I don’t know about you, but I feel like I always run into my former flames at the most inopportune moments. Like, when I’m wearing an “ERIN GO BRAGH” pom-pom-topped scallycap on St. Patrick’s Day, three-sheets-to-the-wind wasted (true story). Since I always seem to freeze up whenever I run into my old boyfriends, hook-ups or whatever…here is a list of what to do when this happens.
1. ACT COOL (DUH): It doesn’t matter how it ended, seeing an ex is always awkward (I’m convinced those people who remain “friends” with exes have a screw loose, or their ex has decided to play for the other team, or they’ve got false hope of reuniting). No matter how many shots of tequila deep you may be when you spot him, try to remember all the reasons why you’re better off without this looooooser. You are smart, beautiful, confident, and above all else, you are COOL.
2. DO THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TALKING: Please don’t blabber on about your new Park Ave. apartment, your investment banker boyfriend, your fab job where you get bonuses left and right for choosing an amazing nail polish name. Obviously you want this dude to know you’re doing well for yourself (whether you’re faking it or not), but drop a few tidbits without overdoing it.
On the other hand, do not freeze up, fall silent and forget all of the great attributes that you have. Remember tip one and treat your boyfriend as you would some random college acquaintance. Offer up a little information about yourself, ask him about this own life, but remember that this isn’t an opp to act all Barbara Walters and ask him what his work hours are, where he gets lunch or how his cat his doing. Oh, and if you can’t hear him (crowded bar, anyone?), just smile and nod. The key here is politesse, my pretties.
3. SPLIT AFTER A FEW MINUTES: Don’t linger. You’ve probably already stalked his Facebook at some point, so you know he’s dating some random six years his junior (say it with me: downgrade). Let bygones be bygones. You’re not as pathetic as the whole Carrie and Big thing, right? That’s what I thought.
If he is with another girl: Don’t go out of your way to introduce yourself. Let him do it. She might be a one-night stand, she might be his girlfriend, she might be his cousin. If he really wants you to know, he’ll make an effort. I hate fake-friendliness, and if you grab whatever girl is in his vicinity and shake her hand enthusiastically, you run the risk of trying too hard.
If you are with another guy: Be the bigger person and INTRODUCE HIM. Do not say something awkward when you introduce your ex like, THIS IS MY EX (I’ve seen people do this). Introducing your past guy as a friend and possibly explaining later to the man you’re with now is perfectly appropriate. If you’re dating the dude you’re with, say this is my BOYFRIEND, _____ (5,000 points for you). If the fellow you’re currently with is just some dude you’re not realllly seeing, just plainly say this is [YOUR HOOK UP’S NAME HERE]. No need for titles. Let that ex of yours wonder!
If you really hate him (or you see him at a bar and you’re wasted): If you can avoid him, try it. If you can’t steer clear, have a friend at your side when you two chat for moral support (and to make sure your morals are kept in check).
And if you really, really want to avoid him: Hide, duck out to the bathroom, leave the place where he is. Problem solved.
GIRL TALK TIME: Have you ever run into an ex before? What happened? How did you act? What do you think is the best way to behave? What are your tips for dealing with this awkward situation?