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14 Things to Keep in Mind When You Bump into Your Ex

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Running into an ex is not the best feeling in the world. But here are 14 tips to make sure you still feel super-awesome after that awkward moment! By Francesca Marie

bump into your ex

Bumping into an ex is always an overwhelming moment, and definitely emotional too.

You could still be in love with them, or even hate their guts.

But no matter how you feel about them, running into an ex will always leave you with awkward moments, nostalgia, and hopes of second chances or hopes of strangling their throat.

The worst part about bumping into an ex unexpectedly *unless you have no feelings for them whatsoever* is the anxiety it brings with it.

Your heart starts pounding so hard you have a hard time hearing yourself.

And all of a sudden, you feel sweaty and uncomfortable, and nothing you say ever feels like the right thing to say!

[Read: 10 big signs your past relationship is subconsciously stopping you from enjoying your present relationship]

Bumping into an ex

Call it fate, coincidence, or just plain luck, but if you have an ex, chances are, you are bound to run into them someday.

It may be a few days after your break up, or at times, even several years after breaking up.

As awkward as bumping into an ex can seem, it is still a test of your character. It can help you judge your own life. Are you better off since the break up? Do you need to get a life?

And most importantly, have you moved on to greener pastures? [Read: The best way to move on and deal with a break up]

The most important thing to remember – Don’t lose control!

It’s strange, but even the most composed of us tend to lose all control of the situation when we bump into an ex. And almost always, it happens because we haven’t prepared ourselves for it.

Right now, visualize yourself bumping into an ex. How would you behave? Every ex is different, but the conversation you’d have with any of them doesn’t have to be different. As long as you remember to stay calm and avoid losing your cool, all you need are the tips mentioned below to walk away from the conversation feeling great about yourself! [Confession: How my ex's rumors ruined my life forever!]

Don’t hide – Say hello first!

This is something that can help you get the advantage in the awkward moment. You don’t need to be rude or pretend like both of you don’t even exist. And there’s a good chance your ex may have seen you too.

The real awkward moment when exes run into each other is figuring out whether to talk to each other, and secondly, who needs to make the first move to walk towards each other.

To avoid this series of awkward moments, be the first to wave hello. By waving a hello first, you’re making sure you make the first move. And that would make it seem like you’re not feeling awkward about the situation. And since you waved your hand already, there’s no more pressure on you to do anything beyond that.

All you need to do is smile, look in your ex’s direction for a second or two, and wait to see what they do to reciprocate your hello. Do they just wave back and look away? Or does your ex smile brightly and walk towards you?

By saying hello first, you’re putting all the awkwardness and pressure on your ex while appearing like you’re in control of the situation at the same time!

What’s the worst that could happen by saying hello first? Well, your ex could look towards you, stare sharply, snort and look away. Well, that’s way better than walking up towards them and being snubbed, don’t you think? [Read: 16 sure signs your ex wants you back in their life]

Read the signs when you bump into your ex

One of the reasons why running into exes is so awkward is because it’s so unpredictable. Both of you don’t know how the other person will behave or react, and that makes both of you overly cautious. Here are three signs that can help you determine how you need to converse with you ex.

#1 Do you still feel the attraction? Does your ex look really happy to see you? Do they genuinely compliment you about something, especially your physical traits? Does your ex ask about your life? Your ex is probably interested in knowing more about you, and may even be happy to bump into you. [Read: 20 signs of attraction to watch out for in a conversation]

#2 Does your ex want to walk away? Does your ex seem preoccupied or are they looking around awkwardly? If they take a quick glance at their watch or speak in a faster and more businesslike tone, your ex is probably looking for an excuse to walk away. Don’t stretch the conversation, end it quickly and walk away.

#3 Do both of you linger? Sometimes, both of you may feel really awkward around each other, and there may be very few things to talk about with each other. As stomach churning as the moment may seem, watch out for eye contact or lingering touches.

Sometimes, your ex may want to stay and talk to you, but the awkwardness may overwhelm them. If they have nothing to say, and yet, don’t seem like they want to walk away, there’s a good chance that your ex still loves you. [Read: Easy signs to see if your ex is still thinking about you]

14 things to remember when you bump into your ex

If you want to walk away from a conversation with your ex and still feel like a rockstar, there are just 14 key things you need to keep in mind. Use these tips and play it cool, and everything’s going to be just perfect!

#1 Keep it simple and brief. Don’t stretch the conversation with your ex. Be warm and friendly, but keep the conversation short to avoid awkward moments or new complications in love. [Read: How to be friends with an ex without falling back in love]

#2 Prepare your mind. Visualize yourself having a short and courteous conversation with an ex of yours. It’ll help you stay prepared for that chance meeting.

#3 Reading between the lines. Don’t try to read between the lines while talking to your ex. Exes can be sarcastic and rude, or at times, they may speak in riddles or hint that they’re still missing you and want you. Trying to decipher your ex’s mind will only confuse you or trick you into assuming something that may not be the truth.

#4 Don’t be bitter. Life is too short to hold on to grudges with an ex, unless they tore your heart and shoved it through a paper shredder.

