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How to Cope With a Crush on a Co-Worker

by Tina Amo

It's not uncommon for workers to develop romantic feelings for colleagues when they spend 40 hours or more together each week in a confined space. However, a workplace crush can adversely affect the quality of your work and your reputation if you don't handle it the right way. It might also be inappropriate based on your work environment and job status. Most crushes are temporary and disappear over time. Take steps to control your crush so it doesn't impact your job.

Office Policy

Some companies expressly discourage office romances because of the performance and legal problems they could create. You might find a formal statement about this in your employee manual, which can help you take greater control of the way you feel. If co-workers are prohibited from dating one another, this might be incentive enough to hide your feelings about a colleague and not pursue them. Chances are your job security is more important than a fleeting feeling that will likely go away over time. Remind yourself that you are there to work and earn a paycheck.

Act Normally

A noticeable change in your behavior around the object of your affections could make your feelings obvious to everyone -- including him. This could subject you to ridicule and pity. To avoid this, be yourself. Be as friendly as usual but never give your colleague more attention than you give others. If you are a manager, this is especially important. You must ensure that you treat each employee the same way. Do not give someone more or less attention based on your personal feelings.

Keep Interactions Professional

Ideally, conversations at the office should be focused on work-related topics. This is especially important when communicating with the object of your crush. Sharing details of your life could encourage a closeness that would make your resolve more difficult. Discourage inquiries about your personal life from the other person, avoid inquiring about her, and don't allow contact outside the office. If you have a crush on a co-worker, keep the relationship strictly professional.

Keep Your Feelings Private

Do not share your feelings about your workplace crush with anyone -- particularly the object of your affection. You will likely make her feel uncomfortable, especially if the feeling is not reciprocal. It is unfair to her and potentially embarrassing to you. Also, keep mum even with work mates you trust. You don't want to take the chance that your feelings somehow get around the workplace.

Your Social Life

A good way of getting over a crush is to focus on your life outside of work. If you’re not in a relationship, consider getting involved in activities that would help you meet people with similar interests. For instance, you could join a professional networking group, sign up for a recreational class or register at an online dating site. A new relationship can help minimize, and often eliminate, thoughts of a workplace crush.

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