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Office romance: Beware your coworkers

53 Comments

There are always plenty of opportunities for romance at the workplace, but J-Cast cautions that you ought to be careful because they seldom pass by unnoticed by your colleagues.

Naver Matome, an information website, solicited stories of corporate romance from readers and asked them to recount what they observed during work hours. From the over 30 posts submitted by readers, it becomes clear that there is a lot of action going on inside the office...and most of it visible to coworkers.

In one account, a man and a woman fight at a corporate meeting over something business related. Before long, coworkers spotted the two making up in a passionate embrace in another meeting room. Another couple was seen holding hands in a crowded elevator, as well as during business meetings.

One post that was embarrassing for both the couple and their coworkers was a case when a female coworker sent a private message to her significant other at work, but instead mistakenly sent it to the entire company. In it, she wrote: "Sweetheart, good work today! You must be dead tired. What shall we do for dinner tonight?” That email, though tame, became an unforgettable moment in the couple’s relationship. It may also have taught the woman to double check her messages before sending.

Other ways to find out whether your colleagues might have something going on behind the scenes is to listen to the way they address each other, J-Cast suggests. Addressing someone by their first name or adding the diminutive expressions "chan" or "kun" is unusual for Japanese companies, and may indicate intimacy. Taking the same days off, both arriving together late for work, or having the same packed lunch may also be a sign of a corporate romance. And if they both call in sick on the same day, well, that's going to have the gossip flying.

So if you are contemplating an office romance and hope to keep it a secret, remember what English poet George Herbert wrote back in 1651: “Love, and a cough, cannot be hid.”

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
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Another example of the junior high level of journalism in this country.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Very first sentence in this article.

you ought to be careful because they pass by unnoticed by your colleagues

They sure do. No one notices a thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plastic monkey, yeah! But junior high school students are not this empty-headed. They have to wait until university to become that. But I agree that this is a dumb article and typical of week magazine wai wai writing. Take a few silly office gossip tales and then make generalizations.

This has been written about before. Studies have been done. None of that matters to this stupid journal. I am sure it will turn on a lot of sexual frustrated people who will think that offices are all mini-Playboy mansions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well know I know to suspect everyone who uses chan or kun. Rolls eyes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So what! That woman who sent the "to all" email probably did it on purpose to get the dude to commit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cut out office romances, and the birthrate will plummet to zero.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not unusual at all. All the women my husband works with call him ~kun. WAIT A MINUTE...!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OLs could always use a fling or two or three.

As long as office romance don't affect performance (ahem)........... who cares?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ridiculously entertaining.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this a concern to people? Is it a no no to have relationships in an office? or is this just a "how to find gossip" story?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many J-marriages come about as a result of office romances. Although such liaisons are supposedly taboo, what other way are people to meet when everybody stays at work 12 hours a day ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Jackie CHAN works in a J company, he must be the luckiest dude................LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am considering having an affair with one of my co-workers, we are both unhappily married with children and work together, and have been growing closer and flirtier every passing week.

I cant help but feel that many J-marriages DO come as a result of working together all the time, but that many affairs go on too. Especially when wifey becomes a housewife and hubby loses his office fun.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am considering having an affair with one of my co-workers, we are both unhappily married with children and work together, and have been growing closer and flirtier every passing week.

Go for it Bro! You are both in the same situation, so if things turn pear-shaped one doesnt hold power over the other. Could be pretty fun too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BurakuminDesJUN. 18, 2011 - 09:53PM JST I am considering having an affair with one of my co-workers, we are both unhappily married with children and work together, and have been growing closer and flirtier every passing week.

Go for it Bro! You are both in the same situation, so if things turn pear-shaped one doesnt hold power over the other. Could be pretty fun too!

hahaha I am a girl. does that change your opinion?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Absolutely not, himehentai! Go for it! Life is too short to be unhappy, everyone deserves happiness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am considering having an affair with one of my co-workers, we are both unhappily married with children and work together

Don't be a fool - it might be fun for a few weeks or months, then when it turns sour you'll still be unhappily married and you'll have an awkward situation at work. Flirting is fun, keep it that way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't be a fool - it might be fun for a few weeks or months, then when it turns sour you'll still be unhappily married and you'll have an awkward situation at work. Flirting is fun, keep it that way.

