Workplace romance gone bad? Here’s how to cope with office breakup

Breakup at work can be devastating and impact your personal as well as professional life. Here's how you can deal with it.
Tips to deal with office breakup
Follow these tips to deal with office breakup. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 13 Mar 2023, 13:59 pm IST
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You spend most of your day at your workplace, and you end up spending a lot of time with your colleagues. So, it’s natural to find a potential partner there! Workplace romances may be frowned upon but they happen more than you think. While it can be exciting, sometimes workplace relationships can turn out to be a disaster. Even though you keep your romance under wraps, it does have a direct effect on your professional and personal life, especially when a couple breaks up.

Studies have shown that the workplace environment plays an important role when it comes to your mental health. Dr Krithishree Somanna, Consultant Psychiatry, KMC Hospital, Mangalore, says that relationship break-ups at work can even lead to depression. Read on to understand the link.

how to handle office breakup
6 tips to cope with office breakup. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can work romance lead to depression?

Despite stringent rules, the familiarity with intellectual proximity among colleagues provides a space for emotional intimacy to flourish into a romantic relationship. However, it involves certain inevitable risks, avers Dr Somanna. For instance, if your partner is also your teammate, it becomes difficult to take up a few decisions which can hurt your partner’s sentiments. Your professionalism can be questioned based on the preferences shown or the success of the partner is judged if they happen to have a relationship with someone higher up in the organisation.

As per the expert, the worst consequences occur when the relationship does not work. However, not every relationship breakup leads to depression. Irrespective of the time period of the relationship, the meaning you ascribed to the relationship or how things ended matters a lot to create such emotional turmoil. “The sadness following the breakup can turn into clinical depression if it doesn’t go away after two weeks. A breakup also leads to feelings of rejection, low self-esteem, and confidence level, reduced interest in activities, worthlessness, fatigue and lack of energy, thoughts of death, and suicide,” says Dr Somanna.

How to cope with office breakup?

It is vital to take some time to grieve the loss as you may experience a mixed set of emotions such as denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and regret. There are some things you need to keep in mind to deal with these feelings which can even lead to depression. You should prioritise yourself after a breakup, and follow these coping strategies that might help you, suggested by the psychiatrist:

1. Strengthen your social support

Surround yourself with people who support you emotionally as it can help cope with these feelings of resentment. You should steer clear of people who criticise or make you feel bad about yourself. The more you surround yourself with positive people, the better it is for you.

dealing with office breakup
Surround yourself with supportive people to get over a breakup. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Don’t stalk your ex

After a breakup, many thoughts like “Has he/she moved on?” “Are they missing me,” etc. can cross your mind and you end up stalking your ex. Try not to do it! It is best to avoid your ex or stalk them, including on your social media.

3. Set boundaries

Sometimes, our thought can be too overpowering for us to control, but setting some boundaries for ourselves might be able to help. Control the ruminating thoughts and how much they impact you by setting some boundaries.

4. Focus on yourself

Now that you have spent oodles of energy on your relationship, it’s time to focus that energy on yourself. Work on building the pieces by working on your confidence, self-esteem, and more. Take up a new hobby, work out – whatever floats your boat.

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5. Don’t turn to alcohol or any substance

Drastic changes in personal life can make people do irrational things – something they had never done before! No matter how sad you are, don’t make alcohol or any other substance your weapon to survive through this. It’s going to do more than good.

childhood trauma
Overconsumption of alcohol is not safe. Image courtesy: Shutterstocgoing th

6. Find a purpose in life

Did you have a different purpose in life before this person came along? If yes, focus on it. If not, it’s time to find one so that you are preoccupied with what you want from life. It will give you a sense of direction and stability, which in turn can help you live a happy and healthy life.

An end of something could be the beginning of something good that helps you become a better person. So, don’t let anything crumble your self-worth because sometimes change is good!

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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