Wedding Woes

Work romance and office problems

Dear Prudence, 
I am a single woman in my mid-30s and have worked for a private company for almost a decade. A few months ago, I took on a new role, working for a partner, “Tom,” who is a few years older than I am. He is notoriously volatile but has always been very nice and professional toward me. A few months ago, Tom and I were working late on a project, and he kissed me. I was shocked. Our interactions had always been strictly professional. We are both single, but I never considered him a dating option because he’s brought a series of different glamorous girlfriends to social events. Tom confessed that he’s liked me for years. We have been seeing each other secretly since then. In private, he is gentle, soft-spoken, calm, and fun—a 180 from his rough and short-tempered work personality. He is also extremely wealthy, which brings with it all the benefits you would expect—travel, luxury gifts, fancy restaurants, etc. Tom recently broached the subject of reporting our relationship to work. We think the other partners would want me to switch out of his group if we report, and that would be a bad move for my career. (I would need to switch companies to keep doing the same type of work.) He told that me it’s up to me but that he’d love not to have to see each other in secret anymore. He’s a partial owner so his career won’t be negatively affected. I like Tom. A lot. But all of my friends think something is fishy—they don’t think it’s normal that he has such vastly different work and private personalities, and they also think it’s unprofessional and sketchy that he pursued someone who reports to him. I guess I have similar reservations, but I am having so much fun with this fairy tale relationship that I am afraid to address them. What do you think?

—Confused ... but Having Fun

Re: Work romance and office problems

  • I might need more details, but the volatile behavior and kissing her at work and he's half the boss. I don't know. Don't you inquire before to see if they are interested before you plant a kiss.

  • I'm glad you changed careers, OP. Clearly the mental health field wasn't for you.
  • Who is she talking about?
  • I work with people who have completely different personalities outside work.  *I* don't understand it, but I don't think it necessarily makes them a bad person.

    I don't like that he seems to be in control of everything and his wants, while she seems to be subsuming her wants to his.  I can't blame him for everything here, she seems to be acting a bit like a doormat too.  I mean, he kissed her and she started dating him.  He wants to do this, leaves it up to her, and she's leaning towards what he wants.  

    She should at least wait until they're seriously dating and talking future plans before doing this.
  • I think the real question is did he ever rip out her tampon and flush it in a fit of passion?
  • Does she work for Christian Grey?
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