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Thread: Dealing with breakup with coworker

  1. #1
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    Dealing with breakup with coworker

    Long story short, I dated a coworker for around five months after she had called off a long-term relationship to be with me.

    We work close together at the office and had become friends who clearly had a crush on each other and then something more after the breakup, which was in part due to her feelings to myself.

    We had a whirlwind five months relationship where everything seemed so great and comfortable that against both of our better judgement, things went too fast and she nearly lived with me.

    Mind you, we never fought and when we discussed it she never said she needed space.

    We both fell in love quickly which is something I am not used to. Often I struggle when dating to find love and feel terrified to commit to a relationship. This time was a total 180 and I realized it when I noticed I enjoyed her company every day she was around, which admittedly was too much too fast.

    One day she got dinner and drinks at night on a weekend with another male coworker, alone. She had previously told me was just a friend and she is not sexually attracted to him, but it still rubbed me wrong to find out from her. I didn't want to have a fight or appear jealous but I did want to discuss it since I felt it would not be something tolerated well if the shoe was on the other foot and I went out for dinner and drinks with a female coworker alone on a weekend.

    Our discussion was tense but not hurtful and eventually I asked her if she loved me and wanted to be with me in a relationship; she responded by reassuring me that she loved me ... but felt immense guilt over the ending of her previous relationship and how fast she had moved on and wasn't in the right place to be in a relationship with someone. She had also lost many friends in the breakup who 'sided' with the guy and she expressed that when she's with me, she's in love - but when she's alone she feels she's lost a lot of herself and that her happiness is tied to me.

    We talked for a few hours; even joking and having a great time... but it was over nonetheless.

    I never got mad. I couldn't. I understood completely - I understand completely ... and since then I have been (for the first time in 34 years) incredibly crushed.

    That was a little over a month and a half ago and I have for the first time been dealing with the effects.

    I saw (see) her as literally the most beautiful person - both physically and emotionally - who I have dated and I am having a hard time getting over this. I removed all social media, don't text/call, etc. but what is killing me is that we work together and I see her in the office. A couple weeks ago she and I were leaving and I asked if she wanted to talk. We got into my car and we discussed the breakup; I understood again the reasoning and we both agreed it was weird to have a good thing end so abruptly rather than the usual slow breakdown that precedes a breakup. However, she needs her time and space.

    What didn't help was she had said that she is occasionally incredibly close to just calling me; suddenly I had hope again that soon we would be back together.

    A week later (last week) I saw she was going for long walks during break and texting/getting dinner with the other coworker (the friend) and I guess he keeps inviting her out to things with him. Even though they are just friends, the thought that she's doing the things I wanted to do with her with someone else is painful. I realized my hope was foolish, I'm torturing myself waiting, hoping she calls while she is healing and likely to move on soon.

    I talked to her that day privately and - while not a graceful as I wanted it to sound - I indicated that I need to stop seeing her every day and will be working out of a less-convenient office location (a bit more of a drive). Stupidly I also ended up rehashing a lot of our discussion the week prior and nearly came off as desperate. The discussion only lasted around thirty-minutes and before we parted ways we hugged and I told her I'm not normally like this with a breakup and she responded stating, "it's because you care" and I agreed.

    Anyways, that's where I'm at - and my heart is killing me because it feels like going "No Contact" is just the surefire way for me to snuff any embers left from our past and she'll move on; while I'll be stuck trying yet again to feel love in a string of bad or unexciting relationships as I have. I used to honestly think something was wrong with me; that I just couldn't feel "love" like everyone talked about and I've broken up with people because I knew it wasn't fair to be with them if I wasn't fully committed.

    Now I find someone I wanted to be fully committed to and even saw as my best friend.. and due to timing and pacing; I feel like I'm losing something I've waited and hoped for.

    Again, I understand her reasoning and I want nothing more than her to be happy and I know it means it is likely not with me because we messed up with the timing; but, I also am dealing with trying to accept that she is gone and moving on while I feel like I'm losing something I've waited for so long.

