While it’s rare for ex-couples to become pals after a split, that’s not to say you’ll never run into each other again. Whether it be an incidental encounter at a local shopping centre, or a crossing group of friends, it’s important to act graceful when suddenly face-to-face with a past beau. Oftentimes it’s hard to maintain composure in the heat of the moment, so we’ve provided a list of reliable ways to casually acknowledge an ex, while appearing all the better off without them.
Keep things short and simple
While it may have been months, or even years, since your last encounter, this is not the time to acquaint your past sweetheart with all they’ve missed in your life. In other words, a random run in should not be treated as a pre-arranged coffee date. A life briefing mixed with unsettling anxiety can become a deadly combination. Ever heard of ‘word vomit’? The talk just keeps a comin’ and you can’t click on your own mute button. Instead, be poised, say a quick hello, ask them how they’ve been doing, and nothing more. Act toward him as you would an acquaintance, and be off with yourself.
No matter the reason the relationship came to a close, there’s no point grieving on the past. Be sincere, and disregard all past feuds that once had you simmering with resentment. In other words, act maturely - there’s no clearer sign that someone is still hung up on an ex, than lingering hatred. At the same time, best not to shower your past beau with kindness. Remind yourself that you two broke up for a reason, and aren’t expected to feel elated while running into one another. Your fake enthusiasm aint’ fooling anyone.
Shimmer with confidence
There comes a time when you must accept that the relationship has ended. It’s not always easy to move on, but don’t make these conflicting emotions visible when facing an ex. When you’ve spotted each other and there’s no turning back, act pleasantly surprised as opposed to uncomfortably startled.
Remind yourself why it ended
It’s always difficult to picture an ex living happily without you, no matter if it’s with his guy friends, or a new girl. It doesn’t matter because it all comes down to one factor: he’s not sulking in a dark corner, praying you take him back. When you start to imagine such a thing - especially if spotting him with a new lady friend - just think of the reasons you two went your separate ways. Sure, you may still blow up in a jealous rage, but there’s a guy waiting out there that will satisfy your needs more than he ever could.
Put on an act
This rule goes hand in hand with the be genuine “do”. No matter the reason for wanting to act like you’re over someone when you’re not, don’t exaggerate how you feel; he’ll read right through you. Just as you would be snickering to yourself if your ex-lover began blabbering on about how much fun he’s having going to the local pub with his boys every weekend, the same applies for us ladies. The first thing you’ll ask yourself is: why is he telling me this? Oh yeah, must be because he’s over me. Nawt.
Bring up a prospective man in your life
Even if you want to watch the jealously seethe out of him, don’t inform an ex if you’re entering a new relationship. Simply put, it’s none of his business. If anything, it’s best he finds out you’re moving on through other sources. And if he asks, disregarding how this makes him look, give him a generic answer like “nothing serious” or “I’d rather not put a label on anything.” This shows that you don’t feel obligated to fill him in on your life, yet aren’t held back to let him know you’re seeing other people.
Running into an ex-boyfriend, whether it be the first time or tenth, will always be slightly uncomfortable. You don’t know if you should hug each other, or hide. With that being said, don’t read too much into the situation, because the conversation is never going to feel completely natural. So don’t fret if he seems withdrawn after catching sight of you. Just remember: he probably feels just as nervous and awkward as you.
While there’s a good chance you may not be over your ex (depending on how recent the split), don’t - I repeat, do not - make this evident. Instead, demonstrate that you’re perfectly stable without him, and have no intention of getting back together. Even if you secretly daydream about reuniting the flame, there’s no place for mention of this during a unexpected encounter. If you do allude to getting back together, let’s just say you won’t have to worry about any future run-ins.