“Men and women can’t be friends because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive, he always wants to have sex with her”- When Harry Met Sally
Why does it happen? Is it natural?
The short answer is yes, it is perfectly normal for you to be attracted to your coworker. You are not some kind of loveless robot just because you are at work. You might not even be looking for a relationship but something about this lunch together felt different even though you have been eating lunch together for months. Even more surprising, you might not even be the one to notice that something is developing. It may take a coworker to realize what is happening for you to see it. Either way you may find yourself in a difficult situation where without even trying, sexual tension has been created. Or maybe you were one that initiated the sexual advances. In both scenarios the question that should be running through your head is should I act upon this tension, should I ignore it, or should I fight it. Whichever you choose will have very real consequences that you may not be able to undo. Therefore, this blog is designed so that you will carefully consider the possible outcomes of your decision before you blindly make a decision you regret, because ignoring it is simply not an option.
Why should I fight it? What if I really like this girl/guy?
Like every decision you make at work it is very important to weigh out the costs and benefits. The very first thing you should find out is if the person is single. If they aren’t then the answer is simple, you should avoid any sexual tension because the cost is way too high. If they are single, then the next thing to consider is how much do you really know them. Sometimes you can projection qualities onto a person you don’t really know, and in reality, they may not possess any of the traits you thought they had. Say you do know them decently well from various events, the next evaluation step should be to think about how much you really like them. Is it more of a causal flirting, more just for fun? Is it something a little more serious were you feel romantically attracted to them? In most cases this question can’t be answered overnight but may take days or weeks to figure out. So, you figure out that you do really like this person and feel attached now you must consider how close do you work with said individual. If things do go south are you going to be able to avoid this person or do they sit in the desk next to you? And you must walk by them every day. This can be a huge cost if you do decide to move on the sexual tension as it can make work unbearable. Now the hardest question of all is a relationship with him/her worth your job? While initially the thought of working with your significant other may seem like a great time and it would bring excitement to the workplace, the problem is if it goes upside down. If you are in the unfortunate situation where the relationship ends, it may be hard seeing that person every day so much so that you must switch to a different department or worse leave the company. If you found yourself in a relationship with a superior, they may use their power to polity ask you to leave the company even though you loved it there. Therefore, in the end you must evaluate which one is worth more the induvial or your job security.
If I do choose to fight it, how I can prevent it from happening again or reoccurring?
The first thing is to acknowledge it and realize it cannot be ignored. Next is to figure out what best solution fits your unique case.
Your solution may not be just one of these but may be a combination of these. The solution you need may also not be listed but these are good starting points. Finally, remember you can do this if you work at it and don’t succumb to your short-term desires.