    I can't sit at the same office as her, I'll keep acting the fool if I have to see her each day but a seriously large part of me wants to try to rekindle by being there and that's the foolish part. That and the feeling I get when I see she's going out and it's not with me (let alone the feeling I have when I think of anyone else being with her romantically) is incredibly painful/irrational and also I worry will make me act/say something foolish to her.

    Anyways, any advise/insight would be appreciated ; again, despite many flings/relationships/etc. - I've never gone through this until now and Holy Hell, you all are not kidding about the pain, it's torture.

  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by RyanMI
    Long story short, I dated a coworker for around five months after she had called off a long-term relationship to be with me.

    We work close together at the office and had become friends who clearly had a crush on each other and then something more after the breakup, which was in part due to her feelings to myself.

    We had a whirlwind five months relationship where everything seemed so great and comfortable that against both of our better judgement, things went too fast and she nearly lived with me.

    Mind you, we never fought and when we discussed it she never said she needed space.

    We both fell in love quickly which is something I am not used to. Often I struggle when dating to find love and feel terrified to commit to a relationship. This time was a total 180 and I realized it when I noticed I enjoyed her company every day she was around, which admittedly was too much too fast.

    One day she got dinner and drinks at night on a weekend with another male coworker, alone. She had previously told me was just a friend and she is not sexually attracted to him, but it still rubbed me wrong to find out from her. I didn't want to have a fight or appear jealous but I did want to discuss it since I felt it would not be something tolerated well if the shoe was on the other foot and I went out for dinner and drinks with a female coworker alone on a weekend.

    Our discussion was tense but not hurtful and eventually I asked her if she loved me and wanted to be with me in a relationship; she responded by reassuring me that she loved me ... but felt immense guilt over the ending of her previous relationship and how fast she had moved on and wasn't in the right place to be in a relationship with someone. She had also lost many friends in the breakup who 'sided' with the guy and she expressed that when she's with me, she's in love - but when she's alone she feels she's lost a lot of herself and that her happiness is tied to me.

    We talked for a few hours; even joking and having a great time... but it was over nonetheless.

    I never got mad. I couldn't. I understood completely - I understand completely ... and since then I have been (for the first time in 34 years) incredibly crushed.

    That was a little over a month and a half ago and I have for the first time been dealing with the effects.

    I saw (see) her as literally the most beautiful person - both physically and emotionally - who I have dated and I am having a hard time getting over this. I removed all social media, don't text/call, etc. but what is killing me is that we work together and I see her in the office. A couple weeks ago she and I were leaving and I asked if she wanted to talk. We got into my car and we discussed the breakup; I understood again the reasoning and we both agreed it was weird to have a good thing end so abruptly rather than the usual slow breakdown that precedes a breakup. However, she needs her time and space.

    What didn't help was she had said that she is occasionally incredibly close to just calling me; suddenly I had hope again that soon we would be back together.

    A week later (last week) I saw she was going for long walks during break and texting/getting dinner with the other coworker (the friend) and I guess he keeps inviting her out to things with him. Even though they are just friends, the thought that she's doing the things I wanted to do with her with someone else is painful. I realized my hope was foolish, I'm torturing myself waiting, hoping she calls while she is healing and likely to move on soon.

    I talked to her that day privately and - while not a graceful as I wanted it to sound - I indicated that I need to stop seeing her every day and will be working out of a less-convenient office location (a bit more of a drive). Stupidly I also ended up rehashing a lot of our discussion the week prior and nearly came off as desperate. The discussion only lasted around thirty-minutes and before we parted ways we hugged and I told her I'm not normally like this with a breakup and she responded stating, "it's because you care" and I agreed.

    Anyways, that's where I'm at - and my heart is killing me because it feels like going "No Contact" is just the surefire way for me to snuff any embers left from our past and she'll move on; while I'll be stuck trying yet again to feel love in a string of bad or unexciting relationships as I have. I used to honestly think something was wrong with me; that I just couldn't feel "love" like everyone talked about and I've broken up with people because I knew it wasn't fair to be with them if I wasn't fully committed.

    Now I find someone I wanted to be fully committed to and even saw as my best friend.. and due to timing and pacing; I feel like I'm losing something I've waited and hoped for.

