The average person will spend more than 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many people wind up meeting their significant others at the office. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 38% of people say they have dated someone who works at their same company. And 31% ended up marrying a co-worker.

While most people would agree there’s nothing wrong with dating a co-worker, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect time to share these five quick tips for navigating a workplace romance.

Abide by company policies
First and foremost, know your company’s policy on office romances. Many companies outright prohibit dating among co-workers. It’s important to understand the ramifications and what you could be risking by entering into a relationship with someone you work with.

Avoid PDA at work
Even if your relationship is out in the open, you should always avoid public displays of affection in the office or at any company sanctioned events. This one is plain and simple—keep it professional when you’re on the clock.

Don’t try to hide it
If you’ve worked in an office setting for any length of time, you probably already know how quickly the rumor mill can start churning out gossip. Don’t let water cooler conversations take a toll on your career. Be proactive and set the record straight about an office relationship with any key stakeholders, supervisors, or HR representatives you see necessary.

Set boundaries
It can be easy for personal arguments between couples to spill over at work. In the beginning of a relationship with a co-worker, it’s important to set boundaries. Try your best to think of work as a timeout from discussing personal relationship issues.

Consider the implications
Finally, from the very beginning, it’s important to have an honest conversation about the implications of starting a romantic relationship with a co-worker. Before you get too emotionally invested, be sure you both understand what is at stake and what you may be giving up, then be prepared to make some tough decisions about moving forward.

What is your company’s policy on dating between co-workers? Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with someone you work with? What were some of the challenges? What were some of the rewards? Let us know in the comments section below.

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