Advice On What To Do When You Run Into Your Ex -- And You're On A Date With Someone New
Dear April Masini,
I can't believe it! I broke up with my girlfriend about two months ago and we haven't spoken or seen each other since. This past weekend I was in sitting at a table in this really popular restaurant and I saw her at the bar...The problem is I was on a date! Fortunately, I got lucky and she didn't see me. But what do I do if I run into her again and next time I'm not so lucky? Signed, Ex Etiquette Question"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Ex Etiquette Question,
Be civil. When you bump into your ex, say hello or, if you are able, shake hands or hug or kiss on the cheek cordially – the same way you would greet a business associate. If your ex chooses to cause a scene or make threats, don't engage with them. Listen. Be quiet. Don't respond. And if it gets too crazy, leave
Ending a relationship can be difficult -- even when the relationship is painful. Some exes may want to stay engaged in fighting because at least it’s some form of contact with an ex – as opposed to none. They may want to stay engaged in a friendly or even a dating and/or a sexual relationship so they don’t have to move and can imagine that their ex is still there for them – or they may want their ex not to move on and by maintaining a friendship, romance, or sexual relationship, they can manipulate their ex into believing that there is still “something there” and “a chance” of getting back together.
Let go and do not engage with your ex. Anyone who tries to maintain a friendly relationship with their ex is doing it for themselves – not for their ex. Get it? They may get pay off from their friends and family for “trying” to keep the friendship or helping out the helpless. If that pay off is important, then that ex needs some therapy to build up their self esteem so they are okay without that payoff. While any good will between any two people is a good thing, a break up or divorce means the relationship is over and there is no reason to maintain a relationship of any kind any more. In fact, it is often more helpful to cut off completely in order to move on.
The bottom line is: If a breakup does not involve children there is NO REASON to maintain contact with your ex. Period. That's the good and the bad news. The good part of that news is that you don't have to deal with them again. The bad news is that you have to say goodbye and acknowledge that it's really over. Forget about anyone who tells you that they’re friends with their ex. That’s their breakup or divorce – not yours. There are no standards or laws governing a good divorce or a bad divorce, so you don’t get extra points for having a friendly relationship with your ex. Lots of people will tell you how great it is that so and so is friendly with their ex. Who cares? The most important part of a divorce is the opportunity it provides both parties to move on with their lives.
Seize the opportunity and move on.