Have a Romantic Relationship with Subordinate

Edited by Leomar Umpad, Eng, Karan Khanna, Lynn and 4 others

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Working closely with different people sometimes sparks some emotions between coworkers, and you could find yourself falling in love with your assistant. It is something that you may not be able to control, especially if you really know the person well. If you do fall in love with your subordinate, then you will need to manage your relationship without affecting work or losing the professional atmosphere at the office. There is no harm in having some romance, as long as you know how to mix business with pleasure in a decent way. If you pay attention to a few important details, you will be able to have a successful, yet professional, romantic relationship with a subordinate without losing employees' respect. You will just need to put a little effort into the relationship between you and your subordinate to keep a healthy work environment.


  1. 1
    Follow the Company Rules
    The first thing you need to do is know your company's rules regarding office romances. Most workplaces don't encourage office romance, and some may even forbid it, while other workplaces don't mind them or may have an agreement that you both sign to prove that the dating is by mutual consent. If you do have a romantic relationship with a subordinate, then you had better know the rules first, especially before announcing the nature of the relationship to people in the office.
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  2. 2
    Consider the Consequences
    It could be great to have a relationship with someone you work with, but you need to consider the consequences from every aspect. If the relationship fails, it may be difficult and annoying to work with your ex-lover. If your workplace doesn't approve of romantic office relationships, it probably means that you have to have a secret relationship; the consequences of ending such a relationship may involve a sexual harassment lawsuit. You could talk about the best way to handle the worst case scenario with your future lover subordinate in order to avoid a future mess.
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  3. 3
    The Level of Commitment
    Another way to avoid a workplace mess that is full of breakup drama is to know the intentions of your loved one. You don't want to get into a casual relationship with someone who wants a serious relationship or vise versa. Having a conversation before getting involved is a good way to understand and know that you both have the same intentions and desires.
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  4. 4
    Take Your Time
    The slower you move in a workplace relationship, the better. It will give you a better understanding of your needs and how you see the relationship, as you will be getting more involved slowly. Taking your time in the relationship will allow you to have more time to grow the perfect love flame or, "if things go bad", a clean breakup.
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  5. 5
    Don't Abuse Your Power
    Whether you are still in a relationship with your subordinate or not, you need to remain a fair and professional boss. If you are in a relationship with your subordinate, don't keep ruling in their favor by giving them tasks or promotions that others deserve. You will have to agree with your subordinate that you will treat them at work the same way you used to before getting in a romantic relationship with them. If your relationship ends, you will need to stay professional and don't retaliate by torturing them at work.
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  6. 6
    Keep Your Love Life to Yourself
    Even if everyone at the office knows about your relationship, you don't have to show your love in front of everyone. It gets really uncomfortable for others to watch their boss and coworker flirting in front of them and doing the whole public display of affection. It won't help you or others to stay focused on work, so separate your social life from work and keep your affection to yourselves. That way you will avoid being the best target of gossip.
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  7. 7
    Outside the Workplace Life
    It is lovely that you found someone to be in a love with and it is nice that you get to spend time with them at work. However, you need to be with your partner outside of the work atmosphere, to find common interests and enjoy your relationship. It is the best way to protect your relationship from getting boring and have some space for yourself as well. You can't just have a relationship with your subordinate that revolves around work and spending all your time at work with them.
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  8. 8
    Be You
    Don't let the relationship influence you in a way that makes you change how and who you are. Some people talk and act differently when they are around their partners, but any change will be noticeable since you will be in an office full of coworkers and employees. You don't want to be one of those people who talks differently as soon as a partner walks in. Be yourself all the time; this way you will appear as a strong professional leader.
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  9. 9
    Say No to the Drama
    If you are going through a bad fight or breakup, then maybe it will be better if you take a day off. If you do decide to go to work and confront your fears by working with your partner, then you will have to be extremely professional and treat him or her as any other coworker or subordinate in the office. No one in the workplace needs to know about your love life drama, and if you are not careful, your tension could affect your work and colleagues.
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  10. 10
    Be in Control of Your Jealousy
    It is a must to know what you are getting yourself into, and understand that you will see your partner dealing and working with other people of the opposite gender. If you are the jealous type, and you won't be able to control yourself every time you see your partner working with someone else, then it is better to avoid dating someone from work and especially your subordinate. If you give in to your jealousy, it could drive you crazy and make you give crazy orders in a driven attempt to separate your partner from the person you are jealous of, which will only obstruct the work.
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  • If you are going to date your subordinate, make sure that neither of you have any previous office romance history. You don't want to deal with a jealous ex who might get you in trouble, so be careful, because such incidents could make the company change their policies about employees dating, or worse, get you fired.
  • If you are going to date a subordinate, try to not get involved with your direct subordinate that works with you daily. It will be too delicate and will require a lot of effort to handle.
  • Be absolutely certain that the person you are going to date is not married or committed to someone else. This is just wrong on so many levels for so many reasons.
  • You shouldn't only follow your heart; you have to also follow your mind and listen to your practical conscience. If you find that the relationship is worth every risk you take, including the risk of losing your job, then don't let anything stop you. However, if you find your career and job to be more valuable, then don't mess around with a relationship that is not worth your time.
  • If things go really well with your partner but your workplace doesn't allow fraternizing, then keep an open mind about transferring or finding a new workplace to maintain the relationship.

Questions and Answers

Is there anything I should know about dating a subordinate in the military?

I am a lieutenant who would like to date a soldier.. I think it was caused by: Will I be endangering my military career if I ask a subordinate out on a date?

While there hasn't been a Court Martial for dating an enlisted, it can end your career. Some have relationships successfully as long as it is not flaunted or publicised but if this soldier is in anyway connected to you then you should just avoid it. If your career means something to you then you can damage any future promotions. It is clearly stated that dating a subordinate is a no no in the military rules for a reason. If you were married it would be a totally different situation or if the soldier was in a separate branch of the military.

Remember that an officer's biggest responsibility is trust within their lower ranks. If your troops begin to feel that you are giving preferential treatment to an enlisted (even if you are not ) they will begin to distrust you which puts everyone in a precarious situation. Now there have been relationships where one officer is married to an enlisted and no one even realized they knew each other more than a hallway greeting. This is because they held themselves to a high professional standard but unfortunately, there have been others that have abused the officer power with an enlisted and now there are military codes of law preventing these relationships.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Romantic

Recent edits by: Donna, davidwilliams, VC

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