Dear Keith and Maura,

Do you think it means anything if a guy you like at work happens to give you his cell phone number out of the blue, or if you ask that guy – joking around – if he can give you a ride home from work and he has a big grin on his face?

I work at a grocery store near my home. Can people even date their co-workers or become serious with them? Is it appropriate or crazy to do? After all it is WORK.

– Wondering Worker

Dear Wondering Worker,

These are great questions, and we’re glad you asked them.

While we’ve had quite a bit of experience with this one ourselves, and can offer you some advice based on that, you would also do well to do a quick web search on the words “dating a co-worker” (with and without the quotes) and spend a little time looking over some of the excellent articles on the subject. One of the first things you’ll notice when you do this, is that pretty much all of them advise you to check your company’s dating policy first. If you have an employee handbook, you should be able to find it in there.

Having said that, we would advise you the same way here as we would with any other type of relationship. Your relationship with yourself comes first. Do you treat yourself with the same degree of respect, love, trust and support that you would like to receive from others? If the answer is no, then we strongly encourage you to start doing so before you allow yourself to move forward on any attractions you may have. We’ve found that we tend to attract people who will treat us the way we treat ourselves, so if you are in the habit of being overly critical of yourself, or not doing what you tell yourself you will do, then you can expect the same behavior from the people in your life.

One of the most common problems in relationships – and it’s something we have both experienced in the past – is that people get involved with someone hoping that the other person will make them feel better about themselves. This never works, because they only end up projecting all their self-criticism onto the other person. If you are not secure in yourself, then you will not be secure in the relationship, and you will usually find ways to sabotage it.

If, on the other hand, you are happy and content with yourself, you consistently treat yourself well, and you are very clear about what you want in a relationship, then you can feel much more secure in trusting the signals you are getting from others, and the feelings you may get from those signals. You won’t have to worry that you might be reading something into it out of neediness or desperation, because you won’t be needy or desperate. That’s why we always say that your relationship with yourself comes first.

We hope this was helpful, and we welcome any comments from the peanut gallery. Have you had any experience with this one? Do you recommend it? Why or why not?

Many Blessings,

Keith and Maura

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Author's Bio: 

Keith Leon and Maura Leon are co-owners of Successful Communications consulting and training, and co-authors of The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships. In less than two years, Keith and Maura went from relationship failures to the relationship of their dreams, and now they share their secrets with others through their website, newsletters, seminars, and coaching. They have appeared on popular radio and television broadcasts, including The Rolonda Watts show and the Shelley Martin show, and their work has been covered by newspapers such as the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune and the Maryland Herald-Mail.

Keith and Maura have more than twenty-five years of combined training and experience in the field of personal and professional development. They’ve worked with leading experts of transformation, including Jack Canfield, Byron Katie, Michael Beckwith, Terry Cole-Whittaker, John Gray, Barbara DeAngelis and T. Harv Eker. As professional speakers, life coaches and authors, they support both men and women in the areas of career, family, community and love relationships. Their passion is building personal and professional relationships that work.

On Keith and Maura’s website at www.relationship-masters.com you’ll find an abundance of information and resources, including interactive quizzes, informational downloads, audio and video recordings, and much, much more!