By Morgan Vines, BounceBack.com Editorial Staff
Ask anyone and they’ll probably tell you that it’s never a good idea to date a coworker. The intimate details of how you like to prance around in your girl’s thong or want your man to spank you can get gushed around the water cooler. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to make it work.
Then there’s the inevitable disaster of a messy breakup. It tends to turn adults into children who will stoop low enough to get revenge that your career could end up on the latest endangered species list.
But who wants to worry about all that when the cute guy you bump into at the copy machine hits you up for drinks after work? And where else are you supposed to meet women when you spend eight to twelve hours a day in the office?
So undoubtedly, at one point or another, you will end up here…sharing a stapler with your ex. But it doesn’t have to get as unbearable as struggling through that stack of TP reports with a “weekend came a little early” hangover.
If it’s not meant to end in a choreographed dance down the aisle, try these 5 tips to make it through the nine to five grind:
1. Dive head first into payroll
The quickest way to ensure recovery from a relationship breakup is to keep your mind busy doing something else. Not only will it keep your thoughts off your ex, but it will make the time that you have to be in the same room with her pass by faster. You never know, your breakup may lead to your promotion. Throwing in extra hours and going over the top with a killer presentation will only make you look good. And if your romance shed some sticky details around the conference room, you might need that boost in your performance to save your professional reputation.
2. Don’t badmouth your ex around the office
Save it for your happy hour cohorts. This unprofessional gossip will only make you look bad and make an awkward situation more uncomfortable. Don’t discuss the relationship at all, even if you trust your co-workers. It’s none of their business and people will always tell “just one person”. You don’t want rumors blown out of proportion and spread to your boss so that she thinks you’re too immature to handle that project you’ve been slaving over for the past six months.
3. Take a few days off
After any relationship breakup it’s crucial to get away for a few days to sort out your feelings and reconnect with what you really want as an individual. When you’re forced to see that person every day, it’s even more important to take some time off and remove yourself from the situation. You may be worried about looking weak and having your ex think that you’re too hurt to bear to face him. In reality, you’re acting as the adult by avoiding a potentially volatile situation.
4. Be patient with yourself
The healing process takes time. If you can recognize that and reward yourself for baby steps forward, you’ll be less likely to beat yourself up and agonize over every word you say around your ex. Be patient with your ex as well. More than likely they’re hurting in one way or another too. If they can’t say hi when they pass you in the lobby or refuse to hold the elevator for you, just let it go. Know that they’re trying to heal in their own way and eventually they’ll come around. It will be unbearable the first day, but try not to let it distract you from your work. Besides, who likes everyone they’re forced to work with? Remind yourself that eventually you will be able to eat lunch again in the same room without the death glare coming from his table. And hey, maybe you’ll even be able to share a pile of napkins.
5. Don’t hop right into the next cubicle
You will be tempted to flirt with other coworkers in front of your ex to try to prove that you’re over him. Don’t. I repeat, don’t. And don’t jump into a new fling with another employee or even a client. You’ll look like the company “negotiator", taking on the reputation of bartering with your body. And it won’t prove anything, but how “seriously” you take your job.
Even though suffering through this relationship breakup might feel like the end of the world, it’s possible you’ll forget this the next time a curvy account manager bats her eyelashes at you. This year’s annual CareerBuilder survey revealed that 37 percent of employees have had a fling at work. If you just can’t face your ex every day, you might want to consider polishing your resume. The survey also showed that 5 percent have actually quit their jobs after an office breakup.
Tell us your story of an office romance gone wrong and how you handled it.
Morgan Vines is a writer with a background in television production. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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