Talk About It Before Returning to Work
Talk to each other before you go back to work – or as soon as possible. Discuss how you will handle the situation and the things that you will tell people; they’ll want to know why you broke up! Act like adults and address the situation that you have caused. Will you both agree to stay out of others way? What happens if you accidentally get in the lift together? Run through possible situations so it doesn’t become a problem.
Can You Still be Friends?
Depending on the type of breakup and relationship, there is the possibility that you could be friends. Talk that option through. That doesn’t mean you have to have lunch together or make each other coffee (unless you do it in rounds at the office). It just means that you can be around each other and your friends don’t have to choose between you.
Don’t Moan About Him
Apart from your best friend, there’s no need to share your secrets with the people in the office. Avoid moaning about him to your colleagues – it will only get back to him. You wouldn’t want him to do the same thing. If you find that he is doing it, be the bigger person and avoid getting him back for it. It just adds fuel to the fire.
Find Someone to Confide In
Whether it is a best friend in the office or someone at home, have someone that you can confide in. That way you can let off steam if he does something in the office and vent about the breakup. Having this one person to confide in will reduce the risk of office place rumour and help you deal with the breakup healthily; keeping the relationship with your ex more civil.
Give Each Other Time
Unless you really have to, try to stay out of each other’s way for some time. You both need time to deal with the breakup in your own way and move on as friends. If it was a particularly bad breakup, it will need much more time and you may never become friends again. Avoid going up to him to start a fight and only see him if your work requires it.
Smile Politely and Act Responsibly
Don’t give your boss a reason to fire you. Act responsibly and civil around your ex, even if the breakup was bad. There’s no need to bring it to your workplace.
Request a Transfer or Look for New Work
If you really struggle to make it work, talk to your boss about a transfer if that is possible at all. If you don’t work somewhere with transfers, look online for another job but don’t quit the one you have until you have one lined up. You never know; he may be doing the same.