Will Your Workplace Dating Lead to Marriage or Unemployment?

CARLSBAD, CA (February 8, 2011) – If you’re searching for love at the office but haven’t felt Cupid’s arrow yet, Bill and Melinda Gates may provide inspiration, according to a new report from Perhaps the most well-known and successful office romance in history, they met when Melinda began working at Microsoft in 1987, and they married in 1994. They now have three children and work together on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Other office romances that have turned out well include President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The Obamas married in 1992 (Barack Obama worked as an intern for his future wife when she was an associate at a Chicago law firm.) And don’t forget CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, who married CBS "Early Show" anchor Julie Chen in 2004. They welcomed a baby boy in 2009.

When office romances go bad, however, it can cause difficulties for everyone involved. Some casualties include David Letterman and assistant Stephanie Birkitt, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Aniston and funnyman Vince Vaughn.

“When co-workers become romantically-involved, they often aren’t thinking about what’s going to happen next week, let alone next year,” says Tony Lee, publisher of “While some make it to the altar, others aren’t quite as fortunate and jobs, marriages and friendships may be irrevocably harmed.”
To help you find an office romance that lasts for years, offers this advice:

  • The workplace can be the perfect environment for singles to meet a long-term partner. You can build a great foundation on which to grow your relationship, as long as your romance doesn’t interfere with work.
  • Keep your involvement private until you’ve both determined that you’re in it for the long haul.
  • Communicate clearly and directly with each other about how you should act at work. If you can’t come to an agreement and stick with it, you might want to reconsider your relationship.
  • Give each other space when you’re in the office. Don’t crowd each other or constantly check up on one another.
  • If you have a boss-subordinate work relationship, consider transferring out of the same department so you’re not both put in a potentially risky situation with top management, who watch for potential legal landmines.
  • Your relationship should be a collaborative effort. If one of you is putting in more time into the relationship than the other it could be a warning sign that you’re headed for trouble.

To check out our column on notable office romances and our complete list of tips, visit

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