it may be time to turn to a therapist. A professional can help you get to the root of the issue, and make a game-plan for how to deal with the feelings appropriately. It’s literally their job to help you parse these difficult emotions— so sitting on that couch can be well-worth the dough.
2. Increase Your Social Activities
After-work happy hours are a fun way to blow off steam, but sharing a glass o’ vino with the co-workers will only intensify romantic feelings. Building a fulfilling social life outside of work will help distract you from the current predicament and reinforce healthy friendships. Pursuing a hobby, meeting new people, and joining a club or a league will give you a more positive focus. Sharing interests (non-work related interests) with others will help you build social bonds, and make you feel less alone. Perhaps you will even meet someone cute (and slightly more appropriate).
3. Separate Fantasy From Reality
Seeing someone excel at work can build admiration and respect, it can also produce all kinds of annoying fantasies. The more elusive the person, the easier it is to build a whole narrative around them. For all you know they could be the nicest, sexiest, funniest person, with super cool interests that are exactly the same as yours! Wrong.
Everyone is human, complete with foibles and flaws. Once you actually get to know someone beneath the surface interaction, they are rarely what you thought. Keep in mind that you are only seeing this person in a profesh environment. They are dressed up and ready for work, not sitting on their couch in dirty pajamas eating old take-out.
4. Express Your Feelings Through Art
Hiding feelings day-in and day-out can make one feel powerless and out-of-control. A great way to harness these emotions is to turn them into art. Allow your feelings to inspire productive behavior and they will seem more manageable. Write a song, a short story, or paint a picture. Not feeling artistically-inclined? Journal about your feelings before bed. Journalling has lots of health benefits and can help with stress and depression. Funneling this energy into something productive and positive will make it easier to get over your crush and move on with your life.
5. Remind Yourself That These Feelings Don’t Define You
Give yourself a pep-talk — you are strong, attractive, and smart. The allure of this person might simply be that they are unavailable, heightened only by the forbidden nature of the relationship. Sure, making-out on top of the copier would be totes hot, but probably not worth losing your job. Remind yourself of all the commitment you put into getting where you are today. This crush is telling you that it’s time you invest more in yourself. Refocus on your goals and dreams. You are so much more than the feelings, and with time they will fade. Focus on the life you have now, not the hypothetical one you could have with this crush.
6. Set Boundaries
Another measure for minimizing the crush is to make rules for how to deal with them in your daily life. Setting boundaries that limit how much you interact or think about them will help you take control of the situation. Crushes aren’t always unprovoked — we all like to flirt, whether we are available or not. If your crush flirts with you, only interact with them in a group to keep things professional. It can be a little awkward at first, but can help to curtail emotions in the workplace.
7. Open Up Or Remove Yourself
So you’ve tried everything short of a cold shower and throwing your stapler at their head. Now what?
At this crossroads, like in gambling (gambling with your heart), you either hold’em or fold’em. Consider removing yourself entirely from the situation vis-à-vis a long vacation or finding a new job. If that is not appealing perhaps it’s time to tell your crush how you truly feel. If your company allows dating between coworkers, take the plunge and have that honest conversation. People date and marry those they work with all the time — just look at Hollywood. Though that does tend to make things complicated — just look at Hollywood.
Images: pexels, giphy (7)
You’ve got a crush on your coworker—now what?
You always flirt with Jen from accounting at your office’s holiday parties. You know you feel a spark when you’re around her, but you don’t know what to do about it. Dating is an option, but losing your job isn’t.
Fortunately, office romance is not as taboo as it used to be. According to a survey from Vault, in 2009, nine percent of respondents believed that no office romances are appropriate. In 2015, that number has decreased to five percent. A record 29 percent of respondents said that all workplace romances are appropriate, even when they’re between a manager and a subordinate.
Since society is becoming more accepting of workplace relationships, people are increasingly looking for love at the office. According to the same Vault survey, 51 percent of respondents had been involved in a workplace relationship at some point in their careers. Additionally, a fair number of these relationships ended happily: 10 percent of respondents said they met their partner, husband, or wife at work.
“Many successful couples have met at work,” says Jennifer C. Loftus, national director of Astron Solutions, a human resources consulting company that deals with all employee issues, including workplace romance. “We spend a majority of our time at work, with our coworkers, so it is natural that such feelings would arise.”
If you’re considering dating Jen from accounting, Bill in IT, or any one of your coworkers, there are many factors to take into consideration. The following are a few tips on how to date a coworker and make sure that you still have a job, even if your relationship ends or your coworkers and bosses find out.
Determine whether or not it’s worth it
Cristen Draper, a member of New York City’s WeWork Fulton Center and an account executive at DICOM Grid, met her husband while they were both at General Electric. Before they started dating, however, they discussed their potential as a couple.
“We had several work functions—happy hours, team building, etc.—that took place in the first month where we naturally gravitated towards each other,” she says. “After those first four to six weeks, we both agreed that it didn’t make sense to start dating unless we saw something potentially long-term there, because it wasn’t worth the risk or awkwardness of casually dating unless something long-term would come out of it.”
