The dating rumors surrounding squeaky-voiced duo Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are starting to heat up. Are they really a couple? Or are they just pretending to be an item to drum up interest in their movie, Friends With Benefits? (You're welcome, Castle Rock Entertainment.) Either way, I really don't care. Personally I find both of them to be two of the three most annoying actors in Hollywood (the third being Ashton Kutcher, of course) BUT! I think this "are they" or "aren't they" question is an interesting one.
Is Hollywood the only place where relationships are faked for professional gain? Don't think so -- I have a feeling that romances are fabricated in our own non-glamorous workplaces, as well. We may not date our co-workers to get publicity for a joint project (wouldn't that be hilare), but we do have our ways of telling white, romance-based lies to get ahead.
For example, I've heard it's recommended to leave engagement rings at home when searching for new job. It could be that the unfortunate assumption that all women planning a wedding would be distracted during work hours is holding employers back from offering jobs ro engaged women. However, the fact remains that if you have a solid work-ethic and respect for your company, you're not going to do personal stuff at work, fiance or not. Seems like leaving the rock at home is one way we hide our relationship truth when it comes to careers.
Fake wedding bands is another. I remember watching Jake's season of The Bachelor and one of the girls (she was a private plane flight attendant, I believe) admitted that she wore a fake wedding ring to deter would-be suitors. I can relate. In my former life I worked in the fine jewelry world, a predominately old school male driven industry. Many of my colleagues wore fake rings like this flight attendant. It wasn't necessarily about getting ahead professionally, it was more about not getting behind. A turned-down date could hurt your relationship with the powerful jewelry store owner; avoiding the question altogether with a cubic zirconia was the simplest form of neutrality.
Maybe Justin and Mila aren't that different from all of us just trying to make the best, and the most, out of our jobs. They're welcome to continue seeing or not seeing each other, and so are we. As long as our romantic white lies in the workplace aren't hurting anyone, they're OK, right?
What do you think?
Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty