Yes, you’ve been warned. You’ve been told horror stories about when office relationships go bad. But the heart (or the body) wants what it wants, so you’re going to go take that flirtatious office relationship to the next level. Good for you. However, once your colleagues figure out you’re together, you both will be the most popular topic of conversation and everything you guys do will be over-analyzed, so try keeping it a secret. Here’s how:
1. Ignore each other completely when others are around.
This might make your relationship more passionate as both of you will try harder to get each other’s attention.
2. Join in when people are gossiping about your partner.
Just be sure you don’t end up saying something like, “What do you mean he isn’t hard working?! Clearly you’ve never had sex with him!”
3. Make sure you don’t keep glancing and smiling at each other.
Offices are such boring places that people don’t have anything better to do that look at what others are doing. There will always be eyes on you.
4. Tell people that you’re in a steady relationship.
People are more liable to notice things and imagine things if they think you’re single, so talk about your relationship without any details.
5. Pick a fight with your secret lover.
Make sure you don’t go overboard or it’ll probably put a bitter end to your relationship. Discuss the fight with each other beforehand.
6. Don’t dress up too much when you come in to work.
You shouldn’t look like you want anyone’s attention in office. As a matter of fact, dress down. Let people think you’ve given up on life.
7. Don’t arrive and leave office at the same time.
I know it’s probably easier on the finances and way more convenient for you, but if you’re always coming and going together, people will put two and two together.
8. Talk to each other about a clean break-up.
This is important; lay down the ground rules of both your behaviors once it’s over. If you start trying to ruin each other’s lives later on, everyone will know where you’ve been.
9. Have excuses ready.
When you laugh at his/her raunchy IMs or suddenly giggle when they cross you and wink, people will ask you, “What’s so funny?” Be prepared with vague answers.
10. Don’t show each other favoritism.
There’s no more obvious way to get tongues wagging than by always siding with each other when office disputes arise. Either keep quiet or try to diffuse the situation. Never take sides.
11. Carry protection.
If you don’t come prepared for your steamy bathroom/basement/abandoned office sexcapades, you might just end up with bigger problems than colleagues knowing about you two.
12. Don’t get drunk at office parties.
Yes, it’s hard to say, “No” when faced with free booze but since alcohol reduces our inhibitions, you might just end up pawing each other in front of all your colleagues.
13. Be careful about going out together.
Once I caught two colleagues I worked with coochie-cooing away in a restaurant. It was awkward for all of us, especially because we had all taken sick leaves from work.
14. Don’t get jealous if someone flirts with your partner.
At least not obviously; you can make a joke about or ignore it completely, but do not jump in to ‘defend your territory’ unless you want everyone to know it’s your territory.