I've read all the previous threads about coworker relationships. It's a polarizing issue, and I've generally fallen on the side of opposition of them. Of course, the universe being as it is, I've found myself in a situation where I've fallen pretty badly for a coworker who reciprocates my feelings. We cannot decide if this is worth pursuing. Can you help us?
We're the two youngest (24 and 23) at a company of about 50 people. Our company is not a typical one; it's very employee-focused and we are a tight-knit group. Our website describes us as "kindred spirits [...] who enjoy hanging out and working with each other;" an apt description. She is a project manager on two (of generally between four and six) projects I work on, though our company has a very flat hierarchy and she is not a superior and has no professional authority over me. We have both been very successful at our jobs and are frankly quite valuable to our employer. There is no company policy regarding employee relationships, and I can think of several current and previous relationships that have taken place in the office, including a past one involving my superior and a current one between a senior partner and a department head.
The abridged history: I've been at the company for close to two years, she started about six months ago. She was immediately assigned to one of my company's larger and more important accounts (that I was already on), so we worked closely together from the get-go. We have lots in common, became good friends immediately, and spent lots of time together outside of work. There was undeniable, unspoken chemistry that was obvious to everyone around us—we had coworkers accusing us of dating less than three weeks after she started. The teasing, of course, was untrue...
...at least, the teasing that came before this past Tuesday was untrue. The dam burst, and we finally admitted to having feelings for each other. No, we didn't sleep with each other. We've spent each of the past 5 days together, acting as a couple and spending a great deal of time hashing out the pros and cons of a potential relationship. It's been an emotional week, but we've enjoyed ourselves and learned a great deal about how we function as a more-than-platonic unit.
What did we learn? We, as a unit, are awesome. We've fallen hard for each other. We had half a dozen strangers comment on us—how adorable we are, how we look like newlyweds. This is the first girl I've dated who I could picture being with for the rest of my life, and her feelings for me are as strong as mine are for her. I'm picky as all hell a Big Deal.
Frankly, we aren't terribly concerned about losing our jobs. We are, however, concerned about other factors mitigated by the fact that we are coworkers.
1) We already see each other 5 days/week, and that will only increase if we date. It'd be terrible to get sick of each other.
2) We're both professionally successful, though that came at a cost—we work a lot, and work very hard. Our company is a big part of our lives. If we date a coworker, our work-life balances are further skewed.
3) Being coworkers, a great deal of our conversation before this week centered around our jobs. We have a very valid fear that work would dominate our potential relationship in the same way that it is our
4) We're really good friends. There are the usual levels of complication introduced by that fact that are multiplied when you add the fact that we're also coworkers.
We're very self-aware and would likely notice any problems in these areas early on. We've also discussed mitigation strategies to some of our concerns. For example, we're planning to go out and do more non-work-related things together. But is that enough? Probably not. Does it matter? I have no idea.
We parted this afternoon with the resolve to take a few days' break from each other (aside from normal work interactions) to think it through. We have plans to go to a baseball game Friday (she's a big baseball fan—perfect, right?) and hope to leave with some sort of resolve. I've thought it through, and am still completely torn. I need some outside counsel.
What do you think? Is this worth pursuing? Does love conquer all? Or should I be more pragmatic (pragmatism, mind you, is my default setting) about this and not be so foolhardy?
If anybody wants to answer backchannel (or if another coworker wants to call us out :) ), I set up an e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I'd welcome any advice through that medium as well.
Thanks so much, hive!
(Asked anonymously since my handle is derived from my name)