You spend eight, nine hours (maybe more) a day working with colleagues, and, let’s be honest, the laws of attraction don’t exactly dissolve during that time. But they do become blurry, which begs the question: What are the laws of attraction in the workplace?
According to Ossining-based HR consultant Gregory Chartier, most companies—and the bigger they are, the truer this is—put limits on employee dating, but those limits may be less stringent than you think. “Generally [companies are] going to say that managers can’t date people who work for them,” he says. That seems sensible enough. But what about peers dating peers? Or managers dating managers? Chartier says companies usually “don’t want to get involved unless there’s some kind of conflict.” Their approach, he explains, is: “We don’t want you dating, but we can’t stop you. So we don’t want to know about it at all.”
So what’s really going on in Westchester offices? We asked readers to share their tales of office romance—both sweet and scandalous. Here are some of our favorites:
Eye on the Intern
I first met Mark when he was an intern and paid him little attention. But when he returned to the office two years later, I was immediately attracted to him. We kept our secret for a few months. Finally, we decided to take the plunge and tell HR.
We still work together, and because we’re different levels—I’m in a management role—I often have to leave conversations when his performance is being discussed. But I wouldn’t change it for the world! We’ll be married this June! —Jessica Jacaruso
My husband-to-be was a summer intern from Great Britain, and I was the first-rung full-timer. We were given assignments together, which seemed always to devolve into a quick drink afterward. Our first date was the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California; when we danced to the country band I realized, ‘Wow, this is a date!’ We drank too much that summer, fell into some back-of-the-cab kissing, and then it blossomed quickly into romance. He left to go home, and then we started five years of to-ing and fro-ing. We dated other people, and then somehow, when I thought about who I really wanted to be with, it was him. Now we own a business in Westchester and have two teenaged kids! —Anonymous
I met my fiancé at work. I no longer work at the same company, but it isn’t because of our relationship. I had worked at the company for a little over a year and a half when my fiancé started. I trained him when he started, since we were working in the same department at the same level. The HR rules were fairly relaxed, but gossip and rumors ran like wildfire around the close-knit office. So we decided to keep things quiet, especially early on while we were still trying to figure out the relationship ourselves. —Joelle