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he's coming back...

Chiquta Banana

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well, long story short, for those who don't have the time to go through my old posts, i became somewhat intimate with a colleague who was also my closest friend.


it ended up not working out due to personal issues on my side - we tried to stay friends but went through a lot of rough patches where he was angry with me, periods of NC that didn't last etc...

he quit his job, for other reasons, and moved out of town about 6 months ago, during which we had NC with some periods of LC and eventually i thought things were ok between us, i even met a girl he's been seeing, i know he had trouble letting go of 'us' but slowly i could feel it happening... the advice i got on eNA was to delete him and maintain NC but due to most our mutual friends being work colleagues full NC was almost impossible but we had really limited our interactions.


well, a few weeks ago he hinted that something might change at my workplace, and eventually told me he might be hired back, and asked if i'd have issues working with him again - and i said no, of course not. so he asked to be in my department, and my manager, who sensed that we were closer than just colleagues, asked me if that was a problem and i said no it was fine. what i did have an issue with is the fact that i then became a go-between for my manager and him, where i was being asked things like his salary expectations, would he negotiate and so on. which i felt was not appropriate. so i asked both him and my manager to leave me out of it.


i told him i would give him advice, listen to him, help him with this decision and so on but that it wasn't right for me to be involved in things like negotiations and specific benefits. i also asked my manager to leave me out of the decision - i told her i could give my recommendation of him as a work partner, having worked with him so long i knew he was responsible and talented, i knew he would fit in much better than a new person and whatnot, but that's where my role in this should end.


the thing is - he became angry with me thinking i didn't want to work with him and was trying to extricate myself from telling him that, he said he wouldn't have come back if he knew i preferred my new partner, which i told him i don't - i like working with both and have no issue whether he comes back or not, whether he works with me or other teams, etc... and i told him i was staying as neutral as possible so that he would make a decision based on the work itself and the offer and not pressure him into either coming back or not coming back due to personal conflicts or situations.


honestly? i am extremely happy he is coming back, i really enjoy working with him and i love the vibe he brings to the office, but i also know i am not fully over him and i think he is getting over the idea of 'us' but is not quite there yet. so i was really torn when all this happened - obviously there will be some difficulty. but i tried to stay as professional as possible, and honestly depicted what my previous work experience with him was like. i thought i did the right thing. i made it a point not to get into how i was feeling about this, not to jump for joy at the thought of him coming back or voicing my concerns to him which might make him feel like there are still feelings and therefore still a chance to make things happen between us.


now i hear from everyone at work that he has signed on but he hasn't told me anything. he was a bit passive aggressive last time we spoke and then has dutifully ignored me. i'm also supposed to go to a friend's birthday party which he is attending as well, i can't get out of it and i'm a bit worried about awkwardness.


i guess the question is - should i contact him to talk about this and understand why he is angry and basically make nice? a part of me wants to do that and kind of air everything out before he comes back to work and before i have to interact with him face to face. another part of me is leaning towards just letting time/space do its thing.


another reason i have been feeling the urge to contact him is, this is a hard time for him as he lost a child from a previous relationship in pretty dark circumstances a few years ago around this month, and i want to tell him i can be there for him if he needs. at the same time i'm worried this will be like reminding him of my existence when he's trying to move on and i'm very conscious of sending him breadcrumbs and stopping his progress...


any advice would be appreciated!


oh and as usual - to anyone reading this - these are the drawbacks of dating in the office. i really urge you all to consider what happens if things don't work out - not only do you have the typical break up issues to deal with - but you have to act professional on top of everything you might be feeling, you have to be able to interact with the person when that's the last thing you want to do, NC is even more difficult and that means moving on and healing takes even longer... as much as i hate sounding all 'preachy' and as much as a i believe people need to experience things in life and not just listen to what others say, i still kind of feel like i need to put this out there... i'm not saying 'don't do it' i'm just saying, know the possible consequences...



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>>he lost a child from a previous relationship in pretty dark circumstances a few years ago around this month, and i want to tell him i can be there for him if he needs.


umm, no. I'm sorry, you're both really confusing personal and work boundaries. On the one hand you don't want to comment on him from a work perspective, but on the other hand you are talking about 'being there' for him over the loss of a child which is a very personal and intimate circumstance.


so you have to keep this work related. And not get so personally enmeshed with anyone you work closely with in future. And you probably should have been more honest about hiring him back... it just wasn't a good idea. btw, your manager is STUPID if she was asking you to be involved in negotiating a salary etc. for him. He could sue the everloving bejesus out of the company for discrimination or the idea that he was treated unfairly due to a prior relationship with you.


I honestly think you should distance yourself from this as much as possible. And think about leaving this job or transferring into another job to prevent getting sucked into a really negative situation or even a lawsuit.

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No, leave this up to him to resolve for himself.


Be a competent work partner, be cheerful but dense when you see him in public, and if he has anything he needs to shake out with you, let him pursue that on his own--and then just hear him out rather than add fuel with assumptions.


I'd allow him to behave as he wishes and 'get over it' or not. I'd behave as though there is no 'awkwardness' whatsoever--he had zero right to position you badly in the workplace, and neither did your boss. You handled that as gracefully as possible, so let the chips fall--allow him and boss to clean those up--and just keep moving forward.


I would not mix personal and business with this guy again. He's already demo'd that he's potential trouble for your work life if you cross that line.

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