Ladan Nikravan is corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, a site where job seekers can add their résumés and look at job postings. The company often comments on romance in the office and does its own studies on the topic. According to Nikravan, seven percent of employees reported that they had to leave a job after a breakup. Prior to jumping in, you need to know whether or not the guy or gal you’re eyeing is worth it.
“ to consider the relationship you’re thinking of starting,” says Nikravan. “How well do you know this person? Do you work closely together? Would you have to work with the person after breaking up? Run into each other often? Is it worth potentially putting your job on the line?”
Expect the inevitable
Even if you sneak around, don’t talk in the office, and never send personal emails on your business server, someone knows about your relationship.
“There is no such thing as a secret work romance,” says Anne Howard, a human resources consultant. “Other people always suspect and eventually find out. Being deceptive builds an aura of distrust, which impacts your working relationships with all of your coworkers. “
If you’ve figured out that you’re serious about one another, reveal your relationships to your coworkers, like Draper and her husband did.
“I think it became obvious as we became official, and we never denied it if people asked,” she says. “We readily admitted to it, in fact.”
Find out your company’s policy
Every company has a different policy regarding workplace relationships. You don’t want to break the rules, so before you’re dating or if you’ve already started, look into them.
For example, if you’re in a manager and subordinate relationship, you may have to report it to human resources.
“I would let HR know, so as to explore opportunities for a transfer within the organization, or other change in duties that eliminates the reporting relationship dynamic,” says Loftus.
Howard says that businesses have these rules on the books because they are concerned about the likelihood of harassment charges, the impact on productivity, and the risk of losing valuable employees. At a minimum, she says, you need to discuss dating issues with HR if you don’t know if there is a policy, if one person reports to the other, if one employee is senior to the other, or if there is a potential for a confidentiality breach.
Keep the drama at home
In one situation that Howard had to deal with, two coworkers called “Sarah” and “Jason” started dating after working together on a project. All of their colleagues knew they were together because they were affectionate at work.
When Sarah and Jason’s project ended, they both got new assignments. Sarah began collaborating on a project with a coworker named “Matt,” and Jason quickly became jealous that she was spending so much with another man. Nothing was going on between Matt and Sarah, but it still led to drama in the office.
“Jason’s issues became a problem that led to noisy fights between Jason and Sarah at work,” says Howard. Every time a fight occurred, everyone would stop working and talk about the Jason-Sarah-Matt situation.”
Jeanne Marrin, founder and president of HR OnTheMove, once consulted on a situation in which a married chief financial officer was dating the company’s bookkeeper.
“At the holiday party, he was making out with the bookkeeper at a bar on the other side of the restaurant, and many saw,” she says. “It was a small firm and people knew his wife. Many lost all respect for him and the bookkeeper.”
To avoid the fates of Jason and Sarah or the CFO and the bookkeeper, leave the fighting for outside the office, and don’t get touchy around your coworkers. It could be fatal to your career.
Talk about a breakup
A breakup is tough if you see your ex every single day. To avoid negative interactions, talk about how you’d handle a breakup with him or her.
Loftus says, “Both individuals should think seriously about how they would act and react at work towards the other person should the relationship fail. Consider how one treated past exes that weren’t coworkers. If amicable breakups are not something one is good at, dating at work can be especially risky.”
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A Guide to Surviving the Workplace Crush
The only time I was actually excited to go to my old job was when I knew my work crush was going to be there. It was a retail job at a shoe store —not a typical 9-5 — so I didn’t see him everyday. But when we did work the same shifts…oh boy.
My mood was totally different on those days. I was excited to go to work and even happy to be at the store. I had a pep (or, um, maybe a sexy strut?) in my step. There was something to think about other than how boring and miserable work was. Finally, I had a reason to go to work. Being in a better mood on the job also made me put in extra effort. It was a win win: I got to enjoy flirting throughout my shift while also killing it on sales.
Workplace Crushes are Normal
I’m hardly the only person to experience the workplace crush phenomenon. Fifty-eight percent of recent survey participants reported engaging in a workplace romance in some capacity. A psychological study aptly titled, Workplace Romances: ‘Going to Work Is Amazing and Really Fun found that participants involved in a workplace romance “expressed their pleasure in going to work” and were also motivated to work harder.
Despite the fun factor and possible productivity boosting effects of a workplace crush, this type of relationship is still considered pretty scandalous. Of the 58% of aforementioned survey participants, 64% kept it “mostly” secret due to the risky nature of the relationship. Company policies vary when it comes to a workplace romance. Even if such relationships are allowed, employees may fear gossip or judgement from peers and higher-ups.
Whether your crush is brand new or turning into something serious, here are our five tips for surviving the workplace crush.
1. Know your company’s policy
Some companies are more lax than others with policies surrounding employees dating. HR and management might be okay with it in certain situations — like if you’re in totally different departments. However, if there’s a power dynamic — if your boss is your crush, or you’re the boss with a crush on a direct report — HR probably won’t be cool with it.
