Dos and Don'ts: Online Inter-Office Dating

By Katherine Wood

There are millions of people out there looking for love, and one of the top ways of finding your dream guy or girl is to join online dating sites. More than 41 million Americans have tried online dating at least once, according to Statistic Brain. While these sites are very popular and can work quite well, there is also the chance that you might run across someone you know from work. This is especially the case if you work for a large corporation or office.

Location-based dating and relationship apps (i.e. Tinder and Hinge) also are becoming more prevalent—meaning 45 million matches in Tinder's first few months, according to Forbes. Accordingly, you might find more people close to where you are: inside your workplace. So what should you do if you find someone who interests you? When it comes to inter-office dating, there are definitely some dos and don'ts that you should keep in mind. Here are a few of them:

DO - Check Out Your Company's Policy

Though many companies accept inter-office dating, most won't encourage it, and some outright forbid it. Look it up under your office dating policy. You might find that you are required to tell your supervisor that you are dating a co-worker, or you might have to sign a contract. Failure to stick to the company policy could lead to termination, so make sure to do the right thing before acting on a crush.

DON'T - Date a Team-Member

If your company allows co-workers to date, you're probably in the clear. However, avoid dating someone you directly manage or your superior. You won't want to deal with any accusations of favoritism, abuse of power, or social climbing. These can create unfortunate situations for you, for your date, and for anyone else on your team.  

DO - Set Some Boundaries

You should also make sure that you are setting some commonly agreed-upon boundaries. For example, keep it professional at work. You may even want to avoid crossing paths at work unless absolutely necessary. By keeping your work and your relationship as separate as possible, you will likely find more success when it comes to your relationship and job performance.

DON'T - Show Signs of Affection at Work

Any type of unprofessional contact at work is inappropriate, regardless of what happens at home. Even if your coworkers know about your relationship, that doesn't make it any less personal, no matter where you two met. When at the office, keep the physical interactions as brief and as simple as possible.

DO - Understand What Could Happen When It Ends

Finally, understand what will happen if this relationship ends. Though it is certainly possible you could be together forever, that may not be the case. This can be problematic if you work together and could even cross legal lines if things get dirty. For instance, if you go through a nasty breakup, what will you do if your ex goes to HR and complains about something you did or said? This could seriously affect your job and even your career prospects down the road. This isn't to say you shouldn't date a co-worker, it simply means you should consider all of the good and bad before things get too serious.

Online and location based app dating is extremely popular, and odds are probably high that you will run into someone you know. Before contacting them online for a date, make sure that this is something you want to get into and something you can handle. The most important thing is to make sure you keep a clear head and know the effect that this kind of relationship could have on your career.

Katherine Wood is Managing Editor at Talent Tribune, where she writes about people, technology, and HR software.

10 Ways to Maximize Your Free Communication Weekend

The color of the leaves isn't the only thing that can change this Fall! Chemistry is having a free communication weekend, starting Friday, October 31 until Sunday, November 3, giving you the opportunity to find something a little less spooky and more sweet this Halloween.

"Free" sounds exciting, but three days is a short amount of time on a dating site. Here is a guide to help optimize your free trial, so you can meet your One ... or decide if Chemistry is worth the long-term committing:

1. Act quickly. Sign up as soon as the offer starts. Take the personality tests, complete your profile and upload your photo right away. You only get a select number of matches each day, so the sooner you complete your account, the sooner you can start eFlirting. 

2. Don't skimp. Fill out your profile completely — including photos — and put some thought into it. If you skimp on information, your matches won't be as responsive and your time won't be as productive.

3. Review matches every day. You get the most matches when you review them each day. And of course, this will help speed up communication so you're more likely to get offline by the end of the free trial. Download the app so you can stay connected throughout the weekend. The sooner you respond, the sooner your match will have the chance to as well!

4. Be available. A lot of new members will be taking advantage of this free weekend, so expect quicker response times. Choose the fast track with slow pokes so you can create the strongest bond possible before the trial ends. 

