Since entering the workforce I have been surprised by just how many people have met their wives/husbands at work. I can name about ten people who I know that have successfully dated a co-worker and got married. While this is exciting for those people, I have always wondered what would happen if those people broke up and still worked together. Take, for example, Blake Lively and Pen Badgley of Gossip Girl who dated for a few years and recently broke up. Not only do they still work together on the set of Gossip Girl, but their characters have an ongoing on-again-off-again romance. Take Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake who recently starred in Bad Teacher together. Did anyone think the dry sex scene was a little strange? Could you imagine doing that with your ex? I couldn’t.
While real life dating and working is far different from Hollywood, the strife of having to work with an ex is still the same. Sure, dating a co-worker can be romantic and exciting while it lasts, but when it ends things could get really nasty if both parties aren’t mature and don’t keep their feelings to themselves. If you are in the same situation as Blake and Pen, here are some suggestions:
DO NOT Talk About Your Relationship Troubles At Work
It is bad enough that you have broken up, the last thing you need is to feel tension and anxiety when you are around your ex. This tension and anxiety will come from you talking about your broken relationship at work. Instead of looking at your ex as your ex, try looking at them as just another co-worker. This may be hard to do at first, but it is what you will have to do in order to be able to work with them. Remember that you are at work for one reason – to work. Try to keep whatever is going on between you out of the workspace and you will save yourself a lot of stress.
DO NOT Talk Badly About Your Ex to Your Co-Workers
This includes your “friends” who may not be his friends. As we all know, things spread fast in the workplace environment. If you tell one of your friends how awful your ex is, not only is it likely to get back to them, but it is going to go through a game of telephone before it gets to him. Not only do you not want to be seen as an angry person, but you don’t want or need everyone to know everything about your private life. Imagine the drama that would ensue if Blake were to talk badly about Pen to their co-stars.
Treat Your Ex Like You Treat Other Co-Workers
Don’t walk around and give your ex the evil eye every time you see them. The faster you can learn to treat them like anyone else the faster you will get over them. This doesn’t mean that you have to walk into his office to have a daily chat, it just means that you should probably say hi to him if you see him in the break room or at a meeting.
Come to Grips With the Fact That He May Start Dating Someone Else
Just like you fell in love with him at work, someone else may fall in love with him at work. While this may not happen, it is better to prepare yourself than to be completely caught off guard.
Don’t Play Games
High school games are for high school kids, not for professionals. If your ex breaks up with you and you are upset, be upset, but don’t go around flirting with other employees to make him mad or threaten to have him fired. Everyone at work will be able to see what you are doing and you will look like a complete fool.
If You Cant Hack it, Quit
If I were stuck working with an ex and can’t act professionally around him, I would definitely start looking for another job. You don’t want to tarnish your professional image because you are emotional and unstable, it’s not worth it.
Let Time Heal Your Broken Heart
Yes, I know that sounds lame, but its true. Like all breakups, you will end up needing time to heal. Maybe this means using your vacation days to go somewhere out of the country or avoiding jam packing your life with new and exciting events. Whatever it is remember that you will eventually get over them and move on with life, trust me!