Good morning. Be sure to read the last of yesterday’s comments -- the letter writer checked in to thank us. I love it when they do that.
Today’s letter is from a Romanian in the South End, which is which she signed her letter “Romanian in the South End.”
Q: Greetings Mere,
I’m new to the country ...
A kind, charming acquaintance recently declared he really likes me and is going out of his way to show me. In short, he has been gentlemanly and perfect. In addition to standing on the outside of the sidewalk, he has treated me to nice dates and sent sweet text messages. Calls, flowers, sweet nothings. Sigh.
This fella recently confessed his feelings for me. I am delighted.
However, I work with him.
Any advice on colleague disclosure protocol when colleagues of a 40+ person firm in a similarly-paying and competitive (basically the same) position?
Basically, is there an acceptable way to inform our bosses if/when we do become an official couple? I really don’t want to mix dating with work. There are other couples (some even married) who work with us, but I'm nervous about the potential for this to negatively affect my career.
I am not sure how I feel about this but I want to see where it could go. How do I proceed gracefully when so delightfully charmed?
Happy to have this question,
Romanian in the South End
A: RITSE, sounds like he's worth the risk, yes?
The classy and professional thing to do is to keep the love out of the office for as long as possible.
You’re probably already friends at work, so no need to shun him while you’re there. But keep it friendly and simple. Assuming your positions are the same (no one's a boss), there’s no need to make a grand disclosure to superiors, especially in the beginning. If you ever feel like your relationship might affect something you do at work, that’s when you disclose.
People often say that you shouldn’t date co-workers because it's miserable if you break-up. They're sort of right. But – what if it goes well? To me, it’s worth the risk. Work is where we Americans spend most of our time. We develop an intimacy with co-workers that naturally leads to romance if two people are willing and single.
My advice is: keep it professional, don’t disclose the relationship to co-workers until you know it’s serious, and don’t tell bosses unless you think it’s relevant to the power structure in your office and the work you do. Talk to your guy and set boundaries together. Check in often to make sure you're both comfortable. And keep your fingers crossed. I hope it works. It's risky business -- but so is dating, in general.
Readers? Is this relationship worth trying? Should she tell her boss? Any human resources folks out there who want to tell us what they think? Will this affect her career? Share advice and work dating stories here. Letters to the right, twits here.