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Ever since Valentine’s day, I’ve been getting asked to comment on workplace dating.  Should we do it, or not?  What are the risks?  Things like that.  The combination of romance with work can be a frightening minefield.

Frightening, but not all that uncommon.  I found an AMA article from a few years ago that suggests that at least a third of us are doing it, and that it often leads to marriage! Just from talking to people I would have guessed a percentage even higher than that.

Personally, my answer to “should I date a coworker?” sounds a lot like my answer to “should I quit my job?”: Do what you think is best, but first clarify what you actually think is best before doing anything!  In other words, ponder and reflect. 

When it comes to dating, that means being up-front about what you want, and don’t want, to avoid misunderstandings later.  It’s also a really good idea to figure out company policy so that you don’t commit any infractions.

I’ve personally known some of the 44% of daters for whom it has worked out.  But it’s a risk, and it can be a big one!  It’s one thing to break up with a coworker; it’s quite another to remove that person from our own life. 

And while I carefully and purposely avoid giving out relationship advice, I have to believe that the Perspective of Motivation couldn’t hurt when deciding whether two people are going to drive each other crazy personally.  It certainly works for the same question asked in a professional context.