3 days into Valentine’s Day, it is naturally that lonely hearts of the office bond together. What if you prefer to be single or alone on Valentine’s Day? What if you really want to avoid office dating? What if you don’t want to give the wrong idea to the colleague who is asking you? And what if the person who is asking you, is your boss?
As a female working in the male-dominated IT industry, I often have to hop, duck, swerve and even blindly pretend to be ignorant of the cupid’s feeble attempt at shooting arrows. It can happen to anyone in an office environment. Young or Old, Female or Male, Attached or Single. Let me share ways to appropriately turn down an office romance.
Please don’t be insensitive to the person who ask. You can turn him or her down nicely and quietly. It would be nice to say “Thanks for the invite but I am not available.” in face to face rather through texting or worse, on company’s email. Then keep your mouth shut about it, we don’t need a playback episode of high school days all over again.
Use an Excuse
Even it is not true. Humans need justifications, we just can’t wrap our minds without a reason. It would be kinder to say that you have plans for Valentine’s Day rather than “I am just so not into you.” You don’t have to elaborate what your plans are, even you are planning to sit at home with a tub of Ben’s and Jerry’s, watching Youtube videos of cats meowing is still a plan, just not a plan he had thought you have.
Suggest A Group Activity
She or He is really a nice person and you don’t really have plans on Valentine’s Day, why not suggest to him to turn into a group outing of the Singles? Asked him to call his buddies and you call yours, hang out together for movies or dinner. You make new friends and perhaps get to know your colleague a little bit better too.
Don’t Send the Wrong Signals
If you turned him or her down, don’t send the wrong signals by buying him or her Valentine’s Day gift or go out with the office hunk and tell the whole office about it. You should go out right and say a firm no, and not an “Eh..you know..I kinda..maybe not available.” or an “I’ll let you know if and when I’m free.” You are just hanging others out and dry, stringing them along. And that is not nice.
Cite The Company Rulebook
If he or she persist, you can quote the company’s policy on office romance. I like using this one, whenever I sense someone who is kinda sending the romance vibe, I’ll go “I don’t eat where I shit, I don’t shit where I eat. It’s just too messy.” If it is a senior who approaches you, they usually back down once you mention the employee’s handbook.
Go to HR
If He or She persist to the point you are getting really uncomfortable, visit your HR. No one should ever use his or her position in the company to make you say yes to a date. If you said no and he or she still ask at every chance they got, head straight to the HR.
No Hard Feelings
After your gentle rejection, never bring up the subject again. Don’t make it a company joke nor use it against the person to make him or her to gain some kind of leverage. Don’t taunt your coworker by blackmailing “If you overlook my mistake, I’ll go out with you tomorrow.”
Have you faced a similar incident before? How did you turn them down? Share with us at the below comments so others can learn.
Do you think it is cruel to turn them down?
Join MiddleMe at Twitter (MiddleMe_net), FaceBook (MiddleMe.net) and WeChat! Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.