Workplace romances aren’t as taboo as they used to be, and many people — my parents included — find their partners in workplace environments. Here’s the thing though, they don’t always work out for the better, and even if they do, what sort of rules and regulations do you follow at work? And honestly, how do you survive the day knowing that the person who just winked at you over the coffee bar has seen your intimates?

Myself, Marié and Carmen are here to help you bolster through the awkward situations, and come out glowing at the other end.

Tasha – Don’t work in the same place as his ex!

We were friends before we’d started dating, and as a result, we’d started working at the same place. During my third year at Stellenbosch, I started working at a pretty well-known wine farm in the Durbanville Wine Valley. Originally this wasn’t an issue because where they were working in the tasting room, I was working in the restaurant and really our paths didn’t cross all too often. Unfortunately it didn’t stay so simple. They broke up a couple months after I’d settled into working there, and we started seeing each other a few months after that. Things turned sour pretty quickly; where he was all smiles and sweet gestures, she was glaring daggers and whispering pointedly into ears.

I’m not saying that she was to blame for anything that happened on the farm, I’m just stating that it was highly coincidental that around the time he and I started seeing each other as more than friends, my shifts drastically dwindled into nothing. Also, my pretty little car sustained some pretty nasty scratches one of the days that she was on duty… almost as if a set of car keys had been involved.

Carmen – Don’t work and live with your significant other

I’ve never understood people who work and live with their significant others. What exactly do you talk about when you get home? They already know everything you’ve done and experienced all day! Obviously I know that there’s more to life than working and talking about work, but it does take up a massive chunk of our time on earth.

I used to work with my boyfriend — well, actually, I met him at work. We didn’t really work together for too long, probably only about a month or two after we started dating, but I wouldn’t recommend it. We weren’t living together at that stage (obviously, as I had just met the man), but we were spending as much time together as possible. And if you work the same shifts and spend all of your time outside of work together, it’s quite easy to get sick of each other, or to start telling a story and realise within two sentences that he was right next to you when it happened.

I’m not saying it won’t work for everyone — my boss and his wife work together every day and they seem to be doing perfectly fine — but keep your personality in mind and make sure you don’t get trapped in a situation you can’t escape.

Marié – Just because it’s a big company, doesn’t mean you won’t see him ever again.

Don’t for one moment think that if it’s a corporate company with over a 1 000 employees that you will never see his face again. It was time for the year-end functions at our company, and I went all the way to Middelburg to attend the event there. I’m a sucker for a good looking guy, and man, oh man, was he a looker. We knew each other from university and hit it off right away.

The next day I went back to Pretoria and the good looking ghost from my university past was left behind in Middelburg, or so I thought, until he made a yet another appearance. Not as a ghost from my past, but rather as the new addition to the Pretoria office. And just like that, the ghost from my year-end function became a reality, one that was hanging around in every corner of the office.


Just a girl, wishing she were a cat. You can find this peanut-butter enthusiast curled up in a sunny corner with a good book and a glass of wine.

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