Valentineís Day is looming, all you see in the shops are cards, silly gifts and constant reminders of couples, cupid and champagne. If you do not have that special someone in your life, or if romance is no longer a feature in your partnerís vocabulary, then it is time to put the romance back in your life, yourself!
Perhaps the office seems to be a logical place to find romance, rather look, or read further, before you leap ...
Are you Romancing your Soul?
We often confuse love and romance ... Love is the emotion; romance is the evocative expression of it. We all want and need love, but what we (especially women) crave is romance. You don’t have to rely only on soap operas, books and movies to get you “romantic fix” Take charge and put romance back in your life – begin by ...
“Romancing your Soul”
  • Make yourself a “dream collage”. Cut out pictures from magazines that delight you, be they of people, places or objects. This helps reawaken all the dreams, and passions that we have had, but have left by the wayside
  • Set aside a few hours every week to romance one of your senses:
    • Bury your nose in a pile of clean washing. Walk through a fresh produce store and inhale both the exotic the mundane aromas. Savour the own unique smell your loved ones have. Scent your home with delicious fragrances – rose scented linen spray, fresh baking bread, bowls of potpourri
    • Make believe you will loose your sense of sight in 3 days, imprint every image in your heart
    • Remember the power of touch to heal, to soothe, to comfort
    • Buy yourself 5 exquisitely packaged hand made chocolates, quietly savour every mouthful
    • Purchase a CD of the worlds greatest love songs, let Sinatra, Il Divo, Josh Groban serenade you
  • Plan a singles Valentine romantic dinner with your unattached friends. Decorate the table with your finest glasses and china. Have candles, music, flowers and let everyone bring their favourite dishes and drinks. Dress for the occasion and savour every moment, every mouthful
  • Instead of waiting in vain for a Valentine’s Day card, why not this year buy a batch of cards and send them anonymously to the people you know who are sad, dejected or heart sore. The look on the faces when they open your card will be worth 50 cards in your mailbox!
  • Are you single, with a hectic work life but little opportunity or time to meet your potential soulmate. Be daring–grab another single mate and treat yourself to a FASTdate evening (15 dates, 5 mins each) or the FASTdate Valentine's Day Party. Visit www.fastdate.co.za or email info@fastdate.co.za for more information
“Most people know intuitively that when you fall in love the world is full of magic. What they don’t know is that when you discover the universe is full of magic, you fall in love with the world”
Phyllis Curott
Are you giving enough Living and Loving?
“To give is to receive”
This is the fundamental law of Love. Give love and you will receive love in abundance. In order to be able to give, and keep giving, we need to ensure that our love supply is always full to the point of overflowing. Loving ourselves, warts and all, is the start of that journey
  • There are so many of us dazed by the idea of romance, seeing ourselves as incomplete unless we find someone to make our lives whole. Remember that you make a whole person and if you are feeling incomplete, you must fill yourself with love in all those empty places!
  • To live a romantic life base every decision on love; self–love, love of others, love of ideas, activities and places. Living your life in this way brings romance into the smallest most ordinary moments of your life
  • Love is simple, loving is meant to be uncomplicated. We just make it hard for ourselves. When we place limits, restrictions and conditions on loving and those we love it only leads to pain, guilt and regret
  • To end self–rejection you have to learn to love in another what you hate in yourself. Have the courage to be exactly who you are, then give the same courtesy to those you love
  • The only work necessary to receive love is the work you do on yourself, your heart, your mind and your behaviour
“Love yourself and everything else falls in line”
Lucille Ball
  • When we are feeling unloved and depressed looking to others to supply us with love is not the solution – we need to look to ourselves
  • Give your love to others with no expectations or demands and marvel as your own levels of love rise
  • Try not to replay old movies of past hurts, loves lost or never found through your mind–they only hold you back
  • Practise forgiveness, as this is the only path to inner peace, happiness and love
  • Concentrate on making others feel fabulous rather than trying to impress them. So why not give the ultimate gift to yourself or to someone you care about – like a Personal Consultation from Professional Impressions
Professional Impressions Personal Consultations.
We offer individualised consultations to suit all budgets and time constraints.
For more information contact Professional Impressions
Tel: (011) 679–3036    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Behave in the workplace!
It happens all the time. Is it really such a bad thing? Well, it is potentially dangerousÖ just ask Monica Lewinsky.
With today’s emphasis on being a team player, long hours spent at the office, the frantic pace we work at and the limited time we have for social lives, it is only natural that finding a mate in the workplace might look like a viable proposition
Choosing to start an office romance?