Your organization might require that you tell your direct managers and HR if you actually start dating your crush, or you might face consequences. I recommend whipping out that employee handbook you probably ignored during onboarding to get some concrete answers.
2. Decide if you actually want to pursue Your Crush
You are in control of your actions. As you may remember from elementary school days, it is possible to have a crush without acting on it. You can bask in the good feelings and butterflies you get from your work crush without having to act on it physically or to even disclose how you feel.
Talkspace therapist Rachel O’Neill, Ph.D. says, “Dating a workplace crush can carry some serious ramifications (like loss of employment). It might be helpful to consider whether pursuing the crush is worth the potential fallout. If you do decide to pursue something, you might want to consider how to be proactive in an effort to minimize potential consequences.” Do you think this is just a case of casual sexual attraction, or could this be the real deal? Know your motives — and your crush’s motives — before going all in.
3. Think ahead
While your dating style outside of work may be more carpe diem, you have to be a little more mindful with workplace crushes. Put some thought in and plan ahead. You might want to ask yourself:
- What if you hook up and it’s weird?
- Will you be able to do your work without feeling painfully awkward?
- If you end up dating for a while and then break up, will you be able to remain professional in the workplace after the split?
- If you and your colleague-crush end up getting serious, will you be able to stay in your current jobs?
- Would you be okay switching departments if HR required it?
It’s not necessarily fun to think about these things, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to decide how you’d handle various possible outcomes.
4. Create boundaries
If you want to play it safe, create boundaries. For example, if you feel like your physical chemistry is too intense to be left alone together in a room, don’t allow that to happen.
O’Neill says “I recommend working to put into place some boundaries to minimize the contact you’re having with the person. For example, if you routinely enjoy lunch breaks with this person, try including another co-worker or using lunchtime to catch up on some reading.” Having a buffer can help when you’re trying to resist temptations. If you’re already in too deep and actively pursuing a relationship with your crush, create boundaries surrounding flirting and physical contact in the office.
5. Keep it professional
Unfortunately, the main purpose of work is getting work done, not flirting. Keeping it professional in the workplace can differ depending on the workplace — not oversharing details of the crush/relationship with your coworkers, not engaging in PDA, and making sure you aren’t too distracted to actually get your work done. Again, reference your company’s policies for more rules regarding appropriate behavior. Staying professional will ensure that you won’t face consequences.
Honestly, life is short. We spend most of our time on this planet working, so we might as well have a little bit of fun. Having a crush make us feel good — and in this case, makes us dread work less. Is that really such a bad thing? Whether you’re pursuing something more with your crush or simply just letting yourself feel all the feelings, you can still revel in the pleasure of crushing.
What to Do When You Have a Crush on a Coworker
Working people spend a significant portion of their lives at work. Naturally, as people spend time together, professional relationships often become personal. The question is not whether such relationships are likely to develop (they are), but how they will impact the parties involved, as well as the workplace itself.
Source: Image by StartupStockPhotos from
Workplace Romance: A Recipe for Scandal or Success?
From drama to distraction, workplace romance comes with both risks and rewards. When both parties are single and evenly matched in terms of position and power, the likelihood of success is higher than alternative scenarios. On the other end of the spectrum, marriage-wrecking affairs and back room quid pro quo arrangements between superiors and subordinates can be quite scandalous and dangerous for employee morale.
Consequently, couples dating at work must consider both optics as well as reality. Apparent impropriety may be anything but—although for some observers, including higher-ups with the power to hire and fire, appearances are reality. An appreciation of this common assumption often fuels stealth dating in many workplaces, even in the absence of an express prohibition of dating at work.
Workplace romance in a post #MeToo era brings an additional challenge faced by employees who are understandably reluctant and often unsure of how to test the waters when faced with what appears to be mutual attraction. With neither prospective partner wanting to be accused of being presumptuous, such relationships often move very slowly—which is probably a positive development in the grand scheme of things.
What about the downsides? What factors predict whether a workplace romance will turn into a story of scandal or success? Research has some answers.
Professional Paramours and Job Performance
Some employers discourage workplace romance because of the belief that it will cause disruption and distraction on the clock. They fear employees will waste time socializing, take unnecessary breaks, or use office equipment for private communication with other employees. But what impact does dating at work really have on job performance?
Muhammad Khan et al. (2017) studied the interaction between workplace relationships, performance, and wellbeing. They began, however, with a research-based definition of workplace romance as “a mutually-welcomed and committed relationship between two members of an organization that may involve physical attraction and activities such as dating, hugging, kissing, touching, and sexual intercourse” (internal citations omitted).
They noted that existing literature on workplace romance suggests that it can be both destructive and constructive with respect to employee performance and behavior. They list some of the commonly reported destructive results—including cynicism, disapproval, and even hostility from managers and peers, as well as declining employee performance and productivity. They note that other undesirable destructive effects could be litigation and potential ethical issues.
Yet there is a bright side too. Khan and co-authors note that existing literature also suggests that romance in the workplace can have a positive impact on commitment, wellbeing, and even employee performance.
Perhaps due to its somewhat taboo connotation, particularly within some types of professional environments, romance on the clock has not been subjected to extensive empirical review. Indeed, Khan and co-authors note that despite the obviously important effects on employee performance and behavior, workplace romance has been recognized as “the most ignored aspect of organizational life.”
Using survey results from 311 doctors from five government teaching hospitals in Pakistan, Khan’s team found that psychological wellbeing mediated the positive relationship between romance in the workplace and performance on the job. Regarding the impact of gender, they found that the indirect impact of workplace romance on job performance was stronger for men.
What kind of people would consider becoming involved with a professional colleague? Research has answers here, too.
Love on the Clock: Practicalities and Policies
Jessica Doll and Patrick John Rosopa (2015) investigated how factors such as attitudes, conscientiousness, prior workplace romance, and organizational policies predicted employee willingness to find love on the job.
Online survey results from 148 full-time employees revealed that both prior engagement in and positive attitudes toward romance in the workplace were linked with the willingness to engage in love on the clock. Prior workplace romance and conscientiousness were also both related to attitudes towards such relationships.
Their findings also found that the link between organizational workplace romance policies and conscientiousness “significantly predicted” employee willingness to participate in a workplace romantic relationship.
When Mixing Business and Pleasure, Motive Matters
Anyone thinking about dating at work should consider all of the potential consequences—both real and apparent, that can result from such a decision, as well as the underlying motivation. No one wants his or her impulsive moves at a work-related party Friday night to be the subject of conversation around the water cooler Monday morning.
For people who spend a majority of their day in the workplace, promoting an environment of peace and productivity requires a thoughtful balance of professional and personal interests.
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1) Dress to impress:
By: This is it – The Apocalypse
You’re sure to capture your crushes crush if you’re looking your best at work, so take pride in your appearance, dress well (within office regulations of course) and keep yourself well groomed. At very least you can brush your hair in the morning and wear clean tidy clothes.
2) Ask them for their advice or help with work:
By: Picturesque and Futureless
Asking someone for their advice can be extremely flattering, as it lets them know that you value their opinion. Best not to over-share about personal aspects of your life though if you don’t know them that well. They really don’t want to hear about your weird medical condition or irrational fear of dolls. Trust me.
3) Acknowledge their achievements:
By: What Should We Call Friends
If they’ve done a good job of something, let them know. It will give them a confidence boost and they’ll appreciate you for noticing the effort they have put in. Just don’t go OTT about it ok?
4) Make them a cup of tea:
The tea-round seems to be a fundamental aspect of office culture, yet is regarded with such dread upon realisation that it’s your turn. For this reason your crush will be eternally grateful if you offer to take their round of their hands, or even make a sneaky cuppa just for them.
5) Water cooler flirtation
You just HAPPEN to bump into them at the water cooler for the fifth time that day, what a coincidence! There’s nothing wrong with a bit of innocent flirtation, just keep it subtle.
6) Make them laugh:
By: Doctor Katniss at Hogwarts
A sense of humour is a very attractive quality and laughter could be the way to your office crush’s heart. Get a feel of what his sense of humour is, for example if he likes funny stories tell him yours, just remember not to over share and avoid being crude, as you are at work after all!
7) Suggest after work drinks:
By: I Should’ve Never Graduatedc
Organising an outing to the pub after work with a group of colleagues is a great way to spend some extra time with your crush, without appearing too forward. Just take it easy on the booze to avoid any embarrassing situations or love confessions!
8) Buy them their favourite treat:
By: Pillars of Sand
Whether your crush loves to crunch down on a tube of Pringles or indulge in a packet of biscuits at their desk, it’s sure to get their attention if you treat them to their favourite snack. Even if it back fires, at least you can make yourself feel better with yummy food.
9) Ask if they want to grab lunch together:
Why not make good use of your lunch hour and suggest you grab something to eat together? I’m not suggesting you wine and dine them, but grabbing a quick sandwich in Costa together can’t hurt.
10) Leave them funny messages on post-it notes:
By: Quarter to Three
This is a slightly less subtle approach and may want to be left for when you actually know the person well. Lengthy letters to a colleague you’ve only spoken to a handful of times could put you at risk of entering stalker territory and that’s not exactly going to get you off on the right foot.
How to know if you’re falling in love with your colleague or you’re just experiencing ‘vicinity attraction’
- We spend more time with our colleagues than almost anyone else.
- This can lead to “vicinity attraction” where you develop feelings for someone because you’re around them all the time.
- But the only way to know if these feelings are real is to meet up outside of work.
- Everyone has fantasies, but that doesn’t mean you have to act on them.
We spend a lot of time with our colleagues. In fact, we probably spend more time with the people we work with than almost anyone else. Since you’re likely also surrounded by people you have things in common with, it’s not all that surprising that people fall in love at work.
