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Firefly8

Do you discuss your relationships/sexuality at work?

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Firefly8

I avoid the topic and don't go into details or stories at all. I have in the past, but only after becoming close friends with co-workers. I'm now in a new job and feel under a microscope sometimes. I had to tell a co-worker today, who was asking me about any past relationships of mine, that I don't discuss my private life at work. It was a hard stop to the light-hearted conversation, so I feel somewhat bad about being closed off or anti-social in that way. On the other hand, I don't want co-workers knowing I've never been in a relationship and talking/assuming things about me. I guess that can either way, but I don't want to add to it. I don't want to be in a position that I would have to explain and defend my sexuality/romanticism to coworkers. Not everyone in the world understands or is supportive and I just want to feel safe at work, especially at a new job when impressions are being formed.

How much do you discuss with your co-workers about your private/sexual/romance life? Do you think I'm right to stop their questioning? Do you have a more congenial way to re-direct these types of personal conversations?

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Grimalkin

It's perfectly reasonable to gently shut down conversation that gets too personal. However, if you'd prefer, you could just say "I'm enjoying being single at the moment." (LIKE EVERY MOMENT!)

 

I see no problem with fudging your history a little, if you want to chat but don't want to elaborate. Just be like "I've dated here and there, but nothing's stuck."

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banana monkey

It depends on the topic of conversation. It doesnt come up often but I have been in my job 10 years and I have quite close relationships with a few of my collegues because in my general workplace we are a small team ( like about 7-10 of us). Most of them know I'm single and quite a few of them know that I have only had one relationship given that it happened whilst I was working there. I am out to a few of them, but that's only because its come up and ive felt comfortable. I have one keyworker who doesnt know because the last time it could have been discussed was about a year ago when she first started and I didnt feel comfortable enough so kinda dodged a bit. If she asked me now, I would tell her. 

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theV0ID

I do not go to work do discuss my personal life, I go to work to work. If a co-worker asked me about my relationship history then I would shut the conversation down with a simple "sorry I don't want to talk about that" and then change the subject. If that makes them uncomfortable then tough cookies. But then I prefer to have a very clear delimitation between work life and personal life. I get on well with my coworkers and like them as people but have absolutely no interest in being friends with them. I've actually never had a co-worker ask me anything about my personal life, and I would be really uncomfortable if they did, even including one co-worker who I regularly go on work trips abroad with and am thus very comfortable with.

13 minutes ago, Grimalkin said:

"I'm enjoying being single at the moment." (LIKE EVERY MOMENT!)

This is a good response, and one I actually use with non-work-colleague friendly-acquaintance-but-not-friends type people who start asking about my relationship status or history. It's also a good way to give off "no I do not want to date you" vibes.

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Jewelsandcrowns

Not at all, it's too much hassle so I don't mention it at work. 8)

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oldgeeza

I wouldn't hide it, but I also don't go out of my way to discuss it either, the sort of people I work with are very narrow minded, childish, even homophobic, I can't be dealing with idiots like that, if they want to make up something about me, that's fine, whilst they're making up stories about me, they're leaving someone else alone, but it's a very childish menatality in the transport industry, especially in the west country, they don't tend to bully me now though as I put them in their place, but if you're of a mild nature, they'd have a go

 

Rather ironically, recently, I was in trouble for having a hug with a colleague at one of the places I deliver to........she's young enough to be my daughter, I wouldn't mind guessing what was behind that

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uhtred

No, and I think in general its a bad idea to do so. Too many risks of accidentally crossing lines,  causing someone to feel harassed (or at least uncomfortable) etc.

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Skycaptain

Yes, to the extent that I'm open about being asexual, ergo no discussions about why no relationships 

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Kimchi Peanut

I’m straight, sexual, married... but no, not really. I might mention my husband or something but not the relationship aspects and not my sexuality. I’ve yet to experience anyone talk about that sort of thing at work.

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SithGirl

I don't mind talking about my relationship. If it's relevant to the conversation or situation, sure, why not? I'm at a job though where I'm still in transition and so a lot of people ask what my plans are for the future, and they revolve around my boyfriend since we want to get married and where we live in the future obviously concerns both of us. 

