Working With Your Ex: When Going Cold Turkey is Not Possible


From co-worker to lover to co-worker – do you fit into this scenario? Creating deliberate distance from your ex is a key ingredient in the prescription for recovery. So what do you do when you still have to see them everyday at work? You utilize the unique solutions to combat the unique complications presented when working with an ex. In order to understand the techniques we offer, let’s first address the specific problems.

Problems Unique To Working With An Ex:

Undercover Lovers. Romances that develop at the office are often not made public. For various reasons – company policy, unwritten rules, negative connotations, extramarital status – people keep office relationships under wraps. The issue with any clandestine romance is that the break up is also concealed. Not that you want to send out announcements about your broken heart, but keeping your relationship private denies you the support from friends and co-workers that help you through this difficult time.

Contact Overload. Office relationships often come with lots of emails, texts, ims, and hallway looks. You are in the presence of this person all day and are experiencing the effects of “in sight and in mind”. Going from constant correspondence to normal communication can be grueling.

That Little Something Extra. Regardless of your level of professionalism with one another, when you are dating in the office, you always get a little something extra in your exchanges. Whether it is a wink in the hallway, an email with a smiley, or a special lunch together, there are often veiled signs of affection. After the break up, the extras vanish and this can be difficult to bear.

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Please Check your Personal Problems at the Door: Dealing with Heartbreak at the Office


Has this happened to you?

I was writing a comprehensive report regarding the state of the convention industry post 9/11. Blah blah, I know. Basically, I had to produce an important report at work – here’s an excerpt from the final piece:

…While it is true that convention attendance has shown a decline in Las Vegas with first quarter numbers down 32 percent, hope still exists…hope, what hope?  I’m alone and depressed. I cannot believe that I am in my 30’s and have no one in my life…hope still exists as a sharp upward trend has revealed itself in the second quarter…

My heart had been broken three months prior and every conversation, correspondence, and work related product was still laced with flashbacks of the break up. So, has this happened to you? You’re in the middle of your work day, trying to concentrate, when pangs of fear about the future or a wicked memory from the break-up weave through your daily routine? Managers advise their employees to “check all personal problems at the door and pick them up on the way out.” For many, this would require ripping their heart out and leaving it in the coat closet – it’s just not possible. What is possible, however, is to increase our concentration at work with some simple exercises.

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