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Looking For Love At Work?

Conventional wisdom says that you shouldn't fish off the company pier, which is another way of saying it's dangerous to date someone you work with.

But sometimes love finds a way, even in the office.

At one small Washington, D.C., company, dozens of couples have found their match at work. But, Dr. Joy Brown, an author and relationship expert, visited The Early Show to say these couples should proceed with caution. She had some advice for those who either are in or are contemplating an office romance.

Brian Jarboe met his future wife, Caroline, at work.

"Well at first, I was leery about dating someone that I work with, but I had this really big infatuation with her, so I really didn't care after a while," says Jarboe.

Their relationship didn't surprise anyone in the office, because Brian and Caroline work at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. It's a company where romance seems to be in the air.

In NPR's 30-year history, there has been this amazing phenomenon of people working together in different departments who end up dating and marrying each other.

Barbara Vierow, who works in Finance, became involved with her husband Andy Rosenberg after questioning an entry on one of his expense reports.

"It's kind of what happens around here," says Rosenberg. "People get to know each other very closely."

In fact, there are so many couples who met at NPR that one employee began compiling a list.

"I think I got the idea for keeping the list sometime in the '80s," says Susan Stamberg. "I'm NPR's romantic historian, you bet I am, and it's fun."

Stamberg is a senior correspondent. She's also the keeper of the list that includes 61 couples who have met at NPR and married.

"I've been amazed not just at the length of the list, and we just hit 61 the other day, but also the breadth of it," says Stamberg. "This goes through every department in the place. It goes from the top, all the host of the major broadcasts … into engineering, into the legal department. They're everywhere."

Surveys suggest that nearly 40 percent of all Americans have had at least one office romance. But, it's anyone guess why a small company with fewer than 800 employees had so many marriages.

"We all work really hard here, so you got people working really hard under very pressurized situations," says Stamberg. "When are they going to go out and meet anyone else."

Recently, there was a new addition to the list. J.J. Sutherland and Veronica Ruiz were struck by cupid's arrow while working together at NPR. Like many before them, their gamble paid off.

"He's just the most eloquent, smartest, funniest guy. I just have to take the chance. I just have to do it," says Ruiz. "Because I just know I'm not going to find anybody else like him. So I went for it."

Browne says it's OK to date people in the same building, but dating someone who works closely with you may need to be taken slowly.

Those office romances of yesteryear usually happened between married men and single secretaries. But, that has changed with more women working.

Today, very few companies have any written policies against it. Office romances have become common today and employers can't stop it so they've come to accept it. But, she warns, that doesn't make it any less dangerous.

Browne recommends that people who date fellow workers be discreet up to a point. If people begin to gossip, you should just admit it so that there is nothing to gossip about.

There are some upsides to officer romances: It can be efficient and convenient; you get to present yourself when you're at your best, doing something that you're good at; you are more likely to share interests; and working hard together can be stimulating.

The downsides are: It is a drag if it doesn't work out and you continue to work together; it's possible that it can make others uncomfortable if you're affectionate at work.

Dr. Browne suggests that you distance yourself from each other while you're at work.