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28. Bumping into an ex

(ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-best friend, ex-boss, etc.)

..when you’re with your new partner, while you’re with your parents, when you’re out buying feminine hygiene items, when you aren’t dressed your best, when she’s with someone new, when you can’t avoid each other and are forced to speak, catching up and finding out that he’s actually happy. . . the list goes on and on.

Different people take different roles when it comes to this situation.

The Hider:

  • Approach: Go as far away from the sighting as possible.
  • Interaction: N/A
  • Reasoning: “I just don’t want her to see me.”
The Brag:
  • Approach: Finds a mirror, fixes makeup, and pretends bumping into each other was a coincidence.
  • Interaction: Brags, very subtly, about how awesome her life is. Pretends to be interested in the other’s life.
  • Reasoning: “He has to know what he’s missing out on, even though I’d never take him back.”
The Just Sad:

  •  Approach: Goes directly toward her and attempts to find out how she’s doing.
  • Interaction: Comes off as overly-interested. Apologizes every other word, and asks for permission to call her again.
  • Reasoning: “She’ll come back to me someday.”
The “Friend”:
  • Approach: Spots him and goes to say “hi” immediately
  • Interaction: Friendly. They both seem happy to be talking to one another, and say “we should hang out sometime!” (but never actually do it).
  • Reasoning: “He was an important part of my life, we’re still good friends.”
I’ve known people that fit those roles, and have probably taken on one myself.
Question 1: Have you ever met people that fit those roles?
I’m very interested in finding out what you think about that last one, and I’m sure many other people also want to know what’s on your mind regarding this:
Question 2: Is it O.K. for exes to remain friends?
I’ll post my opinion in the comments.
  1. Q1: Yes. And I’m a hider (lol).

    Q2: Though there are exceptions, and I believe that people should be able to do whatever they want, I don’t think that exes can truly remain friends anyway. Someone prove me wrong, please.

    I mean, I’ve never liked current girlfriends being friends with her exes because I just end up feeling uncomfortable if they’re ever out hanging out.

    Besides, her ex would make me feel like the third wheel in my own relationship . That’s just not cool. 🙂

    May 13, 2011
  2. interesting…

    Q1. yes indeed…i am a “friend”…

    i have three exes…one fits exactly into the “friend” category you describe; we see each other extremely rarely, the last time was over a year ago…

    Q2. yes indeed…

    ex number two is one of my most favourite people in the world…we get along extremely well and socialise a lot…our break up was a long time ago and it was hard (young love etc haha) and we didn’t really see each other for about a year or two…but for the past five years we have had a fantastic friendship built on an almost complete understanding of each others’ psyche and acceptance of each others’ flaws…we keep secrets and share nonsense…we care about each other deeply, but the love has gone past a physical level and onto a long-term gentle affection…

    and ex number three..? well, he also happens to be the father of my child…an extremely mentally destructive relationship, in both directions…we’re both happier and healthier parents now…and i see him twice a week, once when he picks our son up and once a day later when he drops him off…sometimes we take him bowling together…

    and funnily enough, @edwincov, ex no.3 did not like ex no. 2…i rarely saw ex no.2 while i was still with ex no.3 and always got in trouble for it, despite ex no. 2 having his own relationship…jealousy, whilst natural, is not cool…

    so yeah…you can be friends with an ex…as long as you’re both mentally grown-up enough to accept that time passes and love changes…and as long as your relationship wasn’t destroyed beyond recognition by something dastardly one or the other did…

    sorry for the long ramble…

    May 13, 2011
    • That might be the solution! Going past that “physical level” you mentioned, truepictsie. I just think that exes are like walking memories to me, you know? I eventually reach a point where I can just politely greet, and carry a conversation but not much else.

      It’s really good to know that you were able to move on from such a destructive relationship with ex no. 3. And I find it amazing how people can be friends like you and ex no. 1, maybe it was possible after all of that time passed between you two because I cannot see myself doing that. Personally, I see exes creating many problems with my future relationships and would rather save the trouble, as well as saving them any possible drama in their lives. I guess it is possible..

      Thank you very much for reading and sharing, I appreciate your comment 🙂


      May 13, 2011
  3. exes are walking memories, you’re right…and i think there does need to be a bit of head space after a break up…

    and life is definitely better without the drama haha! maybe…you need to make sure the people you’re getting into relationships with aren’t going to be the sort of people who’d a) cause problems in the future as an ex…or b) cause problems with someone you have already shared your life/time/love with…

    someone who loves you will accept your past…everyone has ‘baggage’ by the time they hit their twenties…

    good luck with your lovelife! i’ll let you know if mine ever sorts itself out haha…

    happy saturday…

    May 14, 2011
  4. Okay, I bumped into an ex-boss (kind of- he was a boss at my prior work place, but not my direct boss- didn’t report to him)

    Anway, when our school decided we had to have “furlough” days at the end of last school year, we took the kids to the beach. It just so happened, a prior company of mine was there for a team building event! What are the odds…the beach of all places! What were they doing there, I don’t know! Half of them wore work clothes. that was awkward for them.

    Quick history:
    I had left their company for a better position. Unfortunately, after 2 years at the new company, they had lay offs (like the rest of the US) and I found myself without a job and on unemployment. By the time we hit the beach, I was near the end of my EDD checks and needed to begin looking for employment.

    My approach- bygones be bygones:
    I’m the kind of person that thinks it’s funny and odd that paths cross. I took it as an opportunity to go seek out some past co-worker friends and say hi. Mark was nice and so I said “hi.” and I love this:

    they act like they can’t remember you. I was the office manager only a few years ago for 4 years…

    Then when I asked “Oh, are you hiring at all?” All of a sudden, they CAN remember why you left and say

    “Oh, so you left us for another job and then got laid off huh? We don’t have anything in our group” in a tone that is making fun and condesending.

    It’s like wow. There was no room for growth with that company and a great opportunity presented itself…I had a great record there with raises every year…and they are bitter that I left. His response made me recall WHY I had left their company and would never work for them again…

    Although Mark tried to make me uncomfortable, I didn’t feel awkward…just relieved that I was no longer there being forced to sit on a beach and pretend it’s a great team environment. Not one of those managers was happy.

    Lake Forest, CA

    May 14, 2011
  5. Q1: Hmm depends on my mood. Either a “hider” or a “friend”. A reallly awkward “friend, mind you, but still (not intentionally put because of your blog name ;P). I think “braggers” are just silly… they bother me actually..

    Q2: I think its great to try and keep ex’s as friends, after all, they were previous best friends. Though, yes, hanging out with them a bunch while dating someone else is not a good plan… it would just make your new partener uncomfortable.

    May 14, 2011
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    June 14, 2012

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