The 5 Dos And Don'ts Of Turning Your Office Crush Into Something Serious

by Samantha Short
Disney-ABC Domestic Television

OK, so the real world is here. By "real world," I mean the fact that your problems are suddenly much bigger than the fact that you need an outfit for happy hour, or that the frat guy from next door hasn't texted you back. You're an adult now, and not the college kind.

The world as you know it is no longer. You have 99 problems, and finding a living, breathing body that can hold a conversation -- not just a six-pack of PBR -- is definitely one of them.

Where do you meet someone who fits most (or at least a few, if we're being realistic) of your desired traits? Do you download Tinder and try to turn meaningless pick-up lines into more than potential one-night stands? Do you go to the bar and hope that someone inside doesn't actually spend every single night there? Maybe you could go to church and hope to find someone under the age of 40?

Meeting someone who grabs your interest is hard after college. I mean, you're used to constantly being surrounded by people your age, who are getting an education. There's like a 90 percent chance that when you meet someone, you already have mutual friends.

There is one place where you are almost for sure going to find someone who catches your eye, but it's probably one of the last places you would want to end up: your office. How could you not find at least one person in your workplace who seems to check most of your "must haves" off the list? Clearly, he or she has a job (that's a big one), your interests are probably similar, you guys will know the same people and you will probably have similar work schedules.

It's bound to happen, but there are some serious dos and don'ts to cover before you jump right in:

Do: Find out if he or she is single.

This needs to happen within the first few minutes of meeting your crush. Thanks to technology these days, it should literally only take you 30 seconds to pull up his or her Facebook and Instagram to see if there's any sign of a love life.

In a relationship? OK. On to the next one.

Do not convince yourself a harmless work crush is fine when he or she is not single. It doesn't matter whether he or she has been in the relationship for four years or four weeks. You have to drop it.

Single? Perfect, but proceed with caution.

Don't: Start dressing to impress.

You need to remember you are still at your place of work. It might be tempting to start vamping up your wardrobe, showing a little more and being a little more bold to catch his or her eye.

But you can't. Keep it professional. If Pam could dress in all pastels and khakis and still make Jim fall in love with her, you can too.

Don't: Tell coworkers.

This is a big one. I know it's so tempting to talk to your work friend about the crush you have, or call dibs so that everyone else knows to back off and respect the rules. But you can't.

Rumors and gossip spread faster at work than in a sorority house, so it's in your best interest to keep your crush to yourself. Tell your other friends or call your mom. Just do whatever you've got to do so you don't tell your work friends.

Don't: Come off as creepy.

I would love to assume everyone just knows when the crush is mutual or when the other person is feeling totally weirded out. But experience proves that some people just don't get it.

Pay attention to see if he or she is interested in you. If you're the one doing all the work, your crush isn't interested.

If he or she looks around for an escape route every time you come up to talk to him or her, he or she isn't interested. If he or she had plans the last 12 times you'd suggested getting together outside of work, please realize that he or she isn't interested.

Do: Hang out in a group.

The first time you hang out with a crush can be awkward, especially when you've only known each other inside the building you both work in. What is this person actually like after hours? What does he or she wear when he or she is not in a professional setting? Does he or she get obnoxious when he or she drinks?

A safe bet is to hang out with both your office friends and your crush. Grab some dinner or drinks after work, even if all you want to do is go home and crawl into bed. Hanging out with a group of co-workers along with your crush takes it one step deeper, but you still have a safety jacket on, just in case.

Office romances are a combination of good and bad waiting to either explode or keep things steamy. If you get past the office crush and voyage into romance, good luck. The crush was hard enough to keep a lid on.