Proximity is a funny thing. Research has found it takes around 200 hours for people to become close friends, because the more time you spend with someone, the more chance their positive and attractive qualities shine through. This is fine for people who are single, but if you’re in a monogamous relationship and you start having feelings for someone at work, things can get messy.
In some cases, a work spouse relationship is born, where you share the trials and tribulations of the workplace with each other, have lunch together, and emotionally depend on one another. In other cases, the people involved may not have put strong boundaries in place, and they can start to behave inappropriately.
Monogamy is hard, according to Tammy Nelson, a consultant sex therapist for adult infidelity dating site Ashley Madison.
“Even if you’re married, you’re not dead,” she said. “You’re going to be attracted to other people.”
But it’s how you handle this attraction that’s important. If you’re not careful, the situation can fall into the realm of micro-cheating, which is essentially where you cheat, but only a little bit.
Nelson said this could range from flirting at work, sharing personal details about your life, and texting a lot, to things like sending explicit messages to each other.
“That’s really where you cross over into the line of where if your spouse really knew what you were doing, they really wouldn’t be happy,” she said. “Like, if someone was looking over your shoulder, you’d probably get in trouble. Or you’d feel guilty about what you’re doing. That’s what I consider on the micro-cheating lines.”
According to data from Ashley Madison, 37% of people have someone at work who they want to have an affair with. That doesn’t mean they’ll do it, but there is the potential for boundaries to be crossed and behaviour to fall into being inappropriate.
“Everyone has fantasies,” Nelson said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to act on them. It’s part of being alive, and reassuring yourself that you are still a sexual person, that you’re still interested in having your aliveness mirrored in the world, which I think is a good thing.”
But there is such a thing as falling in love. So how do you know if you’re simply falling victim to normal close proximity flirting, or if there are real feelings developing?
“I think that’s a fascinating question, especially because your life is in somewhat of a fishbowl,” Nelson said. “It’s not necessarily someone you would choose if they were lined up on a dating app… Part of the difficulty in dating these days is that there are so many choices. When there are so many choices, sometimes you don’t pick anyone.”
In a work environment, your choices are limited. So you’re more likely to find people attractive that you might not look twice at on a dating app. Nelson calls this vicinity attraction. She said you know it’s turning into something real if the relationship starts to develop outside of work.
“Everyone has fantasies… That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to act on them.”
“So how do you discern if you’re actually falling in love with that person? I think it goes back to the meeting up out of work,” she said. “We didn’t used to understand or know what people were like outside of work. It used to be if you go for drinks after work then you got to know their personality.”
Now, we can see each other’s Instagram posts, Facebook activity, and we can message each other. It can easily muddy the waters of what’s really going on. So real life interaction is the only way to clear things up, Nelson said. In other words, if you meet up with someone outside work, and it’s awkward, or you end up kissing them and immediately realising it’s a mistake, you’ve got your answer.
“You do that after work thing where you have a few drinks, maybe you make out with a person and you think, oh this is definitely a mistake,” she said. “And then you have to deal with the after effects of the fallout of the initial flirtation.”
The other option is it does turn into a full-blown affair, and that brings it’s own set of problems.
“You can’t really judge what the attraction is based on,” Nelson said. “But it’s already complicated enough.”
The work environment is an excellent place to meet new friends and perhaps even the man or woman of your dreams. If the latter is what you want, you have to understand the difference between being sweetly polite, friendly, or flirtatious.
It’s difficult to figure this out, mainly because of many company policies on professionalism in the workplace, with regards to mixing business with pleasure. Be cautious and smart if you are thinking of pursuing a romantic relationship with someone at work.
Be wary that your employer may see a relationship with a co-worker as disrespectful. Think about what might happen if you break up or, worse yet, hate each other’s guts.
If you’ve thought long and hard about all the pluses and minuses, and you still want to go for it, you need to know what clues tell you that a coworker likes you.
How To Tell If A Coworker Likes You
Here are a few telltale signs a person you are working with likes you!
1. You are the one he likes talking with most
Experts report there are a few reasons for this one. He might just like you, need something, or you are a newbie. Before you let your heart take action, you need to consider the possibility that, if you just started work, he might be trying to make you feel comfortable and not left out.
If you aren’t new at work, and he’s still talking to you the most, then he might like you. Pay attention to his signals, how he talks to you, and his physical gestures. If you only talk about work-related things, he could just be genuinely interested in you as a work partner. If your conversations branch outside of the workplace, it’s a pretty solid sign he likes you.
2. He’s not afraid to smile at you in meetings
When you catch him smiling at you in meetings and you smile back, it’s a pretty good indicator he wants to spend more time with you. Better yet, if you are doing a presentation, and he makes sure you know he’s listening and encouraging you, it’s another good indicator that he’s into you.
Combine these two pointers and you’ve got the number one indicator that a coworker likes you. If just looking at you puts a smile on his face, it’s got to mean something.
