Is ‘Tinder dating’ is too adventurous for you? Or do you regret your hectic professional life that gives you no scope for mingling with prospective dates? Or wish to know a girl before beginning to date? If you belong to the above tribe, then dating a girl at work might work for you. Yes, it will not disturb your work and personal life equation, make you look unprofessional among your colleagues, or affect your job credibility. Many people have found their life partners at work and you could be lucky too. According to an online survey, 66% professionals have agreed on the possibility of having an office romance with their colleagues. While there is no harm in it and various Indian companies too have no problem with cubicle crushes, there are certain essentials before you ask a female colleague for a date.
Basic rules of dating a girl at work
Before you begin dating a girl at work, understand the ecosystem, that is, the office which could be the flourishing ground for your relationship. Here, you meet the girl every day, participate in projects as a team and spend a major portion of time together. So before you think about dating her, keep it clear that personal development should not affect your professional life. At work, you are just colleagues. So, when you begin exploring the opposite sex, make sure you set some boundaries for yourself. Whatever friendship or fondness you feel for the lady is a different tangent that should be explored outside the office premises. Your personal bonding should not hamper your work productivity at all. Once you have got clarity on the potential complexities that come with office dating, you can try your hand at it safely.
Related reading: 12 ways office affairs can spell trouble for you
How to approach an attractive girl at work?
Here are some tips that could come in handy to approach an attractive colleague:
- Be subtle: If you like a girl at work, then approaching her can make or break the prospects of dating. Our experts suggest you should be subtle while throwing out hints of your fondness. Professional atmospheres like workplaces can catch the eyes of your colleagues and add fuel to the fire of gossip. So, approaching her within the limits not only keeps the office decorum undisturbed but also adds to her impression of you. Simple gestures like smiling at her while crossing each other in the corridor could be the first point of contact. If she smiles back, then this signals her receptiveness towards you
- Say it with your body language: Body language plays a crucial role for men to analyse whether the girl is interested in you or not. These are unconscious signals that can guide a man to work on his ways of approaching her. If she is making eye contact while interacting with you while discussing a project, this could mean she is confident and assertive of her personality. When she giggles at a joke you cracked, she is just bringing her fun-loving energy to work. And if she is making eye contact while giggling, then bravo! This is definitely a go-ahead sign of her interest in you
- Watch for these signs: If body language can reveal her interest in you and strengthen your grounds for approaching a girl, it can also be used against you. You might find her snobbish, but these red-alert signals are her way to communicate her non-interest in you. If she is standing with folded arms in a one-on-one conversation with you, this signals a shutdown and you should immediately withdraw the idea of dating her. Maybe she is committed to someone, or she is focused on her professional life and is least interested in dating. Men must take these cues very seriously and drop the idea of dating the girl.
So, it is very important to scrutinise her body language and facial gestures at the right time while she is interacting with you, to identify her interests and prevent any further embarrassment. If you’re wondering how to decode her body language, then refer to the female body language signs that signal her liking towards you
Related reading: Here’s how to deal with office romance
5 tips to start a conversation with an attractive girl
The ability to start a conversation can be the breakthrough step you are looking out for while trying to date a girl at work. But according to a survey, 40% of men are scared when first interacting with a potential mate. This can be a hindrance if you want to approach a girl, especially when she judges a potential mate on the basis of conversation.
Communication is the basic premise of a relationship and humans as social animals love to talk. When you utilise these interactions in the right way, you can dig up a lot of information about the lady you are interested in. Girls love lively conversations and if you have aced the art of conversing, you have cracked the ‘Conversation Code’.
But while doing so, keep office decorum in mind before you try pushing exchanges with your female colleague beyond work. Make sure you talk in your free time and don’t let the conversations affect your productivity. Lunchtime or coffee breaks are an ideal time to interact better. Remember, there is a thin line between great interactions and conversations becoming intrusive or annoying for girls. Their intuitive gut feeling alerts them when you show so much interest in them. So, analyse her reactions while talking to her, through her body language. Try to find out whether she is interested in talking to you as a person or is just courteous as a colleague. To identify that genuine interest, our experts have a few tips for tried and tested conversation starters.
- Identify common areas of interest: If she has recently joined your workplace, you can connect with her over common topics of interest. If you are both working in the same team or share the same professional interests, then you can bond over your field of study. We usually get attracted to someone who is socially similar to us. So, you can use this human psychology premise to identify common grounds like:
- Which part of the country does she belong to?
