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What Taboo? Catching your employees making goo-goo eyes at each other--even at you? Office romance is on the rise and, believe it or not, most say there's nothing wrong with that.

By Alex Purugganan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Lately, dating within the office has become more common amongco-workers. The pattern appears to have been influenced by thejuggernaut dotcom industry, where tons of young start-ups havecultivated a new, easygoing and more liberal company culture. Whatwas not long ago deemed taboo is now tolerated and, in some cases,even encouraged. But will this open-minded approach to officedating progress to a higher level, with entrepreneurs courtingemployees?

Take, for instance, Microsoft magnate Bill Gates. There'smuch to be said when the planet's wealthiest man weds someoneon his payroll. Sure, Melinda Gates never worked directly with herhubby, but the rule of not getting your bread where you get yourmeat still applies in this case, especially with the stigma ofMonica Lewinsky and Anita Hill embedded in office folklore.

Yet Mari Florence, author of Sex at Work (Silver Lake Publishing),says venturing into uncharted waters is part of the entrepreneurialmake-up. "[Entrepreneurs] tend to be greater risk-takers bynature, so you find in many start-ups a breeding of an'anything goes' ethos."

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