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Single Editor's Welcome: March 16th-31st, 2013

Single Editor's Welcome: March 16th-31st, 2013

On My Own Survival: How to Deal With Running Into Your Ex

by Rachel Russo, Singles Editor

The post-breakup story goes something like this: After weeks of seeing no one other than  the delivery boys who come to your apartment with a fix of emotional eats, your friends finally convince you it is time to leave the nest. You start getting dressed up, going out, and hoping to meet some singles. One night, it happens, and every recently single person's nightmare becomes your reality. You meet the last person on earth you’d want to meet. Of course. You run into your ex. 

Before you start freaking out and lead yourself to a full-fledged panic attack, rest assured that there are other responses to running into your ex than crawling into a hole in and dying. You may not achieve my dream of a world where you’d never have to run into an ex, but you could find some peace of mind by remembering these simple survival tactics. The first run-in is the hardest, and if it happens again, you’ll be a pro if you just follow these rules.

If you are female: Don’t approach the Ex. Obey the same principle that you would if you were meeting your ex for the very first time—let him lead. In other words, do not go up to him first. Neither of you were expecting this random meeting, and you can’t be quite sure how he’ll react. If he wants to chat with you, he will come up with you and start a friendly conversation. Allow him to ask questions. You ask the follow up questions that are of a similar nature. If he just wants to say “hi” and get out of there as quickly as possible, he’ll keep it brief and run away. Let him do just that, and you will feel better about the encounter than if you initiated things and it didn’t turn out well. Save yourself the embarrassment. 

Whether you are male or female:

Don’t let ‘em see you sweat: Clearly, you are sweating. You thought you were safe—in an ex-free zone. Life just threw you a curve ball, and the best choice is to put on your game face and play. You can act a little surprised to see your ex. That is, of course, better than giving him or her the impression that you were expecting to run into them. Just keep it casual. Say something light-hearted and fun like “Oh, wow, what a surprise. Didn’t expect to see you here.” The important thing is that you act nonchalant, like running into the ex is no big deal. Even if you want to run into the bathroom and cry, you have to act like this is no big deal. 

Make a great impression: You want him/her to walk away thinking that you look great and seem like you are doing well. . Communicate your  positive energy with your body language. Make sure you sound graceful too. When he/she asks how you are, keep in mind “I’m doing fine” will not suffice. Share specific details to give your ex the idea you are doing just fine—without them. Make sure you briefly highlight some new and exciting things in your life, but be honest. You can pad your resume, but don’t lie. Your ex knows who you are inside and out. You may want to intrigue just a little bit, but, mostly, be yourself. 

Keep Calm And Carry On: As the British post-war saying goes, don’t let anything ruffle you. You must maintain a calm demeanor and more forward. Your goal is to survive this ex encounter with as much dignity and grace as possible. It can be done, but there may be some challenges along the way. Maybe just seeing your ex makes you want to run right back into his/her arms, and you start feeling very awkward. Don’t worry, you probably don’t look as awkward as you feel. Maybe your ex is trying to win this running-into-an-ex game too and does something to upset you like, say, bringing up another girl or guy. Even worse, is that your ex may be already dating someone else. Don’t worry. Just say your hello, say your goodbye, and get on with it. No sweat. 

Need help getting over your ex? Check out for transformative coaching programs + solid advice that will help you move forward fast when you are on your own.

Don't forget to enter our writing contest for singles!

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