Dating an intern can be tough to do without feeling sleazy. However, it is possible. First, you need to get past the stigma of dating someone you work with. The intern is probably young and might not be getting paid, or at least not paid well. These are things you’re going to have to get past, as well. If you’re much older, much better paid or a direct authority over the intern, sleaziness might seem to come with the territory. But with a few simple steps, you’ll be able to feel good about your relationship, not like a creepy old guy.
Learn the rules of your company. To avoid feeling sleazy, try to avoid sneaking around. While this might sound thrilling, it might also get you fired. Talk to someone in your human resources department to get the official rules for someone in your position dating an intern. If it’s simply “frowned upon” and not a serious offense, keep going. Remember that sneaking around might seem exciting at first, but once that excitement wears off, you and the intern might find yourselves bored with the relationship.
Check her age. Interns come in all shapes, sizes and ages! Be sure the intern you’re eyeing is at least 18, preferably 21. If she’s under the age of legal consent (under 18), you’ll have more than your boss to worry about if you get caught. And it’s impossible to not feel sleazy when you date an underage girl. Of course, you might have your own age that you’re comfortable dating. For example, if you’re twice the age of the intern, you might feel sleazy dating her even if she’s 21.
Keep your relationship private. To date an intern and not feel sleazy, you’re going to need to keep the relationship quiet. This doesn’t mean keeping it completely secret, but do avoid bragging to your work buddies about how you’re scoring with the intern. While you might feel like “the man” while you brag, on your next date with the intern, you might just be left feeling super sleazy. Plus, the intern is likely to not appreciate you bragging about the relationship and could end it if she finds out.
Make your intentions clear. One easy way to feel sleazy while dating an intern is if you find that the two of you are on completely different pages, relationship-wise. If you want to keep it casual, say so. If you want to take the relationship to the next step, tell her. Being open and honest in any relationship, including one with an intern, will make it work out much better and can help keep you from feeling sleazy when she drops the “L” word when you thought you were just having some laughs.
Don’t give preferential treatment. When dating an intern, you might be tempted to help her boost her career. However, this is a surefire way to make your coworkers take notice and can lead to you feeling sleazy about the help you give. Once you start giving the intern special treatment, it might look like she’s dating you just to get favors. And this will lead to you feeling sleazy in no time.
Transfer the intern. If you’re the intern’s superior, it’s going to be difficult to avoid problems. If you treat her nicely, everyone in your office might get suspicious. On the flip side, if you need to reprimand her, it’s most certainly going to affect your relationship. Instead of dealing with all these issues, get the intern transferred within the company so that you’re no longer her direct supervisor. Of course, if you go this route, you need to make sure you talk to her about it first. If she ends up causing a huge scene in the middle of your office, you will probably end up feeling sleazy and wrecking your relationship in the process.