By Dawn Papandrea
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in either your work or dating life, and you should do both… as long as you find a good balance and don’t let one invade the other. Here are some dating tips for young professionals on how to be sure their two worlds don’t collide.
Big brother is watching. The excitement of a new relationship can be overwhelming, but letting it interfere with your work day won’t score you any points with the boss. In other words, don’t spend your work days texting or checking his or her Facebook profile hoping for a relationship status change. And, don’t forget: Your work email and calls can be monitored, so keep correspondence professional, or use your personal accounts or cell phone for your midday check-ins.
Show up for work presentable. If things go in a different direction than you were expecting (i.e. you never end up making it back home to your apartment), you’re better off calling your supervisor to say you’ll be in late so you have time to go home and freshen up. Refrain from showing up to work all disheveled, hung over, or worse — in the same clothes!
Watch out for office TMI. Even if you have the type of co-workers that will be thrilled for you if you meet someone who’s great, try not to go overboard by recapping your entire relationship for anyone who will listen. First of all, you’re at work to work, but you also don’t want to come across as a braggart, or annoy people with endless obsessing over every detail of your dates and what he or she meant when he said this or that.
If meeting after work, stick to the lobby rule. Just as you might not be ready to bring your new mate home to meet your mom, he or she probably shouldn’t be meeting your entire work staff in the early stages of your relationship. If you decide to meet up for an after-work drink, pick a nearby venue, or agree to wait in the lobby or in front of one of your office buildings.
Don’t work on your date. Having a high pressure job is one thing, but if you’re out with someone, the last thing you should be worried about is checking your email. Stuff happens, of course, depending on the nature of your job, so if something comes up, politely excuse yourself and take care of it quickly, not while you’re half paying attention to what your date is saying.
It’s easier said than done to leave work behind once you leave the office, or put aside thoughts of your new love interest when you’re in a staff meeting, but it’s imperative that you learn to focus on what’s important in the moment.