Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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You should’ve known better, but you couldn’t help yourself – you dipped your pen in the company ink. Whether it was a one-nighter after the office Christmas party or a secret six-month relationship, you’ve created quite a dilemma now that the romance has run its course.

She’s not the one you want to be with anymore, but how do you tactfully deal with the situation so that the fling doesn’t cause a blowup in the workplace?

Here are a few tips we found for smoothing that extremely bumpy road to Splitsville.

1. Break up on a Friday, after work.

Nobody likes to be dumped, so she’s likely to be angry, upset and possibly emotional. Let her have the weekend to calm down a bit. If you’re messed up about the whole thing, this will also give you a few days off to regroup, while also alleviating the amount of watercooler chatting about which one of you is the breakup a-hole.

2. Talk to her about what it’s going to be like at work.

Discuss how you’re going to treat each other and make sure you’re on the same page. “Talk it through,” advises career consultant Andrea Kay. “Say to her, ‘Let’s agree that we are going to be professional. This is going to be a little uncomfortable, and I think we need to talk about how we are going to act.'” You may also want to add that stabbing you with a letter opener won’t solve anything.

3. Don’t talk about it with her or anyone else while you’re at work.

Hopefully you weren’t public about the relationship to begin with, and now that it’s through you certainly shouldn’t be public about its demise. “Whatever it was that broke the relationship, don’t let it sneak into how you work together and how you relate at work,” says Kay. Refraining from recounting her skill (or lack thereof) in the bedroom will also help your cause.

4. Resist the urge to drunk dial her and make booty calls. Many relationships exist in a gray area, where the breakup drags on for a while and relapses. When you’re working together, however, this will just exacerbate the drama. You’ll have to see each other every day after your mistaken nights, and then it’ll be like you’re breaking up all over again. If you’re having trouble resisting these urges, we highly recommend Internet porn.

5. Remain neutral when talking about her work to other people.

If you start bad-mouthing her or trying to belittle her contributions, it’ll definitely backfire on you. Take the high road. “You want to be really careful that you don’t do or say anything that affects that person’s job or how they are seen,” says Kay. This is especially important if the woman in question is your boss. However, if you’re in that situation, you’re probably completely screwed anyway.

6. Focus on your work, and step it up.

People who know about the breakup are going to be expecting you to be distracted by it. Take extra pains not to let that be the case. Additionally, when you’re focused on work, you won’t be focused on the fact that you’re not getting laid anymore.

7. Don’t immediately start going out with someone else in the office.

What’s worse than a messy breakup in the office? A messy love triangle in the office. Even if you’ve been eyeing someone else, take a few months before you test the waters. Then again, you might want to consider dating one of the billions of women who don’t work in the immediate vicinity of your cubicle.

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