Relationship experts gave HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVE advice on what to do if you partner and their coworker have a strong connection.
From A Star Is Born to awards show season, 32-year-old Lady Gaga and 44-year-old Bradley Cooper’s chemistry was evident to many. It almost seemed like the two were destined to meet and fall in love, but… yeah, not exactly. At the time of filming, during press ahead of the movie’s release, and during their Oscars campaign, Bradley was with 33-year-old girlfriend Irina Shayk. Fans talked about Gaga and Bradley’s obvious and strong chemistry, but he was still very much with the mother of his child during the height of speculation whether Gaga and Bradley’s chemistry alluded to something more.
If you yourself are dealing with this similar situation – where your partner has a coworker they have strong chemistry with – you may be alarmed. However, it’s important to take a step back before doing anything rash, and consider how to approach the situation – it’s likely they’re just friends, and everyone needs coworkers to lean on in the office! HollywoodLife spoke with relationship experts EXCLUSIVELY to get the low-down on how to handle the situation.
“Speak with your partner about your feelings and concerns without making your partner wrong.” celebrity matchmaker and chief matchmaker of Censio, a matchmaking app, Carmelia Ray told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “Establishing trust, honesty and respect should the focus of your talk with your partner to preserve, strengthen and protect your relationship.” Although it isn’t the best news, Carmelia did say that “research has shown the more time you spend with someone, the more attractive they become to you over time.” She continued that the amount of time your partner spends with coworkers – which in many cases is eight hours a day – gives “cause to be concerned.”
But, something to note of importance is that the “chemistry” between your partner and their coworker could very well be platonic. “There is a fine line between creative chemistry and romantic chemistry, and it’s important to know what kind of chemistry they share,” Carmelia continued. “If your partner notices a clear sexual attraction beyond a working dynamic, he/she should have the common sense to pull back, or they will be playing with fire.” Basically, your partner can’t exactly help it if they have romantic chemistry with someone, but they can (and should!) control their actions of dealing with that chemistry if in a monogamous relationship.
How you move forward once you establish that your partner’s connection makes you uncomfortable should be explaining that to them and why it makes you feel that way. “Communication is always the best policy,” NYC Wing Woman Cher Gopman told HollywoodLife. ‘If you remain uncomfortable about the situation, then it’s extremely important that you speak with your partner about the issue – holding in your feelings can lead to further damage to the relationship. Explain to your partner what is bothering you in a rational manner and work together to develop a solution that will leave you both feeling satisfied.”
Damona Hoffman, host of the Dates & Mates podcast and certified dating coach, agreed. “You have to be very clear with your partner about the behavior that makes you uncomfortable,” Damona said, advising you to pinpoint the specific thing making you uncomfortable with the situation. “Is it texting after work? Are work trips a problem? Is it simply the amount of time they spend together? Then it will be up to your partner to tell you which modifications are reasonable based on the requirements of their work.”
If you talk with your partner about the chemistry between them and their coworker, and you still feel uncomfortable about it, you may have to work on your emotions on your own. “You have to work on yourself and your jealousy by getting professional counseling, if needed,” Bonnie Winston, celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert, said. There’s only so much your partner can do to make you comfortable in the partnership, and if any insecurities or worries persist after trying to come to a solution together, a professional may be of more help to you.