Office Romance Expat

Abigail Ekue-Smith

Since January of this year, I haven't been part of the world of "traditional" employment. Office politics, punching time clocks and useless meetings can go crawl up somebody's butt. But I still couldn't help but wonder about all the juicy stuff I was missing out on. The sex, lies and videotapes (big brother is always watching). The office romance. Even if you don't get involved with someone you work with, many a person's love life revolves around work. You meet your significant other at work, after work, on your way to work etc… All the rush hour jostling on the subway allows you to get a feel and whiff of your partner, you chat and learn what their interests are, who they be with, things that make them smile, what numbers to dial...

I don't get to spend 8 hours a day in close proximity to potential mates or attractive men (or men who will appear attractive over time), there are no office parties in which to embarrass myself (thankfully, I was never that girl). At my last job, I did have a work crush, but didn't act on it. I had the opportunity to counsel coworkers on their relationships and had male coworkers to practice my feminine wiles on. In the absence of guaranteed interaction with other people will my social skills falter? Will I suddenly become awkward or inept around men I'm attracted to? Or am I destined to pairing up with a man who is a freelancer like myself?

I can imagine how much fun it is to see your babe at work every day. Sneaking glances while slinking past each other’s cubicles or sending dirty IMs… winking and blowing kisses during meetings. Or picture this scenario: the elevator doors are about to close when you hear a familiar voice call out, "Hold the elevator!" Once the third wheel passenger gets off the elevator a few floors later the two of you proceed to grope like octopuses and rediscover what the other had for breakfast. Or perhaps you simply cop feels at the coffee machine. Ah, office romance...

We're humans though and it's inevitable that we'll take work home and bring home to work.  I love to keep those two worlds separate. Office romance practitioners have to juggle keeping their personal and professional lives apart. Lover’s tiffs can soon become water cooler conversation. Or what if one of you strays? You'd have to cope with that or a love triangle of people you're forced to exchange Secret Santa presents with each December. Not cool.

Have my opportunities to "find romance" been limited because I am not part of the commuter workforce? Am I missing out on something?

Nah, it ain't all bad.

Not being a slave to a time clock or shift means I can go on dates anytime. Picnics in Central Park on a Tuesday, having the whole museum to ourselves, and late-night dates with no worry of having to wake up early the next morning.

What’s for certain is that the job you keep does seem to dictate the circle you run in, who you'll end up spending most of your time with and quite possibly who you fall in love with.


Abigail Ekue-Smith is a freelance writer living in New York. When not busy writing about proper health, nutrition or proper sex, she watches people or just makes it up in her fiction. Read more at: