It`s so very easy to fall in love, especially at your work place. Working together, spending major part of the day together, being part of the office problems and joys, constantly bumping into one another, can actually set the stage for office romance.
However, while at the outset it might seem exciting and satisfying, the truth is that falling in love at work place can not only be disappointing but disastrous too. "Affairs with men at work are most often problematic, since for one, they eventually come to the attention of the colleagues", says Irma Kurtz, a celebrated problem solver.
When Ravi and Sana, who work in the same company, started seeing each other, the others saw more into it, and began spending more time in weaving stories. As the work began to suffer, it came to the notice of the boss. The two were issued an official warning, and were also given different departments to handle. "It was demeaning, but I guess we asked for it, since it`s difficult to keep a secret in such a small place as the office", says Sana.
In cases, where one of the partners happens to be a senior, or worse, the boss, the colleagues actually respond with coldness, believing him/her to be the telltale of the office activities. Says Ms Kurtz, "To have the boss`s friend in your midst is like harbouring a spy, and one feels sure your performance at work is pillow talk".
When Ayesha, who works as an assistant producer, got involved with her CEO, she found her colleagues checking themselves before her. She was left out of tea-coffee breaks, and all the office gossips too, since she was the object of the office gossip now. It hurt her a lot and it took to cope with the negative vibes in the office.
And then if the person in question happens to be married, the problems faced are even worse. In the case of Priya, who is an intern in the hospital, her open admiration of a senior doctor made her the object of criticism and spite. "I agree I was infatuated with him since he was so good at his work, but that didn`t mean I was out to break his marriage", she says. However, the behaviour of her colleagues made her realize the hard way that office crushes have their own limits.
The worst factor in such office romances is when the relationship ends. "There`s nothing more awful than being forced to see everyday the person you are trying so hard to forget", says Ms Kurtz. When Reema and Aditya, who were working together for the past seven years, broke up after going around for two years, it was a traumatic experience to see each other everyday and pretend everything was normal. "It was difficult to see him coping well and moving on fine, while I was breaking inside" she said. Finally she quit her well-playing job because her break-up was affecting her and her work performance badly. Some even indulge in revenge tactics at work to get even with the colleague-cum-ex-partner. This not only makes the office life unbearable, but also affects the work.
For some, the whole prospect of love at work is the need to fall in love rather than the person involved, and since most of the time spent is in the office, that becomes convenient and appealing. "This is because the social life outside the office leaves a lot to be desired". When Nina who works as an assistant editor with a publishing house began interacting with the chief editor over a long period of time, she found herself falling for him. The togetherness, the strain, the pressures, worked as a catalyst for her, till one day he was posted abroad. "He just left and I was completely shattered. But I realized that all my romantic notions were just in my head and that all the time with him was all part of the work". She then began working on her social life and expanding her horizons.
Ultimately, the relationship at work place needs to be a balance of proximity and distance. One needs to be close so as to give the teamwork its best results; and at the same time, proper distance must be maintained so as to leave ample space for yourself and your personal life.