I dated a co-worker, and I really wish hadn't
Forget chemistry, a romance gone wrong at the office made this 20-something-woman reconsider the geography of her workplace.
Once upon a time, in a mostly female-dominated office, I met a man with whom I really hit it off. He was flirtatious, charming, good looking, and attracted to me. Needless to say, I was attracted to him too.
For months, we spoke endlessly. Office politics, celebrity crushes, past lovers, the extremities of the Indian summer, the paid torture that was the canteen food--nothing was off-limits. The open conversation soon led to discreet flirtation, which gave birth to a behind-the-doors romance.
Let me tell you, the thrill of an office romance is something else altogether. Hourly cigarette breaks, stolen glances from across desks, dressing up for each other because every working day is a date--boy were those initial days enthralling!
So was his company, to be honest. In the time that we spent together as a couple I was certain that this was a relationship for the keeps. That we would be together forever, and one day we'd fight over which co-workers to invite to our wedding. But then that's most of us in most relationships.
By now I am sure you've got the hint that we did not marry each other. In fact, this was the shortest relationship either of one us had ever been in.
Was professional proximity the criminal behind the demise of our blooming love? Not really. Though a lack of distance did make the break-up a terribly painful ordeal.
I Couldn't Drown My Sorrows in Work, You See
I spent eight to 12 hours at work every day, five days a week--the perfect opportunity to get over my broken heart. Except every time I looked up from my screen, there he was, staring intently at his laptop--trying as hard to avoid me, as I was trying to avoid him.
A Clean Break Was a Far Cry
The best way to move on from a failed relationship? Getting a clean break from your ex. No Facebooking, no calling, no texting, and most importantly, no meeting. Looking away from each other while sharing an elevator ride does not count.
Seeing Him Move on Was Terribly Painful
Everyone deserves to move on, though no one deserves to see their ex actually do so. It was painful to overhear snippets of conversations about weekend parties and future plans, especially since at one point these conversations were included me.
I Was Unable to Give a 100% to my Job
The biggest casualty of the break-up was my job. I spent so much time trying to deal with my emotions at work that I ended up flouting deadlines. This was clearly not the most productive phase of my professional life.
If you are wondering if it ever got easier--sharing a professional space with someone I had shared a lot more with at some point--the answer is a disappointing NO.
Sure, the pining went away. I also found a way to tune him out completely while I was working. The awkwardness, however, persists. Until I find a solution for that, here's hoping you'll learn from my mistake and stay away from the perennially flirtatious colleague until after you've left your job.