With another Valentine's Day come and gone, now is probably a good time to take stock of whether any of your office friendships are in danger of becoming something more -- something that could jeopardize your relationship with your spouse and family.
"A workplace friendship with someone of the opposite sex can easily become a workplace romance," said infidelity expert Ruth Houston, founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com and author of "Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs."
"Anytime workmates of the opposite sex work in close proximity on a regular basis for extended periods of time, the potential for workplace romance or office affairs exists," she said.
So how can you tell if your opposite-sex friendship with a co-worker is in the danger zone? To help identify workplace friendships dangerously close to becoming a workplace romance, Houston designed the following workplace romance quiz:
SCORING (count the total number of yes answers):
- Are you concealing information about your workplace friendship from your spouse or significant other?
- Do you confide in your workplace friend now instead of your spouse?
- Do you find yourself turning to your workplace friend for emotional support?
- Is your workplace friend more fun to be with than your spouse?
- Do you complain to your workplace friend about your spouse or your marriage?
- Do you devote more time, attention, or energy to your workplace friend than you devote to your spouse?
- Do you concoct reasons or create excuses to be with your workplace friend?
- Do you miss your workplace friend when you're not together?
- Do you find your workplace friend sexually attractive?
- Do you use your workplace friend as a sounding board for your personal problems?
- Would you act differently toward your workplace friend if your spouse were present?
- Do you fantasize about your workplace friend?
- Would your spouse be upset to see how you interact with your workplace friend?
- Would you be uncomfortable with the situation if your spouse had a similar workplace friendship with someone of the opposite sex?
1 - 4 -- This is a relatively harmless workplace friendship unless both questions 1 and 9 were answered yes. That would automatically put this friendship in the danger zone.
5 - 8 -- This is a workplace friendship that is dangerously close to becoming a workplace affair. If both 1 and 9 were answered yes, it's already there.
9 - 14 -- This is a workplace friendship which has already advanced to the level of a workplace affair. As such, it poses a very serious threat to marriages or relationships.
If you're concerned about your (or your partner's) workplace friendship and want to know what to do, you can request Houston's free tip sheet titled "How to Keep a Workplace Friendship from Becoming a Workplace Romance." Just e-mail InfidelityAdvice@gmail.com with "Workplace Romance Tip Sheet-p" in the subject line.