We could go on and on about different scenarios where it’s best to keep it “just friends” with that particular someone within your social circle – whether it be a coworker, someone in your close group of friends or a person that one of your friends has previously dated. Most of the time we know it’s probably not a good idea, but it’s only natural to wonder about taking it a step further when you think there may be a stronger connection. So what about those situations where we are curious if there could be something more? Cupid spoke with the relationship experts on how best to navigate.
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“The friend zone is a tricky space. We all want to make that Hail Mary pass, but we don’t always prepare for it not working out,” said author of “You Are WHY You Eat” and licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. “That doesn’t mean that it won’t work since many great relationships start as friendships, but you need to be prepared.”
With coworkers. The first step is to make sure they’ve made some sort of indication that they might also want to take the relationship to the next level and then to think about how it could impact your job and reputation at work in the future. “It’s very important that you discuss beforehand what happens if it doesn’t work out. Can you go back to just being friends? Will it become awkward? How will you acknowledge each other at work,” said relationship expert and celebrity life coach Melanie Mar.
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“Tread lightly in the workplace and think about the ramifications,” adds Durvasula. “If it’s all that then one of you may need to consider jumping ship from the company.”
For those of you that do decide it’s worth the risk, Mar advises that you need to distinctly separate your professional and social lives. “For example, if you’re dating someone from work, when you go out together on a personal level, work must never be discussed and you need to date as you would any other person – discussing family values, upbringing, future planning, those types of things, but steer away from any shop talk.”