shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

So, you want to cozy up to a co-worker? I get it. I’ve been there. Three times to be exact. And I’ve learned a lot about what to do, and more importantly what not to do.

Dating a co-worker is a bit like drinking on the job; it is generally frowned upon, (and sometimes against the rules) but if done on the down low there are ways to get away with it and even enjoy it. Now, I am not suggesting you should date a co-worker.

Now, I am not suggesting you should date a co-worker. However, if you are dating a co-worker or are considering it, keep the following seven suggestions in mind:

Be familiar with your venue’s dating policies:

If you work for a corporate bar or restaurant, chances are there are clauses within your employee contract detailing how you are expected to conduct yourself with your co-workers. Some venues have a flat out no dating policy in place where having a relationship with a coworker may lead to termination.

Don’t date your subordinate:

While Hollywood movies might glamorize the subordinate/manager relationship, the truth is, it’s a terrible idea to date someone you manage. So if you’re in a higher position than the person you’re interested in, it’s probably best to walk away.

Why? Because if other people find out they may perceive you as giving preferential treatment to your partner which could lead to workplace animosity and a divided team of employees who might not respect you. In addition to this, if things don’t work out, there is always a risk of lawsuits against you and the venue.

Take it slow:

I know, I know. You have similar schedules and work together all of the time. The chemistry has been building for a while and you feel like you’re ready to dive in full force. But I urge you to slow down.

Your co-worker isn’t an after shift beverage to be gulped down. He/she should be nurtured like a fine wine. Take your time becoming acquainted, make sure you’re comfortable with the flavoring because the quicker you dive in, the blurrier your rational and senses become.

Keep it under wraps:

Your budding relationship should not be a topic of conversation around the bar. Why? Because it creates unnecessary gossip which is not only intrusive to your relationship, but may also be uncomfortable for your customers and fellow co-workers.

Don’t be jealous:

If you are a naturally jealous person, dating a coworker is not for you. Just don’t do it. Part of a bartender’s job is to interact with customers and make them feel welcome. This means your significant other will be flirting, smiling and chatting up strangers. If you’re uncomfortable with watching your significant other do his or her job, walk away now.

Be professional:

The bar you work at is your place of employment, not your bedroom. Think before you speak and act. Avoid onsite hookups (this means no excessive touching, hugging, kissing), excessive flirting and inappropriate conversations. Also, under no circumstances should you fight openly while at work. Why? Because it’s highly unprofessional and very uncomfortable for the other employees.

Understand it might not work out:

There is a significant chance your work relationship will not work out, so before you dive in too deep make sure you are okay still working with that person if things go south. This is easier said than done, but is important to consider and think about in advance.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you’d like to venture down the coworker dating road. Above all follow your heart, and who knows, maybe you’ll meet your soulmate. Maybe you won’t.

As long as you conduct yourself in a professional manner, and follow the rules outlined by your specific workplace, the worst thing that could happen is it doesn’t work out and you move on with your life.

flickr photo by Linas V shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Antasha Durbin

Antasha is a seasoned bartender with more than seven years of bartending and hospitality experience. She is also a spiritual writer at, where she writes free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living. You can follow her on Twitter @cajspirituality for daily inspiration.