Who doesn’t love a good office holiday party? The booze is flowin’, the apps are passin’, and you have a valid excuse to show off that super extra dress that lights you the eff up. Maybe you even have a lurve interest you won’t be so shy pursuing after downing a few glasses of wine.
But before you set down that light beer and march your ass over to them with glowing, drunk confidence, consider this: Are you both single? Because, like, newsflash, office holiday parties are not an excuse to cheat on your partner.
And yet, 66 percent of people consider cheating on their significant other at their work holiday party, according to a recent survey by Ashley Madison. Yikes.
Why are holiday ragers ripe for straying? Blame it on the alcohol. "Sometimes, it can heighten impulsivity, inhibition, and strong emotions—including negative thoughts about your current relationship or sexual feelings toward a coworker," explains psychotherapist Jaime Gleicher, LMSW.
But alcohol isn't all to blame. Cheating can also happen if your relationship has been lacking in some really nice, feel-good affection, or you feel the need to escape IRL problems and arguments by, say, ignoring them and pursuing a new suitor instead.
Impulsive cheating can cause a spike in adrenaline or endorphins, which can temporarily make you feel good AF. But the crash, burn, and consequences? Oooh, they're probably, most definitely not worth it.
Here, Gleicher provides some other reasons why running from the escalating sexual tension with Sexy Steve (or Sassy Sarah) from advertising and booking it straight home to bae is your best move this year:
- Girl, WYD? "If you are in a relationship and not able to stay present because you are thinking of someone else, you need to take a deep look at whether or not you're in the right relationship," says Gleicher. Crushes are totes normal, and feeling attracted to someone else is okay. Acting on it though, is not. Evaluate if it's time to move on from your relationship.
- Do you really want to start something up with a colleague? And lose everything you may have already invested in your current partner? This sounds like a slippery slope. Don't forget: Sexing with a colleague could bring emotions that may compromise your worth ethic, productivity, and professionalism, advises Gleicher. Unless it's like, I don't know, Channing effing Tatum, he's probs not worth it.
- Leave sex out of the convo with colleagues. There's really just no reason to bring it up in the first place, so don't even go there. And if you're questioning whether something is inappropriate or nah, it probably is.
- If you feel a colleague is taking things too far, don't be afraid to say no. "It's always best to use words to express that you are uncomfortable," says Gleicher. "Sometimes people don't understand something is being taken too far, even if we think we are clearly communicating it by actions or body language."
- Cheating most likely won't live up to your imagination. If you've been fantasizing about this colleague for months, don't be mad when their IRL whiskey dick seriously screws with your head.
- Duh, #metoo movement. Not only is colleague fraternization extremely frowned upon these days, but hooking up with someone you work with at the holiday party can land you in serious trouble, jeopardize your job, or make you two the office joke tomorrow... and your partner will likely find out.
So by all means, have fun, do your thing, eat, drink, and be merry at your work soirée (it's free booze, after all!). But please, do not use your holiday party as an excuse to cheat.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.