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Thread: Approaching the ex

  1. #1

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    Approaching the ex

    So 15 years ago I dated a guy for around 10 months. Fairly mutual breakup, email contact since the breakup was around 10 years ago and was friendly.

    Now he and his kids and wife are at my workplace and will be for a while. At least 6 years. I contacted his sister on messenger as he was not contactable and said that I had found out his family were at my work. Told her to tell him to pop his head in and say hi. It would be nice to say hello after such a long time. She said that she would and I have heard since that she did tell him.

    He has avoided me since then, even though I was heavily pregnant and about to go on maternity leave. Since being on maternity leave, one of my colleagues informed me that his wife came to see them about ďthe blonde pregnantĒ person and requested that her child not be placed with me as it would be too awkward. Well of course it is now!

    Itís going to be time soon to go back to work and Iím feeling really nervous now about the prospect of seeing either of them. I feel like Iíve done something wrong and Iím unsure how to approach it if I see them. I only wanted to be friendly and break the ice, as it is my workplace and I want to be comfortable. Iíd like to just approach him and say hello how are you if I see him. Will that seem weird? Iím just not sure now.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member RainyCoast's Avatar
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    So, he didn't contact you to tell you hey guess what we'll be at your workplace. I think you made it weird by going out of your way to contract him via his sister. I can understand the mother's request the child not be placed with you, it can be awkward enough not being able to avoid seeing an ex on a daily basis. I understand you wanted it to be comfortable seeing as they'd be there for a long time, but what is comfortable to you doesn't seem to be comfortable for them. I'm like them, I'd be more comfortable if allowed to keep some distance rather than having to act frienzies and the "oh don't worry I'm so not a threat and sooo cool with your new family I insist we talk because we're so not weird about having slept together" drivel. Remember while many can maintain the social graces to say hello nice to see you lovely family when that's unavoidable (sharing an elevator style), most would prefer if their spouse's ex partners just stayed the heck away unless forced to interact due to shared children or unavoidable work tasks.

    As far as returning to work goes, if you pass him in a tight hallway obviously you'll say hello, but I wouldn't much more than that until and if he initiates conversation.

    You haven't heard from him after contacting his sister, in fact, the only word you have from them is they're uncomfortable having to be at your place of work and are asking to not have to be nearer than that. They're not looking forward to having to interact so I wouldn't go further than a greeting.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think you want too much. Don't be the weirdo in the workplace. Let them be and let the past be in the past. Stop dwelling about your ex and your history together and placing so much importance on their presence. Respect their family also and their wishes if they have pointedly ignored you or your attempts.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the reply. To be honest I donít think he realised I worked there. I guess I contacted him because it would have been very obvious after a few days that I knew his family was there. They have a very unusual surname. Because we ended on friendly terms, were Facebook ďfriendsĒ, I didnt want to look like I was ignoring them. Even though they are now doing that.

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  6. #5

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    Iím not really dwelling on it or our history together. I donít think I want too much for someone to be polite. I had no thought about either of them until they turned up at my workplace so unfortunately the past has been brought into the present.

    I am respecting their wishes. I was hoping to be the bigger person and be mature about it all. I didnít think it was a big deal to say hello.

  7. #6
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Eliza82
    Iím not really dwelling on it or our history together. I donít think I want too much for someone to be polite. I had no thought about either of them until they turned up at my workplace so unfortunately the past has been brought into the present.

    I am respecting their wishes. I was hoping to be the bigger person and be mature about it all. I didnít think it was a big deal to say hello.
    Pardon but it's not just your workplace. It's now his workplace and her workplace also. I feel like you're overarching a little too much and slightly territorial about your company. Being mature means accepting someone else's resistance to wanting to have anything to do with you. If you are uncomfortable with being disliked this could be hitting a close nerve for you. Explore that. It's ok not being liked. You do not have to please everyone.

  8. #7

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    I probably am a little territorial. Iíve been there for 13 years and feel very comfortable. So to now feel uncomfortable is new.

    Itís not really about being disliked. I get that they would want to avoid me in some ways and after an initial hello I would be avoiding them too. I donít want anything more than a greeting to come from it. Iím probably just being a bit selfish because i want to feel confident again going to work, especially after being on leave.

  9. #8
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    It's been 10 years and I dont think things would be awkward if you didnt go out of your way and told his sister to say hello for you. Are you friends with his sister?

  10. #9
    Platinum Member RainyCoast's Avatar
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    I think you're just anxious about that first encounter. Once it has happened that you've bumped into them in the corridor and that you all continue to keep a polite distance after that first exchange of pleasantries you'll probably feel just fine.

  11. #10

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    Thatís what Iím hoping. I think because itís been prolonged itís being built up to be bigger than it is.

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