Matthew Gates 10m 2,392 #workwithex
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How To Work With an Ex-Boyfriend or Ex-Girlfriend at Work
You both got to know each other, went out on a few dates together, things clicked, and there was an urge to eventually get to know each other even more, and things just happened, you both developed a relationship and began seeing each other officially. The love and the sex were great. You both kept it unofficial and secret, which made it even more exciting, and only intensified your feelings for each other. Everything was going so well. Then something happened, he changed; she changed. You both tried to make it work. The relationship ended up going sour and your partner called it off or both of you mutually agreed to end it. Unfortunately, you both still work with each other, and now you have to face each other, work together, or don’t.
This article takes on the point of view that you and your ex cannot quit your jobs because your jobs are your careers, your bread and butter, or you both just really love your jobs. If you are younger and in a dead end job, it may be the best thing for you to quit and help you move on to bigger and better things, but if you are already established in a great job or career and neither of you is willing to leave, than you must figure out how to work together.
There are plenty of articles on why or why not you should remain friends with your ex. In this case, you do not have to remain friends with your ex, but there is a personal life and a professional life. In your personal life, you do not have to be bothered with your ex at all. You do not have to call him or her, but in the workplace, you must face them everyday. Perhaps they are your boss, you are their boss, or you are just co-workers.
After a breakup, they are still a person, and someone you once loved and were romantic with, so it is recommended you remain a compassionate human being. Even if they tried to make your life a living hell after the breakup, you should be the better person and treat them with respect, especially at work.
If you are their boss, do not try to get them fired or make their life a living hell. Treat them as a professional working at the same company you work for and treat them like you would anyone else working there. If they are your boss and are making your life a living hell, be sure to go above their head, to their boss, and let them know the situation. Treat them as a boss that is giving you a tough time and being disrespectful to you. There are laws and company policies in place to protect you from being treated unfairly in the workplace.
Let us go through some scenarios, because there are three sides to every story. Her side. His side. And the perspective truth.
Before we get into all that, however, realize that your relationship is over, something did not work out. Either she did something that drove you over the edge or you did something that was not right and it drove her beyond the point of no return and it was just not going to work. Maybe you were not compatible with each other. Maybe you just had different values, goals, or priorities in your lives. It happens and life still must go on. You could try to make it work again, but at this time, the relationship is over.
If Your Ex Broke Up With You
If your ex broke up with you, you probably hate him or her and never want to see them again, but since you work together, you need to be the mature one about it, and accept that you and your ex had many differences, and unfortunately, it just did not work out.
Now instead of seeing your ex as your boyfriend or girlfriend or best friend, see them only as a co-worker, boss, or professional.
I strongly recommend the no contact rule and keep conversation with them to a minimum. If you must talk to them, keep it strictly towards work and nothing about your personal problems with each other. If you feel you still need closure, than you should do it outside of work. No personal communication should be going on during work hours.
It is debated what the no contact rule is used for: Some believe it can be used to get your ex back, while others believe it is used to get over your ex.
Remember: You loved that person once and while you don’t want to admit it to yourself, you still have love for that person. There will always be a little lingering love. It happens. It is normal. Until one day, you might meet someone else and that will help you move on. It is rare that your ex and you will hate each other with a passion, though it does happen. You may act like you do, but unless something serious happened, there is a bond that was formed during the relationship.
So once you feel that you can be around your ex and talk to your ex without feeling hatred, anger, or jealousy towards them, than you may be able to communicate with them on a more personal level.
When you get to that point, you will still want to keep contact to a minimum. You may talk about each other’s personal lives, but it is highly advised that you do not talk about other relationships or your relationship with another person.
You may reference some of your past with your ex, but do not dwell and even keep any boasting about the good times you had together to a minimum, especially if you know it is over. Those moments are gone. Live in the now. It did not work out. Accept it. Move on. And once you get this point, you might be able to at least somewhat be friends with your ex again, and of course, working with them becomes much easier.
Respect the fact that they broke up with you. What is done is done. Don’t try to rekindle the relationship, especially if you work together.
The issue with getting back together a second time?
If it doesn’t work out, you still have to work with the person! And if you think the first heartbreak and breakup was hard, and your attempts to work with your ex are hard, the second time will be even worse. Your job is your bread and butter and the last thing you want to do is be miserable at your job, especially if you already are without your ex being there.
If You Broke Up With Your Ex
Obviously, you and your ex were not meant to be. You were not compatible. You may have attempted to work on it, but in the end, it just could not be done, and you ended up breaking up with your ex.
