You love your job, but what is the real reason you look forward to going to work?
Sure, you are on good terms with most of your coworkers, but there’s one guy who is special. Talking with him and seeing him smile is the real reason you enjoy work so much.
He’s your work boyfriend.
However, you are not cheating with him…
Or are you?
If you are in a relationship with a man and there’s another guy you have a special bond with, you’re deep in the gray area. Your work boyfriend is interfering with your relationship even though you’re not sleeping with him.
What are you doing with him then? Well, you work together, and he makes your job easier, but it’s not just that. You share a lot, and you have a special connection that you don’t share with the rest of your colleagues.
Before we try to convince you to avoid this sort of working relationship, let’s define things properly.
What is a work boyfriend?
A work boyfriend is a male colleague with whom you get along very well and have a deep, special, but purely platonic relationship with. You may sincerely love them as a person and want to spend lots of time with them, but you aren’t romantically involved. In fact, you already have a boyfriend.
Only, your actual boyfriend might not want to hear about your day at the office, your deadlines, and the latest thing your boss did. That’s where a work boyfriend comes in.
While your relationship with your work boyfriend is platonic, it can easily develop into something more. So, it is a threat to your actual relationship. And there are other reasons why having one is not such a great idea.
12 Reasons NOT To Have A Work Boyfriend If You Have An Actual Boyfriend
Having a work boyfriend can be tempting. After all, it’s a platonic relationship, so there’s no harm done, right?
Even though you might be in the gray area now, it’s easy to cross that line and create a messy situation that could have been easily prevented.
Here are all the reasons why you shouldn’t have a work boyfriend if you’re already in a relationship with someone else:
1. An emotional affair is still an affair.
Different people define cheating in different ways. For some, it’s just the sexual act that counts as cheating, while others include kissing, holding hands, and so on.
But what about developing deep feelings for someone?
Physical affection aside, what about the affection that comes straight from the heart, a heart that you’ve already promised to someone else?
An emotional affair is when you develop an intimate connection with someone without crossing the line and getting physical. However, you share a lot with them, including your heart. So, it’s cheating in a way.
Think about it. How would you feel if your partner had a very close friendship with someone from their workplace? What if they had a work girlfriend that they spent time with every day and they connected with on a deep level? Would you be fine with that, or would you feel like you’re being cheated on?
2. Your boyfriend may get jealous.
When you get too close to a male coworker, your boyfriend is likely to get jealous. He won’t be fine with the fact that you’re sharing your intimate thoughts with someone from your workplace that you consider to be a close friend. A close male friend that finds out about things sooner than your actual boyfriend. A friend that you go to more than your boyfriend. And a friend that gets a lot of your attention and affection, every single day of the week.
Wouldn’t you be jealous? Your boyfriend might even cause a scene or make problems for you at work, and you don’t need that in your professional life. Your love life and professional life are best kept separate from each other.
3. It’s inappropriate.
You and your work boyfriend probably flirt with each other, even if innocently. This is inappropriate for several reasons. For one thing, you are already in a relationship with someone else, so flirting with other people is close to cheating. In addition, flirting is not encouraged in most companies, and it might even break company policies.
You might consider it innocent, but people around you have probably noticed what’s going on. They likely consider it to be inappropriate, and you might even get in trouble.
In any case, you don’t want those rumors to start spreading because, rest assured, people will spice up the story to make the gossip sound juicier. More on that later.
4. You might be leading on your work boyfriend.
Maybe you’re sure that this is just a platonic relationship and nothing more than that, but is your work boyfriend aware of that too?
He might be hoping that you’ll eventually become more than friends. There’s a chance that he’s not happy with the role of a work boyfriend and wants to be an actual boyfriend.
Even though you already have one, since you’re giving him the green light by engaging in a close relationship, he might think that you’ll be a real couple soon. Don’t lead him on when you don’t really want to leave your actual boyfriend for him.
5. You’re risking your relationship.
Getting into a close relationship with a male coworker is a slippery slope, even if that relationship is platonic for now. It could jeopardize your relationship with your actual boyfriend, whether it’s because he’s jealous, or because the platonic relationship becomes something more.
In any case, it’s not fair to your real boyfriend that you go to someone else for what you need, even if it’s just to talk. If you share more with your work boyfriend than with your actual one, you’re messing up your relationship.
In addition, you’re developing feelings for someone else that can very easily turn into romantic feelings, if they’re not that already.
6. You’re risking your job.
Close relationships with coworkers might actually go against your company policy. Even if it’s not forbidden, it’s definitely not going to stay a secret. The two of you will act differently, and other coworkers will notice that, as well as your boss.
In most companies, these things are frowned upon, even if they’re not strictly forbidden. Your work boyfriend can influence your performance at your job, and that’s not going to make your boss happy. Other coworkers might also turn against you, and a bad reputation could cause you major problems in your professional life.
7. It’s a distraction from both work and the relationship.
One of the reasons why company policies often forbid close relationships in the workplace is because they are distracting. You’ll be investing a lot of your attention and energy into your relationship with your work boyfriend.
This will distract you from your job and from your actual relationship. We only have a limited amount of these resources (time, effort, energy, attention, affection…), and when you invest a lot into a relationship with a work boyfriend, your real relationship and your job may suffer as a result. You could become too distracted by your work boyfriend to work efficiently and maintain your actual relationship.
