We spend so much of our time and energy at work that it's only natural to look at the people you work with as friends, and perhaps, at times, something more. It's easy to develop feelings for a coworker — the "we are in this together" mentality jobs create breeds familiarity. All work crushes start out innocently enough. One day you are getting a bite to eat together on a lunch break, then it's a few beers after work, and suddenly you're fantasizing about pushing the TPS reports off your desk and kicking off those sensible heels.
But crossing that line is not only an HR nightmare, it's also a good way to lose a work buddy or at least make things super awkward with a colleague. No one wants to be one office Christmas party away from a sloppy drunken make out with your married cubicle-mate. Careful consideration should be taken when deciding to date someone with whom you work. So how can you tell when you're starting to wade into those treacherous waters?
Whether you’re already in a happy relationship or not, developing a work crush is natural, it’s how you deal with it that is important. Seeing that sexy colleague Monday through Friday could be painful, so it's best to figure out your feelings before s**t gets real. The first step is to recognize if you’re in danger of being hit with Office Cupid’s arrow. To find out see how many of these warning signs apply to your sitch.
You Grab Lunch Or Coffee On The Reg
Grabbing lunch with your “work-friend” is something you look forward to all morning. You carve out this special time to hang because you enjoy spending time together outside the daily grind. They are clever and funny and smart and always have good insights with how to deal with the daily office drama. You value catching up with them about their weekend, ragging on the boss, or discussing office gossip. You two seem to got together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s not just a simple sandwich, it’s a companion-wich.
You Dress Up (To The Next Level) For The Office
Nice pants and a sweater don’t cut it anymore — suddenly you have the urge to buy new cute outfits. Now, for some reason, you are more concerned about how you look at work than on a date night. It’s not just on days of big meetings and presentations anymore — you take special care with your appearance every day possible. It’s really rewarding to get a compliment from your work-friend, or to catch them looking at you from across the room!
You Schedule One-On-One Meetings With Them — Without An Agenda
It’s not really normal business procedure to scheduling meetings just to talk, but you find yourself confiding more and more in your friend. Your meetings usually start out being about work, and before you know it, you’re involved in a deep conversation about personal hopes and dreams. You feel comfortable with this person, and look forward to the times they ask you for help on a project. You guys might even text or email throughout the day (Bob's ties are too ugly to ignore!). Working is so much more fun with them around.
You Feel Uncontrollably Sad When They Are Out Of The Office
When your crush is out of the office you wonder while you even bothered to come in to work at all. You miss them like crazy. Lunch is a sad and lonely affair. You have no idea what you would do if they quit! You are irrationally worried about them — are they sick? What if something happened to them? Their attention and humor make you feel good, and without it, work is just — well, work.
You Get Jealous When They Talk About Their Significant Other Or Dating Life
The last thing you want is to picture them with their perfect GF or BF — probably having fun, laughing, kissing (gross). Every time they post a cute pic on Instagram, fiery rage bubbles in the pit of your stomach. You don’t know why you feel so competitive with their partner. But somehow, you feel like their bae can’t possibly understand them the way you do. Every time your friend can’t stay and work late on a project it’s because they have “dinner plans.” Even if your work-friend is not in a committed relationship, you still get a little jelly from time to time. You are happy to listen to the hilarious stories of all their dating blunders, but when they come back from a good date, well, there is that confusing rage again.
You Organize An Office Happy Hour Just To Hang With Them
It's not like a date or anything if the rest of your coworkers are there. But if it was a date... that would be cool too.
You Haven't Told Your Significant Other About Them
You don’t exactly know how you would explain your close friendship with this person from work — so you just don’t. It’s not like it’s a big secret, but you’re so close with this work-buddy that you don’t want your bae to get jealous. I mean, it’s not like that, right? Nothing has happened between you that is necessarily inappropriate. But still… it’s better to just mention them only in passing and keep your home life and work life separate.
Or maybe it's time to admit that you have a big ol’ crush!