A Guide to…Running Into Your Ex


There is a universal rule that when you don’t want to run into someone, they magically appear. And for a lot of people, it’s late at night when you’re in sweatpants, walking around in Target for some ice cream, when your ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend magically and spontaneously appear. And for some people, it’s when they’re crossing the street nonchalantly.

I will state beforehand that I don’t have any problems with my ex-boyfriend, I genuinely wish him the best and think that he is a nice person. I will admit that he didn’t treat me the best, and that he handled some things poorly. But I do respect him, and at one point he was the most important person in my life–he is a nice fellow.

So, I was on the way to class, standing nonchalantly waiting to cross the street, when I suddenly hear, a “Boo!”

I turned, and there he was, standing there, grin and all. Boo is damn right, because a ghost from my previous life appeared in front of me.

I will admit that if I was the one who had seen him, I would not have said anything and just continued living my life. But he had approached me, and I of course, had to handle the situation that was presented to me.

I’m not going to lie, I stood there for a little second, shocked that he had even approached me. And a little confused that he had decided to, “Boo!” me.

Like I previously said, I have no disrespect or problems with my ex-boyfriend, but for some of you, that might not be the case. Regardless, these tips are applicable. I am a firm believer that you should always be kind, gracious, and polite.

Even if you’re shocked or confused as hell.



I know this can be hard. It’s easy to just say “Hi,” super duper fast and run sprinting for the hills, or to pretend that you don’t hear them, or to ignore their entire existence. But they are a person, and they should receive common courtesy.

Smile (I know, this can be difficult), greet them politely, and even throw in a “How are you doing?” if you really feel nice that day. There is no harm in saying hello, do you really think your ex-boyfriend is going to go to their friends and say, “Oh my god, can you believe they said ‘hello’ to me? AND THAT THEY WERE NICE? How unnerving!” No. Besides, if they say something snarky about you being polite, it reflects negatively on them, not you.




Okay, you running into your ex is not a sign from the universe that the two of you are getting back together. You’re not magically going to fall in love with each other in the freezer aisle of Mariano’s. This is a mere coincidence.

I know Hollywood tries to sell fate and destiny, but this person is not your destiny. They gave up on you, and your relationship. And for whatever reason, they chose to no longer be part of your life–because they are no longer your boyfriend. Your destiny is not some loser who gave up on you, a person who WANTED to no longer be part of your life. Do not be fooled by that “space” bullshit–they chose to no longer have you around, and they knew what they were risking. They were risking the loss of an incredible, amazing, genuine person. And your destiny is not to end up with someone who is foolish enough to risk losing you.

It’s easy to fall back into pattern when it comes to former significant others, and it’s easy to misread things, or to look for signs. But you didn’t go through all that you did, pulling yourself out of the pit that they threw you in, just to come crawling back.

This is not fate, this is not destiny, this is mere coincidence. So do not expect them to beg for you back, to ask for your number, or to spend hours sitting in the freezer aisle of Jewel’s falling back in love with each other. You just happened to cross paths, and that is it.

You deserve better anyways.

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Do not bring up the time the two of you stayed up talking all night, or god forbid, the time that you guys fought all night over something trivial. This person is no longer a part of your future, they are a part of your past. You will not move forward if you keep dwelling in the past, and you’re stuck in something that needs to be let go.

Bringing up the past just makes things awkward for the two of you–and I know you’re going to argue that you could make a cute, funny joke that they’re think is funny too. This is an EX boyfriend, not a POTENTIAL boyfriend. Bringing up the past will just bring up awkward, confusing feelings. And you are not meant to deal with awkward, confusing feelings with someone who is no longer part of your life.

Awkward, confusing feelings are meant to be dealt with, with your best friends and loved ones, preferably over a pint of Chunky Monkey.




Remember when I said I ran into my ex? In our conversation, he basically listed all of the accomplishments and things he had in his life (the girl, too), and then said goodbye and left. He didn’t give me a chance to talk about me–not that I really cared or wanted to fill him in with what I have going on in my life. But it just seemed so childish and kind of immature that it seemed like a competition.

Especially when it really isn’t one.

Your ex’s success and accomplishments do not take away from your own. You should never wish bad upon anyone, even if they smashed your heart to pieces. You should be in a position where you’re rocking your own thing, where if they or someone else brag about their accomplishments, you’re like, “Okay, cool,” and you don’t really care because you have so much going on for you!

Don’t make this a competition, don’t be that petty person that tries to make it sound like they’re “winning a breakup.” Like Robin said on How I Met Your Mother, there is no winning a break up. There is only surviving a break up.




Just be kind, polite, a little indifferent, and nice. There is no need to be petty or immature, even if your ex is acting so. You don’t want to be remembered as the “crazy ex” that couldn’t let things go and move forward. And honestly, the only person you’re hurting by holding on to these negative thoughts is yourself. Because you’re choosing to be petty, and you’re choosing to be negative.

Plus, like I said before,

Do you really think your ex-boyfriend is going to go to their friends and say, “Oh my god, can you believe they said ‘hello’ to me? AND THAT THEY WERE NICE? How unnerving!” No. Besides, if they say something snarky about you being polite, it reflects negatively on them, not you.

They will, though, totally tell their friends if you act bat-shit crazy. So, hold in the pettiness, and just be nice.



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