It’s unavoidable to have a crush on a person with whom you share so much time (at work) with. Unfortunately, office crush is less romantic than it is threatening because you’ll risk losing your job.

In some company, crossing the work-buddy line is even listed as a taboo. This is due to the negative effect that office affair has on an individual’s productivity and professionalism. However, having a crush on a colleague doesn’t mean your career is officially over. Read this article to learn how to navigate an office affair.

Don’t Try Too Hard to Impress Him or Her

Naturally, you would do whatever it takes to impress someone you like. You’ll find yourself obsessively checking out your crush in order to act in a way that will get his or her attention. But try not to let that “desire” distract you from your work. The last thing you would want from this one-sided relationship is getting a bad performance review.

Of all the ways to impress someone, being successful at work has got to be the most effective. Assuming he or she works on the same team with you, what better way to win their heart than with an outstanding achievement. Not only will your crush notice you, your managers will also recognize your contribution which will simultaneously boost your career (and love life) advancement.

Instead of ditching lunch time with your regular team to join your crush’s gang every day, it’s best to keep a safe distance with your crush to keep your emotions in check. Most importantly, don’t make it so obvious that you are flirting with someone in the office, like overdressing for a casual workday, walking and mingling around too frequent or talking about that person all the time.

Would you rather your crush to remember you as his or her hopeless admirer or a successful individual? You should know that the best kind of impression is not made with physical appearance or insincere gesture but one’s confidence and success.

Remove the Person from Your Digital Space

Stop stalking your crush’s Facebook (don’t even think about doing it through the company’s social media accounts). You’ll only end up obsessing with that person even more. Except for the workplace communication channels, it’s advisable to not keep their contact info. There’s no way you can get over your crush if you are constantly reminded of him or her, online or offline.

Note: If you actually start dating, never publicize the relationship on social media space, even if it has been acknowledged by both of your supervisors.  This to avoid unnecessary gossips or conflict among other team members.

RelatedCommon Habits That Make You Look Unprofessional at Work

Learn to Control Your Feelings

You may or may not have a happy ending with that colleague, but either way, there will surely be discomfort in the office. Yes, these pesky feelings are uncontrollable but you must prioritise your career above all else. Whenever you feel like crossing the coworking boundary, remind yourself of the career goals that you have yet to accomplish, basically occupy your thoughts with things that require more mental focus. Talk to your friends (outside of work) or family to help quell the emotional chaos.

If you think about confessing your love, think of the worst: what if you get a rejection? You can choose to leave the company (which means compromising your career) or continue to work despite the awkwardness between the two of you. Not just that, the situation will also affect other colleagues no matter how well you can maintain your professionalism. Think about all the future group meetings or company activities, there’s bound to be moments where you have to deal with your crush face-to-face. So the best advice is – don’t, unless you can’t settle it any other way.

For those who’ve already fallen into the love trap, make sure that you steer clear of inappropriate behaviour at the workplace; for instance, being too attached to each other or prioritizing him or her over your duties. Do keep in mind that no matter how strong the love grows, it’s important to balance the time spent with other colleagues as well.You can also take up a new hobby and give yourself more personal space out of office, who knows you’ll soon realize that the affection is only temporary.

Be Honest with Your Boss (don’t let the rumour spread by itself)

Think you really can’t fight against your emotions towards a colleague, at least tell your direct supervisor about it. If you wait until your boss hears it from someone else, you may end up losing their trust. Especially because it may cause friction and conflict in the team.

There are certain things that you should not bring to the office, but ‘seeing’ your colleague is a huge thing. Your boss needs to be aware of the affair in order to maintain healthy employees’ relations. Perhaps, the management could rearrange the team structure or adjust your work responsibilities to make sure that you won’t be distracted from work (if they can’t afford to lose both of you).

A rule of thumb is deciding a proper time to have this meeting with your manager while ensuring that you are not violating the company’s code of conduct.

Consider a Career Move if the Feeling Gets Overwhelming

Those fleeting moments may make an otherwise mundane workday all the more exciting, but having to hide your feelings every single day can drain your battery even before you start working. As soon as you feel that your fondness towards that special someone may affect your performance, perhaps it’s time to launch the next job search. It’s also a way to set you free from the restrictions that stop you from falling in love in the first place.

While you can’t control the affection that springs between you and your coworker, you can follow the above advice to ensure that you stay on course in your career. On a bright side, having someone to look forward to every day is a great energy booster at work, as long as you can take control of your emotions. It’s okay to have work-husbands or work-wives (aka supporters) but when it comes to finding a real-life partner, act with your brain and don’t just blindly follow your heart.