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  #1  
Old 07-16-2012, 10:55 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Default Dating in the workplace - evolution of a boundary

Okay, so something big and unexpected happened to me today.

Seamus, my boyfriend, has always had a rule that he's not comfortable with my dating his coworkers, and I always understood that.
I have a big crush on a coworker of his, have had it for months, he knows about it, and I had made peace with the fact that nothing would happen unless one of them changed jobs, which was unlikely to happen.

Suddenly today, Seamus told me he supported me going further with his coworker, T. Keep in mind I didn't ask for it or anything like that. It was pretty unexpected. I asked him what brought this change of mind as he's been really uncomfortable with the idea long before I started developing said crush.
He said that one of the reasons was an ex-crush of mine getting married. I never got a chance to really try things out with him, or even be properly turned down. Seamus said he doesn't want that to happen again (although I was shocked by the news of the wedding, I wasn't that badly affected by it, so I'm not sure why it had so much effect on him).
Another reason is that he doesn't want to be the one standing in my way and bringing me down, he says.

Now, part of me is like "wow". But another part of me is like... It doesn't change anything, does it? They're still coworkers, and recently they started working more closely together. To make matters worse, they're not exactly on the same level in the hierarchy, with Seamus being a bit higher.
So, it would still be unfair for me to pursue a relationship that could potentially have negative consequences for both of them (from other coworker's opinions to drama between them) while I would be consequence-free.

I've very torn. I really, REALLY like T, and I feel like I could at least try to get closer to him, get to know him better, see how that goes. On the other hand, if it's a bad idea, it's a bad idea. I never had a problem with dating my own coworkers, but this is a bit different.
On the other, other hand, it feels like T might ave a say too. But if I ask him, I could make it awkward between Seamus and him even without a relationship there.

It seems to me it was all easier when the door was completely closed and I knew it wasn't even an option. Now he's fine with it, but there are still so many things to consider...
Right now, I'm thinking I'll give it some time. Seamus changed his mind kind of abruptly, he might change his mind again, I want to make sure nothing happens in the meantime. And then... I guess I'll see how things are at that point. But advice would be welcome, it's good to get different points of views, and I could be missing something obvious because I've got my face in it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:55 PM
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Alleycat Alleycat is offline
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In my experience, it's always a terrible idea to dip your quill in the company ink, or in the company ink of a SO.

If things go poorly it can cause serious issues, dramma and gossip around the workplace, and in some cases can result in one or both parties getting fired.

And sadly if things go good it can cause even more serious dramma and gossip, and worse things as well anyone involved is in a position of authority over the other!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:01 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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I work in a town where a disproportionate number of people work in the same company as me. So I have to be somewhat okay with this. My rule is no one in the same role or under the same manager or job. That way if I have to end it there will be very little interaction afterwards.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:42 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Is he "out" at work? if not, then this could cause even more than the usual issues....

The big issue is what happens afterwards - after the relationship has come to an end, which may or may not be very messy. Is there going to be massive awkwardness, or one or the other having problems getting promotions?
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:36 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Seamus has been out since day one, and a bunch of his coworkers knew when he was seeing someone else, and didn't seem to have any issues with it.

I think I'll see if they evolve in the company so that they're working on different projects rather than together, but if when we hang out (when I'm in the US I see his coworkers 2-3 times a week) some tension appears, I might get it out in the open just to get rid of the awkwardness. I'm in Europe right now though, so it's going to be months before I see him again anyways.

My main worry is that he'll get a girlfriend, be exclusive with her, and that I'll spend the rest of my life beating myself up for not even giving it a try, not ever knowing if he would have turned me down or not.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:22 AM
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Do you always feel that crushes are opportunities? I don't. Most of the time, I just enjoy the crush without feeling like I have to see if it can be acted upon. To me, a crush is like a walk through a bright, colorful candy store full of my favorite treats -- fun to fantasize about having some, but no need to take it any further. Besides, I wouldn't think it's anything you need to worry about until you're back in the states. No need to fret at this point, right?
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:43 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Well I do see T once a week on Skype, and chat (written word only) during the week sometimes (also on Skype). But yes, I've told Seamus, I don't want to say I'm in love with T until I see him in person again, hug him and see how it makes me feel.

