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How to prepare for a workplace romance

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It’s one of those ‘under the breath’ hush-hush topics that is usually only discussed in the break room or behind closed doors. The dating scene mixing with the working scene. We all have come across it, heck some of us may have even tried it! Do you think cupid has a place at work?

I mean, it’s not like we don’t have lives outside of work (right?). OK, maybe some of us do? Okay, okay…maybe some of us try! The fact of the matter is, we spend a lot of time working side-by-side with the same people. And given the right set of circumstances, and the right set of interests, that really cool co-worker you love to work with could develop into something more.

We all know  and work with nurses who are in relationships with other health care professionals. *cough *cough* (I’m married to a nurse). Is it right? Is it wrong? Why? Why not?

What if things go wrong?

I, for one, have never had a workplace romance as a nurse. I had a few failed workplace dates in my previous pre-nursing life, though. And, well since they were failures it made the workplace a tad uncomfortable. I use the word tad loosely for anyone who has walked in those shoes before. Stress levels are bad enough at work, do you really think you need that ‘ex’ crossing your path multiple times during your day? They are referred to as an ‘ex’ for a reason. And at work there is no escape sometimes.

I would say this is the major reason for being careful when deciding if this date/ romance is something you want to explore with your co-worker. If it doesn’t work out, how are you two going to handle the end-game when you’re both at work. That cool working relationship will be gone – jus’ sayin’. It’s food for thought.

But then again, what if things go right??

Now on the flip side of that coin, my wife and I have worked side by side. I think a couple can have a great working relationship as long as they keep it professional and respectful. There is no need to be calling each other pet names during the shift. Seriously. Oh, and the PDA (public displays of affection) – yeah that’s a big no-no. Remember, keep it professional. You’re not at home or out at a restaurant, you’re at work.

Oh, then there is the whole delegation of authority issue. Unless you are both holding the same rank in the greater scheme of things, this will definitely become a sensitive subject both in and out of work. When you and your significant other are having a ‘disagreeing’ moment – how are you going to handle giving or taking orders from them? Hmm, just more food for thought.

Oh, and one last piece to this puzzle. The last time I checked most facilities have a policy that addresses this very thing. In most cases you can’t work in the same department, although there are exceptions. I think these policies are in place to safeguard from any of the above ‘difficulties’ I have mentioned. If you start that romance, is he/she worth leaving your department?

Does cupid have a place at work? Both scenarios are workable, but I think it boils down to what will change if cupid shows up (or disappears for that matter!). Can you live with those changes?

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3 Responses to How to prepare for a workplace romance

  1. NenaMataHari CNA

    There is a fellow CNA that I kind of have a crush on, but I am quite hesitant to do anything about it.

  2. Nurse Rene RN

    WOW Sean! This is an awesome piece-don’t usually see dudes writing about romance. And you are so ‘right on’ about keeping the brain that is on our shoulders in charge (and not the ‘other’ one which is hormone-driven!). Ditto on the PDAs! That makes things very uncomfortable for everyone else at work.
    You have presented both sides of the coin very well here and I think that a lot of people may see some things that they haven’t considered in time to step back and THINK before ‘jumping in’ to something that often gets ugly if it doesn’t work out.
    Much happiness to you and your bride!

  3. katherine26

    I from experience find it difficult to carry on a relationship with a co worker or MD. Drama and politics get in the way. Its better to separate your work. Gossip and story telling are unavoidable, and secrets are not really secrets..

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