Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: Shall I sleep with my workmate?

Hi Susan

Big decision coming up – shall I sleep with someone at work? We both at a financial services company, have been in the same team for about five months,;the attraction was instant (and, he says, mutual), and we’ve been on five dates. So far so good.

But we’ve also had a long discussion about whether it’s a good idea to have a relationship in case it impacts on work. We’re both a bit wary in case we end up getting flack from colleagues or even losing our edge – it’s a very competitive atmosphere at work and even the slightest slip would get us into trouble.

I really like him, and we get on so well. But at the same time I’m a career girl and I don’t want to jeopardise everything for either of us just for the sake of a quick fling.


Hi Sal

I don’t think that what you’re talking about is a quick fling. You’re both taking it very slowly, you’re close enough to talk about this rather than just jumping in. you’re considering each other’s welfare, I think this has the makings of a long-lasting and solid relationship and one that could be good for both of you.

Plus, interestingly, a recent survey by American magazine Business Insider suggests that – while most people think that relationships between manager and employee are a bad idea because of the power struggles involved – 84% of the 2500 respondents said their affair had had no impact on their work life and nine out of ten were actually glad they’d had sex with their colleague.

All that said, I’m sensing that you have doubts and so you need to explore those doubts. It could be that it’s precisely because you know that this could be more than a fling that you’re holding back. A fling might have no impact on your work competence, but a commitment could well have a huge impact.

Of course all this might only be a question of timing. Five years from now you’ll almost certainly be absolutely ready for a full on relationship with someone you get on with as well as you get on with this guy. But right now, you might not be.

I guess if your career is currently more important than your love life, you prioritise your career. But if in the future you meet someone who makes you want to prioritise love, then be prepared to change your mind.

Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here

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