You’ve heard all the cute sayings advising not to date people at work:
- Don’t dip your pen in the company ink
- Don’t fish off the company pier
- Don’t get your honey where you make your money
- And the list goes on…
But you know what? Shit happens. It’s easier said than done to avoid it. Back in August 2003, I had just met my future wife, Sina. She was the Director of Sales at our company’s hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The only problem was, she had a very serious boyfriend and was convinced she was going to marry him.
I came back to the office after that trip and couldn’t stop raving about her. My assistant, Katherine, who of course heard me fawning over Sina, had other plans. She had apparently taken an interest in me and when she heard that I was smitten with someone else who was currently taken, she decided to make her move.
You should know that Katherine was a very attractive and voluptuous Colombian woman and I have a hard time believing that many men could resist her advances. My boss would constantly comment on how he thought she was the prettiest girl in the company.
One night we were out having drinks with our co-workers at a nearby bar, and Katherine was not shy about handing me more shots. I weigh about 140 pounds (probably less back then) so it didn’t take much. Katherine was clearly flirting with me and I hadn’t dated anyone since breaking up with my fiancée 3 years earlier. It was a Friday night and she and I both had our cars parked at the office garage. I walked her to her car, and as we said goodnight it was obvious she wanted me to kiss her, so I did what any self-respecting man would do. Then I said goodnight and walked to my car kicking myself for the can of shit storm I had just created.
The next morning, I get a text from Katherine that she happens to be nearby and asked if she could come up to my apartment. I suddenly found myself in a Tom & Jerry cartoon with a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. “Don’t do it!” “Why not? Of COURSE you should do it!” The devil won. There was a knock at the door and there was Katherine, wearing a body-hugging sweat suit. Things didn’t go too far and after she left I felt 100 times worse than the night before. I just knew in my gut that this was going to end badly and that it needed to stop right away. So I called her and said that we really cannot let this go any further because we work together. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that while I found her very sexy, I couldn’t see myself in a long term relationship with her and so there was no reason to continue seeing each other.
“Oh that’s such a typical guy thing to do,” she said “Sure, we hook up and now you don’t want it to continue?” I felt horrible, and now no matter which path I chose it was a bad one. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, I just didn’t see myself with her long term, and the fact that we work together just made it so much worse. We continued to talk about it, and I tried to explain that it wasn’t my intention to ‘use’ her but that I didn’t see it working out in the long run and so it would be easier to end it now. “How do you know that it won’t work out when we haven’t even dated yet?” she asked. “Damn…” I thought, “there’s just no good answer to that question. Somehow I just knew but how do you explain that to someone?” The truth is, I was a coward and should have stood my ground and not discussed it anymore. Plus, hey I am a man after all, and after a 3 year dry spell how do you say know to a sexy Colombian babe that all the guys drool over who is chasing after you??
So I got myself a ticket for the rocky relationship roller-coaster. The next four years would be a really bad rendition of Taylor Swift’s “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and it was all my fault. Don’t get me wrong, we had some good times, but for four years I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that it just didn’t feel right. I can’t explain it though it was like an addiction. I knew it was bad for me, but every time I tried to quit, something would overpower me and I would go back for more. I don’t know how many times we broke up and got back together but it was definitely the most unhealthy relationship I have ever been in. I am so sorry for what I put her through. I don’t regret any of my other relationships because they were amazing, built on love, and I learned a lot from them. But this one, I would have done differently.
I know everyone says not to date people at work but I’ve been there, and I know how hard it is to resist an attraction between two people. Many couples got together because of Sol Melia and in fact, Sina and I met there too. It just so happens we never dated while we were actually working there but if the timing was right, we would have. I’m sure of that.