A co-worker of mine recently asked me if she could set me up with a guy in another department at my university. Since my divorce about 2 years ago, I have only started dating again the last few months, but I have not told her much about my personal life. Although I like one man I have recently started dating a lot (The Consultant), I did not want to tell my co-worker about him quite yet. I am sure her intentions to set me up with a colleague are good, but I tend to shy away from workplace set-ups due to the complications that can arise.
Entries in work (5)
A reader recently sent in a comment about the men she was meeting online. She noted that, compared to other occupations, a majority of men who reported having MBAs misrepresented their custody arrangements with their kids (i.e., they claimed to have custody for less time than they actually did), and that lawyers were more likely to report being separated (versus divorced). I’m not sure whether these lawyers were more honest about their marital status than other guys or whether they were more likely to be separated in general, but she does pose an interesting question:
Do our career choices reflect our personalities, and if so, can our careers say something about how we operate and present ourselves in our intimate relationships? In other words, if I meet an MBA, can I draw conclusions about what he is like as a person and how he will act in a future relationship with me?
“Leave your troubles at the door.”
It’s a standard rule of thumb to leave your emotional baggage behind when you clock in at your job. You can’t concentrate on your daily tasks if you’re worried about whether Little Danny will remember his lines in his school play audition. You can’t smile and talk up your proposal to a highly coveted client if last night’s argument with your significant other is still replaying itself, every hurtful word, over and over in your mind. Unless you’re a Method actor or perhaps some incarnation of a brooding songwriter-comedian-artist, your personal life has no place at your job.
The reverse is also true. Imagine you bring your work troubles home...
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to meet the “right” guy and be a mother. The question was, “when?” You see, I also had goals to go to graduate school and get a job as a professor at a university. Sadly, these goals are oftentimes incompatible for anyone in the workforce (click here for more information about this choice). There are many costs involved with motherhood,1 such as loss of wages, decay of skills and lowered productivity, child care expenditures, not to mention losing precious sleep! In fact, for each year of motherhood delay, women can expect a 9% increase in earnings and 3% increase in wages!
Employees who observed more workplace romance also perceived greater workplace sexualization such as flirting and innuendo. 42% had observed a workplace romance at some point at their current job. Romances occurred more frequently when there was high sexualization and male-female contact. However, male-female contact alone did not increase workplace romance.
Salvaggio, A. N., Streich, M., Hopper, J. E., & Pierce, C. A. (2011), Why do fools fall in love (at work)? Factors associated with the incidence of workplace romance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41, 906–937. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00741.x