Could a Co-worker Steal Your Man Away?
Not to make you all crazy, but here’s why, and how to stem his temptation.
Tongues wagged not long ago when Angelina Jolie reportedly performed a sexy dance for former co-star Oliver Martinez. Though Angelina and current man Brad Pitt seem solid (the giveaway: their cozy candlelit meal in Pague), the behaviour highlighted a disturbing fact that all women are aware of: when a guy has chemistry with a female co-worker, it can challenge your relationship.
And the perceived threat is very real. “A colleague gets to spend more time with your guy than you do, and she sees him when he’s energetic and at his best,” says Ayala Malach Pines, PhD, author of Romantic Jealousy and Falling in Love. Throw in shared interests, booze-infused work outings, and the draw of power dnamics and you have a power keg ofsexual potential.
There’s more insidious risk too. “At work, you come to appreciate someone’s personality over time,” says psychologist Debbie Magids, PhD, co-author of All the Good Ones Aren’t Taken. When a relationship blosoms at work, it’s an emotional affair first, which is even more dangerous than a one-night fling.
So how can you nip simmering feelings in the bud from afar? If you have a weird sense about a certain co-worker, it’s your right to say, “I’d prefer that you don’t spend time alone with her or better yet ask him to introduce you two”. A healthy relationship will withstand that show of concern, but if yours can’t, then the problem runs deeper than a little on-the-side flirtation.
Next, take an interest in your boyfriend’s job by asking him about projects, encouraging his endeavors, and congratulating him when he has a win. Many men define themselves by their professional success. A work confidante is often tempting because she appreciates that core chunk of his self-worth. When he starts getting that same reinforcement from you, she’ll lose her unique allure.