Bumping into your ex can open a can of worms. Just when you think that you are finally moving on, there comes a ghost from your past to haunt you all over again. Mind you, these situations always have bad timings. You might have thought about the things you would tell him/her when you confront him, but when it actually happens, you look for the exit.
12 things to remember when you run into your ex
The hardest thing to do when running into your ex in public is to try not making it look awkward. But then, accept that it is going to be awkward for both of you. Avoiding your ex isn’t an option, because another situation like that could arise in future. The best thing is to prepare yourself beforehand for such things so that you have the edge.
1. Prepare yourself if you expect it
Prepare and be prepared. Running into your ex can be a total disaster and it is up to you to ensure that there is minimal damage. Go through what you are going to say and stick to it. Calculate the length of your conversation and ensure it doesn’t go beyond that. A casual Hello is a good starter.
2. Act normal
The biggest mistake that people do when they see their ex is to think of ways of avoiding them or running away. DO NOT do that. It will just make your ex feel that he/she still has control over you. Acting like your ex is just another friend you ran into will keep you in control.
Behave normal, hold those creams in, and simply pretend to be cool.
3. Be confident and flash some attitude
You have to be the boss here. Own that conversation. Show your ex how well you are doing without him/her. Show them how much you are enjoying your life without them. Be careful not to go overboard with the lying or bragging, as your ex will soon figure it out.
Just throw some attitude, and walk off.
4. Don’t make it obvious
When you run into your ex, it is awkward for both of you. Do not make the awkwardness feel obvious. Additionally, making it obvious will just confirm that your ex’s presence affects you and you haven’t moved on just yet.
Make sure your ex gets the message that you are over him, and happy.
5. Stay calm and composed even if you wish to scream
Even if everything inside you is falling apart, you have to keep it together. This is when all your drama classes will come handy. Don’t think of your ex as a monster coming to get you, instead think of it as an annoying bug that you want to get rid of.
6. Kill them with kindness
Be as kind as possible. Don’t show them that you still blame them for what went wrong in your relationship. Treating them politely will give them the message that you have moved on and do not hold any grudge against them any more.
7. Avoid being clingy and needy
Showing that you still want your ex in your life will just drive them away even further. Even though, in your head, you are longing to blurt out your feelings and longing for them, do not say a word. If your ex doesn’t feel the same, it will just make you look like a fool in front of him/her.
8. Be formal
Make the conversation formal, but don’t treat it like a business meeting. Behave like what you do when you unexpectedly run into an old acquaintance. Express your happiness to see your ex, but do not show that you are too happy. Try phrases like “Wow. Longtime” or “It’s good to see you”. Do not give a hug unless your ex-initiates it.
A light handshake is enough. Don’t linger on!
9. Make it brief and short
Ensure that you have a brief conversation. You may also indulge in a bit of small talk with regard to your mutual friends, but ensure that it doesn’t lead to something else. Do not agree to sit down and have a conversation over a cup of coffee. It will just open the gates for all those past emotions.
10. Do not freeze
Do not act like you have seen a ghost. Freezing on seeing your ex is the worst possible scenario and you could beat yourself up for months for this. Short-term freezing can still be covered up with “Oh sorry, I was just thinking about this meeting tomorrow” or “That was unexpected. Sorry to make it awkward”. But the best thing would be not to freeze.
11. Avoid bringing up the past
The idea here is to show that you have moved on. Talking about the past isn’t sending that message. If your ex brings up the past, try to avoid it by talking about the present or your future without him being in the picture. You may want closure, but an accidental running into your ex is not the right situation to be seeking it.
12. No riddles
Avoid sending mixed signals to your ex. Talking in riddles or with reference to something that happened between you two will only give him the impression that you want to be back with him. Seeing your ex may make you think that you want to get back with him, but it might be momentary. Go home and think it through before sending the wrong message.
Running into an ex who dumped you and hurt you can be an opportunity to remind him what he has lost. Show your ex that dumping you was his biggest mistake. Take charge. Be the best version of yourself. Show how he did you a favour by ending it and let him know how happy you are because of it. Give them a little attitude too, if you can pull it off. Make your ex feel sorry for hurting you.
Running into an ex-years later
It has been a long time, but might not be long enough. You both have gone different ways, but seeing each other has brought you back to the same place. Do not talk about the past. Get an update on each other’s life. Be friendly and talk about catching up some time.
Running into an ex you still love
If you are still in love with your ex while they have moved on, it’s time for you to move on, too. Avoid getting emotional and telling them you want them back. It will only drive them away. On the other hand, acting distant could make them rethink their decision.
Bumping into your ex with your new boyfriend
A situation like this can be awkward but you could use it to your advantage. Introducing your ex to your new boyfriend can show both your ex and your boyfriend that you have moved on. Letting your ex know that he is your boyfriend will make your boyfriend know where he stands too. Avoid arousing suspicion by being too over friendly with your ex in front of your boyfriend.