Ever found yourself working alongside a former flame or friend? Have you ever left a job because of a horrible boss or co-worker just to have him/her reappear at your new job? “Case of the Ex” is a series of personal accounts detailing how people handled those types of situations.

“I Started to Avoid Him Then I Realized That Wasn’t Going to Work”

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Case One

Relationship: Boyfriend

Duration: 3 Months

I was the new girl. I didn’t think I’d ever make friends. One day this guy started talking to me. He was nice and cute.

I asked around about him and was immediately told he was in a relationship. I later found out that wasn’t true. Time passed and I was starting to adjust to my new atmosphere.

Then one day something happened. We were chosen to work together on an assignment. While working together, I started to get to know him, started having fun with him. I started to like him.

It wasn’t long before we were dating.

Things started off easy. The assignment was coming along great. We were working well together and learning from each other. However, since we were constantly seeing one another—we never had time for ourselves. Eventually, our professional relationship blurred into our personal one. It was too much.

We broke up. 

This began my case of the ex.

How did the break up affect your working relationship?

Initially, after the breakup, it was difficult to go to work.

I was trying to trying to heal and just seeing him was difficult. It wasn’t easy. But on the other hand, I had to work! I didn’t have the luxury to call in sick. So, I started avoiding him. Then I realized that wasn’t going to work.

How can someone work well with an ex? What have you learned?

It’s hard and you have to be strong, but you can amicably work with an ex. Here is how: focus on the work.

1) Set up boundaries and limitations so you can create the space you need without being unprofessional. 

2) You have to be able to communicate the difficulties you are experiencing with that person, so you aren’t in a contentious environment.

3) Find a way to work through the hard parts and have patience.