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How to act around your ex: Ways to behave when you meet your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend

Updated on July 19, 2013
Do you freeze with nervousness when you bump into your ex? Here is how you can make the situation less awkward.
Do you freeze with nervousness when you bump into your ex? Here is how you can make the situation less awkward. | Source

Don't know how to act around your ex? Feeling nervous about bumping into your ex-boyfriend at the same party? Avoiding class because you are afraid of meeting your ex-girlfriend? Intimidated by your ex's new pretty girlfriend? Don't know how to behave in front of your ex because you still haven't moved on? Facing an awkward situation every time you meet your ex because you still miss him or her? This post is a no-nonsense discussion about how you can handle this awkward social situation like a pro.

1) Ignore your ex if possible

The easiest way to deal with being in the same room, party, school or college as your ex is to ignore him or her completely. Ignoring your ex will eliminate all possibilities of confrontations and awkwardness.

It will be difficult to ignore your ex if you both have common friends. If you find yourself in this position, you must take a decision whether you want to try to accommodate your ex as a friend in your life or you want to end your friendship with mutual friends to avoid bumping into your ex at all costs.

2) Remain calm: Don't get nervous or anxious around your ex

Bumping into an ex is an awkward experience and it is practically a test of your nerves. Remind yourself that your ex is as nervous and anxious as you are. If you can calm yourself down, you have won half the battle already.

If you think that there is no way you can avoid bumping into your ex, take a deep breath and calm down. Being in a sane state of mind will help you control unnecessary fidgeting and allow you to think straight.

Be confident and calm.
Be confident and calm.

3) Display a confident body language: Don't be intimidated by your ex

Self-confidence plays a massive role in all socially awkward situations and being around your ex is definitely one of them. Don't feel intimidated by your ex's presence regardless of whether your ex is alone or with a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Some of the classic signs of a display of confidence include:

  • Good posture – Stand straight with your shoulders wide
  • Hold your head straight and don't keep looking down
  • Control your body movement and don't fidget
  • Loosen up your muscles and be relaxed

4) Make eye contact with your ex: Judge his or her expression

Make eye contact with your ex before you utter a single word. You will instantly be able to judge your ex's expression and get a feel of whether your meeting will be friendly, awkward or hostile.

Maintain eye contact as your ex approaches you and allow him or her to make the first move to greet you.

5) Empty your mind of the memories of your relationship and breakup

Meeting your ex with the baggage of bitter memories about your relationship will unbalance you mentally. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and clear your head.

Whether you broke up because your ex-boyfriend confessed cheating on you or whether you broke up mutually, trash these memories from your mind. Think of it like quick formatting your flash drive.

6) Talk in moderation: Don't feel obliged to do all the talking

Feeling obliged to talk after bumping into an ex is a common mistake. This may be a typical situation if you are intimidated by your ex or if you are feeling guilty about breaking up with him or her.

Control this urge to be nice to your ex and talk in moderation. Don't switch off completely but don't be bubbly and talkative either. This may lead to awkward silences but that is virtually unavoidable.

Getting annoyed will give away your insecurities.
Getting annoyed will give away your insecurities.

7) Don't act grumpy or annoyed: It will expose your insecurities

The most difficult part of being around your ex is getting a grip over your own emotions. You will naturally be annoyed, grumpy and irritated if you and your ex have broken up bitterly. But you will have to put these hide all these emotions.

A display of annoyance or irritation will instantly express your dislike and insecurity towards the whole situation. Here are some tips.

  • Take a deep breath
  • Relax all the muscles on your face
  • Don't hold up a plastic smile
  • Don't frown in the middle of conversations
  • Give controlled reactions

8) Don't feel weak if your ex flirts with other guys or girls in front of you

It is natural to feel jealous and hurt if your ex openly flirts with guys or girls in front of you. But you must accept the situation and be prepared for this, especially if you and your ex are a part of the same friend circle.

There are no fixed guidelines for how you should react when your ex flirts with others right in front of you. You will need to judge the situation and react accordingly. Here are a few tips that will help.