5. Say yes to maybes. Go through your matches and start communicating. If you think someone's a "maybe," go for it. You never know who might surprise you! Maximizing the time you have and broaden your horizons.

6. Don't feel pressured. If you're not intrigued by a particular match, don't think that you have to go out with him or her. Just because you went through several steps of communication doesn't mean you should feel pressured. Trust your instincts. 

7. Meet sooner. You don't have to exchange a million emails before you meet. Just be sure to meet in a public place and plan something non-committal, like coffee or a drink.

8. Give contact info. If your trial is coming to a close and you don't think the site is for you, give your contact info to all of your matches so you don't lose touch. Set up a separate Gmail account so your full name remains secure.   

9. Join! If you liked the experience, join the site. You can continue to communicate uninterrupted and will get a steady stream of new matches. 

10. Don't get discouraged. If your weekend wasn't as successful as you had hoped, that doesn't mean that online dating isn't for you. Nine times out of 10, it just means that you were on the wrong site! A dating site is only as good as your matches on it. Most major paid sites offer trials, and if you follow this blog you'll be in the know. In fact, Match.com offers three free days anytime!

Here's to finding that new special someone to cozy up with thanks to free communication weekends. Happy eFlirting!

Expert Take on OkCupid Experiment

By Laurie Davis

OkCupid is infamous for their studies on user behavior. In their latest one, OkCupid experimented on humans, shifting people's experience on the site in an attempt to control the outcome. They hid profile text, changed your actual match percentage with another individual, and sat back to see how you'd react. Watch the video below to view thoughts on this controversial experiment as told to Fox News

Get Ready for eHarmony's Free Communication Weekend, 7/24-7/27

Looking for sparks that last after Independence Day? Listen up! eHarmony is having a free communication weekend, starting Thursday, July 24 until Sunday, July 27. "Free" sounds exciting, but singles always complain that they can't get enough accomplished during these four days. To solve your dating woes, here's a guide to help optimize your free trial:

1. Act quickly. Sign up as soon as the offer starts. Take the personality tests, complete your profile and upload your photo right away. You only get a select number of matches each day, so the sooner you complete your account, the sooner you can start eFlirting. Reviewing your matches each day will assure you get the maximum amount of connections during your complimentary trial.

2. Don't skimp. Fill out your profile completely — including photos — and put some thought into it. If you skimp on information, your matches won't be as responsive and your time won't be as productive.

3. Say yes to maybes. Go through your matches and start communicating. If you think someone's a "maybe," go for it. You never know who might surprise you! Maximizing the time you have and broaden your horizons.

4. Be available. A lot of new members will be taking advantage of this free weekend, so expect quicker response times. Choose the fast track so you can create the strongest bond possible before the trial ends. 

5. Download the app. If you're going to be out and about, download the app so you can stay connected and get offline with your matches sooner.

6. Give contact info. If your trial is coming to a close and you don't think the site is for you, give your contact info to all of your matches so you don't lose touch. Set up a separate Gmail account so your full name remains secure.   

7. Don't feel pressured. If you're not intrigued by a particular match, don't think that you have to go out with him or her. Just because you went through several steps of communication doesn't mean you should feel pressured. Trust your instincts. 

8. Meet sooner. You don't have to exchange a million emails before you meet. Just be sure to meet in a public place and plan something non-committal, like coffee or a drink.

9. Join! If you liked the experience, join the site. You can continue to communicate uninterrupted and will get a steady stream of new matches. 

10. Don't get discouraged. If your weekend wasn't as successful as you had hoped, that doesn't mean that online dating isn't for you. Nine times out of 10, it just means that you were on the wrong site! A dating site is only as good as your matches on it. Most major paid sites offer trials, and if you follow this blog you'll be in the know. In fact, Match.com offers three free days anytime!

Happy eFlirting!

Happiness Helps [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Ashley Parsons

Between all the new faces and initial-message anxiety, online dating can be rough! But did you know that meeting new people can actually make you happy? This infographic from Skout gives a bunch of fun info on happiness and how it can help.