I am working at a company that has less than 100 people for 6 months. I started dating one of my coworker in my team for a few months. I decided to leave my current position because she feels it is hard to maintain this relationship while we are working on the same team.

If my future employer asks me why I am leaving, should I honestly tell them I am dating my coworker?

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    I know of several colleagues dating and getting married as team members or as colleagues in the same company, different teams / departments. Everything is fine with them. Maybe you should clarify with your girlfriend why she actually wants you out. If she is uncomfortable, maybe she is the one who should leave. I think it is not normal for her to be embarrassed with you, as long as you are dating. Bottom line, you may have a bigger problem with your relationship, the new job is secondary problem.
    – virolino
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 8:20
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    If your next interviewer asked you why you left, would you simply reply with "because my GF asked me to", or would you be able to give more elaborate reasons why she was uncomfortable, or why it conflicted with your current work culture / ethics?
    – user34587
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 8:22
  • @virolino For some people too much of a good thing, in particular social interaction, is actually bad and draining them out. So there might well be valid reasons that don't point to a relationship problem, rather than a mature way to reflect on oneself and the relationship. Now I do agree that the one changing his professional career should know the reasons and they should have thought this decision through etc, but I would be careful with assuming problems. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 10:25
  • It would be wise to check your company allow this type of behaviour at workplace. If there is no clause then It looks like no problem. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 13:19
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    Stepping outside of your question for a second. What the hell are you doing making job moves based on the demands of someone you've been dating for hardly any time at all. Why doesn't she move? "Hard to maintain the relationship"? So you're so afraid of being dumped that you've accepted an ultimatum and changed jobs? Is that a thing an attractive man with self belief does? Go get some relationship advice offline from people you trust, please.
    – Nathan
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 15:07

4 Answers 4


The best answer to this is "maybe." It's a two-edged sword.

Discussing it puts the truth on the table, gives you room to say positive things about your current company and lets you sell prospective employers on how you deal with potential problems: "My current company has been a great place to work, and I would have stayed on if it weren't for the personal situation, which looks like it will endure. I try to keep a barrier between my personal and professional lives and thought it better to avoid any potential spillover from the relationship into work or from work into the relationship, which would ultimately feed back into work." The wording of the last sentence is important because it leaves the impression that you're thinking first of your professional obligations.

Not discussing it and using any of the hackneyed answers ("career growth," "better opportunities") leaves interviewers room to speculate about your actual reasons and plenty of potential to come up with something completely wrong. It's not as if they haven't heard those reasons before, and sharp interviewers will know it's code for "I could live a long, happy life without the place." You have a good story that shows you're trying to do the right thing. The only reason to bury it would be to get a company to make you an offer; companies needing that kind of manipulation are not places I'd want to work.

There's also a compromise between the two, where you tell them there's a personal situation that has nothing to do with the company or the work you do for them. The bottom line is that you have to get a good bead on your potential employers and figure out where along the spectrum your answer should fall.


I do not think it is a good idea.

If you say that, it might indicate you are not mature enough to separate your personal and professional life.

I decided to leave my current position because she feels it is hard to maintain this relationship while we are working on the same team.

See, it's not the "organization" who has a problem[1] - it's "you" (either or both of you). Before considering leaving the organization, try to talk to your partner about

  • Why both of you working in the same organization / department is a problem / hardship?
  • How you (or her) moving to other organization is going to solve the "problem" you have currently?

Honestly, before finalizing on moving out, try to find out the problem and the root cause of it.

Finally, if you want to move out, you don't need to lie either - just don't mention it. Find out a secondary reason for the shift and present that.

[1]: I'm considering that there has been no event / incident in your current workplace which made you feel that the relationship is unwelcome.

  • If new employer asks OP has to answer. If he does not mention the truth, then he will technically lie. The workaround is to find a secondary reason for moving. That way, he will only partially lie.
    – virolino
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 8:16
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    Totally wrong. OP is in the process of separating personal and professional life. Total opposite of what you are saying.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 9:56
  • @gnasher729 and how is that sir? What would be the justification for leaving ? because "....feels it is hard to maintain this relationship.."? What is hard? How is a personal relationship affecting the professional capacity? Without those specifics...it appears as something that depends on personal feelings, rather than facts. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 9:59
  • @gnasher729 Also, this is my point of view. If someone would tell me this case, without a reason for doing so - I'd feel they are not comfortable leaving the personal life out of professional works. I have been in teams where partners worked not only in the same rank, rather also in different hierarchy. Never experienced they had any issues in their professional capacity. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 10:04
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – rath
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 11:18

I personally think it's a very mature attitude : imagine you stay working together and the firm gets into a problem (like a re-organisation or even bankruptcy): in that case you and your partner might lose your income, putting both of you in very big trouble.

So, leaving your employer in order to avoid this looks like a very mature thing to do.

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    while I don't agree this is necessary or generally particularly mature compared to working and be successful together (unless the company is in shaky waters), this is a perfect way to frame the decision to new employers, if OP can see the value in the strategy. That way he can leave out the personal drama and present it as a cold professional economic decision. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 10:22
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    "So you mean I can loose an employee because he falls in love?"
    – Martijn
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 13:04
  • @Fattie: One of the basic issues while finding a new job, is not to tell bad things about your current employer (this would mean that you are not running towards your new employer, but away from your current one, which gives a very bad message). If, however, you give the answer, provided by the OP, you give a mature answer, so my advise/answer to the question is: "Yes, it's a good idea to mention this, based on the argument I provided."
    – Dominique
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 14:49
  • @Fattie: almost everytime I applied for another job, I got the question "Why are you leaving your current employer?". I'm just saying that this is indeed a good answer on that question.
    – Dominique
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 18:05

Can you request for a transfer to another dept instead? Some partner teams or spouse teams do good work together and function better than individual units.

Is there a company policy against it?


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