You aren’t the first person to fall for a work comrade. It would be tough to get a definitive statistic but ask around. You’re in pretty good company. Many people meet through work, either with the people with whom they work or by meeting the friends of work pals.
We spend almost half our waking hours at work. The other half we lose to Netflix. When is a grown-up supposed to find time to meet someone?
The stickiest part of the working-cum-personal relationship is not what happens in the bedroom. It’s managing the interpersonal relationship at work.
At first, you have to wonder if it’s an affair or something serious. Both of you have reputations to maintain, but if it stays… sticky, then eventually you’ll want to move your relationship out of hiding.
The best way to do it is with honesty, but you’re gonna have to accept there may be some fallout.
Consider Your Positions
If one of you reports to the other, this could be tough, especially if it’s been going on for awhile, especially if there have been suspicions.
In most places of work you cannot work for someone with whom you are intimate. In fact, in many cases, you can’t even work in the same building or team.
This would be a good time to leaf through job openings, internally or externally. It would be easier to open this bag after there is a change in your employment.
If you don’t work together, then make sure you are crystal clear on company fraternization policies before making any moves.
Agree On a Plan
Before you let the cat out of the bag, you need to agree on the plan if you want to stick together. Anything else would be a betrayal of the romance.
Figure out aspects of the plan like who is going and who is staying. Get any job interviews and offers out of the way first if you can. If you believe you can both keep your jobs, at least agree on next steps.
When you sit down with your respective supervisors, you don’t want to drop the bomb of entitlement. You should be able to say something like, “I’ve consulted the employee handbook to find policy XYZ, but if I’ve missed something, we’ve agreed that we’re both open to transfers if you feel it’s warranted.”
Figure out some way to put the perception of power back in the hands of your supervisor. Remind her that she is holding all the cards.
You’ll need to coordinate your conversations with your respective supervisors. It would be sloppy for either of your supervisors to hear of this through the company grapevine. That would undermine confidence in whichever of you did not get to discuss it first.
If one of you works for the other, then that conversation may be a simple letter of resignation. If it’s not, you don’t have to both be there. The one in the senior most position should speak to a direct supervisor, then let the chips fall where they may.
I can’t stress this enough. You will likely lose your job if you are the supervisor. You may both lose your jobs.
Do everything you can to have a backup plan before dropping this bomb. Just don’t fool yourself about the potential outcome.
IMHO… if you’ve found the person with whom you want to spend all your time, then it’s worth it. At the end of your life, you won’t look back and regret all the promotions and dollars you didn’t make.
You’ll regret the chances you didn’t take. You’ll regret the love you didn’t chase.
Just, keep in mind the needs of others. Don’t put someone in a position to be the bad guy without giving that person the respectful heads-up as soon as possible.
Sometimes relationships don’t work out. It’s hard to imagine. Yours is special, I know. It’d be nice if you didn’t burn this bridge, just in case you need it again in six months.