Dating your coworkers can be bad for you or at least for your reputation. Just ask Scarlett Johansson!
The beauty Woody Allen has called his muse has, especially lately, been linked with a variety of gentleman suitors, all of whom she’s rubbed elbows (and apparently other things) with as an actor.
Most recently, reports had her flirting with Bradley Cooper; nice-looking couple, right? But now she’s being openly linked to Justin Timberlake, despite the green dater’s oft-recycled relationship with Jessica Biel (yes, it would appear they’re on AGAIN).
In fact, sources close to the purported couple say they’ve been having impromptu horizontal tango sessions for years and are now being surprisingly indiscreet, with Justin rolling up to Scarlett’s apartment building at all hours, and even introducing himself to the building’s doorman. Wonder what Jessica thinks?
Now, I’m not sure how Miss Johansson’s peers feel about her bed-hopping — after all, Hollywood’s a little more lax about these things — but I can tell you a whole lot of pop culture commentators are having a field day coming up with all kinds of derogatory remarks about her and her active social schedule, and I doubt anyone in a real world workplace would be any more tolerant.
We all know that dating in the workplace, whether you’re on a set or sharing a cube wall, is a gamble. You set yourself up for vindictive exes, killing a great relationship by seeing each other too much, or - at best - a really, really awkward several months when you finally split. No matter how rational you are and how much you think you can compartmentalize your life, there’s always going to be overflow.
But what’s perhaps the worst is how your coworkers perceive you, particularly if it’s not just one colleague that ends up going from happy hour to your bed; these coworkers are our equivalent to the paparazzi.
Now, we’re always taught not to care what other people think, but look at it this way: you don’t dress for work like you dress for a date, and you don’t (or shouldn’t!) sashay around and flirt with clients like you do on a date. Clearly, keeping business and pleasure separate is a great way to make a good impression, and that means not treating meetings like matchmaking sessions.
If you’re going to make a go of it with someone from the office, make it someone you never see - different departments, different hours, different job descriptions and little to no regular interaction. It may be less fun on a daily basis, but it’ll save you a lot of hassle when and if things tank.
As for Miss Scarlett, clearly she doesn’t give a damn what the public thinks - but the rest of us mere mortals need to be a little more careful.