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how do you respond when you run into your ex?


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

Old 1st December 2006, 8:08 PM   #1
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how do you respond when you run into your ex?

My ex and I belong to the same organization. I hoped I could maintain my involvement behind the scenes, but even that may be too painful.

The past 6 months I've had no contact and have tried to avoid her in every way. Last week, I saw her with a group in passing. I did not make eye contact with her, just said a generic "hello" to everyone in the group.

The week before, I bumped into her at a meeting.

I simply could not engage in any conversation or eye contact because I knew I would break down and did not want that to happen in front of her. I also knew that if I engaged with her in any way it would just make what is already very painful all the more acute.

Though she tried to get my attention by giving me some paperwork, I simply couldn't bring myself to have an exchange of pleasantries. I just said thank you and kept very busy.

It would be nice to nod, smile and keep going. But what if you can't even smile?

So, if you in effect ignore the ex who dumped you, who treated you unkind....is that (albeit not justified) rude? Must we be nice at all costs?
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Old 1st December 2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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I'm actually wondering the same thing. I dated someone for five years. They broke up with me one evening and I never saw or talked to them again. A few months ago I was out with my spouse and saw this person who I had actually not thought about in years. They saw me and turned and ran the other way. The strange thing is that this has opened up old wounds and thoughts that were long gone over twenty years ago. I have an amazing spouse and can't in the least figure out why this is bothering me. So in answer to your question - how do you react? I'm not really sure but I definitely know that running in the other direction is an immature cop out and definitely not impressive.
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Old 2nd December 2006, 4:11 AM   #3
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I think after time passes, you'll accept your situation and won't care to be angry at her anymore. You might still have some feelings for her but you won't allow yourself to analyze everything she does because you'll become tired of it and just want to move on with your life. At least this is how it's been for me so far.
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Old 2nd December 2006, 4:18 AM   #4
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I dont know. Usually I dump them so if we meet by chance in public they are the ones avoiding me. The few times I've had to interact with an ex I just treated her like anyone else in the room, no better & no worse.
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Old 2nd December 2006, 4:40 AM   #5
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I'm still friends with most of my exes so it's not an awkward situation, although like alpha, I've always been the one to end the relationships. Any that I'm not have drifted away because of physical distance more than anything, except the last one.
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Old 11th December 2006, 6:07 PM   #6
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I still run into my ex, almost on a weekly basis, and I'll tell you, its not easy. The divorce (after 18 years of marriage) has been final about a year and a half, and we have to communicate with each other over our two teenagers. Most of this communication can be done via email or text messaging, which I can handle with no problem. Running into him, face to face, however, is a completely different story.

I usually just look straight through him. If I ignore him he's not there, right? On the other hand, there have been times when I've been a real B*tch and actually stopped and smiled happily at him and chatted him up a bit. Generally I do this when his wench (and that's a polite term for her! *LOL*) is within earshot or can see me do it.

I know...I'm horrible! *LOL*
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Old 12th December 2006, 8:26 PM   #7
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I'm not looking forward to this. I'm the type that will really want to shy away and avoid contact -- unless I'm seen, at which point I will do my best to just be cordial.

I've thought about making it seem like I'm all happy and successful, chatty, etc. But I'm not a very good actor, so avoidance will be best until I actually feel that way. BTW I did the dumping this time, but I feel like I was forced in to it -- so I consider myself the injured party. Thus the desire to avoid....
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Old 12th December 2006, 10:12 PM   #8
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Well that is a rather delicate situation. Having an ex working with you in the same company. And running into them in the near future...

To share from my experience, I couldn't tolerate it working with an ex sometimes. I had an ex-fiancee and to make it worse the husband of hers was working there as well under the same roof. I will admit this proved to be so awkward on me for like 8 months since the break up with her.

Also to add, I knew she was cheating with another guy online and I know it was very wrong. I couldn't stand the sight of the truth of that how I knew it and I just simply said to her one day... "I am very disappointed to be a friend of you and know the truth that you hid behind your door." She looked at me in the end and soon realised I had found out the terrible truth of what she was doing. There was no apology and nothing from her, I just simply walked up to the husband on that same day and told him I resign and said to him, "no questions asked". He was shocked at first but respected my decision to leave.

Through time the husband was trying to figure out why I quit and why I left everything behind, in the end I just explained that I knew his wife was cheating with another guy online. That didn't bold well, I had to cut all my ties in the end despite she was trying to contact me despite her husband told me not to contact her anymore.

As for running into your ex in town or anywhere.

Well the best thing is that play it by ear. See how things unfold and see how it goes. One of my ex-gf's that I ran into not so long ago did try to get my attention. I acted very civil and neutral, I noticed her and just nodded.

She said hello to me, talked with me a little (we broke up since 8 years ago... it took a while to heal things before we could speak to each other again). Afte having that conversation she was happy to see me again, we exchanged our phone numbers and tried to be friends again but you never know or what to expect from an ex-gf anyways.

Usually when I deal with ex-gf's, depending on the break up and how harsh it was. I just nod at them if they say anything or give me an impression ie. nodding or winking. Then I'll keep on walking, never stop unless they have something to say. If they want to talk to me and be friends again, well... through time it can only tell what you and the ex like to have in the end.

I can be quite a ignorant guy sometimes and just quickly end the conversation where I would say... "Oops I have to go, I'm kinda in a rush. However it was nice seeing you again." Then leave quickly.
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Old 12th December 2006, 11:01 PM   #9
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Awesome examples of what to do Whitenight. I like the wink & nod approach, followed by the "oops gotta run" approach if trapped. Very classy and accomplishes the desire to exit quickly but gracefully.
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Old 13th December 2006, 10:59 AM   #10
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Awesome examples of what to do Whitenight. I like the wink & nod approach, followed by the "oops gotta run" approach if trapped. Very classy and accomplishes the desire to exit quickly but gracefully.
Yea sometimes it depends how you are feeling at the same time. It depends on your mood swings. It can be many factors to this.