 

And yeah, if someone told me "I don't talk about my personal life at work" that would be a giant STOP sign in any conversations I had with them. It's like saying "Stop talking to me. I don't like you. Go away." There are polite ways to not shove the sign in my face, but most would make me awkward going forward with that person. To me, saying you don't discuss personal things is the same as saying you don't want us to be friends. 

 

No, they don't know I'm asexual. It's not relevant. Most assume I'm straight when I mention my boyfriend and that's as deep as the conversations go. If they asked, I'd tell them, it just never comes up. I'm as open about being asexual as I am about being atheist. 

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ben8884

I don't tend to but thats because I am not super close with the people I work with except for 1 person who does know I am ace. I don't think there is anything wrong talking about it-people in my family and Church know- I just choose not to at work. 

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Zagadka

I tend to not to talk about personal things with people who aren't already close friends, so I really have never had to bring anything about it up at a work or other kind of setting. I've avoided questions about partners and dating, but I've never even had to lie.

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KoiFishShoes

Most of my coworkers rarely make inquiries about my relationships (romance, family, or friends) unless they are doing it to bring up the subject so they can talk about their own. I might get 2-3 sentences.

 

I do have a young employee who recognized my ace pin on my tote bag and asked me about it, and they asked me if I was also aro on another occasion out of curiosity. I will usually answer most questions if they are direct and respectful. I get a strong impression this employee is struggling a bit with their own orientation, and possibly also gender identity, at the moment. 

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Chocolatastic AroAce

No absolutely not.  I hate when people try to be all personal at work. Work is for working, you can socialize and exchange relationship details another time.

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i.r3beka

I try not to discuss really personal stuff at work except with close friends. While I do agree with what some people have said that work is for working, I also think it is possible to still do your job well, as long as you’re only talking to your coworkers during downtime.

 

Having said that, I did mention asexuality briefly to two coworkers and once to a coworker I considered a close friend.

 

One coworker was pestering me about not having a boyfriend* and I mentioned I’m asexual. Probably shouldn’t have because that turned into “you can’t know you’re asexual if you haven’t.....” Yes, actually I can. By that logic, you can’t KNOW you won’t like sticking a fork in an outlet unless you try it, no really, go do that. 

 

Also, sidebar, why is it always “why don’t you have a boyfriend?” For all anyone knows I could just as well be gay. Stupid heteronormativity.

 

When I used to wear an ace ring, I had a coworker ask why I wore a ring on my middle finger and I told her I was asexual. She was nice and didn’t pester me about it.

 

The other coworker was one I considered a close friend who had just inquired why I was single and not interested in guys like that. She was actually really sweet and understanding. She asked questions but not in a bingo way, and she seemed to understand when I differentiated aesthetic, romantic, and sexual attraction.

 

 I’m not ashamed of asexuality, so if someone asks me a question to which asexuality is its answer, I tell them.

 

But I don’t mention it unless asked and I don’t talk about it often.

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GlamRocker

I try to avoid it but sometimes I let a little slip because I'm a naturally open person. Mostly I just crack jokes to deflect any interest in me in that area... and it generally works like a charm, it's what people expect from me. I can usually keep the conversation steered more towards the other person's life.

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LoneRider

I totally get the idea of not getting too personal with coworkers, without getting rude. Many of my coworkers only similarity to me is that we work in the same building. There’s others that have clicked in and became friends, but I still don’t discuss why I’m single or that. Most times when it comes up, I make a joke about avoiding a bullet about it

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mirrorcle_world

Nope. I've only had one instance where a co-worker asked about my relationship status, if I had any kids, etc. I don't really feel comfortable discussing my personal life with co-workers. If they ask I'll answer, but I try to avoid those sorts of topics as I view work as separate from my personal life.

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wyrdwyrm

I tend to say, "Nope! Just me!" or "I have a cat!" with a smile, so I don't shut down the conversation entirely (in case they want to talk about their relationships). I'm pretty sure anyone who might care knows I'm single, but I've never given out the term 'asexual' because it's not information they need to know.

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Sithmaster WinterDragon

Nope, not unless I think it's necessary. 

Though a few friends know of asexuality I overall have not said anything to anyone yet. 

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