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How should I handle this? Please help.....


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Little Background:


So... I have been casually dating this girl of and on that technically works under me for the better part of the year. Hasn't really gone any further than that since we agreed to keep it cool considering the circumstances. In fact we didn't really do anything for about two months. Didn't hang out, or really talk at all outside of work. Then recently it kinda started up again. Naturally. She started flirting again and I flirted back. Then I threw out an invitation for dinner and she accepted. We had a great time. She's a great girl.


The problem is that I'm beginning to feel like I may be more lax with her than with the other employees. It's not a conscious effort. I'm really a fair supervisor and honestly everyone there loves and respects me. So... We tend to mess around a lot more than I would allow with most other people. It's kinda on both of us. I kinda get the feeling that she may be slightly taking advantage of me, but I'm not sure.


I feel like I need to talk to her about this, but I'm not sure how to approach this. I don't wanna say anything that would offend her, but I want her to know that I'm going to make a conscious effort to be more professional towards her at work and treat her as equal. And what ever goes on outside of work is between us.


What would be the best way to handle this? I'm especially curious to hear from the ladies. BTW were both in our early 20's. Thanks!

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I wouldn't raise this with her. It's intangible and open to misinterpretation. You're smart for putting this in check, as it's likely been observed by others more keenly than you realize--and coworkers may be veiling their resentment of your favoritism.


Simply change your behavior. Be kind, but be busy. Focus on the work, and keep it there--don't socialize with the girl alone. Don't squelch her behaviors in any way that's humiliating, but laugh and walk straight to some urgent destination--even if that means leaving your own office. She will notice your new patterns, and if she questions you, tell her you've been assigned some new reporting that makes you more visible. Leave it at that.


Your ability to reflect on this is admirable, and it's also wise in this economy.


In your corner.

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I have been in this situation before and I must say, it is a tough one.


My advice on this is to really downplay your realtionship. That means cooling it in the workplace. Trust me, no good can come of it if you don't. She should be able to understand unless she wants others to know about the two of you.


It sounds like you are both still able to do your jobs well and that is good. If others, or your boss, catch wind of your relationship, it could turn out bad. If you really like this girl, keep the work strickly about work and treat her no differently. If she notices and questions you, explain to her how you feel but don't make her feel she has done anything wrong. I agree with catfeeder, others have probably noticed that she is favored. Caution is needed greatly in this case.


You may have dodged a bullet so far so don't let this get away from you both. Good luck.

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