I founded a company with a guy who was single and good looking and everyone who met with us thought we were dating. We weren’t. He was almost twenty years older than I was, for one thing. But we did spend ten hours a day together, and at some point it’s hard to say it’s only business.
It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re almost married to someone you work with. In fact, 32 percent of workers feel that way. The Des Moines Register reports that this is generally a common and positive workplace trend. I have to say that my experience of the phenomena was positive, also. We were very in tune with what each other was thinking because we were so emotionally connected. We handled meetings better as a team, and we grew the company more effectively because we were so invested in the other person as well as the company.
This sort of relationship can go bad, though, according to this month’s Oprah magazine, (which, by the way, is really underrated by the intelligentsia. I love the magazine and recommend that you subscribe. After all, what other publisher has the power of Oprah to get anyone she wants in the whole world to be in her magazine?) So anyway, according to the magazine, when these relationships go bad it’s because the people are getting their emotional needs met by a co-worker instead of their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Oprah’s in-house therapist says that’s cheating, even if there’s no spit-swapping. And, she points out that if your marriage sucks, it’s a lot easier to fix it when it sucks than to fix it when it sucks and you’ve cheated.
So really, this sort of workplace spouse relationship only works well if you’re not in a relationship outside of work. It’ll work well as a stop-gap measure to keep things interesting until you can either get something going outside of work or start having sex with that co-worker. (If you’re going to do the latter, it’s tricky to not destroy yourself and/or your career. Here are four tips, along with the comforting fact that 40% of the working world has taken the same, insane risk.)