#5 Appear confident. Every person wants to have a better life than their ex! You want your ex to assume you’re having a great life after the break up, don’t you? You want your ex to believe that you’ve come to terms with the break up and are now happier than ever. So appear confident and lift your chest high while talking to your ex. Pretend like you’re having the time of your life even if it’s been several weeks since you even had a date. [Read: 13 physical attraction tips to look really sexy when you bump into an ex]

#6 Don’t pick a fight. You’d feel like an idiot later! And losing your cool will only make you seem like a psychotic bitter ex.

#7 How are you? Don’t think when your ex asks you how you are. Just say you’re awesome and that things have been going very well for you! Smile a lot and think happy thoughts.

#8 Apologize. Apologies can take exes back into loveland, or cause even more pain. It’s all water under the bridge, so don’t apologize unless you really feel the need to. Apologize about the break up only if you sincerely believe you need to say you’re sorry about something you’ve done or the way you behaved, but don’t try to explain yourself or you’ll just open a can of worms.

#9 Don’t linger. When you bump into your ex, avoid lingering. It just makes things awkward and you may even lose your composure. But if you really don’t feel like saying goodbye, your ex too seems to be stuck in time, and the conversation seems really warm and friendly, stay back and chat.

#10 Getting back with an ex. If you walk into your ex, and feel love rekindling in your heart and your loins, don’t take the plunge immediately. Don’t ever try to rekindle romance immediately, because that may push your ex further away from you. Just talk, and tell your ex that you’d like to stay in touch. [Read: Things to know before you get back with your ex just to have sex]

#11 Staying in touch. If you do want to stay in touch with your ex, let your ex know that you’d like to see them again sometime. If your ex seems interested in the idea, ask for a way to contact them and drop a line a day or two later, or give them your number so they can call you. Don’t push the idea though, just mention it in passing before walking away.

#12 Don’t go into details about your life. You’re not trying to catch up or reacquaint yourselves. You’re just dealing with an awkward situation with an ex!

#13 Don’t look for closure. You won’t get it. It’s all done and dusted. And some things are best left unsaid.

#14 Don’t look back. After you say bye, walk away unless you’re trying to rekindle the lost romance. If you glance back and find your ex looking at you, you’d feel a pang of lost love and a flicker of renewed romance. And if your ex isn’t standing still and staring at you when you look back towards them, you’d feel hurt because you’re the only one who looked back and they’ve moved on.

Some of us can stay friends with an ex because the breakup was mutual. And some of us are forced to stay friends because we have too many common friends or we work at the same place. But if the breakup was bad, it’s always better to avoid staying friends.

When you bump into an ex after an awkward breakup, deal with the situation quickly and confidently. And walk away! [Read: 16 circumstances when you should and shouldn't stay friends with an ex]

Running into your ex – With their new partner

If you walk into your ex and they’re in their new lover’s arms, be graceful and friendly, just like you’re meeting an old acquaintance. Don’t reveal your nervousness, and most importantly, avoid getting overfriendly or talking about the good old days.

A minute or two into the conversation, use an excuse like “Well, you guys seem busy, let me not get in your way…” “It was really nice seeing you. But hey, I’m late and need to be somewhere” and walk away. [Read: How to stop feeling jealous of your ex lover]

Running into your ex – With your new partner

You’re dating a hottie and your ex is single and lonely. Yeah, that feels great but don’t gloat about it. Say hello and introduce your new partner after exchanging a couple of niceties. *Make sure you introduce your new partner to your ex or your new squeeze would be pissed off with you or assume something’s still going on!*

Smile, be warm and friendly, and walk away within few minutes.

Your feelings and running into an ex

Your feelings play a big part in your interaction with an ex. But no matter how you feel, play it safe and hold your cards close to your chest. Revealing just how much you love them or hate them immediately after bumping into your ex will not help you in any way. [Read: What you need to do if you're secretly still in love with your ex]

If you still love you ex, but your ex isn’t interested in getting back into a relationship with you, avoid pursuing your ex or begging them to take you back. It’ll only make them despise you more.

Start with a hello, and stretch the conversation for a few minutes or more. Keep your distance, speak on friendly terms, and avoid talking about the relationship. You have more chances of getting your ex interested in knowing you again by behaving like a friend than an ex!

On the other hand, if you bump into an ex you have no feelings for, be warm and friendly. And if they do talk about getting back or exchanging phone numbers again, refuse them politely and tell them that you’ve moved on and don’t want to complicate things further.

Do you want to get back together again?

Sometimes, meeting an ex can be a romantic coincidence, especially if you still love them or have happy feelings for them. And if you’re trying to get back with an ex, you need to remember to go about it very, very slowly. [Read: The right way to date an ex again by taking things slow]

Exes and staying friends

Friends can become lovers but the opposite is seldom true. So if you do bump into your ex, handle the situation tactfully. Be courteous, smile, and walk away. Don’t try to be friends, or try to get back into each other’s lives. There’s no need for any of that unless you’re looking for more heartbreaks or complications.

Both of you broke up for a reason. Of course, the feelings may be rekindled when you bump into each other out of the blue. But that doesn’t mean that love is still lingering in the air. Sometimes, even nostalgia can feel just like love, especially when your ex runs into you at a crossroad.

[Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works for exes!]

Bumping into an ex is a delicate and awkward business. But it’s still something you need to be prepared for. Keep these 14 things in mind, and the next time you run into an ex, you’ll surely know the right things to say and do!


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  • melinda
    April 24, 2013 | Permalink |

    Great article!!!

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