Finding a romantic partner on the job represents the ultimate blending of your work and personal life. And some people are more successful at navigating this junction than others, as evidenced from the 60-plus Monster members who told us about their brushes with office romance. Many found spouses, while others came away with heartache -- and the need to change jobs.
These stories will inspire you -- either to pursue your own workplace love affair or to date exclusively outside the office.
A Happy Ending
When I first met my beau, I was struggling with the idea of whether to get out of a miserable marriage. I had been married for approximately 13 years with three beautiful daughters and just returning to the workforce after a hiatus of six years. I chose to take a job where I was grossly underpaid, so in retrospect, I feel that the real reason for my taking this job was to meet Scott. It was meant to be. You can't fight karma.
Scott became my rock, my advisor, my friend. Of course, we proceeded with caution. We both felt it was wrong to have an all-out physical relationship with me still being legally married. In reality, I had not felt like I was married for a long, long time. Scott and I had such an attraction to each other, such chemistry, that it was extremely difficult to not tackle each other right in the office. We both fought the passion, but in the end, the pheromones were just too powerful, and nature took its course. It wasn't just raw animal attraction, however; we forged a real friendship with genuine concern for each other. We became each other's best friend and still are today. We will be celebrating our fifth Valentine's Day together and are very happy. We truly feel like kindred spirits, fated to be together.
I met my future husband, Barry, in 1973, when he was hired as my replacement as a fleet manager. I was moving into another position in the same department. He was engaged to be married, and in fact did get married four months after I met him. In 1975, I married another man. Barry and I stayed friendly as coworkers. Barry's marriage ended in divorce a couple of years later. My marriage also ended in divorce in 1982.
One day, Barry had to bring our boss's car to his house, and I had to follow him. On the way back to the office, we decided to stop for lunch. I told him that I had just broken up with my husband, and he said that maybe that would give us a chance to go out. I was not ready to date yet, but Barry was persistent. I went out with him for his birthday and kept seeing him after that. About eight months later, at his friend’s wedding, he asked me to marry him. I said yes. We got married in 1985 and have a wonderful 19-year-old son who is in college.
While working as an underwriter for a major insurance company in Chicago, I met the man of my dreams. I was working with a girl from another department on a computer project, and she kept telling me about a field engineer in her department and how sweet he was. He was also "geographically desirable" for me, as he lived in a suburb near my suburb. Apparently we'd grown up in the same town, but since we lived on opposite sides, we'd gone to different high schools and never met. I'd seen him around the office and knew him only enough to say hi as we passed in the halls.
She arranged for us to sit next to each other and asked him to give me a ride home from the company Christmas party, and things just blossomed from there. Since we were in different departments and had no professional interaction, no one at our employer had any problems with our relationship. It's been more than 15 years of happy married life together, and I still tell people he's the best thing I ever got from the insurance industry.
I met my wife at work. I knew she was the one the first moment I laid my eyes on her. I tried every way to meet her. I was very carefree before I saw her and had dated many women and still did not meet any that I wanted to marry. I am an American Indian from Alaska but did not consider that a handicap, as I am an outgoing person. I talked to her, but she resisted my attempts for a date, because she thought that office romance would never last.
I finally adopted a different tactic. I enlisted my boss, and he would take one rose a day to her desk for me. It drove her and the other secretaries crazy. After a month of one flower a day, my boss told her it was from me. I got my date, but none of her friends knew that we were dating. The hardest part was to convince the father-in-law that I was not the stereotypical Indian. We married after a year and have been married for 35-and-a-half years.
I met my boyfriend (now husband) at a grocery store where we worked. It went great, but it was hard to have a relationship where you work. We got in a few fights, and we even broke up once but soon got back together. We survived the hard times, and eventually he was promoted to a new store; that gave us the break we needed. We have been together for three years now, married for two, and still going strong.
Advice from the Wounded
For me, it was a big disaster. I was a purchasing assistant for a manufacturing plant. One of the men I worked with was a supervisor (not mine). He was cute, and one thing led to another. The stolen kisses at lunch or in my office were sheer heaven at first. Then he started questioning me about talking to someone, i.e., another man, in the plant and why was I laughing with him. Then he'd walk into my office when I was on the phone with a customer, and God forbid I should be laughing or making pleasant conversation. He would get very jealous and accuse me of wanting to sleep with every guy I talked to or had contact with. I was a purchasing assistant! I had to talk to a lot of people. It was vexing, to say the least. After that horrific experience, I swore I would never date anyone I worked with again. And I haven't!
I definitely don't believe in office romance, especially if the guy is married. I fell in love with a retired gentleman who worked part-time at my place of employment. This man was in his second marriage of 28 years and was also 15 years my senior.
The affair was the most wonderful, eventful thing in my life. By the way, we both fell in love, and this affair has lasted for eight years. This person left the place of employment shortly after our relationship began. After we met and interacted sexually and emotionally, we knew we were in for broken hearts.
We still occasionally meet and talk, but the relationship between us has grown bitter. I think the bitterness is because of the timing in our lives and probably the age difference. I have felt terrible a million times because of him being married, but this did not damper my feelings. My advice is that you might meet that person who really makes the old heart throb at any place in your life, but the workplace and marriages cause complications beyond anyone's control. You will ask yourself a million times: Why now? Why here? Why this person? Then again, not everyone will afford those wonderful feelings even in a lifetime -- so go for it.
I had to learn the hard way. Under no circumstances should a man ever fish off the company pier. I did and got dragged through the mud in a way that I wish on nobody. There are many evil women who would like nothing better than to get a wad of cash out of you, get you fired and ruin what was a promising career. All because I had the audacity to break up with her (honorably, by the way) and discontinue our relationship. Don’t do it, men!
After 33 years of marriage, our marriage was lackluster, and we simply coexisted in the same house together, barely speaking. When I thought I had finally met that love of my life at work and he told me he was going through a divorce, I had enough courage to simply visit a divorce lawyer here in Texas to see what the laws were. My now-ex found out, and then he served me with divorce papers. He remarried after meeting some woman for supposedly only six to eight weeks, and they bought a huge home with a pool. I am in a house that’s one-third the cost of our old home, and that "love of my life" went back to his wife, and he is still with her to this day as far as I know. Moral: Things don't always work out the way you wish, and the man, again, gets away with more money and freedoms. Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair.
I met the love of my life at the office. I was married for 18 years, and then there he is. I did not make the first or any moves. He did, and I took the bait. Long story short: I went through a horrific divorce, and my children were devastated. When he moved in and his true colors started kicking in, what a nightmare. I endured verbal and physical abuse. It wasn’t until I caught him verbally abusing my child with silly, hurtful words that I decided he had to go. Unbelievably, I think I am still in love with him. I enjoyed him so much. At the office, he keyed my car from side to side. He made wild accusations about me to our vice president, apparently in an attempt to have me fired. He turned out to be one of the most selfish people I have ever met.
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