    Again, I understand her reasoning and I want nothing more than her to be happy and I know it means it is likely not with me because we messed up with the timing; but, I also am dealing with trying to accept that she is gone and moving on while I feel like I'm losing something I've waited for so long.

    I can't sit at the same office as her, I'll keep acting the fool if I have to see her each day but a seriously large part of me wants to try to rekindle by being there and that's the foolish part. That and the feeling I get when I see she's going out and it's not with me (let alone the feeling I have when I think of anyone else being with her romantically) is incredibly painful/irrational and also I worry will make me act/say something foolish to her.

    Anyways, any advise/insight would be appreciated ; again, despite many flings/relationships/etc. - I've never gone through this until now and Holy Hell, you all are not kidding about the pain, it's torture.
    So tuff spot for sure. I can assure you that NC is the only path forward for both healing and any chance at her coming back. That's the good news, the path is clear.

    That hard part is execution, untying the knots that have been created and learning from the experience.

    Rebounds and moves straight from one serious relationship to next is said to rarely work, not because it's not possible but because one or both parties usually is/are not aware enough to handle the grieving process that will inevitably occur as a result of loss created from the original situation. Also that person jumping relationships is alot of times grasping to fill an unfillable emotional hole created by some sort of past pain.

    Good luck brother

  3. #3
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    Yep - unfortunately you were her rebound relationship. If she doesn't take a bit of time out to process letting go of her long term partner - her next guy will be a rebound, too. People who go from one relationship to the next without time to grieve or learn the lessons from the last one will carry an ever-increasing pile of baggage with them.

    Seeing her constantly at work will make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to move on - so relocating to another office is a wise way forward. So is NC - not in the hope of getting her back, but to give yourself the space to heal. It will also soothe the pain of half wanting to see her, and half NOT wanting to see her.

    Rest assured that although you are heartbroken right now, this will pass. You were only together for five months, so your relationship was probably still in the honeymoon period where the other person can do no wrong, in a hormone-fuelled rosy glow - as you say, "I saw (see) her as literally the most beautiful person - both physically and emotionally - who I have dated and I am having a hard time getting over this." Your feelings are still very intense, but this phase of a relationship can't last for ever. You hadn't really been together for long enough to get the measure of each other, as this takes a lot longer than five months.

    So - for the time being, be gentle with yourself, avoid the contact which will only pull the scab off any healing you have managed, and let yourself know that it won't always feel like this.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    I don't think dinner and drinks alone with a guy is the most appropriate when you're in a relationship.

    You're better off.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think it's a good idea to keep your distance and busy yourself. The other office is a good idea or work from home. You also seem to be placing her on a bit of a pedestal.

    She's not as hot from where I'm sitting. She used you as an emotional crutch in the break up with her last partner, led you on while grabbing Friday dinner with another male coworker, left you hanging for a short period and then tells you she's confused. It's time to give yourself some space and time to heal and in the process, remove those rose-coloured lenses. This is not the relationship you've been waiting so long for. I can think of a lot of better women out there who would have treated you better despite the struggles.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nutbrownhare
    You were only together for five months, so your relationship was probably still in the honeymoon period where the other person can do no wrong, in a hormone-fuelled rosy glow - as you say, "I saw (see) her as literally the most beautiful person - both physically and emotionally - who I have dated and I am having a hard time getting over this.
    And it's this very reason the pain is so acute. It's a long way to fall from the ultimate high of a new romance. Sometimes more painful than a relationship of long duration.
    Just remember that.
    Hang in there.

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    I gotta say, this website and all of your insights are actually incredibly helpful.

    Thank you all.

    I agree that in the future I'll likely realize I have been far too self-depreciating of what happened. It's weird though, I usually see the pedestal as something you have when you have a crush on someone but don't actually know them literally at all. For me, at least at this point, it's been like knowing someone intensely for months who then changed on you literally within a span of a couple days.

    That said, the fact I envisioned a relationship working out given the issues would be a pedestal, I guess.

