How to Date Co-Workers in 2019

Written By Isaac Simpson

Talk about a third rail.  In a #MeToo world, what is a single man in the workplace to do? What are the rules? There must be rules...right?

Well, no.  In a post-Weinstein world, there are simply no clear rules on what to besides one: DON’T.  If you want to stay safe, abide by that rule at all costs.

However, the workplace is the third most common place on Earth to meet your SO.  Eighteen percent of all relationships originate there. Literally tens of millions of people have found “the one,” at work, and continue to do so every day.  We spend so much time at work that it’s impossible to avoid catching feelings. So what’s the deal? How do co-workers manage to get together without HR violations or even worse?

#MeToo was, quite obviously, never meant to ban all consensual workplace relationships.  It was meant to bring awareness to power imbalances that make women feel like they have to say yes to a co-worker that they aren’t interested in.  Weinstein himself — one of the most powerful men in the world at the time, who also happened to be monstrously unappealing — was the perfect example of this.
 

via GIPHY

 

So with that in mind, here three musts if you’re going to attempt to date a co-worker in the #MeToo era:

  1. If she’s above you in the office hierarchy, you’re much safer.  Without a power dynamic in place that could lead her to feel pressured, it’s unlikely that the situation would implicate #MeToo unless you do something highly inappropriate.  So if your sexy boss seems like she might be down, asking her out is probably okay.
  2. Take your time.  The worst thing you can do in a new workplace is come in swinging. Move very slowly and very gently.  Do not immediately go after a hot co-worker. Do not get sloppy wasted at your first happy hour and tell people you have crushes on them. That’s a terrible look.  Don’t ask anyone out for at least 3 months.
  3. The golden rule here is transparency.  The #MeToo movement is about preventing manipulative communication — powerful men (or women) using shady methods to pressure less powerful women (or men) to do things they don’t want to do.  If you’re not doing that — if you’re just interested in dating a co-worker who you genuinely like — then you have nothing to lose by being 100% honest and transparent. Just say “hey, want to grab a drink some time?”  That’s more than enough to make your intentions known. If they say yes, great. If they say no, forget about it, move on, and absolutely do not hold a grudge or treat them any differently moving forward.