Regardless of how the intimate relationship came into fruition, it becomes complicated the moment you and the other person agree to date. The moment the breakup happens, regardless of whose fault it may be, it still becomes awkward afterwards. However, the awkwardness can either always remain between the two of you or it can slowly, but surely, fade. Nonetheless, don’t forget about these factors:
Maintain a healthy environment for your mutual friends
Yes, the breakup is affecting you and the other person in a major way, but also take the time to think of how this may affect the mutual friends you two have. Your friends may tip-toe around the awkwardness, or they may get caught up in trying to juggle two different friendships because they don’t want to lose either of you in their lives. Before the relationship, there was friendship. Do your best to at least hold onto that.
Don’t hesitate to give them space and time
A breakup is different for everyone; some people actually go through the five stages of grief after a breakup. Take the time to figure out what you need, and what your now-ex needs because of what has transpired. From my experience, it has usually been space and time, so give them that, no matter how difficult it may be in the workplace. It’s already inevitable that you two are going to see each other, so it is essential to avoid contributing to the already-present level of awkwardness.
Try not to make things MORE awkward
Did you bring them their favorite beverage to work every once in awhile? Did you two have lunch together from time to time? Did you and this person create a secret work handshake as a couple? (yes, I’ve witnessed work couples who have these.) Anyway, these little quirks between you two will need to stop. It is only a reminder of what is no longer true, which is in reference to the relationship you once had. Plus, it’s not fair to the other person. They’re probably already hurting, so the last thing they need is to be put through a guilt trip roller coaster.
Moving on quickly?
For the people that have a tendency to move on rather quickly, please find someone outside of work. For some reason, people will have a tendency to date other people within their close networks because of convenience i.e., they don’t have to start over and get to know a new person, or they don’t have to do much to have access to another person. Basically, they’re being socially lazy. There are plenty of people that we are compatible to date, so it’s crucial to challenge yourself, take risks, and not be lazy. You won’t be lazy at work to get your dream job, so why be lazy in your love life to find “the one”?
You have a job to do
No matter how much the breakup is hurting you, you still have a job to do at the end of the day. Again, breakups usually aren’t easy, but let’s be candid, love doesn’t pay the bills.
With situations like this, it takes effort from both sides to alleviate any awkwardness that may be present. However, when it comes to an abstraction such as love, there’s no telling what one’s emotions will drive them to do, especially if they were the person that was dumped. Kudos to the folks out there who are in relationships with people they work with; you and your partner are among the fine few. As for the people who haven’t had the best luck, I hope you learned from your last relationship and know what to do differently if that special someone comes walking into your office in the future.
In summation, if you do not want to go through this fustercluck of ridiculousness, then don’t date your co-workers. It’s that simple.
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