ADVICE: 5 Ways to Avoid Awkward Ex Encounters

Let’s face it, this town is small — but your tolerance doesn’t have to be.

We’ve all been there.

You’re out at one of these fabulous events in the Gayborhood and you spot your ex. “It was bound to happen … but not so soon,” you tell yourself. How do you make this situation as normal as possible without being the center of gossip in the room?

Here are smart ways that could help avoid the awkward encounters of spotting your ex in the Gayborhood.

1) Don’t be petty. Seriously.
It’s so easy to give salty facial expressions or “accidental” bumps on the dance floor, but that doesn’t make the situation any less embarrassing for you. Keep it cute and put the extra drama on mute. Seeing your ex out doesn’t give you the license to act out, and other potential partners you might meet out will judge how you carry yourself in that scenario. Remain the positive and independent spirit you know you should be.

2) Keep your friends out of it.
Everyone has that troupe of close friends who will do anything for you. But when it comes to public encounters with an ex, friends should be left out of the equation. Things can get very messy when others are involved in the middle of what should be a very mature and respectful split. Don’t have your friends speak on your behalf or stir the pot with insults and instigations. More damage can occur when more parties are involved.

3) A simple greeting can help eliminate rumors.
This is tricky. Depending on the severity of the breakup (I’m hoping it wasn’t an extremely toxic, violent breakup), it doesn’t hurt to say “hi” and keep it moving. Trying to go out of your way to pretend they aren’t in the room can signal that you are still sulking over the breakup and others around will take note. It doesn’t mean anything to simply greet and continue on with your affairs. The staring and looking-the-other-way game is so junior high.

4) Remain composed and focus on your own affairs.
Just because your ex walked in doesn’t mean the conversation should automatically change and derail your focus from other topics. Stay calm and continue on with your business. You knew this moment would happen, and there’s nothing you can do at this point to change that. So just carry on. Not doing so will give off the impression that you’re still obsessed and bothered by the breakup. Yeah, we don’t want folks still thinking that.

5) Be aware of the mutual acquaintances involved.
This might be the most subtle yet important piece of advice out of the five. Every invitation isn’t just simply a desire for your presence – but could be a trap. Depending on your readiness to encounter your ex after the breakup, be sure to observe very carefully “the who and where” of the invite. Club promoters and event planners in the Gayborhood are a small circle, with the usual guests who frequently participate guaranteed to bring a plus-one. If your ex is a close friend with any of these networks, expect him to be there and recognize that your invitation to said event might be a test. Am I hitting close to home right now? I hope so.