Heart Throb: Seeing Your Ex With a New Love
By Claire Aldrich
Whether your breakup was nasty or friendly, your heart is going to feel that terrible jolt the first time you see your former sweetie with a new lover. But there are strategies for making the run-in less painful.
Paint a Picture
If your former flame is someone you're likely to see around often, prepare yourself right after the breakup. Think about where and when the run-ins are likely to happen, and plan a strategy for making yourself more comfortable with the situation. You could adapt the strategy that public speakers sometimes use to ease their tension during a presentation: Imagine your ex naked. On second thought, that might make things harder if your feelings are still strong. How about imagining your ex in a silly situation, say, wearing bunny slippers and a cowboy hat. This tactic will most likely put a genuine smile on your face. Plus you'll have a secret that will make you feel more confident.
Use Your Words
Besides having an image you can call to mind if you encounter your ex, plan a few talking points to help you through the awkward situation. Think of a couple of really great things going on in your life, or even funny ones, that you can mention. Let your ex know that you're not sitting around moping and wishing for your life to move in reverse. Even if you secretly are doing those things, never, ever let it show when you run into your no-longer-sweet one. Mention the new exercise class you're taking and drop a hint that the flirty instructor of the opposite sex is "in amazing shape" or "so funny." Or note that you're shopping for clothes for an exotic trip--who cares if it's for work? They don't have to know. Remind them how cold the weather will be at home while you're off in the tropics.
Rely on Your Body
Besides using words and images to help you relax and feel strong when facing your ex, practice confident body language. Use your bathroom mirror to be sure you're looking happy and maybe even a bit superior. Exercise will help you have good posture and feel good about your body image. Then convey that ultra-self-assurance by looking the new lover in the eye and imagining some really annoying or disgusting habit your ex couldn't control. Then think to yourself how often the new sweetie is going to have to put up with that negative behavior.
Focus on the New
Finally, if you're already dating someone new yourself, call to mind the most fantastic traits your new lover possesses while you're talking to your ex. If you haven't yet met a new hottie, imagine what your dream guy or girl will look and act like. Pretend as you talk that you're headed to see your awesome sweetheart as soon as the conversation ends. Wave a flirty, happy smile, and pick up your phone to make a call as you walk away.
If you make the feared encounter a fun performance, you'll walk away happier and be more likely to have a run-in that you want--with some new prospect who can appreciate your awesome qualities. So remember to walk tall and walk away proud!
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