Office romance stress? I’ve seen it ALL before. Here’s my advice…
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I always thought I loved complexity and challenges in my life.
Not sure anymore.
Here’s what’s going on and I need some good advice.
I am in a new relationship.
That’s all good. It keeps me as blissed out as a good dose of dark chocolate coupled with a full- bodied beer.
However, and here is the tough part. My relationship is still a secret and I’m not sure what to do next.
I am a super salesman in a large corporation, and I get recognized for my skills and talents all the time.
Why I had to fall for my boss is where the upset is.
She’s a few years older than I am (only three) and in this day and age that’s no big deal. However, she is a VP and way above me in the pecking order.
Now, this is important.
We are both divorced so no worries about a secret affair.
And yet, once we start to come forward with our relationship there will be lots of tongues wagging.
The issue is one of favoritism.
Our concern is that others in the company will decide that my great sales numbers will be based on “insider knowledge” and the rumor mill will have a field day with whatever they conjure up.
Here is the dilemma.
We are thinking it would be best if I quit and worked elsewhere. I know I can get another job pretty fast. EXCEPT, I love my job and I love her.
Just to complete the scenario, there are several couples in my present organization, and I know the power players will accept the fact that we work together.
It’s my colleagues in sales I worry about.
I am stressed to the max. I don’t sleep well and am relying on, well, you guessed it, dark chocolate and beer!
I need some new ways to think about everything.
Lucky (at least in love)
Relationships are complex–ALL relationships. And putting in the mix the idea of working in the same company and topping that with having your boss as your lover does spice things up. Makes it chili-pepper hot.
Office romance stress is pretty much guaranteed.
The good news is the ways of the world are changing and there can be more tolerance for looking at various situations without lots of conflict and negativity.
Glad its not a clandestine affair, those rarely turn out for the better.
Here is what I have observed: Once you decide to take your relationship pubic it will, I can almost guarantee, be a source of lots of gossip.
This is where you and your lady need to be strong.
Your stress patterns are bound to take center stage. Do you tend to shout it out when you are angry or do you stuff it down?
The better way is to ‘practice safe stress’ and find out how to stay out of the whirlpool you expect to happen when you bring your relationship into the sunshine.
Gossip is a funny thing.
It swirls and swells and is everywhere. It’s here today and gone…well, maybe not tomorrow.
It’s usually gone in a month or so, along with most of your office romance stress.
The time in the crucible can make you both stronger, so long as you do not let the small-minded comments create dissention between the two of you.
Since you love your job, and you are really a value to the company, I suggest you stay where you are. At least give it a whirl.
The gossip will die down as I suggest.
Make sure HR is aligned and check in with them before announcing your relationship to the world.
Here is what I have learned from other couples I have coached through this type of concern.
Make sure you take deep breaths rather than give in to the gossip.
You do not have to defend, explain, or justify your behavior.
Yes, as I said, it will die down unless you keep putting more logs on the fire of those who want to judge you.
Hold your head up high and “PRACTICE SAFE STRESS.”
That way you both can ‘go high when others go low.’
You will learn more about both yourself and each other and how to give and get support during times of change.
All will be good.
If you give it a shot and there are still too many potholes, THEN you can go in a new direction.
In the meantime, enjoy the beer and the dark chocolate. And even more: enjoy the bounty of being in love.
To your success,
P.S. Stress affects everyone differently. Take the Stress Busters quiz to learn how you handle it and what you could be doing better. Enjoy!