Your Ex Will Be There — How to Handle It.


Seeing an ex is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be awkward, dramatic, and devastating, either. With wedding season approaching and so many Summer events on the horizon, you may find out that you’ll be running into your ex, so now’s the perfect time to plan ahead. Rather than reading through old journals and browsing old photos to fuel a breakdown, take a step back and follow these steps for a healthy, positive interaction.

If You’re Single

  • Find out details. You’ll feel better about the situation if you have a clear idea of what you’re walking into, so reach out to someone who knows more about the event. How many people will be there? What’s the timeline? Where will you be? If you’re anxious about being in the gray area with your ex, then finding out some black-and-white details will help to ease the worry.
  • Talk to a friend you trust. The last thing you want to do is draw attention to the issue, because that will only make things worse. Rather than reaching out to several people, confide in one close friend who will be there and understands your relationship. Let her know how you feel about it, and ask her to be your buddy for the night to help you navigate any sticky situations.
  • Know your boundaries. Every past relationship is different, but take a step back and set some limitations for yourself. Whether it’s avoiding the open bar at a wedding or steering clear of certain topics when you talk to him, create a few hard-and-fast rules to be sure you walk away feeling good about your interactions.

If You’re Attached

  • Consider telling your other half. Depending on the nature of your past and present relationships, you may want to give your current beau a heads-up on your ex’s presence. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic, drawn-out conversation, but he may appreciate a simple sidenote so that he’s not caught off-guard.
  • Recognize your tendencies. Be honest with yourself, and if you have a habit of feeling nostalgic whenever you see your ex, make a point to avoid any obvious triggers. Steer clear of one-on-one time, and don’t set yourself up for an awkward night by purposely wearing that dress he loved. Drawing attention to your past connection will only make it harder.
  • Shift your focus. The easiest way to get through the event is to prioritize other, more positive parts of the night. Stay close to your significant other, buddy up to your most hilarious girlfriend, and make a point to enjoy yourself in the same way you would if your ex wasn’t across the room.