Totally agree. Either divorce your husband, or keep it together. You really don't want to go the affair route. As cleo said, it may be fun for awhile, but it almost always ends up making your situation much worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

himehentai

it may be fun to have an affair, but getting caught isn't fun AT ALL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

himehentai - just a wild suggestion but how about having a stab at fixing your marital problems first before you potentially destroy two families?

Im not being judgemental here - I have been exactly where you are right now and BELIEVE me - it is never worth it in the end. Office flings dont just crap up families, they crap up office relationships too, and given that 90% of your time is spent in one place or the other, the stress is just not worth it.

If you must, get your kicks somewhere you can easily walk away from.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I decide to leave my company I am going to get together with a co-worker or 2! ;-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

himehentai if your person of interest is another female, then I say no foul.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@himehentai You are a woman, so the courts will not rake you over the coals, but if the guy gets caught, the courts will hang him. I am a guy and just finalized my divorce last Thursday. We both compromised on demands, and it is finally finished. They tried all sorts of tricks to try to catch me with another women, but my girl friend and I were smarter than they were. She was my translator by the way, and you would have loved to see how professional we appeared. Even if the guy separates from his wife and moves out, he cannot get caught having an affair until I believe he is out of the house for at least a year. Like some of the other posts here, I would be really careful. Good luck and keep us posted. Love is wonderful, but it makes you do stupid things.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Don't be a fool - it might be fun for a few weeks or months, then when it turns sour you'll still be unhappily married and you'll have an awkward situation at work. Flirting is fun, keep it that way.

I say if it works for you, go for it, I can't speak for everyone, but having a romance, fling or an affair is no one else's business. Who are you or me or anyone else to pass judgement and to advocate us as what and how our social morals should be. I'm not the moral police or God. You only live once and if you are unhappily married and are in a situation that you can't get out and the only thing that will pacify your emptiness, then more power to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would say. It is your call, seen marriages that got stronger after an affair(Parents) and others that fell apart.

Really depends on what you want for your future. Said that if your current marriage is hell end it and go with the current lady(but no guarantees).

If you like your current marriage/arrangement besides some aspects maybe be better to address those and that might need some soul searching/adjustments on your part. Usually failings are on both parties.

Also in all your decisions keep in mind the impact on your off-springs and what example you are setting for them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Agreed,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am considering having an affair with one of my co-workers, we are both unhappily married with children and work together, and have been growing closer and flirtier every passing week.

Just remember that some people like the flirting more than any actual commitment. Once that line has been crossed, there's no going back to the way it was.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yea ... it was slightly tongue in cheek comment, but also kind of true.

Agreed I do like the flirting ALOT, and almost definitely I would freak out a bit if he actually tried anything. Plus my marriage is sexless, and my hubby has had (and possibly still has) a girlfriend. But Im pretty much trying to keep it together for the kids. Im more worried about losing my fantastic in-laws in a divorce than I am my husband actually.

Anyways ... yea. Agreeing with the whole don't poop where you sleep vibe though. A bit of fun would be nice though :) Im still pretty young and feel like my life is kind of being wasted in a miserable marriage, but Its just hard to know what to do when your in a foreign country... :( :( :(

Sorry for threadjacking by the way! This is a comments section not a problem page. Oops! :D but you guys are nice to help so much. Everything you all said has been taken onboard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who are you or me or anyone else to pass judgement and to advocate us as what and how our social morals should be.

What has morality to do with it? I'm simply pointing out that doing something stupid without thinking it through to its logical conclusion isn't going to make a bad situation better, and could very well make it a whole lot worse.

