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What do I do if I run into my ex post-break up?

Updated: May 16

ex, breakup, how to, advice, relationships, love, life
what to do if you run into your ex

Anytime we go through a breakup, it’s inevitable that at some point or another, we’ll run into our exes. Especially so if we lived in any location for a period of time.

So, what do we do when the stars align (or a cruel twist of fate, some might say!) and we bump into an ex? Well, how you choose to respond comes down to a couple things, like how things ended, where you both left it.

Sometimes, break ups are amicable, which would make for this type of encounter easy-going. But what if things ended poorly or weren’t your decision – or even worse, recently ended – prior to this ill-timed run-in? These can sort of breaks can only add fuel to this already burning emotional inferno you’re experiencing, creating more anxiety in the process.  Well, my dear, you have more control in this situation than you think.

It’s all in how YOU CHOOSE to show up and respond.

Let’s say if you’re walking down the street and you see your ex from a distance walking towards you, and you didn’t want to talk to them or feel comfortable to – especially if the breakup was not too long ago or the wound is fresh – you could cross the street to the other side to avoid walking past them and having to engage with them.

If, for whatever reason, you’re in a situation where you have to speak with them, but you don’t want to, keep it short and simple with

“hey, how are you? I’m good too”

and be sure to have an exit strategy ready to go after the ‘hey how are you’s”, like

“well, I’ve gotta go, bye”.

Anything more to it is unnecessary and could led to further questions and conversation…and you don’t owe this person anything more than a “gotta go”.

If you’re in a place where you’re fine with passing them by on the sidewalk, you can give them the subtle head-nod of acknowledgment while maintaining your pace past them. This way, it sends a subtle “we’re good” signal while also saying “but I’m not going to stop to chat to you” vibe.

Personally, I’m a fan of the subtle head nod whilst walking past because it says a lot without you having to sacrifice your authenticity and feeling as though you have to stop to talk to them…because you’re not obliged to.

If you felt like you truly wanted to catch up and possibly build a friendship with them post-break up, you could toss out a

“we should grab coffee sometime”

but only if you really want to follow through with it. Keep in mind, if you were the dumper, this may send a mixed or wrong signal to your ex that you want to get back together. If your intention is to establish a friendship or genuinely catch up and not to get back together, this would be a great start, just be sure to communication your friendship-intention.


If you don’t feel like it or want to talk with your ex, you don’t have to – you’re not obligated to speak or acknowledge them or even give them an update on your life post-break up.

Whatever your intention and approach is to respond to this,

just remember: You’re more in control of how you show up and respond than you think.

love kaley

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