5 ways to survive an office romance (without losing your paycheck!)

Wouldn't life be so much easier if we just went to work to, I don't know, work? With all the office politics and different personalities, it's sometimes easy to think your workplace is more of a soap opera than a company.

Oh, and then there's the office romances. Who hasn't been swept up with a slight crush on the new guy in sales? Sometimes, though, that innocent crush turns into a relationship -- and it complicates everything. A recent CareerBuilder survey shows that almost 40 percent of workers have dated a co-worker and of those 28 percent dated their boss! An office romance can up the stakes on your job -- especially if you (or your significant other) is the boss.

Do you have to swear off office romance? Ideally, yes -- but it's not always possible. Flirting and communications expert Rachel DeAlto does have a few tips to keeping your work life in control when your personal life starts invading the office.

Check the Company Handbook

It's not as common as it once was, but some companies expressly forbid relationships between coworkers -- especially if one of the people is in a supervisory position. Check with human resources before you get in too deep -- now's not the time to lose your job over a relationship that might not last.

Keep It Professional

Basically, this means no canoodling in the supply closet. Sure, flirting during the day can be fun, but it can make your colleagues uncomfortable and create a hostile environment that could -- you guessed it -- jeopardize your job.

Understand That It Might Not Last

We like to go into every relationship hoping this is one that lasts forever. However, that doesn't always happen. You should be able to handle a breakup with a coworker professionally -- no breakdowns in the break room. Being the subject of office gossip is no fun, either.

Keep The Fights at Home

Don't bring your relationship fights to work, period. You might work together, but that's no excuse to extend the fight to the board room. It makes you both look immature and unprofessional.

Consider a Change

Think the relationship is going to go the distance? It might be wise if you -- or your partner -- finds another job to keep your personal life outside the workplace.

What tips do you have for dealing with office romances?