How to Deal With Relationships in the Workplace/what should she do now?


QUESTION: My neice works with a guy whom recently became her boss-before that he asked her to go out many times which she said no!!!He told the whole workplace that he likes her and wants to go out!!!Everyone said yes you should-he even asked me her aunt by phone.I told him yes but also put stipulations down-They tried to get together but there was complete silence for a while-so then they thought well lets try-friends with benefits!!he said ok and we will see what happends!!!Since then shes been feeling guilty for what they have done.Said this started off wrong and i want to try to be a better friend-she has yet to talk with him.He is away for 9 days vacation-only hit her up 2x by snap chat.She says aunty i hope nothing is wrong and we can become better friends.What should she do?She has feelings for him and he says the same!

ANSWER: Dear Cher,

There's a couple of things wrong with this picture.  First, he's her boss and going out with her, socializing, friends with benefits, pose tremendous liability issues for him and the company.  He has authority over her at work which is a major issue when it comes to going beyond the workplace relationship.

Secondly, your niece signed on for sex without any strings attached when she agreed to friends with benefits.  I'm not surprised his interest appears to have waned; why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free whenever you want.

Your niece needs to value herself a whole lot more than what she demonstrated in signing on for friends with benefits with this guy.  The best advice you can give her is to offer a work friendship without benefits and stick with that.  Since this guy let it be known around the workplace that he liked her, I'm thinking it won't be long before he's telling those same folks about the friends with benefits relationship he has/had with your niece.  Surely, she wants better for herself than to be the  major trash topic around the office.  

Encourage her to end this sex relationship immediately and maintain a work only relationship with this very unprincipled man.  Her reputation hangs in the balance.

Take care.  I wish you well.

Alice J. Bogert

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the info. i really appreciate it! My neice did nOT feel good after the friends with benefits excursion-she told me aunty im ending this with him!!!I DONT feel like it was the right thing to do now-she said i DEFINATELY messed up and im going to talk with him about it!!!I told her you should talk with him about it-let him know how you feel!!Keep it amongst yourselves and start off getting to really know each other as friends-what do you think?

Dear Cher,

Yes, she messed up.  It will be very difficult for them to start over as friends now that they have shared a sexual relationship.  

My opinion:  She needs to end any relationship but for work with this guy.  Have your niece tell him that friends with benefits was wrong and she is ending that.  

If she wants to date him as friends, she also needs to find out if the company they work for allows workplace romances, especially those between a supervisor and an underling.  That's another mess she needs to clear up. Once she knows the answer to that, she can decide if dating this guy as friends--with no benefits--is worth it.

Take care.

Alice J. Bogert  

How to Deal With Relationships in the Workplace

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alice bogert


I can field questions related to employee-employee relationship issues as well as employee-manager relationship issues.


I supervised staff at the county and federal level for over 25 years. I have extensive experience dealing with employee disputes, management employee disagreements, morale issues, managing change, etc. I teach a variety of leadership and conflict resolution classes.

National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Business Women of America.

I have a Masters Degree in Sociology.

Awards and Honors
Three Quality Step Merit Awards for Excellence while employed with the federal government. Numerous awards for training classes I've done.

Past/Present Clients
Private industry, Los Rio Community College District, federal, state and county government

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