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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Is Dating at Work Off Limits?

Dear E. Jean,

I realize that getting involved with a co-worker is a huge no-no, completely dumb, and bad for a girl’s career. But, this guy at work makes me crazy. He looks like Aaron Eckhart, except handsomer and sexier. We’re in two different departments at a well-known cable news channel (he’s a camera man, I’m a production assistant), but we keep running into one another. He’s adorable, always calls out my name, walks with me back to my office (and seems to have no idea I "accidentally" arranged for us to run into one another). I know he likes me. I know he doesn’t have a girlfriend. And I know you’re going to lecture me about falling for a guy at work. But, what can I do? I think I’m in love. Help! — Can’t Eat, Can’t Sleep, Can’t Think.

To see E. Jean's answer

MISS CAN’T, my kumquat:
Hell, the only reason to go to work is to meet cute guys. Lecture you? I LURVE you.
Rules against meeting men at work are bullhockey. Some of the wildest, deepest romances in history started at work: Jack and Jackie Kennedy, Bogart and Bacall, Bonnie and Clyde, Barbie and Ken, Angelina and Brad. Come, come. If you’re thrown together with an attractive cameraman day in and day out; and if you can observe the nature, character, humor, genius, and spirit of this cameraman in good times and in bad . . . .Phoo. Of course you’re falling in love. Keep it discreet, darling, and go for it!

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

Join The Conversation
ER1008 ER1008 9 years
I agree with finding out what your company's policy is, just to be sure. I met my boyfriend at work and we've been together for two years, we live together and are talking about getting married! I think as long as you remain professional while at work and know that you have to work with that person should things not work out...go for it! I did and I couldn't be happier.
sabrinaBee sabrinaBee 9 years
if it doesn't work out you will have to face him every other day....but you never know how it could turn out. he could be the love of your life as well.
ummmidkman ummmidkman 9 years
obviously there could be complications, but i heard that most hubbies and wives meet in the work place. think about it you worked hard to get the career that you want and so did this handsome man you work with. you must have some things in common. i think the possibilites of a good relationship outweigh the post breakup drama. really up to you
diy diy 9 years
I see nothing wrong with it. The issue lies with discretion and maybe the potential of being distracted at work however I think if you know how to keep both love and business seperate, I dont see how a relationship CANT work... Good Luck!!! :)
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 9 years
Your're in two different departments. Go for it. My parents met at work and are coming up to their 20th anniversary.
estoiles estoiles 9 years
for me - avoided. although, i was younger and in the restaurant industry so it's CLOSE working quarters and everyone dated everyone else. you broke up with someone one day, a week later, they were dating the hostess. it sucked. but, i don't say you shouldn't. i just wouldn't.
kristyrk kristyrk 9 years
I fell in love with my man at work and 4 years later we are still together! (not working together any more though!)
sophlb sophlb 9 years
Although I hear the phrase "Don't get your meat where you get your bread" all the time, I kinda disagree with it. After all, work's where you spend most of your waking hours. I do, at least. I used to work for a company that actually encouraged office romances so that people wouldn't want to rush home after work! In the end, doesn't it all depend on the people involved? If you really think you can be discreet and trust yourself that even if it ends badly you can remain professional, I think it's alright to date someone in a different department. Personally, I work in an office that's at least 85% men (probably 40% gorgeous), and I'm one of only about 3 under-45 women in the office. This is an issue I've been thinking about a lot lately!
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
I think it only ok to try out when you don't work in the same department or same 'area' at work. If you frequently correspond on a business level while at work, then mixing in the personal stuff makes it too hard to keep things smooth if it happens to end.
lily314 lily314 9 years
(1) Ditto on ClassicsDiva's advice. Find out the company policy. Most companies are okay with relationships between employees, as long as one of those involved doesn't hold a position of power over the other and isn't involved in reviews and compensation decisions for the other. It helps that you're in different departments, but check policy to be sure. (2) If policy allows you to, go for the guy if you feel strongly about it. But keep your personal activities outside of work. Don't get flirty during work hours. Keep your behavior at work professional. You can always grab lunch with him and flirt then. My boyfriend and I work at the same firm, but our firm has 20,000+ employees, we work in different departments and in different buildings, and we don't see each other during the day. So far it's working out great.
ClassicsDiva ClassicsDiva 9 years
I'd say first, find out what company policy is, and second, think long and hard about what you'd do if you broke up. I just read an article somewhere (I can't remember where for the life of me) that said that dating at work is becoming more common, people are being more open about it, and bosses are becoming okay with it. If it's not expressly prohibited by your employer, you're confident you can keep things professional in the workplace, and you feel you can handle the consequences if things go south, there shouldn't be a problem.
tati33 tati33 9 years
that's what i feared gossipqueen..i agree the "sneakiness"/dangerous factor -- hmmm.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
BEWARE!!! If you go for it...the excitement might end! some guys are attracted by the sneakiness (maybe not a word) of the whole thing...and once this chase is over is bye bye "love" and hello "workspace weird".... be ready to either have the best time ever or to be dumped within the week...
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
If you have to arrange to "accidentally" bump into this guy to even see him, his job seems totally unrelated to yours and he is in no way supervising you, I don't even really understand what the downside here is.
Marci Marci 9 years
Despite these gems of advice (below) that were offered to me, I've dated guys from work twice. Don't dip your pen in company ink Don't s**t where you eat Yeah, they're fun expressions, but ultimately I don't buy it. As long as everyone behaves professionally and gets their job done, it shouldn't matter. It can be tricky if it doesn't work out, so be prepared for how you might deal with that. But I say 'go for it'. Work is a GREAT place to meet people!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Just be careful :)
AZ-Mary-Mary AZ-Mary-Mary 9 years
I think it would be a mistake if you were in the same department, but that's not the case here. I say go for it. You seem to understand that there may be possible consequenses, but sometimes you can't help it!
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
Aww Glam, that's cool. I don't know of many friends of mine who've actually had success dating their co-worker. IMO, I think it should be avoided as much as possible.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 9 years
My boyfriend and I met at work so we were co-workers/friends first. We're still together and cohabit and are talking marriage. It's by far the best relationship I've ever been in. We don't work together anymore but I'm glad it didn't stop us from getting together in the first place.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
tati33 tati33 9 years
this happened at work to me too..but i think ultimately either he was messing with my mind or didn't want to have to creep around at work.. it was definitely hard especially when all of our other coworkers noticed that we acted really different when we were around each other oh well c'est la vie.. I say girl go for it!! Just be discreet...nothing to lose..
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
For the first time EVER, I agree with E. Jean. Go for it. Just keep it on the D L
nicachica nicachica 9 years
hey at least you know he has a job! the only real downside i can see is that if it doesn't work out, then you'd have to see him everyday. but go for it! you two obviously like each other. no harm is starting slow and seeing where it goes, right? good luck!
Eternity Eternity 9 years
If you are in two different departments, I say go for it. Just be sure you and he are mature enough to keep your relationship separate from work. The main cons are having nothing truly different to talk about in the career sector, but the pro is having the same bitches and the same gossip to relate to. Work is one of the most popular places to meet guys, and beats a bar.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I met my husband at work, i actually hired him and was his boss,BUT we also told our supervisor that we were dating, and she was okay with it. There isnt anything wrong as long as you act like adults i actually think its more productive to work with the one you love
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