“It is a good idea to not try and fix a plane whilst in the sky.”
I have recently become a regular viewer of the The Office US. I fully appreciate this may seem like an eternity to many people who watched it over a decade ago, but I guess we all collide into TV shows retrospectively and by accident. I find it very entertaining.
Alongside the admirable acting, storylines and humour, the one thing that stood out was the sheer frequency of in-house relationships they scripted. I guess this is a critical ingredient to keep the drama at an optimum in order to consequently keep the viewing figures high. In any case, it all got me thinking of my past office and workplace experiences, and those former colleagues who chose a similar path to date someone within the same workplace.
What do the statistics show?
Based on this report, it is now found that just over one in ten couples are finding love in the workplace. This is compared to one in five romances in 1990 that were a by-product of workplace colliding.
The report appears to stress on the bias that this is a small number, but you have to base your argument on a little more than just this 11% (of today, or 20% from >30 years ago) of workplace in isolation:
· First, there will be more than a few couples who aren’t declaring the truth, and they perhaps want to keep this on the quiet. Whilst I accept this would be minimal in the whole scheme of things, it still should be considered that it would increase the figures somewhat.
· Second, in actuality 11% is still quite a high number bearing in mind that a man, and a woman, will meet far more women and men respectively in their social outings (should they not be socially inept out of work) than they will at work. For example, a man can, and should, see far more women on just one night out than he would in weeks of working at the same place.
In any case, irrespective to whether you think 11% is low or high, I lean much more towards this study from 2014. This article concludes to 30% of relationships starting at work. Therefore, if we just take an idle average between both reports, it concludes to just over 20% of people being in a relationship with someone they met at work. One in five then. That’s pretty high, based on my explanation in the second bullet point above.
Why am I reluctant to take this path?
I would by no means say I have never been attracted to any women I have met in the workplace. Whilst this number would be a tiny minority (to be frank, meeting a cute or hot woman in male dominated environments amongst the much higher numbers of female mingers is like finding a needle in a haystack), there have been a few ladies who remain in my memory. I would firmly say, on top of this, that an even smaller number of women who stay in my mind for sexual attractiveness purposes were simply women who were seen on isolated (and often only one) occasion as a coincidental passing attendee or visitor.
My view to subconsciously abstain from meeting a woman within the workplace to have a relationship or fling with has always been based on a few reasons:
· It would bore and tire the relationship due to seeing her too much.
· You would get in the middle of dramas and issues where politics and “sides” are encountered, in particular if she was at the centre of any situation.
· I don’t like women knowing too much about my personal finances or workplace ambitions (or lack of!) – which could be far easier worked out by her if she occupied at the same company.
· Belonging to two totally separate workplaces, industries, occupations and colleague networks would give the two of us more to talk about.
· I have always had enough confidence in my offerings as a man to women to know I can meet a woman in alternative social environments – gyms, bars, nightclubs, on the street, or through sheer coincidence – to avoid having to even consider the negatives in dating a woman from the same office.
For the purpose of a caveat, I would stress that I do not have a problem being in a relationship with a woman who works within the same (preferably large) company, but just not at the same office premises. Even then, I would prefer not to.
The reasons men will meet their future girlfriend/wife in the workplace
At the risk of sounding harsh, and this was alluded to above and has been documented directly on this blog in the past, the vast majority of men in a random workplace (and to be fair, the vast majority of men generally) are not striking women’s attentions on a wholesale basis (whether that be at work or elsewhere) on face value alone. Simply put, most men are basically invisible to women on a sexual attraction basis.
Additionally, the vast majority of men are not greatly confident when it derives to interacting with women they do not know personally. Most men do not attain the courage to approach a woman they do not know, let alone ask her out.
Nevertheless, the workplace acts as a big mitigation to this predicament for a man. First, knowing a woman via work eradicates much of his anxiousness and low confidence around women. He can get to know her gradually, and then strike when all signs are there. Second, and far more applicable, is the fact that a profession, in particular as he climbs the career ladder, acts as an attraction onto a woman when in normal circumstances she would barely notice him. The status, money, potential, and perhaps power can sway women to his attention, and disguise over his lacking physical allure.
This all manifests to give a man opportunities with women – including women at the high end of female physical attractiveness – which he would not open up for himself in a bar, club, gym or elsewhere.
The reasons women will meet their future boyfriend/husband in the workplace
With women, the reasoning and motivation is much different in gender relative terms. In fact, it is so different that it is almost a complete opposite to why a man would meet his future female partner at work.
In spite of a decrease in men having the balls to approach women who they do not know, and an increase in women’s negative receptiveness to being approached by men they do not know, most sought-after women will still find the path to men asking them out. Granted, this may be more common via friendship or social networks than cold approaching from men in gyms, bars and clubs, but ultimately they will still produce invitations from the opposite sex. In essence, there is a much higher percentage of women who attract the eyes of men in contrast to a tiny minority of men who attract the eyes of women.
With this in mind – women attracting men without the need (unlike men) of a workplace to gain attraction from the other sex – then why would women choose to meet a man at work?
· First, and as explained on earlier, a woman can become more attracted to a man once his professional offerings are exposed. A woman finds earnings (and the potential male financial provisioning this will bring which benefits her life) very appealing, with the associated company profile and power (sometimes even when he comes across as a pathetic office bully) not far behind her primary predilection.
· Second, as much as most women will deny this, they go looking for drama, self-attention, being talked about, and complications in their life. All these boxes can be ticked in dating a man, or sometimes just having an affair with a man, within the same workplace. Why date the equal sought-after (or even better catch) man she met in the bar on Saturday, when the guy at work brings about all the necessities a woman craves for.
A final thought
In truth, there is not much more to say or explain. I think it has now essentially all been covered.
In easy summary, a man will look to find a woman in the workplace to compensate for his low courage traits in approaching women in the big bad world outside of work, in addition to being able to display endearing appeal at work to women who would otherwise walk past without noticing him.
On the other hand, women will seek a man in the workplace due to finding him more appealing than in any other social environment, all else being equal. Add on the drama and attention that this will create, and voila, all the pieces to the jigsaw are complete.
As a man, strive to find any free (or near cost free) benefit that can further your attraction onto women. Work on your physical attractiveness (on the basis you are a man who is not already catching the eyes of innumerable women), but understand this is not a huge factor in the overall scheme of things. Smell good, look confident, be firm but approachable, have a pleasing to others personality, portray strong body language, and perhaps most of all, be aware of what attracts women in the first place. Everything else should fall into place.