3. He makes a point of bringing you java
If you show up to work and, without asking, he brings you coffee just the way you like it, it’s another clear indicator he likes you. If he does this regularly and happens to grab you a breakfast sandwich or perhaps some flowers, then you’re a winner!
In fact, if he brings you anything, without you asking him, it’s a sign he wants your attention and he really wants to see you smile, hopefully with him.
Pay attention to see if he regularly does this for anyone else. If he does it for the secretary who’s been there forever and treats him like a son, that doesn’t count. Use your judgment to figure out whether he’s trying to make you feel special or if he’s just a nice, kind, and considerate man. Really, there’s nothing wrong with either.
4. He’s always asking how your day went when you weren’t at work
If a man wants to get you into bed, he’s never going to ask how your day was outside the office. And if he does ask, he won’t be listening to a word you are saying; that’s pretty easy to spot.
However, if he’s genuinely interested in your life outside the office and wants to hear what you have to say, then he’s most certainly interested in you. A guy that chooses to care and listen to what you have to say is a guy you need to keep around.
5. Asks you out for lunch
This normally isn’t against the rules at the office because you could be out talking shop over lunch. Studies show this is a tactic to get you out of the office environment and see what it’s like. It is tough, sometimes, to relax and be yourself when you are in work mode at the office.
When you’ve got micromanaging bosses looking over your shoulder, it’s tough to show the real you to any man. This is why he asked you out to lunch, so he can investigate you a little further in a comfy environment.
Is there any better way to a gal’s heart than through a nice lunch and some great conversation?
6. He chooses to sit next to you in meetings
He may act like this happens by accident, but trust me, he’s totally doing this on purpose! Add this to any other signs from our list, and you know he likes you.
This is the perfect innocent way for him to get closer to you, without stepping outside the work comfort zone. He’s got the hots for you if he always seems to get a seat next to you in meetings.
Perhaps he will pat your back or make an excuse to brush up against you and smile. He wants you to know that his attention is on you, and that’s got to open your eyes to the fact he really does like you.
7. The “accidental’ touch or brush
If you notice he seems to brush by you accidentally or he bumps into you on your lunch break or just passing by, it’s a clear signal he really does like you. It’s safe to say he’s likely not just being clumsy.
Truth be told, when you are attracted to somebody, your body is attracted as well, and sometimes, it’s got a mind of its own.
There’s not a lot of control here, but if he’s bumping into you regularly, you can be rest assured he’s into you.
8. He’s ready and willing to help you with work
He can be a crazy busy man, but if he’s always willing to set his stuff aside to help you with yours, you can be certain he likes you. Perhaps he will offer to help you with the heavy stuff or ask you if there’s anything you need him to do.
If he respects you when you say you don’t need help, and he’s still coming back time and again to offer his services, he’s a keeper.
Maybe that just makes him feel good, but you’ve got to keep the door open to something more until you figure out otherwise.
Just be wary that he could be looking for a quick way into your bed, and if that’s the case, you know and I know he needs to be kicked to the curb fast.
Always remember you deserve a healthy and happy respectful long-term relationship with the man of your choosing, that’s why it’s important you figure out if your co-worker likes you for the right reasons
9. He’s quick to defend you to coworkers when the need arises
If this guy goes into protective mode when it comes to you and your feelings, there’s definitely something else going on. Maybe a coworker has badmouthed you over a move you made, and if this guy steps up to the plate to defend you, he most certainly likes you.
This trait really does show the kind of man he is. What girl doesn’t want a strong man to defend her?
Even if they come after him because he defends you, and he still sticks by you, that’s all the evidence you need to know he’s a man you need to pursue.
10. This man gives you sweet nicknames
Sweet or funny nicknames, it really doesn’t matter. If a coworker is teasing you with endearing nicknames, it’s a clear solid signal he likes you. There is an obvious difference between friendly and serious teasing. If this guy is behaving friendly, he’s blushing and smiling at you, there’s certainly a chemistry between the two of you.
When you catch him staring at you when he’s telling you a joke, that’s the deciding moment.
You can take your relationship to the next level, if you like, because the ball is in your court. Take action to let him know you like him too. Sometimes all a co-worker needs is a little bit of encouragement.
11. This man remembers days that are special to you, including your birthday
Don’t read too much into this one because there are some guys that just aren’t good with remembering special days, no matter how much they love you.
It’s not because they don’t care. They just have some sort of blockage when it comes to remembering things.
However, normally, when a coworker is into another coworker, he’s going to do whatever it takes to remember the days that are special to her. This man will ask you how things went after the fact, and he will surprise you by giving you something you really love just because.
This is a guy you don’t want to let go because he’s showing you beyond a shadow of a doubt that he really, really likes you.
12. He brags about you to other coworkers
There’s always going to be that person that goes behind your back to try to take away from your accomplishments. That’s just the way the corporate cookie crumbles.
So, if a guy is willing to step out on a limb and brag about your value to the company, no matter what, he most definitely has a vested long-term interest in you. The signal couldn’t be clearer.