Plus what Zenny said in his last sentence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

himehentai-chan....does he post on here too? Maybe you should forward him a copy of this post...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if the guy separates from his wife and moves out, he cannot get caught having an affair until I believe he is out of the house for at least a year.

Not until he is legally divorced, and even after divorce, there is a 3 year statute of limitations in the event of an extra marital affair. Compensation money paid by the guilty party can be as high as ¥3000000 depending on the circumstances, and the people involved.

Divorce in Japan can be very unpleasant

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The758.

Not sure about that.

I do know there is a limit on the ladies that is there to ensure that any of-spring can be traced back to the marriage or not.

In short women are prohibited from marrying again within a certain period after the divorce. Don't recall any limitations on the Husband.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am really perplexed at people in sexless marriages. How does that happen? If I am without for more than a week I will not drop the topic until my wife understands that it is important to me. Do people just let it go as a kind of punishment to the other spouse?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

reckless ... I don't have an answer to that. However, if people are getting extra sex outside the marriage, its pretty hard to re-interest them. People only have so much stamina. Plus it takes two to tango. One person can do very little if the other is just not interested.

Believe me, I wish our marriage was not sexless. Its pretty hard being the girl and being refused constantly (media often portrays woman as just not "up for it" in the vast majority of cases).

I just have stopped trying because I got upset when he would refuse. But my "needs" are still there ... even though he is getting his met elsewhere. Also, in Japan, a man refusing sex in a marriage is not grounds for divorce. However a wife refusing her husband sex, is. Unlucky to be a female in this country...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@himehentai: Never play in your own back yard but play like crazy. We got needs too. I did, have done and now free and found a real kind lover.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"there is a lot of action going on inside the office and most of it is visible to coworkers"

There was this one couple in my company who, after a couple of years, suddenly announced their marriage, it was a surprise for me, I had no idea they were seeing each other. Then again I don't really look for this sort of thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Without office romance, would there be a future for Japan's population? I mean most people I know work so much that if they don't hook up at work, they would die alone with near absolute certainty.

This article is clearly a tutorial on how to be a gossip anyway.

So to those who launch love connections at work. I hope they work and make you both happy. Just be careful not to ruin your jobs over any failed romances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What has morality to do with it? I'm simply pointing out that doing something stupid without thinking it through to its logical conclusion isn't going to make a bad situation better, and could very well make it a whole lot worse.

It has everything to do with it, especially when your sentence includes "doing something stupid" How about using "in my opinion" that sounds much better, because it is an opinion, that's all I'm trying to convey to you. I understand what you are saying, but having an affair(s) and how we feel about it morally or ethically is unimportant, the people involved and how it affects their lives is what counts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

himehentai: sorry to hear that. Well, I am sure there are a lot of guys who would be happy to step up discreetly and practice mutual enjoyment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@himehentai-Wow! That's too bad, sorry to hear that, but I totally understand how you feel. You do what you gotta do to stay happy. If no one else's business. As long as both you and your lover(s) consent, then why not? Everyone deserves happiness, more power to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@himehentai

Well, reading between the lines here, sound like you think your husband is weak and won't snap and tie you to bed with a can of gasoline, flicking a Zippo.

You should do what you think will make you happy but I'd suggest ending things before starting up something new. I'm so happy you don't have me as a husband. Imagine all the private detectives, cell phone tracking, keylogging, and then the lawyers, the ugly long interminable divorce proceedings.

I guess you know or consider your current husband to be a wimp.

I just have stopped trying because I got upset when he would refuse. But my "needs" are still there ... even though he is getting his met elsewhere. Also, in Japan, a man refusing sex in a marriage is not grounds for divorce. However a wife refusing her husband sex, is. Unlucky to be a female in this country.

P.S: That argument you are talking about doesn't fly in court. What it does make for is a good laugh at the bar after work for the court staff.

Sexless, eh? Better than JOBLESS. Can't really see you as the victim in this case cause it's a one-sided story. You might have hairy legs. I'm just saying.....what do we really know other than the cobwebs are building up.

