Love Letters: Office Romance

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The weather is beginning to cool, which means y’all will be looking to warm up with a potential boo soon. Before you get cozy (and wind up catching something), check in with us first.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Is it OK to mix business with pleasure and date a coworker?


I know how y’all love it when I blast my business over the ‘Net, so settle in and get the clothesline ready for my dirty laundry.

Picture it, Norfolk, Va., 1999. Back in college, when I sold video games part time to pay for gas and the latest DMX CD, there was a girl at work who caught my eye. Cuz she was fine. The kids today would say she was “cold” or “hot” – they kinda mean the same thing. Anyway, she was feeling your boy too (of course) and we casually went out a few times, nothing too serious. But there was a problem – I was her supervisor. One day, she got an attitude about something at work (not related to me) and decided to neglect her duties. The following day, as her supervisor, I had to reprimand her. But because she saw me as “her dude” and not “her boss” I guess she thought that she could get away with snapping at me.

And if you think I took that, you must be new here.

But it’s all good. We’re actually still cool today but the romantic relationship was pretty much killed.

Picture it, Louisville, Ky., 2002. I was a year into my career a copy editor at a major metropolitan newspaper, editing stories to pay for student loans and the latest DMX CD (yeah, he still had albums in ’02, they were just horrible), and there was a girl at work who caught my eye. Cuz she was fine. And had big hair. Anyway, she was feeling your boy too (well, eventually, but that’s another story…). Even though she was a writer and I was an editor, I wasn’t her supervisor and, in fact, I rarely even worked on her stories. We kept things separate. We took things slow and, over time, the relationship blossomed. Four years later we married.

Y’all know who I’m talking about.

Keep these tidbits in mind:

– Despite what you’ve probably heard, as long as you’re not a dating a superior (or underling), I don’t see a problem dating a coworker. Look, we’re stuck with these folks 8 hours a day – it’s only natural that we will become drawn to people. Just keep it professional – no freaking on the copy machine.

– Coworkers are probably the most nosy creatures on earth. People will look for any morsel of gossip to distract them from actually working. Therefore, there is no need to flaunt your budding relationship around the office. You don’t have to pretend to be Mr. and Mrs. Smith secret agents, but keep the PDA to a minimum. It will limit the rumors and whispers.

– TAKE IT SLOW. The wifey and I didn’t become an official couple until 2003, a year after we met. As you’ve heard me preach a million times, take the time to get to know your mate. Don’t rush into disaster.

– And for the love of all that is holy, supervisors, don’t date people who have to answer to you!



  1. I bet you snapped on the game store girl lol good post!

  2. it depends with how big your staff is too. If you’re under 10 or so staff and 2 start dating its bound to be awkward/blurry in some way.

  3. I agree with Eric. When you work directly with someone it can be troublesome. When you don’t work directly with ’em (like me and the wifey back in Louisville) it allows breathing room.

  4. I do love reliving your relationship with Jai via blog posts. These stories are great. I’ve only heard her side.

  5. Yep, I always offer unbiased commentary!

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