I don't always feel that crushes are opportunities. Most of my crushes are on actors or characters who don't exist, so I obviously don't expect them to turn into anything else. As for "real" people, though, I've had very small amounts of crushes over my lifetime, and while I enjoyed them as they were, there was always that question "could something come out of this?" and I always knew that if I didn't get an answer I would get frustrated.
I guess it's the idea that I don't even give it a try, that I give up before I even start. That maybe the guy likes me or would like me, and that we could have a fulfilling relationship, but I'm not giving it a chance.
As I said, I don't get crushes often. If I let this pass, it could be years before I mean someone else I'm willing to have a relationship with. I'm very happy with Seamus and I wouldn't be miserable or anything having only him in my life, but the later I meet someone, the less time we can spend together.

I also have a couple of friends who are getting married in August. When they met, they had a crush on each other for 7 whole years before they realised they both liked each other. I can't help but look at it and think, I don't want to lose 7 years like they did. 7 years could very well be the whole relationship, too. I don't think a relationship needs to last forever, but I want to enjoy the time it does have.

I do tend to overthink things, though, it's true.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:42 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hmmm...

Well, I guess it's time for me to swoop in and play Devil's Advocate?

To a certain extent, anyway.

First things first.... I think it's something the three of you should decide on together. It's not fair for you to take the brunt of the responsibility here... because it will come around to bite you in the ass.

If all three of you agree to pursue the crush, whilst accepting joint responsibility for what happens if it all goes sour.... then I think it would be ok to go ahead.

I don't know what their work situation is like, how well they get on at work, how important/rare their jobs are, etc. To be honest... in terms of work... it's kind of up to the two of them. It's their careers.

I do understand what you are saying about crushes - especially inappropriate ones. I have a huge crush on my girlfriend's daughter's music teacher, who we see for an hour a week for a parent/toddler hippie dancing around embarrassing thing. It would completely inappropriate to ask her out and if she said no, I'd have to see her in class every week. But damn, I don't think I've found anyone as attractive in a few years.

Sometimes there are those special crushes you just wonder about more than others.

Ok, so, bottom line in my opinion... they have to talk about the work repercussions and all three of you have to take an equal responsibility for it to be worth the risk.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
So, it would still be unfair for me to pursue a relationship that could potentially have negative consequences for both of them (from other coworker's opinions to drama between them) while I would be consequence-free.
Yup. I'd go with that one if it were me.

I enjoy crushes from a distance all the time. Just because you come across an interesting person doesn't mean it's the right one at the right time to try to take it to another level. We meet lots of people -- many right ones, not necessarily all the the right time.

I'll even go so far as to say there's people in our life who I know are open to poly, and I find attractive and could totally see trying to have a romantic relationship with because we're already friends.

But seriously? They've got full plates and some hints at baggage and I def have a full plate and some baggage with eldercare for aging parents and health issues... so this is just NOT the best time. I rather enjoy the crush on my own, enjoy the friendship, and leave it alone. Maybe that's all this is destined to be? I do not know yet. Time will tell.

I think your plan to wait and see and just sit with this some is sensible. Time will tell if Seamus changes his mind or you do or something else comes up.

GG
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:30 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
So, it would still be unfair for me to pursue a relationship that could potentially have negative consequences for both of them (from other coworker's opinions to drama between them) while I would be consequence-free.
Yup. I'd go with that one if it were me.

I enjoy crushes from a distance all the time. Just because you come across an interesting person doesn't mean it's the right one at the right time to try to take it to another level. We meet lots of people -- many right ones, not necessarily all the the right time.

I'll even go so far as to say there's people in our life who I know are open to poly, and I find attractive and could totally see trying to have a romantic relationship with because we're already friends.

But seriously? They've got full plates and some hints at baggage and I def have a full plate and some baggage with eldercare for aging parents and health issues... so this is just NOT the best time. I rather enjoy the crush on my own, enjoy the friendship, and leave it alone. Maybe that's all this is destined to be? I do not know yet. Time will tell.

I think your plan to wait and see and just sit with this some is sensible. Time will tell if Seamus changes his mind or you do or something else comes up. I can totally relate to that.

GG
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