Friendship versus Colleague

How do I keep the colleague and friendship part separate?

Dear Positive Way, 

I have a relationship with a friend, how do I keep the colleague and friendship part separate.  I want to get to know her, however we do work together too on some projects. signed, communication, age 43

Dear communication,

That is a good and important question because if you don’t keep the two separate then unforeseen problems can arise.  Here are a couple of suggestions for you to consider.

1.  Set up a quick meeting over coffee with this person where the two of you will be alone on a one to one basis and yet be in a public place like a coffee shop.  Be very direct, open, and honest and ask this person for their opinion on how these two things can or should remain separate.  Let them voice their opinion on this matter.

2.  Once you listen to them and find out where they are on this subject then if you think their idea is workable then go with it.  Otherwise just bringing it to their attention will allow each of you some time to think about this issue and meet again in a few days to discuss some solutions.

It is important to set boundaries no matter what so please see our article on setting boundaries.  There has to be a work boundary and then a friendship boundary.  For example:  At work your boundary could be that you will only discuss work matters and not mention the friendship at all.  You could refrain from any type of flirting during any projects you do together. Then when you are meeting or talking as friends you could have the boundary that the two of you do not discuss the projects that you have worked on outside of work…and then concentrate on getting to know each other on more of a personal level outside of work.

Please understand you have free will.  This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling.  We wish you well.