Should you be wary of an office romance?

Whether it is a coy look across the break room, or a flirtation at the office Christmas party, it is commonplace for romance to blossom in the workplace. Recent data from YouGov shows that 18% of Brits found their current or most recent partner at work. However, there can be complications that arise when a colleague catches your eye. So, what should you bear in mind if you are hoping to date a co-worker who you have romantic feelings for?

You can find yourself drawn towards somebody you work with for a number of reasons. You already have something in common in the job you do, and it’s natural to gravitate towards like-minded people with similar backgrounds. You already know much more about this person and their lifestyle compared with a stranger you met on an app or during a night out. Recent data shows even the pandemic failed to stop workplace romances in their tracks, discovering they may have even increased as employees were looking for a connection when they were forced to work from home. Romance still blossomed, even if the only way people could stay in touch was via video calls and messaging apps.

Many consider it to be important to consider the power balance that may come into play with an office romance. Co-workers dating is often viewed as a very different situation to a hierarchical workplace relationship between a manager and somebody who reports to them. It is often viewed as important to report a relationship with a power imbalance to the HR department or a line manager, so they are aware of what’s going on. Some organisations in the US even have ‘love contracts’ to keep office romances in check, requiring both dating parties to sign to state the relationship is consensual and they are aware of company policies on sexual harassment and workplace ethics.

If you are dating a peer, issues can arise with your fellow co-workers when they suss out what has been going on. They may feel uncomfortable if your relationship is overtly on display, plus they may feel you are no longer efficiently working as a team if you favour each other’s contributions at every meeting. It can help to leave your romance firmly outside of the workplace by not sitting together in meetings and avoiding eating lunch together every day. Public displays of affection at work are a big no-no, as are screaming rows.

Fears of being judged leave many couples deciding to keep their relationship a secret from colleagues, which can also breed resentment if other team members suspect something is going on between the two of you. You can face gossip If you’re the lower status person in a relationship with your manager. There may also be career roadblocks to contend with if you are overlooked for promotion and training opportunities due to fears you will be seen as being favoured unfairly.

Sadly, relationships do come to an end and there’s the issue of how handle your working relationship if you’ve parted ways. Even if you’ve only shared a few dates, it can be awkward to have to face each other every day if romance did not blossom. If it is tough to work together after a painful split, it may be possible to request a transfer to another team or location. You may even decide to leave your role for another job, potentially having to say goodbye to a position you loved. If the relationship endures then you might consider it sensible for one of you to pursue a new role to separate your work and love lives. Office romances will always be part of life, the key is managing them correctly, so your careers and budding relationships are not negatively impacted. Be aware of the etiquette about making a relationship work when you both spend the day in close proximity and be mindful of how colleagues may feel about the pairing. Meeting somebody special is always exciting and it’s imperative you manage the work implications to ensure you have the best chance of making it work in the long run.

If you are looking for somebody new, why not turn to the experts for a helping hand? Our matchmakers use intuition, personality profiling and their extensive private networks to provide personalised introductions to some truly amazing people. Get in touch today to find out the next exciting steps!


Does a large age gap matter in a relationship?

It is a staple of many a gossip magazine story. From Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde to Amal and George Clooney, large age gaps in relationships often set tongues wagging.

The topic of age in relationships trigger many strong opinions – especially when it comes to an individual’s own dating preferences. However, it’s certainly not uncommon to find many couples consider age to be merely a number when it comes to settling down. In western countries around 8% of male-female couples have an age gap of 10 years or more. The gaps can be even larger than that, with an estimated 1% of heterosexual couples in the US having an age difference of 28 years or more.

Our online lifestyles mean the pool of people we socialise with has expanded more than ever, making it easier to interact across a range of different generations. While many point out there are advantages to dating somebody the same age as you because you’ll reach the same life milestones at a similar time, others point out the rulebook has been ripped up anyway. The way we approach our careers is so different to generations before us, and many are delaying having children to achieve other goals in their life. Despite all of this, it’s still common to find a lot of entrenched judgement attached to big age gaps. We’ve all heard the insults that are thrown about to describe those involved in them, including sugar daddy for an older man, or gold-digger for a much younger woman. There can be more stigma attached the larger the age gap involved.

So does age matter?

May-December romances, a term to describe a relationship between two people with a considerable age difference, can face challenges which other pairings may not. As we’ve touched upon, you may find friends, family and acquaintances are sceptical and may disapprove of the relationship, especially if the age gap is sizeable. This social pressure may bring difficulties to your relationship and may lessen your support network. However, it’s important not to let the opinions of others sway you if you’ve found somebody who you’ve genuinely fallen for.

Being at different life stages does sometimes presents an issue as you both age, especially if the older partner encounters serious illness or retires while the other is still working. One of you may be in a very different place professionally or financially, which means you’ll need to decide how you’ll manage your money to avoid any feelings of losing independence or being taken advantage of. There can sometimes be struggles in establishing common ground as you might not share similar interests, social circles, tastes, or frames of reference.

When it comes to dating somebody who is significantly older or younger than you, the initial stages of seeing each other can feel much like dating somebody your same age. However, as things get more serious, it pays to look at how things will pan out down the line. If you have different family situations, with one of you already having children, it’s important to consider how it will work if you do settle down together.

