Be Patient, Be Discreet: The Dos And Don'ts Of A Successful Office Hook Up

by Ariel Kiley and Simone Kornfeld

Most people spend their days at work staring at a computer screen, indulging in small talk by the Nespresso while swaddled in Banana Republic.

The intention is to encourage productivity, not procreation, but no matter how civilized we manage to act, many of us can’t tame our primal instincts forever.

Of course, we try to ignore these urges, but while we can keep our actions professional, the same may not hold true for our thoughts. There are times in life when it’s best to dismiss rational logic and listen to your libido instead.

If some HR hottie, the fox in financing or the total babe in the tech room have you non-stop drooling, fine, but take these tips into consideration so pursuing an office hookup won’t ruin your career.

DO: Prolong The Pursuit

Remember, there is no rush in your pursuit; you see this person every day, so the "kiss and run" is not an option. You cannot pretend you lost her contact information and she won’t disappear into the depths of the concrete jungle.

So, don’t act impulsively; take your time and let the connection build. At first, being patient might seem like a drag, but dragging it out will earn you vital information and put you in her good graces.

After several instances of friendly flirtatiousness, you’ll be better able to discern if you may actually be interested in this person.

DON’T: Lay Your Heart — Or Any Other Body Part — On The [Conference] Table

Matters of the heart bring us to do things that are potentially out of character, but the office is not an appropriate place to declare your undying love (or lust), sexually harass (never do this) or in any way objectify coworkers.

Over-exposing your feelings (and body) in the office is wildly unprofessional, and blabbering to others about your private thoughts or instigating office gossip is equally inappropriate.

DO: Happy Hour

In adhering to professional decorum, your urges are pent up all day. An office happy hour is the perfect opportunity to allude to your ulterior motives. Make sure to inform your paramour that you’ll be there, and suggest that she join.

Finally, this is your chance to reel in your crush, not with the usual business exchanges, but with your personality. When you two are sitting at the bar, let the conversation veer to personal topics.

DON'T: Get Blackout Drunk.

Getting disgustingly wasted is just plain cheesy. No one wants to clean up puke and call an ambulance, and you certainly don’t want to find out days later that you were getting gropey with the receptionist. Don’t put yourself — or anyone else — in such a compromising position.

If you know you’re prone to overindulgence, have a plan: set your drink limit ahead of time, be sure to eat some carbs during the day and stay hydrated. Limiting your alcohol intake will not compromise your chances with your coworker — in fact, it’ll likely help your case.

DO: Be A Class Act

Keep in mind that the harsh light of day will inevitably return and you will face your hookup back in the office. As you pass her seat, do so with your head held high, knowing you behaved like a perfect gentlemen.

Don’t give her a reason to regret her decision. Don't put your professional reputation in jeopardy.

DON’T: Hook Up With The Wrong Person

Sure, power feels sexy — at times, it’s damn near intoxicating. Who doesn’t want to mate with the alpha of the pack? On the flip side, it’s titillating to be admired. We must use discretion and exercise self-control.

Basically, do not hook up with your boss. Do not hook up with your underlings. Stick to your peers, contract workers, other peoples’ interns, custodial staff, kitchen staff, the plant-watering guy, the exterminator, the in-office yoga teacher (see, plenty of choices).

DO: Deny Everything

Say your best-laid plans took a little detour and you wound up swapping spit with your married marketing director — deny it ever happened! If anyone questions you, say you have absolutely no idea to what the person is referring.

DON'T: Be Weird About It

This is your place of employment, so if you chose to get primal with a coworker, be cool when back on the job. If you actually like each other, find a time (outside of the office) to communicate your feelings.

Whatever the outcome, there is an implicit agreement that in the aftermath of an office hookup, you must act dignified and civilized. Resist any temptations to stalk, spread rumors or excessively avoid her.

If you cross paths at the coffee machine, take the high road and offer your freshly poured Nespresso then get back to work.

Top Photo Courtesy: Fanpop