    What kills is I had literally asked her if we were moving too fast, if it was a rebound, etc. multiple times and was assured that it was not. I've dated a lot of people, never told someone I love them unless I meant it and never had someone get their hooks in me like this. I kept being assured it was real that I allowed myself to feel secure and open up a bit which isn't normal for me, so actually feels like a massive betrayal - at least today.

    Alright, let's see how long this takes to overcome...

  9. #8
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    In your shoes I'd push yourself to be thankful for this little jolt. Think of it like life reminding you, in not the gentlest of ways, that your heart is capable of things you didn't know. You got a taste of what it can do. Great. Don't negate all that just because of where things are now. Means the real buffet that can feed your heart fully is out there, once you mourn this.

    That said, as you mourn I think the fairy dust will settle and you'll see things clearer: that this woman was hardly a vessel for those drug-like feelings to expand into something with roots. People who jump from one thing to the next tend to be fragile, and thirsty. Which can be pretty intoxicating, allowing things to move fast. That you were even asking these questions—about moving too fast, about you being rebound—tells me that you already knew the answers: yes and yes. When you're moving at the right pace, with the right person, those questions answer themselves in a way that is far more thrilling than rollercoaster version of connecting. It will feel much the same, but without the edge, so be careful not to mistake the edge for otherworldly love; no good comes from grabbing swords.

    I can relate, in ways. I'm 39, about to turn 40, and have spent much of my romantic life being the "distant" one, the whirl of my feelings a bit more "muted," you could say, than the other person. Was certainly the case in my last long term relationship, which ended when I was 37. Last year I met someone who lit me up like a high school kid on acid and it was a revelation—elevated me quickly to the starry-eyed place I see friends get to with metronomic frequency but is pretty rare for me. We set some land speed records, she and I, at least until it all came screeching to an ungraceful halt and I found myself trying to keep the high alive by inhaling fumes. Sixty some days in total.

    There were ways in which mourning that was harder than some long relationships, at least in the sharpness of the immediate whiplash. But as clarity and calm seeped back in—and, if you allow it, they'll be seeping back in sooner than you know—it quickly became clear that everything that provided the wild ride was connected to everything that made the ride so short and turbulent. It was like she opened very real valves in my heart by tapping into some juvenile sectors of my brain. In the end it kind of sharpened my compass for the better, teaching me a bit of what I wanted and was capable of, on some levels, while also improving my radar in how, where, and who I invest in when it comes to the search.

    In my case, what initially felt like a step toward something very adult came to be seen as a last gasp of something kind of childish. Oh well. Life. Fun was had, pain was felt, and when I dusted off I think I'd grown a long-overdue inch or two. Made me excited to find someone utterly thrilling but closer to my height, rather than someone who provided the thrill that I was walking on the moon, if that makes any sense.

    You've got a great attitude. Feel what you need to feel, try not to get too cynical. Life has much more thrilling connections in store for you.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RyanMI
    What kills is I had literally asked her if we were moving too fast, if it was a rebound, etc. multiple times and was assured that it was not. I've dated a lot of people, never told someone I love them unless I meant it and never had someone get their hooks in me like this. I kept being assured it was real that I allowed myself to feel secure and open up a bit which isn't normal for me, so actually feels like a massive betrayal - at least today.
    It's ok. Everyone goes through these things. You're not the only one who's been taken for a ride. Don't take it so personally because it really didn't look like she knew any better anyway. Shrug this off and practice some resiliency. Keep it professional and don't appear too conspicuous that it's affecting you at work. I wouldn't go out of your way to avoid her to the point where it causes issues with your work or where you're finding it's costing you $100 or $200 more in gas per month to and from the other office. For example, if the other office is ridiculously far, it's probably not a good idea to continue to burn more gas, take more time out of your day and be at the losing end regarding your time and resources. A time out is fine, letting it consume you is not. You will be ok! Onwards and forwards.

  11. #10
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    Definitely agree - I'm not actually mad at her; things happen. Yet in the current state, liable to act a fool and keep trying to interact if I keep seeing her day to day lol. So at least until my feelings subside, I'm doing the other office.

    Luckily it isn't too far and I'm a professional, friendly but not friends. I wouldn't allow this to get in the way of my work or affect her nor others in an office with my personal drama.

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