I’m sure like me, you probably don't find yourself exactly thrilled when you see your ex in public, unless you have already overcome the breakup, or are hoping for a reunion between the two of you. I’m especially not fond of seeing an ex out in public with a new girlfriend if I’ve just broken up with them on bad terms, but even if I’ve overcome the breakup, some emotions can still be hard to avoid. What I’ve learned over the last years of being single and having time to adjust to seeing my exes out in public, is that it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. If you handle it the right way, it can even make you stronger. There are good and bad ways to deal with seeing your ex in public and I’m here to tell you that most of the time, it can be easy to lean towards the bad ways unless we’re careful. Avoid making a scene or causing yourself more heartache by remembering these tips to keep in mind next time you see your ex in public. These are also great ideas for seeing friends out in public where the friendship may have ended poorly too, which never hurts to be aware of.
Table of contents:
- remain calm
- be polite
- act adult
- don’t cry
- don’t show hurt
- fill them in
- don’t flaunt
- stay around friends
- remain casual
- don't try to get his attention
- avoid him if needed
- leave the past in the past
- stay confident
- keep it short and don't look back
- allow yourself to feel sad
1 Remain Calm
One of the best tips for when you see your ex in public is to remain calm. Don’t lash out if they recently just hurt you, don’t make obscene or rude loud gestures, and for goodness sake, don’t cause a dramatic scene if you've been in daily puddles of tears missing them. Remember, you want to appear strong, independent, and not so mad that you don’t know how to act in public. Remaining a lady in these situations can be tough, but your reputation will give you a big thank you for it later, as will your friends who are with you!
2 Be Polite
This one is a no brainer, but can be hard to do if your ex has hurt you, or if you’re so hurt that you’re mad and want to lash out. If you see them from afar but they don’t see you, you don’t even have to interact with them, however if they do see you, simply smile, wave and go on about your business. You can still act independent and content without them, without coming across as rude. If you run into them face to face and are with someone, introduce them to who you are with, and be polite as you would to anyone you know that you see out in public. Plus, if they’ve hurt you and they deserve for you to be rude to them, you’ll seem like the nice, more mature person and come out on top anyway.
3 Act Adult
Whether your heart feels like it belongs to a five year old again, extremely fragile and weak, don’t act like a child when it comes to seeing your ex out in public. If you’ve moved on from the relationship, this will be easy to do, but if not, this can be tough. Act like an adult and be polite, calm and relaxed. Acting this way will let your ex know you’re the adult one and the responsible individual, not the crazy ex they’re ashamed to say they dated.
4 Don’t Cry
No matter how bad you might want to, just don’t do it, okay? Crying will get you nowhere but a drama scene quickly, and will make your mascara run too, hun! Just don’t cry whatever you do. It makes things embarrassing, difficult and you’ll want to hang your head in shame later when you think about it; I promise!
5 Don’t Show Hurt
Don’t act hurt in front of your ex in public. Even if you miss them, and you’re the one who hurt them, or broke it off, don’t show your emotions in public when you see your ex. If anything, ask to talk to them privately where you are both in a more conversation-friendly environment, if that is even necessary. If they are the one who left you, don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve and show how upset you are. It will only make you seem weak, which is never attractive or something a guy wants in a girlfriend.
6 Fill Them in
Be sure if you see your ex out in public that you fill them in on how you’re doing if it has been a while since you broke up. If they ask how you are, then don’t overdo it, or go to extremes, but simply fill them in on your job and how things are going with your family, friends, etc. Tell them about a new hobby, or new interest, but also keep it brief. You don’t want to elaborate on your life without them, which might make you sound like you’re trying to prove a point, but you should also act natural by filling them in on what is going on in your life, letting them know you’ve moved on and have a healthy, adult attitude towards the breakup.
7 Don’t Flaunt
If you got a great new job, new car, or are dating someone new, it is fine if the topic comes up naturally in a conversation, but if you see your ex out in public, don’t flaunt this information and expect to get positive attention. Flaunting to an ex makes it hard to come off as attractive, nor is it ever well-respected. Remember, you’re good enough just the way you are; you don’t need to flaunt that you’re making tons more money or dating a so much better guy now. Better yet, allow them to ask you about your life, and then naturally bring it up through simple conversation without being arrogant about it. What you say is all in how you deliver it.
8 Stay around Friends
Seeing your ex is guaranteed to be awkward and mentally stressful which is why you always need the support of your friends at that time. So if you know you are going to see your ex this weekend, bring friends who will make you feel a lot more comfortable and confident. Friends can always brighten up the situation and cheer you up, so don't be afraid to lean on them in difficult situations, especially if it involves your ex because they are the ones who will understand you best!
9 Remain Casual
Once you got past the small heart attack that we all get when we randomly see our exes, try to put yourself together, wrap your panic in a box and throw it away! There is no better way to make your encounter a lot less awkward than by remaining casual. Even if the inner you is about freak out, fake it until you make it! Seeing your ex won't be that big of a deal anymore, if you don't treat it like one.
10 Don't Try to Get His Attention
If you are the one who ended up with the broken heart, it might be hard to forbear yourself from trying to get his attention. After all you are a human being and it is more than likely that you might still have feelings for him. However, don't try to make him jealous, don't over drink in front of him and don't try to over exaggerate how much better off you are without him. The best way to show him that he didn't break you and that you have moved on (even if you haven't) is by acting casual and remaining polite. Your nonchalant but friendly attitude will be the best way to make him aware that he missed out and that there are great things ahead of you!
11 Avoid Him if Needed
It is completely understandable that it might be too early for you to encounter your ex. Our hearts are not made of steel and sometimes all we need is time to move on from the past. So if you spy you ex in your proximity and know that you are just not ready to wave hello and smile at him as if everything is okay, don't push yourself before you are ready. It doesn't mean that you are a weak and cowardly; it just shows that you are smart enough to respect your feelings and take time for yourself.
12 Leave the past in the past
Seeing your exes is certain to bring up old memories, unfinished business and remnants of feelings, but you label those people as an exes for a reason. Next time you see him, avoid talking to your ex about your old relationship and problems. Rehashing the past will just leave both of you with negative and bitter feelings and there is nothing worse than ending the relationship on a bad note. What is done is done, and all you can do is respect what you had and remember the good moments.
13 Stay Confident
Sometimes remaining casual, polite and calm is not enough. The missing ingredient in that recipe is confidence. You don't want to act closed off and shy in front of your exes or anyone else. Confidence enhances your personality and makes you an approachable person. It can help you with many life situations and especially random ex encounters!
14 Keep It Short and Don't Look Back
Engaging in a small talk even if you ended the relationship on a good note or things ended up as a mess, can make future encounters more comfortable. However it is important to make the "small talk" small! So after exchanging a few words, tell him you have to run, smile, walk away and never look back. Your encounter should be a small occurrence and never the highlight of your day!
15 Allow Yourself to Feel Sad
Depending on where you are in your life and how you feel, you might feel refreshed or sad when seeing your ex. If it is the latter, do let your feelings out. If the relationship was a big part of your life and it just recently ended, it is healthy to feel sad about it instead of packing up your feelings and never letting them out. A few days of sadness will be nothing to compared to the whole future ahead of you when you are completely over your ex.
Dealing with seeing an ex the first time in public can be a real test of your character. Prove your class and sophistication by handling it like a pro with these simple tips. Do you have any tips for seeing an ex out in public?
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