13. This man keeps trying to figure out where your relationship stands
He might not ask you directly, but you can figure out pretty quickly whether he wants to be more involved in your life. When he asks you what you did on the weekend and who it was with, it’s a strong indicator he likes you. If he didn’t want to spend more time getting to know you, he just wouldn’t ask.
Bottom line, when a man is trying to figure out your relationship status, he most definitely is into you; that’s a no-brainer.
14. He’s always got something for you to talk about
When a man is always figuring out things for you to talk about, he likes you. He really doesn’t care whether it’s relevant to him because his focus is on capturing your undivided attention.
If he’s coming up to you to talk about nothing, take that as a solid signal he really does like you.
15. All of a sudden, his work schedule matches yours
This one is a little weird, but it should also flatter you. When all of a sudden, his shifts are the same yours, that is more than a simple coincidence; it indicates he really does like you.
If he happens to offer you a ride home, that’s a bonus. Lucky you.
16. His body signal tells you straight-up
Back to the famous language of the body. You don’t have control of your unconscious body signals; that’s a fact. Hence, there are oodles of body clues he will give away, without noticing, that tell you he is interested in you and only you. He might be a fidgeter, always looking for ways to reach out and touch you.
Perhaps his body is always facing you, and that means he’s trying to tell you quietly that he really does want your attention.
For bonus, if he is mirroring your movements, it means beyond a shadow of doubt he is trying to tell you he really, really does like you.
17. This man has no issues making excuses, so he can spend time with you away from work
If this man is using his creative imagination to make excuses to see you outside the work walls, he’s the man you need to keep. This means he is so head over heels into you that he will do just about anything to spend quality time with you.
Don’t questions this signal; go for it with an open and positive perspective.
18. This gentleman makes sure your lunch break aligns with his
Could there not be a clearer signal? If a guy makes sure, no matter how much work he’s got to do, that your lunch break aligns, he is definitely into you. Of course, he’s likely to play the cool card and be pleasantly surprised that you are on break together. My best advice is just go with it.
If he didn’t want to hang out with you, he would definitely work right through his break.
19. He is mister agreeable
When you have someone to back you, it means everything in a business environment. This means he respects your knowledge and expertise and isn’t going to try to challenge this.
If a guy is attracted to you physically, he will nod his head continuously to make you feel like a beautiful goddess. However, if a guy has really fallen for you, he will want your mind and body equally.
Nobody on the planet is perfect, and we all screw up. If this man has your back, no matter how badly you’ve screwed up, you’ve got a man that’s worthy of you.
20. This guy asks you out
One of the most clear-cut indicators a coworker likes you is if he asks you out. He shouldn’t do this in a group hangout or forum because that’s just lame. It needs to be just the two of you. He might not even use the word date, but that’s okay.
If a man can muster the courage to ask you out, he seriously likes you.
The Flip Side Of The Coin…How To Tell If He Doesn’t Like You
Many coworkers won’t show their true feelings for you; they’d rather stab you in the back when the time is right.
It’s important to know the signs a coworker doesn’t like you, so you can defend yourself.
Here are a few tell-tale signs your coworker isn’t fond of you…
1. Your gut says they just don’t like you
If you are feeling like your coworkers don’t like you, they likely don’t. It could be all in your head, but usually, the gut is a good thing to follow.
Trust your gut to figure out whether a co-worker is into you or actually hates you.
2. They just aren’t smiling when you are present
This isn’t about the occasional bad day. If your coworker makes a serious effort to make sure you aren’t smiling, something isn’t right.
3. There’s no eye contact
When you don’t really like someone, it’s tough to maintain eye contact. If you notice he can’t maintain eye contact with you, then there are likely issues.
They might be able to detect that you have some hostility. This means they will choose the path of least resistance for them to stay away from you. Either way, this tells you loud and clear they don’t really like you.
4. He flat out tells you
This is a tough pill to swallow. If a coworker tells you that he doesn’t like you face to face, it’s a clear-cut sign he really doesn’t like you.
There may be no rhyme or reason here, but you need to respect what he says. Why would you want to be with a co-worker that doesn’t really want to be with you?
5. You’ve caught him chatting up other co-workers
Here’s another really tough one, particularly if you really think you like a man. If you catch him chatting it up with other girls or, worse yet, co-workers, you’ve got to label him disinterested and a total player.
There are many guys out there that are skilled in getting the girls when they want them and screwing all the other ones. You need to protect yourself from this sort of man.
you invest your heart in a man, that he wants to do the same for you and only you.
It’s not easy to figure out whether a co-worker likes you for the right reasons. Some men are players, and they are willing to crush your heart just to get the validation they feel they deserve. More often than not, this is sex. So, never hop into bed with a sexy man just because.
You need to understand your value and your worth. You deserve what you want in a relationship for all the right reasons. Follow your gut. If you think a guy is playing you, no matter what he is saying, then he’s probably not looking out for your best interests. Don’t take the chance to have your heart broken.