My advice, stop making excuses for yourself, get that Victoria Secret catalogue, order, get those clear high heels and when he comes home start cleaning the lanolium making big round soapy circles. He'll come home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In furtherance to NetNinja, men are extremely territorial, so if himehentai were to suggest at dinner with wimp hubby that a man at work/the gym/etc. keeps asking her to dinner or something, or she got some flowers, hubby may find he has some gas in the engine so to speak. Gosh forbid you join the local Tango class and start dancing, your husband may bust a knut with jealousy. Just an idea...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Reckless and Net

At the same time, both of you could be wrong too, having pointed that out, if you think you did everything that you could in your marriage and if all else fails, you should be the one having a martini or two or three for that matter. I think there comes a time when you have tried everything and exhausted all options, throw in the towel, throw out the trash and look for something better. For all we know, you could be a fox, but have a wimpy husband who just can't see what they really have, trust me, I have seen it a dozen times in this country, beautiful women who are neglected by their spineless, wimp husbands, pathetic! If they can't and don't know how to keep a woman happy, I have no sympathy for them, ZERO and likewise the opposite. As Steve Winwood once said "If you see a chance, take it"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is mom and dad having affairs "keeping it together for the kids"? What a wonderful role model for them in terms of what makes a marriage. Why not get a divorce and keep in touch with the PIL via the kids? would be the best way for your and your husband to be happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tmaire I think she's going for the jugular here. Cheat on her husband, get the kids, make him out to be a total loser and convince HIS parents to be on her side. That's a FULL HOUSE, Queens over his weak Jack.

Jerry Springer: I don't understand. If you're not happy, why don't you just get a divorce?

But Im pretty much trying to keep it together for the kids. Im more worried about losing my fantastic in-laws in a divorce than I am my husband actually.

Jerry Springer: Well, you have something to tell your husband today.

"Yes, I'm cheating on my husband with someone at work" Studo Audience: "OOOOOOHHHHH"

Jerry Springer: Well he's waiting backstage, lets bring him out.

Office affairs hurt. You're just going to cause more pain. Nothing productive can come of this course you're interested in. It's definitely not a good thing for your children to see. It will take a lot of lies and secrets to cover up your infidelity too. Even after you are caught or admit to it, you'll end up lying to your own children till they're adults.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have to agree with NetNinja.

Time to make a clean break and end it before things get nasty. Which route you take Husband or Lover is up to you but a decision should be made.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reckless, to offer an answer to your question, I imagine that with some couples, the deprived one decides that it's better to have sex only on rare occasions but maintain a happy relationship rather than be pestering your partner. Particularly if you're a man, the last thing you want to do is look ilke you're begging. Better to make do with less than to humiliate yourself like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

true true. However I have not done anything ... yet. Its just hard ya know? When you have small kids? The thought of going it alone as a single mom in Japan pretty much scares me. Not that its an excuse.

Netninja - he is not weak. The problem is that he just does not care. After the kiddies came alone he just works all the time. Its a lonely existence, and I just don't things would be any different for me if I was a single mother. Except less money coming in, but I also work FT so we could survive on just my salary. Im not "going for the jugular." Im not out to get the kids at ALL, but I know he would just refuse to see them if we split. I would have to move out of the "house" (Aka rental apartment) if I was a single mom just to be able to afford to live. And his parents are the ONLY support network I have in Japan. Obviously my parents live far away, and our children love their grandparents, why is it so bad to worry about losing them? I guess you have to believe me when I say Im not interested in this being a competition. Im not a Japanese wife, who will take the kids away forever. I have no desire too, I think its important for children to see their father regularly, and their paternal grandparents too. Why is that so weird? But yes. Agree about the last paragraph. Just the prospect of the next 20 years being married and lonely is pretty dire. . .

tmarie - agree to an extent. But easier said than done. Its hard to give up the hope that your marriage will succeed, even after it has already failed. If you know what I mean :( but agree with your point completely.