If you and your ex work together, you must establish rules with your ex: Work remains a professional place in which you both must act like professionals. If she or he wants to talk to you about personal issues, than let them know it should be done outside of work.
If she or he is your boss, you should certainly let any higher ups know that you two dated and you do not want there to be any issues or discrimination, if you feel the need to do so. Otherwise, try to keep your personal lives private, even if they weren’t always like that in the workplace. Try and get your ex to mutually agree with you that your personal lives will not and should not affect your professional lives.
If your ex is a co-worker, do your best to avoid them and use the no contact rule. If your ex tries to talk with you, let them know that you want to keep personal matters outside of work and you are willing to talk outside of work, but not during work hours.
Try to establish a mutual respect for each other, especially during work hours. You both are professionals so keep that mindset in work towards each other and when communicating. Do not talk to other co-workers about your situation. If you must do so, make sure that co-worker is mature enough to know your issues and not tell anyone else about them though this is strongly not recommended. The last thing you want is the entire office to know that you are working with your ex. Do your best to keep your personal life outside of work.
Remember: Your ex is someone you once loved and someone you probably still love, and someone who still loves you and may still have feelings for you, but things may have not worked out, and you must get over your own possibly confusing feelings, and help them to get over theirs – if it means not contacting them, or avoiding them, than it may help both of you in the short-term and long-term.
Understand that your ex is also going through a hard time and do your best not to make their life harder. You may have already broke their heart so having a mutual agreement of no contact and only professional communication may help you both.
There may be a time where your ex is over you and you are over your ex and you can become friends or at least talk to each other about personal issues. Until then, keep it professional at work!
If you are able to listen to music with headphones on or request to be put in a different area, do so. The less contact between you both, the better!
If There Was a Mutual Agreement To Break Up With your Ex
If there was a mutual agreement, both of you are probably hurting and love each other, but you may just not have been compatible. This is probably the easiest situation to deal with, but it is a rare situation that does not happen often.
Obviously you and your ex have already established that things are not working between you and therefore, you both have mutually agreed one a breakup. You can both mutually agree to keep your work lives professional and your personal lives out of work.
If you do not mind talking to each other about your personal lives, than continue to do so. It is best, however, that you both minimize communication as much as possible, at least for a while – a few months, in order to help get over each other. See each other as professionals and speak to each other that way as well.
Remember: You both once loved each other and you both may still love each other, but it did not work, and you are broken up for a reason. No one but you two have to know about your personal lives. Any and all issues regarding the relationship should be kept outside of work.
Since you both mutually agreed to the breakup, you are probably able to become friends again to a certain extent. You both are no longer in a relationship with each other, but know that it is still okay to help each other out, especially when it comes to work, but make sure you do not bring your old relationship habits to work, and remember that you both are no longer together.
Working with your ex can be torturous. It is hard in all aspic If you both mutually agreed to the breakup, you may both have feelings for each other, but know it cannot work, and therefore it is tempting to want to get back together, but you are an ex of each other for a reason.
If she or he broke up with you, it can be devastating as well, but know that life and work continue to go on, and you still need that paycheck at the end of the week. If you broke up with him or her, they may seem bitter towards you. Remember that she or he is choosing to stay there and work with you.
How you handle the situation is completely up to you and in your control. If your ex wants to cause drama in the workplace and risk getting fired, than that is on them. Be the better, more mature person, and offer to make peace with them, especially at work. It is very possible for you both to work together if you see each other as professionals, rather than your former lover.
Yes, you may imagine them naked and thoughts of wanting to have sex with them may arise, but you must understand: Your relationship is over and your life must go on. Work continues to be work, and you are expected to do your job. Your ex is no longer number one in your life nor your priority. The person you have to worry about is yourself. If you choose to be the immature one, you will risk losing your job.
You were mature enough to get into a relationship with your ex and they saw something in you. You were mature enough to end the relationship if you saw the need – or you were mature enough to handle the heartbreak of someone breaking up with you. Now you need to be mature enough to handle post-life without your ex.
It is very possible. Stop seeing them as a friend, as a lover, as romantic partner, and start seeing them only as someone you work with at your job. It will be hard at first and you may even need to leave the office and walk around the building a few times in order to deal with their presence, but with each passing day, it becomes easier, especially if you both are mature about the entire situation. Eventually, who knows, maybe you both will be able to be friends again, maybe even rekindle if that is what you’re after, but for the meantime, you are co-workers who work together. Keep it professional and keep it exactly that.