On the other hand, if your heart is telling you this co-worker really does like you, the tables have turned. At this point, you owe it to yourself to take the chance, put yourself out there and be open to something more. You never know unless you try!
Regardless, it’s really difficult to figure out beyond the shadow of a doubt whether or not a co-worker might like you, never mind the workplace bureaucracy.
In most of my life experiences, it’s been made clear off the hop that business and pleasure can’t ever intermix. So you need to be clear-cut certain this person is worth your while if you are willing to challenge that.
All your boss is concerned about is what’s going to happen if you break up or end up hating each other. If that affects your work performance, you might wind up being fired. Something you need to consider before you let your emotions take over your logic. Particularly if you’ve worked really hard to gain this position.
A smart tactic is to make him prove his worth to you before you take that step.
Pay attention to his body cues and the words he is saying, so you can figure out whether he is a man you can see yourself building a future with.
The psychological reasons why you fall in love with your colleagues
- People spend a lot of time with their colleagues.
- This can lead to strong friendships, and sometimes romantic relationships.
- There is still a stigma about dating someone in your office, so people tend to be secretive about it.
- But there are other issues to consider too, such as whether you truly are into each other, or whether it’s simply escalated by your proximity.
- Ultimately, it’s important to recognise the difference.
Work relationships are a funny thing. If you have a regular 9-5 job, you likely spend more hours of the day with your colleagues than you do your other friends, flatmates, or even your spouse.
When you tally up all that time, and the fact it takes about 200 hours to become best friends with someone, it’s no surprise many people form close bonds with their workmates. About 17% of people also have a “work spouse,” who they constantly message, talk to about the stresses of work, and hang out with.
Recent research from totaljobs found that 22% of people meet their actual romantic partner at work, too. That’s compared to 13% meeting online, 18% meeting through friends, and 10% finding each other on a night out.
“Most adults spend a minimum of 1,680 hours per year in the office, so you are likely to spend more time with your coworkers than almost anyone else,” David Brudö, CEO and cofounder of the mental well-being app Remente told Business Insider. “While you do not have a say in who your coworkers are, chances are that you will have common interests.”
He added that working in an office gives you the opportunity to get to know someone in a way that you don’t manage to as easily on “swipe right” dating apps.
“Working with someone daily, you will see how they respond to a problem, act under pressure, and interact with other coworkers,” he said. “It is also easy to start sharing personal information and commiserating about difficulties faced in the office — perhaps over a lunch or after-work drinks.”
The totaljobs survey of 5,795 UK workers revealed that two out of three people would be up for dating a colleague, while the remaining third would never dream of it. The main reason they gave for being wary was that they just didn’t think romance and work should mix.
Among many people there’s a fair amount of stigma attached to dating someone in your office, which is probably a factor in why 76% of those surveyed said they would keep their office romance a secret.
“There is a long-standing rule that you should not date your coworker,” Brudö said. “The reasons are many: you risk losing your job, becoming uncomfortable at work, or creating office drama that could hurt your professional reputation.
“Knowing that, if the relationship does not work out, it could lead to rather tarnishing consequences and can take an emotional toll on both you and the coworker you were dating.”
There are other things to consider, too. About 60% of those surveyed said they felt the pressure to act more professionally when they were in a work relationship, and 51% said they were concerned about gossip. One in three people said they felt judged by their coworkers for their relationship, one in six got made fun of, and one in 10 were even discriminated against as a result.
The survey also found that woman dating their manager is more likely to take a career hit than a man dating their manager in terms of promotions, salaries, and bonuses, and even relationships with other colleagues.
Close proximity can push your boundaries
Despite these pressures, a workplace relationship is relatively straight-forward. But they don’t always work out the way you planned, which can muddy the waters.
For instance, one individual might be more invested in the relationship than the other — that’s if it turns into anything at all.
As councilor Gregory L. Jantz points out in a blog post for Psychology Today, the intensity created in a work situation can mirror the intensity we experience in sexual relationships — leading to mixed messages and perplexing behaviour.
“Such feelings of attachment and unity can be similar enough to cause confusion,” Jantz writes. “Even if the conscious mind does not acknowledge the connection, often the subconscious will. One or both partners may find themselves suddenly considering the other from a sexual point of view.”
Spending more time together tends to break down defences between people faster, and that doesn’t necessary result in romantic intimacy. But, as Jantz says, sometimes one party may loosen up too much, allowing a boundary to slip.
“If both partners are not careful to continually reestablish boundaries to keep their relationship within a certain framework, these ‘slips’ can lead one party to begin to view the partnership as more than just a work connection,” he writes.
In other words, it is important to be clear about your boundaries, and work out what you really want from a work relationship — are you just friends, or is there something more? Sometimes the lines can blur, and it’s tricky to work it out. But it’s better to think it over before something happens that you might regret.
“A coworker can easily start to feel like the most important person in your life, romantically or otherwise,” said Brudö. “It is important to recognise, however, the difference between feeling a certain closeness to someone because of the situation you are in (working together), and actually falling in love.”