Bumping into your ex-boyfriend is basically every woman’s nightmare. You’re finally over him (or at least you’re working on it), and the last thing you need is to be face to face with the jerk who broke your heart. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and basically a guaranteed day-ruiner — but it doesn’t happen to be. Here’s how to handle a random run-in:
- Don’t panic. Keep calm and keep on moving. Don’t stand there frozen as if you’ve seen a ghost, but definitely don’t try to walk on and act like you totally didn’t notice him, because he’ll know you’re lying. Relax — you’re not together anymore and, unless you run into him again, you’ll never have to see him after this. What’s there to panic about?
- Acknowledge him first. When you make the first move, it shows you’re feeling confident and not at all awkward about seeing him. It’ll also make him think you’re not at all bitter or still hung up on your relationship (and hopefully that’s the case). He may reciprocate your warmth or ignore you, but whatever his reaction may be, at least you’ve been friendly, right?
- Don’t read between the lines. If you ever engage in a friendly convo with your ex, don’t try to decipher his words or you’ll end up having unnecessary headache. He might brag or outright lie to try and get into your head and mess up your day, but you need to let it go right over your head.
- Don’t tell him your life story. Just because you ran into him doesn’t that you need to fill in the blanks of everything that’s happened in the weeks/months since you ended your relationship. A simple “hey!” is enough — you’re not trying to rekindle anything here.
- Keep your cool. As much as you may be tempted to pick a fight with him, don’t. You’ll look like the crazy ex-girlfriend and that’s not a label you want to be associated with. Remember that it’s never worth stooping down to his level. If you ever feel like your anger will burst and you might do something that you’ll regret later, it’s better to walk away than stay.
- Avoid bringing up the past. Don’t make him feel like you’re still interested in him or that you’re trying to get him back by bringing up the past. You’ve moved on, whether you had closure or not. Just leave it at that and make it easier for everyone, especially yourself.
- Fake it ’til you make it. Even if your life isn’t exactly where you want it to be the moment you come across him, you can’t let him see that. Instead, you have to lift your head up high and fake it by smiling at him with confidence. Let no trace of bitterness be seen in your face. Things are great — that’s all he needs to know.
- Get in and get out. Don’t drag the experience out longer than you need to. You may end up losing your composure, forgetting that you’re just trying to fake it, and awakening feelings that have been dormant for a long time. Stick to a civil convo, then pretend that you have to go because you have more important things to deal with (which, let’s be real, you probably do).
- Go your way without looking back. Continue walking away from him and never turn your head back to his direction. He’s an ex for a reason, and running into him unexpectedly shouldn’t change that. You’ll be better off letting things stay the way they are.