After a year of working, I left for a higher position in a different field for another company. I gave my two week notice and the company overall understood my resignation since I wasn’t working in my desired field. Overall, I left on good terms with everyone. The company was only aware of my relationship with my co-worker a week before my resignation notice was given since it wasn't relevant until that point and we thought it would be unprofessional to bring it up out of context.

With this being a smaller company (around 10-12 people), we are all very close. The company prides itself on having company events and activities where families and significant others are encouraged to come. This makes it a bit awkward since my boyfriend currently still works for the company I resigned from. Eventually, there is going to be an event that significant others are encouraged to join (like a holiday party). Since everyone at the company knows me and knows we are in a relationship, whether or not I go to an event can give a decent amount of awkward small talk for my partner about my presence/absence.

I'm curious what my options are in handling an invitation to a company event as a significant other and if it would be considered unprofessional for my partner to bring me to those events.

  • Just saw your username. You almost caused hot-chocolate-on-keyboard, thanks.
    – Belle
    Apr 4, 2018 at 11:50
  • 3
    "the company overall understood my resignation since I wasn’t working in my desired field. Overall, I left on good terms with everyone." - I'm confused what you're worried about. If you left on good terms, why would you avoid attending company events? It seems like a good opportunity to see people and catch up.
    – David K
    Apr 4, 2018 at 11:51
  • I agree with @DavidK - and can add from personal experience, having been in your exact position a few years ago. People at the prior employer are going to "talk" no matter what, you need to choose how to live your life and sooner or later the talk dies down. Is it unprofessional for you to attend the events? Absolutely not!
    – dwizum
    Apr 4, 2018 at 13:00

3 Answers 3


I worked at a company where there was a large redundancy. In future events where partners were invited single employees would often invite ex staff as their partner.

Everyone really enjoyed this chance to meetup again.

So I doubt it will be awkward at all.


As long as you weren't fired or there were work issues that caused you to leave, and you left on good terms, there should be no awkwardness or problems attending work events where spouses and significant others are invited.

They are friends and former co-workers, you're invited to the event as a significant other. As long as you don't cause problems, there should be no problems. They certainly would not expect any issues.


You've explained it yourself: at the time you resigned, your relationship wasn't relevant. You did nothing wrong and should have no real reason to feel awkward, unless you left on bad terms or think a lot of people may hold a grudge about something you did. There should be no problem with you attending a company event as your significant other's partner.

In an ideal world, you wouldn't even have to ask this question: people ought to be able to separate the professional from the personal, especially when the two start to intersect. Unfortunately, an alarming amount of people are unable to do this: they perceive professional issues as personal and let personal likes/dislikes affect their professional actions/decisions.

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