8 Office Romance Horror Stories That Will Make You Cringe

ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, in some capacity, mixed business with pleasure — whether it was in the form of secretly sleeping with a boss, dating a cube-mate who was giving bedroom eyes at the watercooler, or romping around in a conference room with a colleague from time to time. (We can't make this stuff up.)

And why not? It's a gamble that can pay off: Many workplace romances do, in fact, lead to marriage. But other times, they turn into a big awkward mess, with a side of career sabotage. In honor of the new season of Younger — premiering September 28 at 10/9c on TV Land — where an office romance takes a turn for the interesting, we've rounded up some of the best (worst?) true tales of love, lust, and straight-up sexual tension in the workplace. Read on and be happy that your desk neighbor hasn't seduced you yet. And if he or she actually has, well, you aren't the first.
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1 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
I was involved in an office love triangle — and we all sat next to each other.

My female coworker and I really hit it off, and we eventually (secretly) made it official. Meanwhile, another guy (our fellow desk neighbor) started to hit on her. Eventually, he caught on to the fact that something was going on between us and proceeded to tell our entire office. Things got super awkward after that, and she would flirt with him at work in front of me whenever she and I got into arguments. It was terrible.
2 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
My boss, whom I was in love with, dated other women in front of me.

My boss and I drunkenly had sex after a company meeting, and in the morning he made it very clear that it didn't mean anything to him. I laughed it off, but, deep down, I was crushed. After that, things got really weird between us. We would flirt and bond, but he would push me away every time we got close. Then, I took over secretarial duties for him, so I had access to his calendar, which meant I saw when he went on dates with other girls. We started fighting at work over personal things, and I was crying myself to sleep at night. It definitely became an unhealthy situation.
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3 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
My boyfriend (and direct report) and I had to be on guard constantly, but that wasn't even enough.

Right after I started dating a guy at work, I got promoted and became his boss. We kept dating but went to great lengths to make sure nobody knew. We didn't post photos on social media. We actively avoided running into coworkers on the street (we would see them often). And one time, after accidentally kissing me goodbye at a work happy hour, he kissed another coworker — a higher-up — too, so nobody would suspect anything. Cringe!

Finally, two group directors saw us making out across the subway platform — and that's how my boss found out. She was actually surprisingly cool with it, and my former direct report and I are now happily married.
4 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
I dated my boss’ boyfriend, and all three of us worked together.

I started dating my coworker who happened to be attached...to my boss. We tried really hard to keep it hidden, but eventually, my boss found out — it was SO awkward having to interact with her. Luckily, I got promoted to a different department, so she wasn't technically my boss anymore, but I still had to talk to her all the time. It was awful.
5 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
A higher-up at my company said I had to hook up with him if I wanted to get promoted.

A cute coworker, who wasn't my boss but was higher up, and I got drunk and went home together one night after happy hour. Before we hooked up, he said something along the lines of, "If you don't hook up with me, you won't get promoted." A red flag, I know, but I really did want to get promoted. After that, we started seeing each other, and I began to have real feelings for him. Eventually, I found out he was dating ANOTHER girl in our office. Everyone knew what happened, including my boss, so she pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to talk. I confessed the whole thing to her, including what he said about the promotion, and he got fired.
6 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
I got my boyfriend a job at my company, and he broke up with me two weeks after he started.

I convinced the video department at my company to hire my boyfriend who did not have a not a single second of experience but promised he was a fast learner. Two weeks later, he broke up with me, and I found out he had been cheating on me for a while. He still works in my office.
7 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
I had to invent a decoy boyfriend.

I did not want anyone at my company to know I was dating a coworker, but I was spending all my time outside of work with him. When I would talk to my other coworkers about weekends and what I did outside of work, he would naturally come up, so I created a fake boyfriend with a fake name and a fake job. Finally, we came clean — and now we're married with two kids!
8 of 8
ILLUSTRATED BY ASSA ARIYOSHI.
I broke up with my coworker, and he started crying at his desk.

After two months of an intense secret relationship with my coworker, I realized I wasn't as into him as he was into me. I broke up with him, but things got super weird fast. He took off "sick" the day after I ended things, and when he returned, he completely avoided me. When I finally saw him, he was sitting at his desk and staring straight ahead, red-eyed and wiping — what appeared to be — tears away.
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