Workplace Romance: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

While promoting her new thriller, Salt, Angelina Jolie spilled that Brad Pitt is, unsurprisingly, a "wonderful father."  The two have been together for five years, collecting five children in the process.  (My adoption application remains unanswered.)  And to think this all began as a workplace romance.

Let's look past the fact that Brad was totally married and Angelina is pretty much a homewrecker. Instead, let's focus more on the truth that a workplace romance is one of the most difficult things to maneuver.  Yes... I have broken this cardinal rule... four times.  Keep reading for tales from the trenches.

But first, my favorite photos of what I'm pretty sure is the most beautiful couple ever to come together.

Tales from the Trenches

My First Workplace Romance
  • Louis, named after the jazz legend, was a waiter during my summer bartending job at a --wait for it -- gamer's bar.  He was charming, very good looking and had a smile that could melt ice.  Flirting with Louis was the greatest way to pass time and, since I was trying to lure him in with cute outfits, I made great tips!  Win, win.  The job only lasted for the summer, just like our romance.  Incidentally, I learned that if you are dating a guy, you can get him to come in on his day off, help you clean-up the bar AND take you to Perkins!  It's okay, don't feel too bad.  This was also my first interaction with a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge player.
The Convenient Rebound
  • Alejandro was the devilishly attractive Peruvian waiter that I rebounded on after my first real boyfriend.  At this point in my life, I was working at an art gallery from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. before walking across the street and making my rent money as a waitress from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  He was literally one of three straight men that I had the time or money to meet and they all worked at the restaurant.  As I said, this was a total rebound and lasted briefly.  In the meantime, I got to spend my summer at salsa clubs with Alejandro's friends, a band of tall Brazilians.  Not too bad.
The Older Colleague
  • Frank was a total tool box/considerably older man at my retail job.  Very good looking, but transparently creeping on all the young 20-somethings.  I caught on to this game immediately and gave him less than zero of my time, despite his constant attempts.  Apparently, this is what got him interested... and so began my dangerous attraction to charismatic, slimy men.  They are so used to conquering airheads that someone with quick wit totally blindsides them.  It works and it's fun, but a slimy dude is a slimy dude.  At some point, they will freak out and want to go back to their slimy ways -- and they can't do that if they like and respect one of the girls they target.  So, I forgot his royal lameness and started dating the only other straight dude working at the women's clothing store.

The Other Colleague 
  • Interestingly, Sylar had been dating another girl who worked with us at the retail store (see above).  When she moved away, he moved in on me.  He was kind, attentive and looked like Zachary Quinto.  As soon as I realized that Sylar was going to be more than someone I was casually seeing, I quit my job.  I didn't need to create any Sylar/Frank craziness.  Sylar and I were "official" for three months until I called it off.  Although I cared about him a lot, I couldn't believe this was going to be all there was for either of us.  There just had to be something that fit better.  Oh, and I found out midway through our relationship that the girl who had moved to the East Coast thought that she was in an exclusive relationship with my boyfriend.  I figured that I was probably the more correct one as I lived in Chicago and saw him everyday... annnnnnnd now you can see where I get some of my cynicism...

We spend most of our time at our jobs, so it's only natural that some sparks should fly.  Like Brad and Angelina, all of my workplace relationships were in temporary jobs.  That definitely brings the stakes down a little.  Before you strike one up, ask yourself this question: If we broke up, would I need to switch careers?

Have you ever had a workplace romance? 

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  • You know all too well about my last long-term workplace romance, that ended on a very bad note. I'm going to try my best not to go down that road again, because I am the one who ended up having to leave due to the hostile environment..Like you said, when you spend 40-50 hours a week with the same people, sometimes those things can happen. I don't think it's a bad thing, just depends on the parties involved.

  • It sounds like Slyar was cheating on both of you. Why spend another month with a guy who had two girlfriends?

  • I dated a coworker of mine for a while. We didn't work together at all, so it really wasn't much of an issue. Eventually we broke up, and it was amicable. Despite this and the fact that we don't work together, it is still all sorts of awkward when we do see each other. Won't be trying that again.

  • Workplace romances are VERY tricky because people NOT in the relationship ALWAYS want to know the latest details. You work with them, so it's a challenge to be rude...until you realize it's none of their business.

    Why do I know all of this? Because the romantic interest in my vast workplace is now my bride. Folks are NOSEY when you're dating, geez!

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