But on a side note ... gosh. I think If I was a guy, i would have received a lot less slack for that initial comment. Not that I don't appreciate the slack or anything ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@himehentai

Well, if you approach the argument rationally and take the emotion out of it. Why should you get slack for what you believe to be right, just as long as you understand the pros and cons. Personally, I can understand what you're going through and you are right, it's not easy at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you have an affair you gonna get caught eventually and I hate that "life is too short " recycled line. It's not,especially if you make the wrong decision.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ah, himehentai, a few bits of additional info and now it is a little easier to understand.

I don`t know if this will help but I have done a LOT of research into sexless marriage (in my professional capacity) and counselled quite a few people - women in particular - in this situation. It is FRIGHTENINGLY common and while the image is of men begging for it and the women refusing (more common in older couples and I am not even going to tell you some of the toe-curling reasons for their refusal!) in younger couples believe it or not it is the WOMEN who are going without in more cases - so you are not alone!

There is no easy answer because every relationship is different, but to give you some insights to my experiences that may I hope help you:

1) Virtually every woman I have encountered in a sexless marriage winds up having at least one affair 2) Their husbands areusually aware of it and turn a blind eye as long as the woman is discreet and their pride is not affected. 3) Most of the woman end up speaking to their husbands about it and warning them that if they don`t give it to them,they WILL go elsewhere (although by the time this conversastion happens most have already gone elsewhere!) 4) When that ultimatum is given, most of the men do nothing about it. 5) None of them are divorced or even want a divorce, but the "side-arrangement" keeps them going. 6) I have also known of some who, when following through with their threats, the husband finally did step up. But to be honest those are few and far between. 7)Most of the women suspect their men are getting it elsewhere and that is at least part of the reason for the rejection.

A few facts: roughly 40% of J marriages are sexless, although it is actually suspected that the real number is even higher. It is fairly evenly split M/F as to the instigator, with a trend that younger men and older women are the refusers. It is not that uncommon outside Japan either - between 1 in 5 to 1 in 20 depending on what country to you look at. Believe it or not Saudi Arabian women are some of the most satisfied in the world!!! What IS unusual about Japan is the number of younger marriages that have this problem. Many reasons are given, including office affairs and the "ease" of cheating here both functionally and culturally. Officially in Japan a "sexless marriage" is one where more than 1 month passes without sex. Grounds for divorce is refusal of sex for more than 3 months, and although it doesnt explicitly state (as far as I am aware but please someone correct me if I am wrong) that men have grounds but not women for refusal the implication is that the woman is always the refuser. I dont know of any divorces where women have cited sexlessness as grounds.

These are just a few points from my experience that I hope may help you feel less alone.

Some other things to consider though:

1)This guy is also married with children. I don`t know what he may or may not have been telling you about his situation, but believe me, most guys will tell you the moon is made of green cheese if they thought it would make you put out for them. Do you really want to be the "OW" in his marriage? Potentially risk causing his divorce?

2) As many have pointed out, you work with this guy and there is a "poo`ing in your own backyard" element to consider - what if things go wrong? What about vicious office gossip? Can you handle it?

3) Bear in mind that the reason this seems so exciting is because it is illicit. Sometimes it is better to go with the imagination of what might be. Once the dreams become a reality they rarely match up to the fantasy!

I am not suggesting what you should do at all, only you can decide that. And as others have rightly pointed out, it is your marriage and no-one elses business. The only thing I would say is bear in mind when kids are involved that you have other peoples lives to consider too, not just your own.

It is hard to post everything here and I fear I am starying way off topic now, but please feel free to pm me if you want more info. Good luck babe! You are not alone!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What miamum said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An interestingly pleasant turn of twists from this particular thread.

What started as a lousy article on rumor-mongering cum office romance-affair at the start, eventually , looks like going to be continuing education on real-life sexless marriage and options-to-take-situation class.

I doff my cap to all who made it possible. Cheers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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