Plenty of people work at home these days, not just Moms (SAHM). But when you’re single and work at home — either because you’re an entrepreneur or have a flex-job that leaves a lot of time for JDate-surfing (and stalking) and means that you may be a bit too available to answer an email quickly, schedule a date and just be over-available. Additionally, when you tell someone that you work at home then they might think that you are unemployed or under-employed. It’s great to have the skills and flexibility to work from home (believe me!) but how you convey your career to a prospective date is important.
Let your prospects know that you have a home office and set hours and although you can meet for a lunch date you only have a limited amount of time because you need to get back to work. Of course, you can also let a date know that you can move deadlines and meetings around in order to continue the momentum of a really great date, just don’t risk your career.
If you don’t have a home office, set something up that is not necessarily on your kitchen table or spread across your bedroom floor. Your professional career — and love life — will thank me later.
If your on-the-job relationship is like Grey’s Anatomy, where the employees are incestuous and the relationships are literally bleeding into your job, then you may need to rethink dating a co-worker. We all like the idea of being that sweet couple that carpools to work and meets for lunch and steals secret kisses in the hallway, but most of us won’t be in one of those relationships. Spending time with your loved one at home and at work is overkill and you are going to start getting on each other’s nerves and that will start to affect your work. Alas, if you aren’t in the same department it might work. Or if you’ve been dating long enough that you’re past all of the b.s. and now work in the same office then it might work. But if you see a coworker on JDate think about the worst case scenario before you get too excited about the fellow MOT being single. That person may be better as a wingman and bestie. It could be beshert, but just think it through first (and double check your company’s fraternizing rules).
Dear Gems from Jen,
A couple of months ago, a man in another department at work began showing me a tremendous amount of attention. I recently realized he was showing up everywhere and calling me for questions I knew he didn’t need to ask. He’s really friendly and funny and we get along great. He asks a lot of questions, sometimes personal as if he is seeking information about me, and I enjoy the attention. I finally got the courage to ask him out and he thanked me profusely but said, “That wouldn’t be possible because I’m sort of seeing someone right now.” It was the most uncomfortable thing, but he kept me there talking for 45 minutes and since then he has not backed off at all; if anything he may even be more attentive. I really like him but would not want to hurt anyone and also feel kind of angry that he might be playing a game with me. Friends say maybe his relationship is not working out and he’s “testing the waters.” Also, we are both in our early 40s but he is single with no kids and I’m divorced with four kids. What should I do?
Dear Conflicting Messages,
It sounds to me as if this guy has already given you your answer. You asked him out and he told you he was dating someone else. I understand the attention is enjoyable, but do you want to date someone who is asking personal questions while involved with another woman? I’m also curious as to how you could potentially hurt him? It sounds to me as if he has hurt you with his conflicting messages. My suggestion is to set your sights on someone who is available, not someone who gives you only partially what you want and need.
Secondly, dating someone from work, even if the person works in a different department, can be like treading dangerous water. What happens if it does not work out? How would you feel going to work every day and seeing this guy? My guess is it would be very uncomfortable, not just for you, but for him as well. Make a conscious effort to spend less time socializing with him. The more distance you put between the two of you, the more ready you will be to meet someone who will not give you conflicting messages. I hope this helps!
Gems from Jen