Are Business Drinks After Work With The Opposite Sex Considered A Date?

Life & Love | Camille Travis | 04/17/2014 | 04:00 PM EDT

Can drinks ever be "just drinks?"

There's a rail thin line between business and pleasure when it comes to getting drinks with the opposite sex after work, an issue that presents itself on an all-new episode of "According to Him + Her."

Rule 24, as it's written, states that business drinks with a member of the opposite sex outside of a 9 to 5 is a date. But is there any wiggle room to justify meeting up after office hours-- if work is the only item on the menu-- without it being considered a romantic rendezvous?

On one hand, it could be argued that there's nothing to be discussed over cocktails that can't be brought up at the office, unless there's an ulterior motive involved. When alcohol is introduced, conversations about next quarter's projected numbers can quickly turn to flirty chatter if one side is about more than the business.

And the situation becomes far stickier when a significant other is involved. Most mates would be leery about allowing their partner to go for drinks with someone from the opposite sex and vice versa.

On the other hand, schedules conflict. The office gets stuffy. And, oftentimes, business doesn't stop when you clock out. It might be beneficial and/or necessary to discuss work matters outside of the office. If both parties understand the basis of the meeting, there shouldn't be any reason why two adults can't discuss business over a few drinks at the local bar.

So what's the word on it being a "date?" If the conversation stays professional and on topic, you're in the clear; some of the best deals and networking take place outside the walls of work. But when things begin to stray, that's when the lines blur.

Still, a "date" depends on the frame of reference. If you're clear about your intentions, that person can call the meeting whatever they want and it's up to you to enforce boundaries (or not). The choice is yours.

Don't miss a brand new episode of "According To Him + Her," airing Friday at 9 p.m. EST on Centric!

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