  • Firstly think long and hard about all the consequences
  • Ascertain if your company has a ‘no fraternizing’ policy. Generally most companies discourage workplace romances, as they reduce productivity
“The reality is that office romances
are as common as laptops”
Susan Bixler
  • The most acceptable office romances, are between singles and only if handled discreetly
  • An office affair when either party is married will always raise strong feelings in others. Our culture respects loyalty and devotion. Once public, the fallout will always be damaging to all parties, with reputations and professional stature tarnished forever
As you can see the office romance is fraught with dangers. At all times seek elsewhere for the love of your life.
If convinced that this will be a stable relationship with a level of commitment from both parties then proceed with caution ...
  • Avoid becoming involved with:
    • someone with similar work responsibilities
    • someone you share work space with or
    • with someone who is below you on the corporate ladder
  • Initially, until there is a level of commitment on both sides, don’t confide in anyone, as this may lead to blackmail or rumour spreading
  • Don’t be naÔve, thinking you can keep it secret for long
  • Leave the romance out of office hours. Be discreet, no goo–goo eyes over the board room table, no soppy e–mails, no long, lingering lunches at the cafeteria
  • Be aware that non–verbal communication, such as your body language towards each other will be as potent as words
  • Do not moon about, keep productivity levels up and never use office time to sort out personal problems
  • If working in open plan offices be more aware of your actions, conversations
  • The relationship may cause strong feelings with co– workers. You may have to deal with jealousy, gossip and backstabbing
  • Your boss may also have concerns. You may be required to transfer to another department or may even face dismissal
If it ends:
  • Avoid scenes and control your emotions while at work
  • Do not let petty jealousies and resentments damage your work relationship with your ex. Be professional at all times
  • Consider taking a breather to regain your composure– a two week holiday, even a transfer to a different department
  • Do not let your work suffer
  • Do not indulge in ex –bashing, you will only appear a sore looser
“I was horrified when one of my co–workers told me I was a flirt. What is acceptable in an office situation?”
  • Don’t flirt overtly; knowing glances, whispered conversations have no place in the workplace
  • Be careful of your body language – gazing dreamily into your co–workers eyes for a long time, tilting your head when listening, even smiling softly or too long may send out the wrong messages
  • Be careful (women) of casually tossing your hair, dangling a crossed leg, back of neck or touching a man’s elbow–these are flirting signs
  • Men beware of standing like John Wayne (thumbs hooked onto belt, fingers pointing towards your zipper) legs spread apart
  • Flirting men also use the peacock stance to make them appear bigger–hands on hips or hand on the wall–angled toward you
“Is it acceptable to socialise with my boss?”
  • Find out the details of the invitation, perhaps all new staff to the company are invited out to welcome them. In this case the invitation is likely to be a one off occasion
  • The time, venue, other guests are critical in your decision to accept–is it only you and him, Saturday dinner at a romantic private venue? Or is it a lunch with other colleagues during the week at the usual company chosen restaurant. Use your intuition
  • If you feel uncomfortable–ask if you may bring a partner or decline graciously
  • Should you feel all is above board, accept – keep things on professional business level don’t feel you have to reveal too many personal details
  • Friendships between people of different ranks can lead to nasty gossip, petty jealousy and fears of favouritism so endeavour to limit your socializing with your superiors
“Can I ask the new rep on a date?”
  • Becoming personally involved with anyone with whom you work has many pitfalls as you have already read
  • If you feel they are worth the effort, ask, but be prepared for a rejection if they feels it is not appropriate
  • Do not persist if they refuse. Rather opt to acquire a friend and loyal colleague than a sexual harassment suit
These and other thorny issues are handled by Professional Impressions in their Power Etiquette presentation. This workshop will also equip you to become a 'mover and shaker' in a way that is dynamic and relevant to today's working world. For more information regarding our Power Etiquette presentation, please contact us.
Tel: (011) 679–3036    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
Romancing the OrdinarySarah Ban Breathnach
Something MoreSarah Ban Breathnach
Love is Letting Go of fearGerald Jampolsky
Power EtiquetteDana Casperson
Play like a Man Win like a womanGail Evans
Business EtiquetteFrances Beasley
Nice girls don’t get the corner officeLois Frankl
5 Steps to professional presenceSusan Bixler and Lisa Scherrer Dugan
The Ophra MagazineFeb 2005
GlamourFeb 2005
CosmopolitanFeb 2004
Should any of your friends, family or colleagues be interested in Professional Impressions and the services we have to offer, please feel free to pass this on to them.

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Make Your First Impression the Lasting One
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