You Need Help: Being a Chick Who Wants to Bang Her Co-Worker

Welcome to You Need Help, where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it. This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful.

But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.

For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today we’re going to talk about dating your co-worker.

via orkut.com.br


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Q:
We went on one date. We’re going on another one and we’re great one-on-one, but we work together and now all of a sudden I freeze/get so shy with her at work. Any tips on how to overcome this? It’s still so new, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

A:
People act differently at work than they do on dates. You’re obviously still you either way, but a working environment calls for a detached politeness, maybe even authority, and dating requires this super vulnerable honesty and sweetness. It’s probably a little weird that the two of you get to (have to?) interact with both sides of you from the get-go. I think this is why dating co-workers isn’t advised: the sheer awkwardness.

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But here you are, dating your co-worker, like sexy little renegades. I would acknowledge the awkward of this situation. Just saddle up that elephant in the room and ride it like a pony. May I suggest this:

HELLO CO-WORKER THIS IS AWKWARD, that we’re co-workers and also I want to bone you, right? Too bad I can’t be sexier / flirtier at work but that’s just the way it is, eh? Good thing we’re going bowling next Wednesday — I can flirt my ass off on the lanes! IN MY ZONE, BABY. Hahahaha ok back to work!

And then you just get back to work. To keep things balanced, I suggest ramping up the flirty side the next time you’re out together. She’ll feel really special and you’ll be doing your part to keep your personal life separate from your professional.

 
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32 Comments

  1. I just spent a good five minutes trying to find the clause telling us not to send carrier pigeons. That’s what happens when you put an asterisk next to a pigeon.*

    *Note: No one actually put an asterisk next to a pigeon**

    ** As far as I know.

    • I realize the above comment had nothing to do with the actual content of the article, but I was mislead by the title of this specific post. Being a chick who wants to bang my co-worker, I thought it would tell me how to make this possible, not how to keep it from getting awkward once it were already possible. This is like telling me how to groom my unicorn.*

      *I don’t have a unicorn. **

      ** But I’d really really like one. ***

      ***That’s a metaphor for my coworker. ****

      **** But I would settle for a unicorn.

  2. I thought I should just clarify: The whole “groom my unicorn” was a metaphor (though it sounded like a really dirty innuendo). Not just the unicorn part. I don’t want to groom my co-worker. I mean …

    I am a polar bear, lost in the white tundra of the internet. Is anyone there? Only my own voice, a faint echo of the thoughts and feelings that dwell deep in the cavern of my soul. Forever alone.

    WILSON!!!!!

    • I think I love you too, the way I love a fresh seal hole in the morning: So full of promise and mystery.

      But I have never been to Asia. Perhaps I will catch an ice flow and cross the Bering Strait, which would probably be the first time this bear has ever gone straight.

  3. Personally I try to avoid dating co-workers, people I live with, annnd members of my sports team. Same concept – it’s okay while you’re dating, but even if you keep it professional otherwise, it’s still awkward when you break up. So don’t do it.

    • I agree. I think the cliche phrase to go with this is “Don’t sh*t where you eat.”

      I’d probably date a coworker at a temporary job, but anything career related is risky. You want people to be talking behind your back about your awesome skills, not your dating rumors. And when you break up, people tend to form alliances.

      Also, it can easily create an unpleasant atmosphere for the coworkers around you.

    • I agree about avoiding dating co-workers. Even when the relationship works there’s likely to be all sorts of work drama when people find out.

      As for not dating members of our sports teams…that seems a little extreme. Surely there’d have to be exceptions for softball, field hockey, and rugby, right?

      • I agree that the not dating on your sports team can be extreme (and not in the extreme sports kinda way)*.

        I play singles tennis**, so if I don’t date my coworker***, the only other opportunities she has are when an opponent serves her some balls. And she doesn’t like those, which is why she hits those things back so fast — anyway, she does like me because, let’s face it, I have a great forehand (and backhand) stroke.****

        *I actually have no opinion on this whatsoever. It was my lead in.
        ** I don’t play tennis.
        *** I’m pretty sure you don’t have a coworker in singles tennis. So, I am, once again, talking about myself.
        **** in-you-end-oh!

        Also, Mean Girls taught me that even the most popular girls start out eating where they $#!+.

  4. A hot lesbian coworker gave me my first gay tingles over a decade ago when I was a non-profit database / IT person! She’d call me over for completely non-existent computer issues and lean in real, real close when I was crawling around under her desk.

    Sneaky.

    When I saw her at a lesbian bar a few years later, she was all “What are YOU doing here?” and I was like, “Please, we both know EXACTLY what I am doing here. Move aside.”

    Anyway, two rules:

    1. Sexy coworkers can be sexy.
    2. Don’t go there unless you can deal with the consequences. That means carefully, carefully weighing risk vs. upside.

    • So much this. I have almost the same problem, except for the moving to the other side of the world bit. What’s especially upsetting to me is that her mom is bisexual. It doesn’t do me any good if her mom is bi! Why can’t SHE be bi? Why?

      Hello unicorn, are you there? It’s me, Single.

  5. I’m dating my ex-co-worker/ex-ex-boss. We work in summer camps…. and the staff sleeps in dormitories. needless to say we ended up having sex in a room with 3 other “sleeping” employees on the last night of the summer.

  6. Yeah it’s good to not shit where you eat, but sometimes… shit happens, you know?

    Laneia’s advice is good, I would say also perhaps try and keep communication channels separate? Don’t send flirty emails or have hushed conversations when you think no-one is around. Send texts to her personal cell and if you need to talk about something date-related, see if you can get a coffee or lunch together out of the building.

    Sounds a little paranoid yes but you are running a lot of risks when you date a coworker, so I think it’s best to keep love and work as separate as possible. In the event it doesn’t work out it’ll make things smoother too, since you’re more likely to keep your emotions for out of work hours.

  7. Hey all. This was my formspring Q. I so appreciate all your advice! We work in inpatient addictions counseling. We have different clients, but in the same building. We get called to work together in the even that there is a fight or some other occurrence where back up is called. We sit in on the same meeting for 45 minutes at the start of every week as well. I mostly felt terrible awesome because outside of work things got steamy fast. We’d find ourselves up all night texting/talking etc but it began on our weekend. So once we were back in the office, knowing how important it was to not cross lines, we kinda both just avoided each other in the hall ways/ didn’t sit together at the meeting etc.

    Laniea, your advise was perfect…. and like the advise you give on 85% of your relationship questions posts…. probably the best thing we’ve done is WE TALKED ABOUT IT.

    We “staffed it” with a mutual friend and both asked for accountability to make sure it never became an issue.

    The possibility of breaking up and the damage control that relates is obviously a real thing. However, I kind of made a resolution when I turned 25 to stop making decisions based out of fear. Not dating someone I was falling for who returned the feelings would have been one of those decisions.

    Any other advise anyone can offer on how to actually negotiate this beast would be amazing.

    Trusting my autostraddle family makes me happy.

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