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The Case of the Ever Present Ex

Ok, so you just broke up with your significant other. Times are tough. But to add insult to injury, you have to see them ALL the time. Maybe they go to your school, are in your group of friends, work at the same place you do, or are part of some other group you belong to. Whatever your situation may be, here’s what to do if your sayonara was not by any means the end of your time together.

Scenario 1: If you broke up with them.
If you were the one to call off the relationship, it’s up to you to give your ex some space. Be polite so that it’s not awkward, but don’t make a huge effort to strike up conversation. Chances are, your ex is trying to figure out how to move on, and the more you talk to them, the harder it may be. Give them space, and when they’re ready, they might make an effort with you (then again, they might not—and that’s ok. Remember—you broke up with them).

Scenario 2: If they broke up with you.
If you just got dumped by someone you have to see all the time, your best bet is to act like its no big deal. Although most likely the last thing you want to do is be friendly, acting cordial is the best way to show that you’re moving on with your life (even if you’re not…but don’t worry, we wont tell anyone). The better you can pull off treating them like an acquaintance, the less awkward you’ll feel being around them. If you act bitter and mean, it just looks like you’re not over it. And quite frankly, your ex doesn’t deserve that kind of recognition.

Scenario 3: If you’re over it.
If it’s one of those break ups that felt mutual, or in hindsight was the best decision, then you can move forward with being friends. If you’re over the pain of the break up, use this forced time with your ex to make an effort at building a friendship. When a relationship ends it can be devastating, but if you can eventually become friends, then it doesn’t feel like all is lost. If, however, you’re becoming friends with your ex in the hopes that he or she will decide they want you back, slap yourself three times and run in the opposite direction. Same goes for if you were the dumper. Well, you don’t have to slap yourself, but stay away from your ex until they’re ready to come to you.

Scenario 4: If you’re still hung up on it.
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. You may have to be around your ex a lot, but don’t spend any more time interacting with them than you absolutely have to. If you’re still really hung up on your ex, you owe it to yourself to get as much space as you can so you can start to move on. Because let me tell you, it’s going to be a lot harder to move on if they’re still a big part of your life. While you may not have a choice about being in the same room as your ex, you shouldn’t be subjecting yourself to long interactions. Even though it may feel good at the time, it’s just keeping you invested in a dead-end relationship.

Sure, it’s not ideal to have to spend time with your ex. But you know what, it does make you deal with the break up right away…as opposed pushing the feelings aside and having them pop up later. The sooner you deal with baggage from a past relationship, the sooner you’re able to move on to something better. And hey, if nothing else, at least you don’t have to dread the moment you run into them again…

Author: Amber M.
Teenagers sitting on a tree limb

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