5 ways to tell if a relationship is ‘unprofessional’

I struggled with how to title this post.

It’s hard to see if a line has been crossed or not. We want our co-workers to respect us and value our opinions, but we don’t want to flirt with them. Or them with us.

Unrelated photo of a kid on a bench at a store.

Unrelated photo of a kid on a bench at a store.

Here are five signs that your relationship has crossed the line:

1. You have long talks alone with this person.

If you’re the only two people in your office or workplace, OK. But, if you hold off on having conversations until everyone else is out of the office, you may be crossing the line.

Workplace conversations are touchy. Some of them are just with your boss, some are just with your “peers.”

Some should be open for everyone.

Try to figure out which conversations are which, and don’t spend hours talking to the same person every day.

2. You get excited when you see this person’s car in the parking lot.

This is weird. Don’t change your mood because someone is at work or not. You should like your co-workers and your boss, but you shouldn’t be excited to see them at work.

You’re professionals working together. You aren’t friends visiting a frat house, excited to see a guy’s motorcycle parked outside.

3. You ask for advice from this person.

It’s OK to get advice from people, but you shouldn’t be sharing personal things with someone in a professional relationship with you.

You have girl friends and guy friends and parents to bounce relationship questions off of, not your co-workers, especially not in a one-on-one session.

If your boss is much older than you, that might be the place to go if you don’t have someone else.

Don’t solicit advice from someone who isn’t appropriate to give it. (Ever think of asking your priest instead?)

4. You text.

Don’t, please don’t text.

Don’t text. Texting is for friends. Call instead. Just call. Or send an email from your phone. Don’t text.

Texting is for friends (like I just said!). Texting language is informal, casual language and that’s not how you speak to your co-workers.

5. You don’t feel comfortable around this person.

You would think it would be the opposite, right? That you’re too comfortable? Both are true, but being uncomfortable when you really think about how the relationship is progressing is a sign.

Listen to your gut. It’s saying, don’t hang out with this guy. Don’t walk over to his car and talk.

It’s saying, keep professional relationships professional.

Don’t push those signs away. It could be your guardian angel trying to pull you away from a bad situation.

Pray about it. If you have any thought, any  thought at all, that this relationship might not be professional, pray about it. Ask a priest for guidance. Talk to your boss about it.

God bless.


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