The way we date has changed. We’re much less likely to catch the eye of a co-worker over a pint after work and we’re much more likely to find ourselves in a swiping, Tinder vortex.
And in terms of workplace relationships, there’s been an important rethinking recently. Many more people now realise that romances between colleagues and with bosses can, in fact, be saddled with awkward power imbalances that could, potentially, lead to harassment and even abuse. And the fact that we’re now more aware of this is a good thing. Women – and men – come to work to do just that… work. We don’t have to act like horny teenagers all the time.
But is it still possible to date someone at work in 2018? And, if so, how?
We spoke to dating expert Claire Certain, from the app happn, to ask all about this. Here’s what she had to say:
For men, do you think it’s ever appropriate to ask someone out at work?
“Yes, of course! Although it really shouldn’t be done out of the blue and you have to be even more respectful in the work environment than in a casual social situation.
“Try and find a good moment, which usually falls down to intuition. Be discreet so as not to embarrass the other person and always be polite and considerate of their feelings. And keep it simple to avoid any sort of misunderstanding.”
Okay, so what are the top five tips for dating at work in 2018?
1. “Get to know the person first. In work scenarios it’s always easier to establish if there’s a connection before you ask them out.
2. “Use social events such as birthdays or another colleague’s leaving drinks to chat a little bit. Usually just through a conversation you can get a clue if they are also into you. Work out if they’re being nice to you because they are supposed to be nice to you or if there’s potentially something more.
3. “Once you know that there is a chance of a date, simply ask - should they say no, it’s okay, you tried, just don’t react badly. Getting rejected will always suck but it’s very important to react nicely, especially in the workplace!
4. “Avoid being suggestive in any way at first. A lot of people tend to behave differently in a work environment and might not welcome that approach. Even if you start dating, leave this kind of behaviour for out of work hours.
5. “Consider it deeply before making a move and keep in mind that should the two of you not work out, you will have to continue working together. Similarly, try to keep anything secret at first as inter-work relationships can affect those around you and make them feel uncomfortable so it’s best to keep it to just the two of you until you both feel comfortable enough to make your relationship ‘official’.”
Do you think dating between co-workers is becoming less common?
“Ultimately, we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our own family and friends and there is no surprise that couples form in the workplace.
“So if you’re lucky to work with someone who takes a shine to you and vice versa then capitalise on this.
“However, I do think that people, particularly men, may be afraid to make the first move so as not to give the wrong impression. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you really know the person’s intention before doing anything and building the firm foundations of friendship before anything romantic.
“On the flip side, however, dating apps like happn have done wonders when it comes to widening the dating pool and are connecting people who would not have been able to meet otherwise. With more choice, it is much easier to go for a date with someone who you don’t work with but you know works in the vicinity.”
- Happn’s new invisible mode now gives users the freedom to make their profiles invisible during certain points in the day, meaning you can now avoid appearing in clients’ or colleague’s timelines if you wish
(Images: NBC / Getty)