Making an age gap work

There’s not an exact science to determining whether an age gap relationship will be successful. Many find the increased self-awareness and care that goes into making the relationship work can help it endure and be successful. As with all healthy relationships, it takes both of you to put in the work to ensure you are both continue to be happy and satisfied. It can pay to focus on shared interests and be open and honest about any roadblocks which you can foresee becoming a problem so you can be prepared to work together to overcome these issues. The ability to compromise can be a big factor in an age gap relationship, especially when different life stages become more noticeable. What might not have seemed so important when you met might emerge into something more pertinent as you both move into different life stages.

It really does come down to a case-by-case situation with individuals, as age is just one part of the equation. When you have a successful relationship where you share similar values, aspirations, beliefs, and goals, and you are prepared to work through any problems that may arise, it will feel like age isn’t a barrier.  

So, considering age isn’t the be all, end all, why not be a little more open-minded? Many daters set a narrow age range on their profile, potentially ruling out plenty of amazing people. It’s important to remember age doesn’t determine who you are or what you want to do. Next time you are looking at a profile of a prospective match, try ignoring the age. Read about the person and recognise the commonalities that you have, and you might just be surprised how much you have in common. It could be the start of something truly amazing.  

Here at Ignite Dating we enjoy working with enthusiastic clients who are committed to finding a life partner with similar family values and outlooks on life. If you’ve decided it’s the right time to start a search for somebody new, then give our expert matchmaking team a call. We specialise in hand-selected matches with amazing people you’ll really share a connection with, helping you with a dating journey that’ll leave you feeling safe and energised.


Christmas date ideas to get you in the festive spirit

Winter may not feel like the most inspiring time to date, with wild weather and long, dark evenings to contend with. Thank goodness for Christmas then, which can inject some much-needed sparkle to the end of the year. The festive cheer opens up a wealth of great date ideas which make the most of the build-up to December 25. You’ll find a jolly atmosphere to be enjoyed everywhere from your local pub to the bustling Christmas markets that spring up across the country.

It’s time to make the most of the romantic dating opportunities available in December whatever stage of your relationship you are in. Cuffing season is truly upon us so you may find many people are keen to meet and enjoy some fun getting-to-know-you dates this Christmas. You may be in a bit of a dating rut and in need of inspiration for some exciting nights out to share with somebody you’ve been seeing for a little while. Or perhaps you have a significant other and you are looking to mix up date night with some seasonal fun. Check out our suggestions for the best date ideas to be enjoyed across the country as everybody looks to get in the Christmas spirit!

Embrace the arts

You’ll find a whole host of live entertainment to be enjoyed at this time of year, which is the perfect excuse to get dressed up in your finest festive attire. From ballet performances and plays to getting in on the pantomime fun, you’ll be sure to find something that suits. It’s a lovely time of year to enjoy a merry carol concert, whether you sing along or just enjoy live musical renditions of those Christmas favourites. Many historic houses and National Trust properties have their own programmes of Christmas-themed music and carols in atmospheric settings.

Cosy nights in

Making the most of the Christmas cheer doesn’t have to mean battling the crowds or wrapping up in several layers to keep warm outside. It’s the perfect time of year to cosy up with a festive film marathon. You can binge watch all your favourite classics and get in the festive mood with the cheesiest of Christmas movies. Prepare some tasty seasonal treats to accompany the films – whip up a batch of gingerbread or make some boozy hot chocolate and indulge together. Rock your ugliest Christmas jumpers or festive PJs if you feel relaxed enough in each other’s company!

Eat, drink and be merry

Restaurants will be going all out at this time of year, preparing tasty set menus and Christmas-themed cocktails – you can’t beat a snowball or a tasty eggnog. If you want to save the feasting until later in the month, there are plenty of al fresco winter terraces that offer drinks under outdoor heaters complete with cosy blankets for that romantic touch. Some even offer alpine chalets and igloo-style bubble pods, so check out if there are cosy pop-ups available in your local area. Prefer to avoid the crowds? Have Christmas cook-off at home where you whip up all your family favourites to share with each other. Pop open a bottle of wine and take your time preparing the meal together to whip up a delicious feast.

Get your skates on

You can’t beat an active date and getting out on the ice is a wonderful thing to do at this time of year. Whether you can give Torvill and Dean a run for their money, or you can barely stand up in skates, it’ll be sure to put a smile on both of your faces. There are plenty of ice rinks erected especially to celebrate Christmas, including Somerset House’s iconic ice rink and Manchester’s offering in the Cathedral Gardens.

Take in the Christmas lights

Keep it simple by grabbing a hot drink and walking around your local Christmas lights. Many houses in nearby streets are illuminated, and towns have their own sparkly festive displays. If you’re near London or another major city, travel in together to have a look at their large-scale displays. There are many Christmas light trails dotted around the countryside with tunnels of fairy lights, illuminated trees, seasonal music, and plenty more, dependent on the venue. It’s a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life and focus on some quality time together.

Are you looking for somebody special to share plenty of good times and new experiences with? Then give our friendly matchmaking team a call. We work hard to understand what you are looking for in a partner and we’re experts at finding them for you. We offer hand-selected introductions to people you’ll really share a connection with, offering you a stress-free and enjoyable search for love.