Work spouses are great, but having a deep friendship with a coworker can be tricky to navigate.
On the one hand, it’s awesome to have someone you can depend upon in the office. You can rely upon this person for emotional and professional support. You’re like the dynamic duo (minus the tights and maniacal villains, hopefully).
On the other, your partnership may run the risk verging into more intense, romantic territory. Sometimes that works out. Sometimes it leads to a huge mess.
Either way, it’s helpful to know when you and your coworker have ventured past the sunny fields of friendship, into the rocky, winding mountain pass of “work marriage.” That way, you can stay mindful of how you really feel (and avoid a complicated “work divorce”).
So here are 13 signs that you definitely have a work spouse:
1. You’re inseparable at work …
At work, you’re pretty much joined at the hip. You’re grabbing lunch together, visiting each other’s desks, saving one other seats at meetings, and going on simultaneous coffee runs.
2. … and outside in the real world
Your relationship extends beyond the 9-to-5 world. You and your work spouse have also had plenty of adventures outside of the office.
3. You’ve got tons of inside jokes
Sometimes, your conversations are so riddled with inside jokes, it’s like you’re speaking your own language (which probably makes all your coworkers hate you, just saying).
4. You gossip together
You know someone is your work spouse when you can dish about everything from which intern is the most annoying to what you really think of your boss (after hours, if you’re smart).
5. You go to them first
Whether you received a great promotion or you’ve just been chewed out by your boss, your work spouse is the first one you tell when something big happens.
6. You know their secrets — and they know yours
Strong relationships are built upon trust. As a result, if you’ve got a work spouse, you’ve likely shared things with them that you wouldn’t tell anyone else in the office. And they have returned the favour.
7. You’re real with them
When interacting with office friends, sometimes you have to be a bit fake in order to get along and remain professional. Not with your work spouse, though. You’ll call each other out on your nonsense all the time. You can really be yourself around them and shed your workplace persona.
8. You help each other out
You know you can rely on this one colleague when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work. And you’d be happy to return the favour whenever they need assistance.
9. You stick by them at social events
Happy Hour and holiday parties wouldn’t be the same without your office boo.
10. You think about them a lot outside of work
Obviously, we all think of our friends from time to time. Still, if you’re constantly daydreaming about one specific coworker, it’s likely that they mean a lot to you.
11. You’re terrified of them meeting your real significant other
The thought alone is horrifying. If you’re truly afraid of worlds colliding, you may need to reevaluate one or both of your relationships.
12. You talk about them constantly
Sure, maybe your colleague is truly just a fascinating, hilarious person. Alternatively, maybe the reason you’re constantly bringing them up to your other friends is because you can’t get them off your mind.
13. You’re a great team
Work spouses don’t just get along great. As Patrick Erwin previously noted on CNN, they also make for a great team in the office. If you’ve got a work boo, your personalities and skill sets probably complement one another well, leading to great teamwork and productivity whenever you work together.