Dangers of dating coworkers

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"The policy seemed to be: If you're dating and still doing your job, we don't care," he says.The truth is, "even if there are rules, people will hook up anyway," admits Green."I did not ask, and I spent the next six months wondering if every work email he sent was a subtle invitation to get at it again," says Mia, 30, a management consultant in New York.

"I didn't really notice him at first because he had a beard, and beards weren't my thing," she says.No, Really: Avoid the Boss According to HR consultant Laurie Ruettimann, most written policies prohibit employees from dating only a direct boss or subordinate. Experts spoke with discourage manager-subordinate romances because they create the perception (or reality) of favoritism; in a worst-case scenario, both parties could be fired or dragged through a harassment lawsuit.And women are disproportionately judged for these relationships, whether they're the boss—"With great power comes great responsibility," warns Green—or if they're the underling."Reporting a relationship improves your odds of avoiding an awkward situation when word gets out," says Green. Jennifer, 25, an accountant, kept quiet about her relationship—until she and her boyfriend were assigned to the same project."HR reassigned one of us due to 'scheduling.' It actually let us tell people when we were ready, and any stress we felt went away."Be Aggressive About Boundaries It's natural to think about how an office romance will affect your career, but the fact that you work together will also affect your , so make sure to draw a line between work life and love life.

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