  • Don't try to excuse yourself when your ex starts flirting with others
  • Remind yourself that you have already broken up and it shouldn't matter to you whether or not your ex flirts with others
  • Don't try to take instant revenge by flirting with a girl or a guy who you don't even like
  • Be calm and don't pay too much attention to your ex's flirtatious ways

9) Introduce but don't flaunt your new girlfriend or boyfriend

If you bump into your ex while you are with your new girlfriend or boyfriend, introduce them with each other. This is a good idea only if you have told your new partner about your previous relationship.

Be subtle and don't use heavy words like ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, couple or relationship while introducing your ex to your new partner. Below are a few lines you can use.

  • John, this is Mark. We used to date for a while.
  • Susan, meet Rebecca. I told you about her, remember?

10) Avoid bringing up conversations about the past

It is always a bad idea to talk about anything related to your past when you meet your ex. Whether you like it or not, talking about your past relationship will bring a wave of unnecessary emotions and feelings.

If your ex brings it up in a conversation, choose your words wisely and politely say that you would rather not talk about it. Being too nice and continuing the conversation will hurt your mindset while dismissing it as a 'mistake you made' may enrage your ex. So strike a balance, be nice and be firm at the same time.

Approach your ex without assuming that things will become confrontational.
Approach your ex without assuming that things will become confrontational.

11) Don't be confrontational: Avoid trying too hard to make your ex feel bad

You will come across as confrontational if you are bent upon making your ex feel bad or taking revenge by showing how easily you have moved on.

Always remind yourself that being confrontational is not the way to show your ex that you have moved on. You will come across as the bigger person only if you stay calm. Show maturity and control your anger if you want to master the art of tackling this awkward situation.

12) Avoid making classic blunders while meeting your ex

Regardless of whether you want to remain friends with your ex or not, there are some common lines that you should avoid saying if you want to avoid giving off a bad vibe when you are around your ex.

  • I have had so much fun after we broke up
  • My new romantic boyfriend is the best guy I've ever met
  • I have become a lot more mature than I was when we were dating
  • I have cut off all the negative influences in my life since we broke up
  • I am so glad that I am single now
  • My life has never been better
  • So many guys have asked me out since we broke up

13) Let your ex be the first one to leave

An easy way to assert your dominance in this tricky social situation is to let your ex be the first one to leave. It will subtly say a lot about how you stood your ground and did not try to make a quick exit upon seeing your ex.

Leaving later will help you especially if you are hanging out with some of your common friends. By looking at your friends' reactions, you will be able to find out which ones are on your side.

14) Understand your ex's body language and behave accordingly in the future

Tackling awkward social situations is like learning anything else – you will need to learn from your experiences and practice until you become perfect. Talk to yourself after you have bumped into your ex and ask yourself some of these questions.

  • Did you remain calm?
  • Was your ex polite towards you?
  • Did your ex deliberately try to insult you by flaunting his new girlfriend or her new boyfriend?
  • Was your ex's behavior confrontational?
  • Was your ex trying too hard to appear happy?
  • Did you say anything that you shouldn't have said?
  • If you could go back to the same situation, what would you change about your behavior?

All these questions will help you to be at ease whenever you meet your ex. This introspection is critical especially if you and your ex are working together or hang out with the same set of best friends every day.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago from Jayanagar

      U try to ignore them but Wat to do they come in front n we r Jus like blank we don't understand wat to do so i think Jus take up ur head up n face him n try to show him tat u had moved on from him n how u r not more of him

    • June Liandra profile image

      June Liandra 

      3 years ago from State of Wyoming

      i'm chill when i see my ex, after all we work in the same building, though i see it in his eyes that he's not dealing with it so well, he cheated on me all the discomfort should be in him :)

    • aefrancisco profile image


      3 years ago from somewhere down the road

      This i call life. Come to think of this. Can we really avoid seeing our ex? It is a small world.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • jericho911 profile image

      Kenneth Claude 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      I always try to ignore them when I see someone I used to date. Your ideas are great, though !

      I always seem to laugh it off and try to duck behind a display. LOL


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