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Is it a date?
How to deal with romance in the workplace

We’ve all heard that it may not be a good idea to date people with whom you work, because it could become a distraction and cause problems if you break up. I’m certainly not in a position to advise against it, because my wife and I met at work. After all, the workplace can be one of the best settings to meet someone with whom you share similar interests, and to get to know one another better. However, you have to be careful with these relationships. In order to minimize any problems and potential animosity if you break up, you need to be mindful of how you treat each other right from the start. Our catechism and the Gospels provide excellent guidance when beginning a dating relationship with a co-worker:

1    Abstain from sexual interactions. (CCC 2353) Practically speaking, once you become sexually involved, the emotional attachment is intensified and any problems are magnified.
2    Get to know each other spiritually rather than sexually. Discover each other’s beliefs and dreams. The act of chastity leads to friendship and spiritual communion. (CCC 2347)
3    Simply honor the Golden Rule. Treat each other as you would want to be treated. (Luke 6:31)
4    Slow down. Working closely with someone can foster an infatuation, so don’t act rashly; be prudent and patient to see if a true connection develops. (CCC 1806)

By keeping the relationship honest and chaste, you accomplish three things:
• You determine if the two of you are truly compatible.
• If you decide to break up, you reduce the risk of hurt feelings and animosity.
• If you stay together, this approach will strengthen your relationship over the long term.

Furthermore, as a couple, you must realize that your relationship influences more than just the two of you. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which men and women complement one another and support each other’s needs. (CCC 2333) In other words, the positive or negative manner in which you treat one another will resonate throughout the workplace.

by Tim Ryan

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