Getting into a relationship with your classmate, coursemate or coworker is not something people wish for. There’s that icky, gooey fear of things getting awkward for everybody in case things don’t work out the way you expected. But it happens. And apparently more often than one would expect: 58% of employees have engaged in a romantic relationship with a colleague, recent studies show.

Another fun fact: almost half (41%) of employees don’t know their company’s policy regarding office romances. And if they did, based on u/lvndrlight‘s story alone — the previous number would be much lower.

As this couple in their mid-20s tells it in their story, they weren’t expecting to fall for their colleague (or each other). Of course, it happened anyway. And everything was going rather smoothly before management found out about their romantic relationship. Oh boy, how things changed from there on out… Dirty looks from the management, indirect ridiculing, gatekeeping from advancement in the company — those are just some of the things this couple had to endure. Things that would surely put off any person in their right mind from a romantic relationship with their colleague.

A couple of office workers were enjoying their relationship before management accidentally snooped in

Image credits: Paperkites / istockphoto (not the actual photo)

And this is a classic tale of HR messing with people’s happiness

Inspired by the response from the internet, the couple started fighting the injustice at work

Image credits: lvndrlight

People don’t like when work gets in the way of love, as responses to the story show

As far as work romances go, not every profession is as cruel on ‘lovebirds’ as it might first seem. As u/ScipioAtTheGate points out in the comments, “even the navy allows relationships between service people so long as one isn’t supervising the other.” And even if the workplace tries to prohibit such things from ever happening — as perfectly captured in this story — Bryson Kearl, a HR content creator at BambooHR, a company that focuses on job-related data, thinks that “workplace romances will happen regardless of the rules.” Best part? Couples who meet through work are more likely to marry. Readers, perhaps your Romeo/Juliet is only a cubicle away!

A lot of people had their own office romance stories to share

The downside of work romances and locking eyes over the water cooler are quite obvious: disputes can make working together difficult. What if you’re fighting for the same promotion? What if you also live together? Yikes. Considering that one in six workplace relationships involves an affair, chances of that sweet romance turning sour like a lemon are rather high, all things considered.

“One important tip to handle an office romance is to ensure that you keep an eye on your professional goals that you had before you got into the relationship,” is the key advice that Hello Love blog suggests. And it’s true. We all know how easy it is to get blinded by Cupid, right? What a shame it would be to lose everything that you’ve been working towards for an office fling that seemed so promising (at first). As Rachel Bitte, the Chief People Officer at Jobvite, a recruiting company, writes: “If neither of you are willing to budge for the other person, it may be a sign that the relationship isn’t as important as you thought.” Touché.