8 Mildly Weird Things You Will Definitely Do When You Run Into Your Ex

As the old saying goes: Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s nothing compared to the crushing anxiety of seeing the person you said sayonara to. If you’re some lucky creature with a past flame living in Antarctica on a 15-year research stint, or all your failed relationships resulted in your former lovers joining monasteries and abandoning all social media, this won’t apply. And also, the rest of society hates you just a little bit. But for those of us dreading the day we awkwardly bump into someone we used to bump uglies with, here’s what you can expect.
Girls
Girls

1. The Elongated Heyyyyy

I’m not sure what exactly it is about being uncomfortable that causes people to stretch out syllables. Maybe we’re just attempting to give our brains extra time to process the absolute shit show unfolding before our very eyes. “How are youuuuuu?” (Quick, quick. What can I say when he asks me? Does he know I’m still living at home? Should I say I’m seeing someone? I am technically seeing my therapist so…)

2. Exaggerated Versions of The Truth

Or as us everyday folk like to say: lying. I’m sorry, but even if you are a modern day Honest Abe (or Honest Babe, please trend that), there’s no way a little fibbing won’t be involved when running into an ex. It could be as far-fetched as claiming the Librarian of Congress has appointed you the youngest Poet Laureate ever and you also just wrapped filming the “Sexy Farmer Chris Season” of The Bachelor. (Reality: you wrote a poem about being dumped and auditioned for the Bachelor. You never got a call back.) But it could also be as devastatingly simple as saying, “I’ve been good.”

3. Questions You Already Know The Answers To

If you’re still connected on Facebook or other various platforms, chances are you know just about everything you need to know already. Sure, go ahead and ask where he’s working. It’s not like you see his Instagram pictures in a chic little cubicle captioned, “On that work grind #google” almost daily.

4. Weirdest Hug Award

I go back and forth on if I believe friendship between people who used to be in love is possible, but what I do know is physical contact with someone who has seen you naked is, and always will be, absolutely weird. It’s what I imagine the first hug between humans looked like. Where should my arm go? Are we allowing our chests to touch? When should we let go? Do I rub his back? Oh no, my hand is running on autopilot and I’m rubbing his back. I didn’t okay this!!!

5. Stealth Ninja Mode

I live by the motto: “Ignore everything for as long as possible in hopes it will go away.” This is my go-to when spotting anyone I’d prefer to not interact with, and in the case of an ex, I will bury my head in my cell phone because I HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT TEXT THAT REQUIRES MY FULL ATTENTION AND I WILL KEEP WALKING WITH MY HEAD POINTED DOWN TOWARD THIS IMPORTANT TEXT. I DO NOT SEE ANYTHING OR ANYONE EXCEPT FOR THIS TEXT.

6. Be Cool, FroYo Girl

If this unwanted meeting happens in say, a frozen yogurt shop you happen to frequent most nights, avoid the cashier at all costs (too punny for my own good). She knows you by name, and that will absolutely give away just how often you drown your sorrows by going HAM on a cup of chocolate/vanilla swirl overflowing with gummy bears. (Keep that judgement to yoself. Neva 2 old for gummy bears. #gummybears4eva)

7. Fake It ’Til You Make It

Channel your inner actor/actress and slip into whatever character you need to be. We’ve all got a secret well of Beyoncé power, so tap into that and hold your head high. And if you need to lose it once they walk away, honey, you go for it. Remember, you’re not crying. It’s just been raining on your face. YOUR BEAUTIFUL, BETTER WITHOUT HIM/HER FACE. Sassy hand up emoji.

8. Just Breathe

Oxygen is nature’s Valium. And believe it or not, this too shall pass. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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