Office Romance Gone Bad? Ways to Continue Working With an Ex

Ways to work with an ex and avoid awkwardness if the office romance goes sour.


As we spend a lot of time at work, and have little time after, it is quite common to get involved with someone at work. While it may fun to have a romantic partner at work, for those stolen coffees, movie after office hours and leaving private messages for each other, it is a nightmare to face the same person again if the relationship goes sour.

But you can handle the situation like a pro if you have some tricks up your sleeve to reduce the awkwardness quotient in such situations.

1. Concentrate on your work

It is better to maintain a professional front. Concentrating on work will help you remain calm and avoid getting distracted by the situation. Take this as an opportunity to refocus on your tasks and upgraded your skill. Channel your energy towards something positive. It can be very cathartic.

2. Do not make a scene

Do not make it awkward for others at work. You can have words with your ex outside the office environment. But courtesy demands decorum on the office floor. Also some people might actually enjoy the feud. Do not whet the cynic’s appetite.

3. Avoid the grapevine

Do not gossip about your ex to others. It is the highest sign of immaturity, and makes you more vulnerable to become the topic of gossip itself. What your ex shared with you in confidence when you were together should remain confidential. And it would show badly on your character if your ex identified the character assassination you participated in.

4. Give yourself some time

Give yourself some pause before getting involved in the next relationship. Devote time to yourself outside the office. If you will be placed in a situation that compels you to work closely with your ex again, it is better for both if you give it some time. And go back to work casually, with a relaxed demeanor. Even your ex will appreciate this effort towards normalization.

5. Tread the hierarchy carefully

The situation can be very precarious if you have to report to your ex. Vengeance can come out in subtler shades, and then you may have to confront an unwarranted defamation. So clarify your good intentions to maintain harmony, and work purely towards merit.

Breaking up is a normal part of social and emotional life. It can be more difficult to handle if it involves a colleague. But these tips can ease the awkwardness at work.