However the "Oops I gotta run..." line is a good one because you have other obligations to do and also it doesn't mean you have to hang around your ex-gf too long. Also at the same time when you include, "However it was nice seeing you again." This again is something to reassure that you enjoyed the chat and wouldn't mind seeing or hearing from her again, to make your ex feel comfortable.

Basically if you want a friendship to be revived, play neutral but always be open minded to any possibilities.
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Old 14th December 2006, 9:04 PM   #11
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Another bit of good advice about running into your ex: If you are in a situation where you find yourself face to face with your ex and need to protect yourself, be polite but don't disclose anything personal and refrain from asking questions that will allow them to divulge personal information.
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Old 16th December 2006, 4:27 AM   #12
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Another example or situation for this is the dealing of running into them online over the net. Well I'd like to share my experience with you ladies and gents about it.

A perfect example would be how do deal with an ex-gf and/or ex-fiancee.

As I administer a website and forum, we have a shoutbox there (aside from the normal posting on the forum itself). The best hints and tips for you are to keep things quite neutral.

First of all, sometimes your ex partner might speak to you directly on the shoutbox with a greeting. You have a few options here, either ignore or just respond neutrally. If you find yourself in this position, this would be helpful to you.

Now to put things aside here, let's throw in a few other things. Like you know your ex is still cheating with other people, you heard numerous of rumours etc. The best thing to deal with in this situation is to act very neutral, unbiased and don't show your emotions. If you choose to cut all ties with your ex, either don't talk to your ex again or inform them in private that you have chosen to end the friendship with them.

However if you want the friendship to be fixed... Then this is what you must do.

If you do or don't know what your ex partner is doing in real life, let her initiate the conversation with you at first (this gives you an idea that 1) she wants to say hello and greet you and 2) Probably wants to know and see how things are).

This is only a two way street, if she wants to 'be friendly' with you and fix the friendship with you. Then you have to see about what she wants and her intensions are.

First step, play it cool. Pretend like you don't care (but not actually care about the person, just treat it as a normal conversation), and respond accordingly with *nods* or "I see."

Second step if she asks "How are you going" or "How are you", to respond to that, be honest with it.

Then for the next step, find a topic that you two seem to like. Try to talk it normally, don't show any emotions as much. Try to keep it straight to the point however make it interesting so you two are 'enjoying' the conversation, at least its the start of a healing process and leave it like that.

Also one thing, if you are busy with other things to do. Be honest and tell your ex that you enjoyed the conversation and would talk to that person later (even if you don't wish to stay in contact but act like an online friend so to speak).

That's what I think would be good to sort things out slowly.
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Old 16th December 2006, 4:42 AM   #13
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if i ran into my ex i would throw her over my shoulders and bring her home and treat her like a goddess.
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Old 16th December 2006, 4:47 AM   #14
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HONESTLY, i don't think we would have a problem. seeing and talking with her would be great. she might be in the same head space as me and i would pick up on that. i would do what i always have done before i went insane, treat her with respect and pick up on the clues she is sending me. i have no anger, i trust her, i respect her - is that stupid? remember i'm the one that wanted to try again so why would i be someone that would ruin that. i would just be the man i am now.
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Old 17th December 2006, 7:00 PM   #15
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HONESTLY, i don't think we would have a problem. seeing and talking with her would be great. she might be in the same head space as me and i would pick up on that. i would do what i always have done before i went insane, treat her with respect and pick up on the clues she is sending me. i have no anger, i trust her, i respect her - is that stupid? remember i'm the one that wanted to try again so why would i be someone that would ruin that. i would just be the man i am now.
Respecting you ex, that's alright I guess. Trusting your ex... that has certain levels of trust depending on what the break up was like and how she used you, hurt you and at the same time perhaps what lies she has within her. Trust is not given, its earned.

I don't find it stupid not to trust an ex partner, you can only trust in yourself alone. You can trust some people, including your ex partner on certain things but not all things. If you were the one who ruined the relationship, just act like yourself and be honest, respectful and sometimes funny with your ex partner.

With the ex-gfs that I have, I probably can only trust 2 at the moment which would not hurt my feelings again and torture my heart.

One of the other ex-gfs that I have in the past, my ex-fiancee, I am still angry at her for a lot of things. In fact I am pieved that she used me as a 'fling' (a friend of mine told me one day, guess how my reaction was). In the end, the ex-fiancee did not know why I was pieved at her and in the end, the more I care, the more I got hurt so I cared no less eventually. She's been blocked permanently on all of the chat programs except the forums that I administer and maintain, she visits and tries to initiate a conversation that way... at least I have more control there.

In all situations when you run into your ex partner - I would stand back and observe my ex-gfs and see what their intensions really are. If they appear to be flirtarious, just be careful. I would stand back a little and just smile or nod politely.

Also if you or the ex partner would send an invitation to catch up somewhere, go for it and stay neutral. Just remember its like a social get together where you hope to achieve good things between each other. Remember that the first step of healing, you always make a few good laughs and jokes. Never talk about the past unless the ex partner does first, be modest or opinionative and be honest how you felt about it but reassure the ex partner you want good things to work out between the both of you in the long run ahead.

Furthermore, its the sign of rebuilding a friendship that you once had which was destroyed all of a sudden. If you want things to work out and bring back into future purposes, this is always a best way to reconcile and sort things out to something that both of you can be content with.

If you have a second or third or fourth (or another) chance to get back into the relationship. Well just take things slowly one at a time.
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