Allow them to see that you want to put the relationship on a social footing, thereby also allowing the courtesy of letting them turn you down too. Take no to mean no and never cajole, push or ask for an explanation. Plan a semi-jokey line that will immediately alleviate the atmosphere between the two of you and restore normal working relations.

Simple is best, as it avoids too much blush inducing-babble.

You will probably have had the opportunity to study this person quite closely before starting to date them. What do you expect the company will think about a romance between you?

Better still, you'll be seeing them during the day, rather than just propping up a bar with them in the evening. Work together during the day, pop out for a quick drink after work, Bob's your uncle. Everything is in order, from stress-busting massage at the desk to on-site counselling, so why not pick a mate there too? Hinting that you would like to take things further but never being specific can make the whole relationship uncomfortable, especially if it's a boss/employee situation.

This system obviously has advantages over night-time pick-ups in darkened clubs, holiday romances, (notoriously short-lived), or blind dates arranged by friends. High-powered City workers of the Nineties are accustomed to using the office as a complete life- support system. Making a pass is a dangerous manoeuvre in the workplace. Trying to blur the lines between business and pleasure will appear sleazy.

Stationery cupboards: Or any cupboards come to that - and the more cramped the better.

Photocopiers: For all those happy couples wishing to send their friends visual souvenirs of their intimate moments.

So how about "that's okay, no hard feelings", or "wise girl/chap"(whatever), or "no, you're right.

I enjoy working with you, so why complicate things? On paper they read a bit like Noel Coward out-takes).

Breaking-up without tears: If you find this person is not the man/woman of your dreams it would be cruel to keep things going beyond the first date.

Now, remember all those nasty little tricks people use to ditch someone will be absolutely no use in the workplace. The phrase "I'll call you" won't apply because you'll see their smiling face next morning in the office.

It's always wise to keep in mind, though, that in the workplace you should think and plan before you act. What are your positions in the company pecking order? If you do tell this colleague you're not interested in them as a partner they may claim - unfairly - that that was never their intention in the first place, craftily extricating themselves from the area of conflict, leaving a sour taste all round.

Prior to making a play for a colleague, work out the following - however hard it is to be coldly rational under the circumstances: 1. Being positive: Surely the best move if you fancy a colleague is to ask them out on a good, old-fashioned date.

There are obvious plus points to meeting your partner at work: 1.