Is office romance officially dead? A new study from CareerBuilder shows that dating colleagues is becoming a thing of the past.

By Liz Steelman
February 07, 2018
Petar Chernaev/Getty Images

Your parents might have been boss and administrative assistant. Your best friend might have found her life partner in the cubicle next door. But a new study shows that, odds are, those dating today won’t meet the love of their life at a 9-to-5: According to a new study, office romance is at a 10-year low.

For CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey of romance in the workplace, the career-management website tapped The Harris Poll to create an online survey asking about the intraoffice dating habits of 809 workers between November 28 and December 20, 2017. All participating employees were employed in the private sector and worked full-time.

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Today’s office romance landscape looks quite different than it did ten years ago: In 2008, 40 percent of respondents admitted to dating a coworker. Today, that number is only 36 percent. And if someone today is dating one of their associates, it’s likely you don’t know anything about it: 41 percent of those dating colleague kept it a secret at work.

It’s no surprise that people are avoiding finding love at work: The representations of dating at work in media rarely show a happy ending. However, that’s not as close to the truth as we think. The survey actually gives evidence that it’s a good way to find happily ever after: According to the survey, 31 percent of workers who dated at work ended up getting married. And surprisingly, even when an office affair went cold, it wasn’t as ruinous as movies and television would leave us to believe. Only 6 percent of workers ended up leaving a job because of a relationship that went sour.

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Though office romance seems to be unfashionable now, don’t be surprised when it rears its head again. “The fact remains that office romance has been around forever and continues to be,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resourced officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “To avoid negative consequences at work, it's important to set ground rules within your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private."

Find out you and a colleague are crushing on each other? Just make sure to do the following: Check with HR that you have a green light and, once you have it, keep your relationship drama out of the office.