The Ex Encounter: 5 Ways to Cope
Unless you exclusively date outside your own area code, chances are you’re going to have to deal with bumping in to an ex post-breakup. Even when things end well, this can be awkward. And if it ended poorly – and one or both of you is still upset – it can be social torture.
How to deal when you’re face to face with an old flame?
Split Things Up
If you truly can’t stand the idea of seeing each other, try getting together long enough to divide up your social territory. You could each come up with a list of spots you want to go, but the other can’t. Or divvy up spots by day or time: he can visit your favorite bar on Friday nights, but not Saturdays. Extreme? Yes, but it keeps the awkward moments to a minimum.
Find New Haunts
Lingering in your favorite old spots not only make it more likely to see your ex, but also makes it hard to move on. Trying new things – and new places – will keep you from crying in the bathroom of the movie theater where you had your first date, and will also give you a needed distraction. New places also mean new people…maybe even new relationships.
Look Hot. Always.
Going out for milk in your grubbiest sweats looking like you haven’t showered since the breakup will guarantee that you will run into your ex (and probably whatever fresh-faced hot young thing you’ve been replaced with) in the dairy aisle. If the split was recent and run-ins are unavoidable, never leave the house without looking your best.
Have An Entourage
If facing your ex alone makes you feel like a lonely unlovable ogre, try to surround yourself with sympathetic pals when you go places where you’re likely to have a run-in. You’ll feel less awkward (especially if your ex is with a date) and inadequate, and will have someone to assure you how much hotter you look.
Kill with Kindness
Can’t avoid a confrontation? No matter how bitter or angry or so-not-over-it anyone is, the game plan is always the same: detached, polite, even vague friendliness. All smiles and “nice to see you” and off you go on your way, with no snarky commentary on post-breakup weight gain, sartorial choices or rebound relationships. Save that for your friends, afterwards.
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