8. Things will get awkward.
When it comes to friendships with the opposite sex, it’s easy to cross the line. When that person is someone you see every day at your workplace, things can get awkward. If one of you falls in love with the other, you’ll have a messy situation at your job and in your romantic relationship.
Things will be awkward with people around you as well. This is why it’s best to avoid anything romantic in the workplace. Staying professional is your best bet, but more on that later.
9. You act differently at work.
Your feelings for your work boyfriend and that relationship will impact the way you act in your workplace. Your behavior will undoubtedly change, which could cause problems for you with your coworkers and your employer.
As a result, people may begin to spread rumors about you in the workplace that could ultimately cost you your job.
10. You’ll have to see each other every day.
It’s easy to get involved with someone you met at a bar or some other place that you visit once in a blue moon. However, when you get involved with someone that you see every day, you’re getting yourself into a lot of trouble.
Having a one-night stand with someone you picked up in a bar is easy—you never have to see them again. When it comes to your work boyfriend, you will have to see him again, every day, no matter what happens between you. And even if you don’t hook up, there is the potential for fights, sexual tension, and all sorts of other things that will mess up your life.
11. You might cheat on your real boyfriend.
Ultimately, you might physically cheat on your real boyfriend with your work boyfriend. No matter how well you think you can control yourself, getting into close relationships with the opposite sex is a risk, especially in the workplace.
It’s very easy and tempting to cross the line. Emotional affairs might not be “technically cheating” but they very often lead to what we would all definitely agree IS cheating. And sleeping with your colleague is a very bad idea.
12. People will gossip about you.
What about your other colleagues? They will surely notice what’s going on and even exaggerate it when they pass it on. You could become the subject of gossip. Those rumors might even become about you having an affair with your work boyfriend, and it will be difficult to prove that it’s not true.
The worst part is that work rumors follow you even when you switch workplaces, so it’s best to stay professional with colleagues.
How To Maintain Healthy Boundaries With Work Colleagues
People don’t just go to work and say, “Hey, let me get myself a work boyfriend.” It doesn’t work that way.
It just somehow happens. You find yourself growing fond of your male colleague as you spend more and more time with him.
If it’s not a rational choice that you make, how can you prevent it?
Setting boundaries in the workplace could help you avoid all sorts of problems, including inappropriate friendships. Here’s how to maintain healthy boundaries with work colleagues instead of turning them into work boyfriends:
1. Make it clear that you’re already taken.
Is your work boyfriend aware of your actual boyfriend? Maybe you’ve mentioned it, but you try not to talk about it. This leads others to believe that your relationship isn’t serious.
It would be a good idea to make it clear that you are in a committed relationship. For instance, you could do this by placing a picture of you and your boyfriend on your office desk. This would at the same time remind you of your actual boyfriend so that you don’t get carried away with your favorite male colleague.
2. Spend time in a group, not one on one.
Being alone together gives you a chance to bond more, connect, share, and give your entire attention and energy to each other. This is exactly why it’s a bad idea. Avoid spending alone time together.
This doesn’t mean that it’s over between you. You can still hang out in a group, just stay at a safe distance so you don’t inadvertently develop romantic feelings for each other. You could also try to treat all your colleagues equally instead of forming a more personal relationship with one of them.
3. Shake hands instead of hugging or kissing.
Maybe you always hug each other when you meet, or you kiss each other on the cheek. This is a bit too personal for colleagues. Shaking hands is much more professional and appropriate for the work environment.
Do other people at your workplace hug each other and kiss? You should especially avoid this kind of behavior while you’re working, and even after work hours as well.
Really, why are you hanging out after work hours in the first place?
4. Don’t hang out or talk after work hours.
Don’t take your work home with you. When you’re off the clock, communicating with colleagues should happen very rarely.
Sure, if you’re friends, you might occasionally exchange a few messages and maybe get coffee. But if this is your potential work boyfriend, it’s best to limit your relationship to work hours. All of this comes down to being professional.
5. Don’t drink together.
Colleagues sometimes get drinks, and it’s already been mentioned that you could hang out in a group instead of one-on-one. However, when you’re trying to steer clear of having a work boyfriend, it’s best to avoid alcohol.
It might even be a good idea to kindly decline an invitation for drinks regardless of the fact that other people will be there and you wouldn’t drink alcohol. If you want to have a strictly professional relationship with your colleagues, keep your relationship in the workplace.
6. Confide in female friends instead.
Having a purely professional relationship with the people you work with can be challenging. You might want to confide in someone, and that’s okay. However, choose a female friend instead of a male colleague.
No one said that being friends with people you work with is wrong, but when you want to avoid having a work boyfriend, spend more time with female coworkers instead.
You could have an equally meaningful and fun platonic relationship without the risk of it crossing the line and turning into something more than that.
7. Stay professional.
In the end, it’s best to stay professional. Get along with the people you work with but don’t get too friendly. Keep your professional life separate from your personal life. Dedicate more time to your love life and figure out why you needed a work boyfriend in the first place.
When you’re at work, focus on your job and your female friends. If it’s too difficult to be around your male colleague, you could even consider asking your boss to be transferred to a different workstation. It’s better than risking getting fired and damaging your relationship with your actual boyfriend.