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How to end an office romance

Ah, the office romance. It held so much promise and started off so well, but things have fizzled. Now you wish you’d never gone out with him, and you don’t want things to be awkward around the water cooler. If you’ve gone cold on a recent cubicle connection, we have some tips for ending things with grace and dignity.

Broken hearts in office


Be discreet.

Do not allow, under any circumstances, the ending of your office romance to turn into a three-ring circus — by which we mean keep everyone else out of it. No complaining to coworkers about how you can’t stand him anymore, and no inter-office emails about your waning attraction. Keep any and all details about the breakup under wraps to save him from embarrassment and maintain a level of professionalism with your colleagues.

2Do it in person.

To avoid confusion (such as “What do you mean we’re broken up? I didn’t get the email”) and to show you’re a decent person, do the deed in person rather than text, Facebook message or email. Yes, it’s awkward, but it really is the only respectful thing to do.

3Don’t drag it out.

If you’re no longer happy and think the relationship has to end, don’t wait around hoping things will die off naturally, or for him to get the hint and stop coming by your desk to ask if you want to have lunch. Do yourself (and him) a favor and end things as soon as you’re over him. The longer you drag things out, the more frustrated you’ll become, which is something your co-workers and boss could pick up on.

4Stay professional.

This means no yelling matches by the vending machine, nasty passive-aggressive notes on the office fridge or outward hostility of any kind. Keeping things professional and courteous will ensure your breakup isn’t causing other people to feel uncomfortable or that they have to pick sides. Save any angry outbursts for a night out with your BFFs.

Office romances: What you should know

If you’re on the fence about having an office romance or cutting one off, here’s what you need to know.

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