Love in the Office

Q: I've never in my life tried to start a relationship with any woman at the workplace. One reason would be that I'm basically a private person and really would worry that eventually the entire company would know my personal business, and the other would be that being a "couple" at work could lead to issues. We do not always work in the same department but do see each other at work every day. I do feel that we have some things in common and she most recently agreed to get together outside the workplace. I really like her and we've had some nice conversations, but am I asking for trouble at work? -- John, 49

Dr. Susan: There could very well be issues if you date someone at work. They don't have to be major issues, though, if you keep your relationship from interfering with your work and everyone gets treated respectfully. And yes, you may give up a little privacy. If you're really concerned about "the entire company" knowing you're dating someone, then you probably shouldn't proceed. Office gossips are very efficient, so that keeping something big (who's seeing whom is always "big") a secret is unlikely to be successful very long. Personally, it seems worth the small risk to me, so long as you take it slow for a while (until you know she's not a stalker or psycho).

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