Problems with dating a coworker

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I tend to sound like a broken record when it comes to company policies.

In every workplace, you will have difficult coworkers.

Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.

One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command.

You can increase your skill in dealing with the difficult people who surround you in your work world.

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Quick backstory: We didn't meet on the job — we were dating for almost four years before we started working together (which, by the way, wasn't planned … But for about 11 months, we sat three cubes apart from one another and kept our relationship under wraps. People sometimes act differently at work than they do in their personal life. No need to send a blast email with "the news" of you and your cube-mate's new relationship.

But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.

Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company. Earlier this year, Best Buy's chief executive, Brian Dunn, stepped down after an investigation by the board discovered he had shown "extremely poor judgment" with a 29-year-old female employee.

But they happen all the time, and when they do, there are three possible outcomes: The relationship turns sour and your reputation and career take a beating; it ends, but you're both mature and cordial and don't let the breakup affect your work; or A survey by Career Builder last year revealed that nearly 40% of employees admitted to having a romantic relationship with a coworker, and almost one-third of office relationships result in marriage. We are getting married in two months.) It's up to you to figure out whether pursuing an office relationship is worth the possible consequences, good and bad. My situation was unique because we were already a couple before we started working together — but generally that isn't the case, and Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job," suggests you try being friends in-and-outside the office before you make any moves.

My answer to all three: "Nope — because we followed the rules." The truth is, office romances are tricky and generally not recommended.

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