Wale said it best: “Breaking up is hard, moving on is even harder.” And the toughest part of all is seeing your ex for the first time after your breakup. Unless it was on mutual terms where you both walked away from the relationship happy like in romantic comedies, the awkward encounter is inescapable. So here are a few tips to help you get through this pivotal stage in the breakup aftermath.
- Don’t ignore them. The last thing you should do is ignore them, especially if you’ve already made eye contact or acknowledged each other’s presence in any way. This only makes you seem petty or afraid, even bitter – definitely not a good look if you were the one given your walking papers. You want to come off confident and put together, even if this is far from true.
- Don’t ask how they’re doing. This can be tricky since asking how someone is doing is in the template for small talk. Asking them how they are doing could open a can of worms, especially when you were the one who got dumped. You really don’t want to know how they’re doing. It’s nothing worse than them saying they’re completely fine – or worse, they’re happy – while you’ve had Mary J Blige’s My Life on repeat every night since the break up.
- Don’t Try to Make Them Jealous. Making them jealous never works because, somehow, you will unknowingly exaggerate something and make it obvious that you’re stretching the truth. So, instead of telling them about the cute guy that just hit on you who really just asked what time it was, or the “date” you’re going on later that night that’s actually just pizza at your best friend’s house, let their mind wonder. Better to appear aloof than desperate.
- Don’t Reminisce About the Good Times. This is a sure fire way to not only make it awkward, but to get your feelings hurt. The relationship didn’t work out despite the good times you shared. So bringing up that date you two went on that was so perfect it seemed to be straight out of a romance novel will not make the breakup somehow become a reconciliation. Leave the past where it is.
- Don’t Mention the Failed Relationship. The number one question you do not ask in this interaction is anything in reference to the ending of your relationship. This is a sure fire way to bypass awkward and go straight to uncomfortable. The why’s won’t get answered, but instead will be replaced by drudged up memories of the past. Maybe in your spare time – possibly at night during your My Life concert – you can evaluate the how’s and the why’s on your part. But, bringing it up in that encounter won’t help you move on.
These encounters are only as painful as you make them. You can do a simple “Hi” and “Bye,” or talk around the big elephant that is your failed relationship. However you choose to approach it doesn’t matter, as long as you walk away with your dignity and assurance that your next conversation won’t be as awkward as the last.
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(via Elite DC Mag)