by The 4-Way Panel
I’ve got a huge crush on a guy I work with. I think he’s interested in me too because whenever we talk, our conversations are very flirty and we email and IM about random funny stuff throughout the day. I’ve told a couple of friends about my crush and they’re split 50/50 on whether or not I should pursue something with him since we work together. My argument is that I spend so much time at work, where else am I going to meet people? Besides, if you go on a date with someone, you only get to see their “date” personality, not what he’s really like. This guy seems to be the full package: hot, smart, funny, nice, and of course, gainfully employed. What do you guys think?—EM
The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
Imagine me, if you will, wielding a sickle, because I will be playing the dating advice grim reaper this month. It’s not because I think I look good in black, or because I have a fondness for wearing hoods and showing up unexpectedly during your day … though that might be interesting. No, I’m playing that role this month because you April questioners have forced me to.
EM, I can’t imagine you haven’t heard the common warnings about dating co-workers. “Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.” “Office dating if Off limits.” And the more direct, “Don’t s#$% where you eat.”
I don’t see much of an upside to this for you. IM flirting is one thing; acting on it is a whole other thing. Here’s what I see if you act on this and go out with him. You IM him one day. “Wassup? R U up 4 drinks l8ter? (Smiley face, wink.) He replies, “U buyin’? JK. LOL. Sure.” You reply “K. TTYL.”
So, you two go out a few times, fool around, carry your little office secret around for a little while and it’s all exciting and sexy. Then word gets out and you’re in the office gossip fodder.
This continues for a few weeks until one of you—probably you because you’re the one writing to the 4-Way about taking this to the next level—will want more and the other won’t.
Your after work get-togethers will get less frequent, your IMs will all but disappear, and he’ll start to avoid you at work and outside of work. You’ll get hurt, he’ll date others; you’ll hear about it at work and will be trapped in a cubicle of hell.
Work will become a place you no longer want to go, and your performance at work—and perhaps even your career—will suffer. You’ll end up without a job and a man and you’ll have wasted a lot of energy and time. Does that sound worth it?
So RIP, IMs. Get your work done, log off, and go meet someone outside of your workplace ASAP, or you’ll be SOL.
Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.
The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.
by The 4-Way Panel
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