OMG! It can get super awkward when you find out that you’re working with an ex at the same job! Or after your fervent job searches and numerous applications and interviews, the ONE job you FINALLY get is chaired by your ex? How’s that for a plot twist!
Whoa! Nobody wants that but what if it happens because trust me, it does happen. Don’t get it twisted, it could be your significant other, not just your ex.
Oh My! What if it was both your ex and your current partner?(LOL). That’d be TOTALLY messed up but guess what! I got you covered.
Here’s four(4) smart steps to handling romantic relationships at work.
Establish Work Boundaries
At first, when you discover that you work in the same building with someone or some people you have or had romantic relationships with, it could shock you but hey, it is what it is.
The first thing to do is acknowledge the presence of the other person to avoid some sort of malice, then have a conversation with that person (probably the only personal conversation) outside work.
You need to communicate and express your concerns with him/her and reach an agreement to keep the personal stuff away from the work environment. Establish work boundaries so that work relationship doesn’t get personal.
Maintain Physical Distance
60% of research confirmed that there is a 70-30 chance of an ex getting back with his/her former partner as a significant other, when they’re within close range to each other and in this case, at the same work environment.
It would do you a great deal of good if you made effort to work at different departments at work to avoid spending work time together.
Amanda Rae says, “Immediately i found out my ex was working at the same job as me, i made sure we didn’t have a chance to talk; no proximity between our departments and no direct contact. That helped me maintain my professionalism on the job”.
D.C. Givens says, “…even during staff meetings, we kept our distance. It was like an unspoken mutual agreement…”
The idea of maintaining a good physical distance is to not rekindle anything that could and/or would jeopardize the rules of the workplace.
Focus On The Job
It is paramount to separate the job from your romantic relationships whether current or past. In other words, It is very important to severe any link between your work life and your personal life. Read that again.
Your employer doesn’t pay you to keep old or new flames burning(as the case may be). Besides it could be a ploy by your ex or significant other to distract you from getting that promotion (i’m just saying).
Therefore, it would be detrimental to you and your paycheck if you make it a habit to mix up the two. Anything that keeps you from focusing on the job is highly likely to get you fired/laid-off and maintaining romantic relationships at work will only speed up the process. See more
Nothing wards off a pestering ex or significant other like strict professionalism. While 39% of workers have had romantic relationships with their fellow colleagues according to Forbes.com, 30% got married which means that in the end 40% of those relationships did not work out or didn’t even start out.
The point is that even after it didn’t work out, work still continued because work is work and because a high level of professionalism was applied and it was a mutual agreement.
When work gets personal between significant others, it influences their work decisions and destroys professionalism.
Here’s a bonus tip: Respect your boss and tread carefully when dealing with him/her especially if he/she is your ex. If both of you are in a current romantic relationship, a lot of things could be overlooked(*in most cases).
However, when it isn’t the case and especially after a bad break-up, mistakes committed at work could end up really messy. So, you don’t want to mess with your boss if he/she is your ex.
Okay! That was one deep drill but i’m glad i could help you in handling romantic relationship challenges at work.