What to do when you bump into your ex-boyfriend

Category: Relationship


As humans we are all so very different and each of our relationships are unique. Some people experience cruel break-ups whilst others have been let down gently. Regardless of the way it was handled, the outcome was essentially the same – it was “over”.

What should you do when you run into your ex-boyfriend? When you meet an ex by accident, don’t panic! After your eyes adjust and you catch your breath, relax; the goal is to be as gracious but brief as possible. A few scenarios below may help you to how to “behave” when you encounter the awkward moment.

When You’re the Dumpee
If you bump into the guy who emotionally gutted you, put on a brave face. This means no blaming, yelling, or crying — these antics are best saved for your friends. And you don’t want to confirm how smart he was to ditch you. No matter how poorly you’re holding up, when he asks how you’ve been, smile and say, “Great!” Then move on.

When You’re the Dumper
Guys behave differently than girls do when they’ve been hurt. Whereas it might be within your emotional capacity to “act” warmly toward the jerk who ran your heart through the shredder, when you’re the jerk, don’t expect the same treatment. Be prepared for his cold shoulder and don’t dwell on it. Similarly, restrain yourself from being overly nice or concerned. This is only a means to alleviate your own guilt, and might even lead him on.

When You’re Still Tempted
You kinda secretly hoped you’d run into him this way: out with your friends, looking and feeling gorgeous. You’ve had a few drinks and suddenly … you’re missing him. Stop, take a deep breath, and mentally list all the reasons why the two of you were not meant to be. Then, remind yourself how long it took to get to this good place you’re in now. Don’t waste that kind of confidence and energy on him — instead, channel it toward the newer, hotter guy across the room.

If you’re unable to get past this pain, you will never be free from your ex. Work on forgiving and letting go so you can once again be whole. All too often I hear dumpees crying out “but if I forgive him/her – isn’t that saying that what they did was acceptable?” My answer is “No, it’s not”. Forgiveness is about self preservation. We don’t do it for them, we do it for US. Not forgiving and moving on only serves to TIE you to your ex longer.

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