TV Work Romances

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TV shows portray an entertainment oasis that allows us to momentarily escape reality. One of the most engaging, hooking parts of TV shows: the romances. They are a very tactical concept to execute because we form an attachment to these characters that we watch every day/week, and we begin to care for their future and relationships, invested in their choices almost as much as our own. We have thoughts on what they deserve, how they should be treated, and who they should be dating/marrying. Many budding relationships we’ve seen start in the workplace, moving from coworkers to successful work romances which make it to many series finales. 

To take a short stroll down memory lane, here are some of VALLEY’s favorite TV work romances:

1. Meredith and Derek
Photo from ABC

A radio over your head sort of love. This couple had the audience hooked from the beginning. What started out as a hookup resulting from a late night at the bar, budded into one of the most iconic TV couples in history. With Meredith starting out fresh as an intern to Derek being the new neurosurgeon in town, escaping his cheating ex-wife, we knew this one was bound to be good. And let’s not forget about the elevator scenes. Needless to say, this couple was captivating to watch, from their post-it note marriage to their dream home and kids, their love was heartwarming to watch, and will always be iconic.

2. Jim and Pam
Photo from

Now this one falls on the sweeter, more innocent, endearing sides of work relationships. It started out with Pam, engaged to Roy, a warehouse worker. But we just knew this one wasn’t going to last. From longing stares to little jokes and a Christmas gift exchange that featured a teapot, this couple was always very sweet to watch, especially as we saw these characters grow and become more confident with themselves and each other.

3. Jane and Rafael
Photo from the CW

Let’s just start by saying what’s better than an American telenovela? This show was intrigue, deception, and more intrigue. Jane, a future novelist, is in school and working as a waitress at The Marbella, owned by the family of her future lover: Rafael. Then, Jane gets accidentally artificially inseminated with Rafael’s sperm, at the fault of Rafael’s sister Louisa. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that Jane is in a relationship with her police-officer boyfriend, Michael. And that Jane has actually already met Rafael a few years ago and they had their own little meet-cute. Facing work-life imbalances, a kid, more pregnancies, a few failed engagements, exes, and death, this couple pulled through and were nothing short of passionate.

4. Ben and Leslie
Photo from NBC

Deputy director Leslie and city auditor Ben. This was a real test of love being that Leslie was just so dedicated and in love with her own job, that work was actually the obstacle in this couple’s relationship. From Freddy Spaghetti to an unrequited office romance and even a trial, this couple was always a very lighthearted, sweet couple to watch.

5. Rachel and Mike
Photo from NBC

Another show whose initial lovebirds were of opposite rank at work, yet couldn’t resist each other. It started with smarty pants Mike who got himself into law…. without even being a lawyer? He’s hired as an attorney under the supervision of Harvey Spectre, where he works and falls for Rachel, a paralegal. The two bond over work favors, which builds up to a hookup in the filing room, apartment searching, marriage, and even jail time. This couple was always flirtatious yet respectable to watch, and it was sad to see them leave.

6. Sookie and Jackson
Photo from

How could a romance not be good when it starts off with a chef and produce delivery man? From their quirky banter to vegetable insults, these two were always entertaining to watch. Sookie actually makes the first move, and after a little inconvenience with Rune, the tag-along, and some more quarreling, they get married and have kids, living out their cute little Stars-Hollow life.

Real-Life Work Romances

Now, after seeing all of these work romances for yourself, one might begin to question if they are actually a good idea and whether many work couples actually make it. And the thought isn’t crazy, considering you spend most of your time at work. 

According to Vault’s 2018 Office Study, over 50% of people in the workplace have had at least one office romance, whether it be a hook-up or a relationship. And just over 40% of respondents believe workplace romances with individuals of different employment levels are unacceptable, which is shocking considering what big fans we are of TV romances, almost all of which originated with characters of two different level positions.

Looking even further, about 10% of these respondents met their spouse at work, similarly found across other research platforms. 

Now with this information, you have to take into account workplace policy and the possibility that your colleague may be married, in which case you’ll be starting up your own little drama. So is it a good idea to date in the workplace? VALLEY says it’s up to you. But it does happen quite often, and sometimes, it even ends up in marriage, so the risk might just be worth the rollercoaster.

Let us know your thoughts on workplace relationships by tweeting us @VALLEYmag.


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