All The Lies TV Tells Us About Office Romances

Ugh, office romances. Your heart says yes, your head says no, and your life coach says no, no, no, NO. And yet, we can't really judge. After all, TV has manipulated us into thinking that the Jim to your Pam is sitting two cubicles over. Your banter with your boss has got you fantasizing about Josh-and-Donna scenarios. The lusty doctors on Grey's Anatomy are too busy having sex on gurneys to do something as mundane as, say, talk to HR about their inappropriate relationships.

On the other hand, you work so much that dating a coworker sometimes seems like the only way to ward off celibacy (it's not, but you do you). Just promise us this: Before you leap onto your desk with that cutie from accounting, observe these warnings inspired by some of TV's most famous, not-too-realistic office romances. Also, watch out for staplers. And maybe a sexual-harassment seminar wouldn't go amiss.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal.
Even though the two of you are adorable and clearly meant to be together, you should just ignore those feelings for at least two election cycles.
Gah. Josh. Donna. What took so freaking long?
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal.
You can have an extremely annoying on-off relationship, and your coworkers will not want to fire or kill you.
Ryan started the fire... in Kelly's heart. We loved Kelly and Ryan on The Office. We would hate to work with them. Seriously, why didn't Toby do more to crack down on these two?
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
By all means, have sex all over the workplace.
Did we miss the story line where Seattle Grace Mercy West/ Grey-Sloane Memorial gets hit with a chlamydia outbreak thanks to its lusty staff? Judging from the amorous antics on Grey's Anatomy, doctors and nurses wear scrubs simply because they're easy to strip off, gurneys are really just sex-mobiles, and it's totally fine to tell your colleague to take her pants off before you both scrub in for surgery.
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You can't keep it a secret.
Lying about your personal life at the office is so easy — and so encouraged — that we don't even call it lying. We call it discretion. But "Discretion" is not exactly Mindy's middle name, is it?

Watch season 4 of The Mindy Project on Hulu now.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Your work crush will be totally cool with quitting his or her job so you can date, à la Ben from Parks and Recreation.
What's that? You want to sweep me off my feet and sacrifice your career so we don't get in trouble with HR? Gee, let me think about it.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
You shouldn't let a wedding ring stop you.
When he isn't getting boozed with Bunk or tracking pager numbers on The Wire, McNulty is keeping company with ASA Rhonda Pearlman. Unfortunately, all that sexing doesn't go down well with his wife. She leaves McNulty, he eventually ends things to patch things up (temporarily), and Pearlman moves on to another married (albeit separated) colleague, Lt. Daniels. Girl, check the ring finger!
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
You should definitely act on that long-simmering sexual tension.
Moonlighting fans were desperate (desperate!) for Maddie Hayes and David Addison to take their bickering to the bedroom. Then they did, and nobody cared. The lesson: Sometimes things just play out better in your mind.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Probably nobody will suspect that you're sleeping with your boss.
Clinton got busted after a handful of trysts with Monica Lewinsky. Fitz and former fixer/campaign worker Olivia Pope? Barely register. That's almost as unbelievable as, say, just about everyone you know getting falsely accused of murder. Just kidding. Scandal is totally realistic.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC.
Nobody will be gossiping about the secret love child you put up for adoption, and life can carry on like nothing happened.
Peggy and Pete make it work. You will end up on a trashy talk show.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC.
Your creepy boss who sexually harassed you is, on second thought, a real catch.
Granted, being married to "the one who knocks" would skew anyone's perspective as to what qualifies as a decent guy, but Ted? Sleazy, embezzling, pervy Ted? Breaking Bad's Skyler really should have swiped left on that one.