NEW YORK (
) -- Although we all know the dangers of going "fishing in the company pond," getting into an office romance may be much easier than getting out of one gracefully. When feelings get hurt and tempers flare, it's inevitable that heated conversations and emotionally charged arguments will ensue -- but having those in the workplace can be a career killer.
Even if you think you and your significant other are level-headed enough to avoid a workplace meltdown or backstabbing, some things are simply out of your control. Experts weigh in on the seven worst ways to end an office romance:
1. Break up at the office
"You may think it sounds crazy, but it happens," says Russ Hovendick, founder of career consultancy
. "Things get so emotionally charged that the discussion can't wait, and you end up having a shouting match at the office."
This most often happens when a couple has a "tenuous" relationship and emotions are at their peak, he says.
"It's not like they came to work that morning preparing to end their relationship, but someone says something to set them off and it escalates, in many cases right in front of people," he says. "Then the question is how your manager will view you after that -- how will they have respect for you when they've seen you have a meltdown?"
In many cases, your boss couldn't care less that your relationship is over -- their real concern is the hindrance of productivity for the rest of the staff.
"Everyone's productivity takes a hit. There's no way it won't have a viral effect in the workplace. Those tensions transcend the borders of your fight -- they affect everyone."
2. Spend hours on the phone every day complaining and crying
"You may think you're hiding it, but quite frankly everyone can hear your conversation and everyone knows exactly what's going on," Hovendick says.
If you're the one in the middle of a breakup, you may be so focused on your own emotional state that you become oblivious to what's happening around you, he says. But colleagues "pick up on the vibes quickly" by watching body language and listening in.