- Where did she do her schooling and where did she grow up?
- What are her interests and hobbies?
Any similarity like this strikes a chord and gives you both some common interests to bond over. This tip lends great help when you are trying to know more about a junior girl at work
- Use work as an ice-breaker: You can use work as a way to break the ice with the girl of your interest. Talking about work can be a great communication starter. If she is responding in a nice and interactive way, this also signals her interest in you as a person. If she is replying mostly in ‘Hmms’ and ‘Ya’ then this shows her disinterest in you. Take these cues seriously and back off. This might mean she is committed to someone or doesn’t have any interest in you
- Make the first move: If she is working on a difficult project in hard-set deadlines, offer to guide or help her. Maybe you can discuss the theme with her and give her a new perspective on the project. Or you can review her work before submission and initiate the necessary edits. This step is in tune with the principle of reciprocity at work that helps to build rewarding workplace relationships and can foster your friendship with her
- Charm her with your wit: Girls like happy-go-lucky guys with a great sense of humour. To woo her with your charisma, you need to share your thoughts, besides listening to her. Use light-hearted anecdotes or funny stories to engage and impress her with your wit and intelligence
- Talk about pop culture: We all have an opinion over the world around us. Talking about this could be the next step to graduate conversations from professional to personal level. Talk about a recent Web series that has become the fad of the nation, latest trending topics on Twitter, an upcoming movie, celebrity scoop, etc. to keep her engaged in interesting communication. If she is a book nerd, talk about the books she loves and why. If she is a music buff, then get her talking about the genre of music she likes. This will give you another reason to connect and bond over
Related reading: 5 Tips to talk to an attractive girl
5 things to remember when dating a colleague
Dating a girl you work with has proven to be rewarding for many men. Spending considerable time together introduces you to the real side of your date’s personality that you couldn’t witness in other cases. How she manages office challenges and showcases her efficiency also enhances her desirability. You will be colleagues plus friends before being a potential ‘date.’ So, it is safe to say that workplace dating can surely lead to successful romances. Here, we are not just referring to the hyped Bollywood/Hollywood couples who found their love while working. In the normal world also, we have witnessed the transition of many workplace romance stories into happy marriages. But the journey has not been easy for them. Before beginning dating your colleague, tread the road with caution, as it might lead to unwanted complications as well. The dream romance affair might go awry if certain basics are not followed. It might lead to tarnished professional reputation, and even job loss. To prevent such nasty outcomes, our Bonobology experts suggest 5 important things to take care of when dating a colleague.
- Don’t date a junior girl: Dating a junior girl brings with it a lot of complications and risks on the table. The girl could be amateur and not ready to take this relationship seriously. Or if the relationship is short-lived, there are greater chances of you being slapped with charges of sexual harassment. If you think you are both serious about each other, then do consider leaving your job before you initiate a steady relationship
- Don’t use workplace for extended quality time: No doubt workplace romances give a great opportunity to spend time together, but remember you are supposed to work here. So ideally, you can keep your at-work relationship as professional as possible. Try to avoid one-on-one interaction at work and ensure your personal equation doesn’t affect your office decorum. You can spend quality time on weekend dates together, like other couples, and have fun
- Keep it secret unless you see a future together: Don’t talk about the date to another colleague; it might complicate the situation for both of you. Decide mutually to keep it secret if you want to prevent grapevine gossip and safeguard your relationship at a nascent stage. Once you are sure of each other and see a future together, you can disclose the news to your boss and office staff
- Keep personal quarrels away from work: Like any other relationship, workplace romances also go through a lot of ups and downs. During such testing times, it is recommended not to bring personal issues to work. Nobody is interested in your love life there and all want their work to be done smoothly. So, understand the seriousness of your job-role and keep love quarrels away from the work front
- Go slow: Fast relationships at work fizzle out fast. There are times your colleague is acting differently than they do in personal life. So, before you graduate from the casual dating to a committed relationship, be confident of your colleague as someone you’d want to spend your life with
We hope that after going through this article you will be able to approach the girl at work in a clear and confident way. If you are still hesitating to make your first move, you can contact our Bonobology experts with your dating issues, and they will be happy to help you.