When your personal life and professional life collide, you have to be careful—especially when there's eggnog involved!

By Lisa Tucker
Updated December 05, 2017
Office computer keyboard with holiday decorations and gifts
Credit: Carol Yepes/Getty Images

You may be looking forward to the office holiday party ... or maybe you’re not. But your significant other? He or she is probably wondering how long it will take to get from party back to couch. And while you can (hopefully!) trust your loved one, it’s a good idea to go over a few pointers and grounds rules before the big bash. Here, a few pre-office-party tips for your plus-one.

Related Items

2 glasses of champagne toasting with holiday lights behind them
Credit: Doable/Getty Images

1 We can always get a drink later.

Face it, your partner may consider the open bar to be the best part about hanging around with your work friends. But his goal at this party is to support you—and staying at the top of his game is the best way to do that. Suggest that you each stick to one drink at the party, and then stop on the way home at your favorite wine bar to decompress and deconstruct all of those fabulous personalities.

2 Remember: What we talk about at home stays at home.

Most of us observe the “spouse exception” for any work info that isn’t truly privileged, like who is in danger of getting downsized, or which big client you’re about to sign. After all, we’ve got to confide in someone! But you’ll want to remind your partner that he should keep absolutely mum about any office intel.

3 Yes, she always dresses like that.

Is there someone in your office who is likely to show up in weirdly inappropriate leggings, the world's tackiest tie, or a sweater that looks like it came from Chewbacca’s closet? Warn your partner in advance so he can keep the look of shock off his face.

4 Do not get Phil from Accounting started.

Speaking of Star Wars, be sure to give a heads-up about the folks who will corner unsuspecting spouses to share their theories about The Last Jedi (or their cheese-making hobby, or their child’s brilliant science fair project), unless your partner wants to spend all night trapped by the cheese platter nodding along to an endless monologue.

5 This crowd may not appreciate your mad break-dancing skills.

Work with kind of a dull, conservative group? Let your partner know in advance. His work colleagues might love his dance moves or magic tricks, but yours might roll their eyes.

6 Let’s keep politics out of it for a few hours.

Way too many co-workers can get a tad touchy about politics, sports, religion, and the latest news scandals. Remind your partner to keep the conversation neutral and light. Safe topics? The new copy machine, the boss’s adorable new granddaughter, and the company’s truly excellent holiday-closure policy.

7 When my boss holds out his hand, you’re supposed to fist bump.

Have a germ-phobic colleague who doesn’t shake hands? One who likes to get everyone to do the wave or sing the company softball team’s fight song? Let your honey know about their idiosyncrasies up front—and thank him for playing along. In fact, thank him for being a great sport and listening to all your office rules, since you will turn around and return the favor at his office party next week!