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My golden rule about dating at work


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I have never dated anyone from work. This is partially because I have been at the same hospital forever and when I started working there I had already found my beloved. Also, I have a “no dating where you are working policy.”

Why you say? Well, in college I learned a very valuable lesson when I dated a neighbor who lived in my apartment complex. We dated for awhile and then, obviously, it didn’t work out. Every single date I went on after that I was paranoid that he was watching. Not in a stalker-esque type way, just in an observant “Oh, there goes that girl I used to date” way.

The apartment was set up ‘garden style’ so the balcony surrounded a big patio that everyone looked down on. He lived upstairs and I lived downstairs. He was also a smoker so he frequented the patio often. Needless to say, all my comings and goings (whether solo’ed or paired) were up for observation. Awkward to say the least. So, that cemented my “no dating in close proximity” rule which included work.

Now, of course, many a persons have found their lobster (Friends/Phoebe reference…who are my diehard fans out there?) in the workplace. It only makes sense. We work eight to twelve hours with people, relationships are bound to develop. One of my dear friends met her hottie trauma surgeon husband at work probably over the cracked chest of a gun shot wound victim. Another one of my friends met her now hubby working side by side in the ER as well.

Sometimes the match is awesome and sparks fly. But when it doesn’t work out it can just be awful and awkward and all sorts of uncomfortable. Thankfully, I haven’t had to see this play out too often. Most people are pretty professional about the blending of breakups and patient care. We are professionals after all. But like William Congreve said, “Hell hath no fury like a nurse scorned.” (Or something like that). But when sparks fly over a Code Brown, a trauma patient, a passing of the meds…well, Hallmark ain’t got nothin’ on that.

Do you have a golden rule about dating?

Rebekah Child
Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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