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You Asked: Was Saying No the Right Move?

Dear Sugar,

I work in a large corporation with over 300 employees. Recently my immediate supervisor asked me out on a date. I declined the offer because our company has a strict no-fraternizing in or out of the workplace policy. We have a good work rapport and although I think he's extremely good looking, I didn't want to risk my job or make things awkward at work, especially if other co-workers got wind of it. I have nothing against him, and I want to remain friendly, but did I do the right thing by declining the date? Are things going to be even more weird that I turned him down? I feel like this was a lose-lose situation. — Put in an Awkward Position Poppy

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Put in an Awkward Position Poppy,

Since your company has a strict policy about interoffice dating, I absolutely think you did the right thing. Having a good work rapport with your boss is an extremely important relationship to maintain so in order to keep things from becoming awkward, try to act as normal as possible. Don't skip a beat the next time you see him in the hallway or in a meeting — carry on acting like he never asked you out in the first place. Chances are he feels a lot more unsettled about his inappropriate advance than you do so do your part to put it behind you, and hopefully he'll take your lead and do the same.

If your boss does make things difficult for you as a way of punishment for turning him down, I'd talk to HR immediately. Make them aware of your situation so they can take the appropriate next steps. Although this was a compromising position to be put in, hopefully he'll have the maturity to move forward like nothing ever happened.


Join The Conversation
Meike Meike 9 years
It was both the smart and right decision to make. If there is any awkwardness, you can just assure him in private that it was nothing personal and that you are really just being mindful of your company's policies. Clearly express to him that you would like things just as they are prior to his pursuit. Hopefully, he is understanding enough.
missgnav missgnav 9 years
That would be such an awkward position to be in. I absolutely agree with the spot-on advice from Dear.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Why would someone,in his position, who is so obviously aware of the company's strict policy on dating co workers ,be asking you out.He should know better. Just a thought.. If you value your position then i would say you did a very smart thing.It's pretty clear to me he doesn't value his. Most office romances don't always end on a happy note.Co-workers will be watching your every move.It could make for a very uncomfortable situation for the both of you and possibly cost either you or him your jobs. IMO it's not worth it. When it comes right down to it, if he's man enough, he'll respect your feelings and the choice you've made.There's plenty of good looking single guys who work at other companies.Dating them won't be an issue and there's no chance of anyone/anything compromising your career.
jaxon jaxon 9 years
BOOOO! Live a little... a secret romance how fun...
gooniette gooniette 9 years
Great advice, Dear!
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i agree 100% with Dear - he probably feels let down that you said no, because he obviously is interested, but if he's a good guy and a good boss, he will respect your dedication to the company and understand that you said no in order to keep the peace at work rather than go out on a definitely made the right decision, because unless it turned into a serious relationship, you may end up going out a couple times then breaking it off, making it much much more awkward for everyone involved in the long run don't fret! if he makes a big deal of this and it affects your career, then you need to move on anyway, because that's not professional behaviour
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