Steps to Prevent an Office Affair from a Portland Marriage Counselor

September 4, 2012 by

That many of my Portland marriage counselor clients feel that their partners are being taken away from them by work should come as no surprise. After all, with email and smartphones and a lackluster economy causing people to work longer hours (often for no extra pay!), many Americans spend far more time dealing with workplace issues than they do with their significant other. This almost always leads to relationship issues of one kind or another.

But while this is an important issue in and of itself, all this time spent at the office can lead to an even bigger problem: an office affair. When you’re spending so much time with the same people, it’s only natural to become closer to them and form bonds based on being “in the trenches” together. This is normal and healthy, and can often lead to great friendships. But when one of those friendships starts to lead to romantic or sexual feelings, problems can develop.

Want to stop office affairs before they start and avoid the painful relationship issues that such a thing will cause? Follow the below steps and you won’t have to worry.

Steps to Prevent an Office Affair from a Portland Marriage Counselor

Don’t be alone together. If you’re starting to feel tempted to engage in an affair with a coworker, one sure way to keep it from getting going is to make sure you’re never alone with him or her. Don’t go out for lunch or a coffee unless someone else is there, and try not to end up the last (or first) two people in the office.

Don’t add alcohol to the mix. You work hard, you want to play hard and blow off some steam with coworkers, but never do this when you have feelings for one of them. As everyone knows, alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and after a few drinks, that person across the table might seem too appealing to ignore.

Don’t flirt. Some people enjoy flirting as a form of social banter, but no matter what you tell yourself, it always means something if you have feelings for the person. If you think there’s even a hint of truth to your flirting, cut it out immediately.

Don’t take a confidant. We all have relationship issues, even if our marriage is generally fantastic. But just because you have a bad fight at home does not mean that you should start confiding in a coworker – or let them confide in you. This kind of intimacy creates a connection that can lead to a more physical relationship.

If you start to question whether you can avoid an office romance on your own, don’t hesitate to speak with a Portland marriage counselor.