How To Behave If You Must Meet The Ex
It’s not natural, preferable or fun but at some point, for some (ungodly) reason, you may need to meet your partner’s ex. If your partner and his ex had a lot of close common friends, you may wind up at the birthday party or wedding of one of them, and come face-to-face with another woman who your partner once slept with, and possibly even loved. There should be some law that says keeping exes out of the same space trumps other obligations, like attending weddings. But, since no such law exists, you just might have to meet your boo’s ex one day. Then you’ll be stuck with the dilemma of how to behave. You want to be civil, but you don’t want to get too close. You low-key want her to feel like the better woman won, but you don’t want to come off as cocky. Here is how to behave if you absolutely have to meet your partner’s ex.
Look good but not too good
While you may want to put on the dress that shows off your Pilates body, get a blowout and sit at the makeup counter at the department store before this for a makeover, don’t. Aiming to be the hottest-looking woman at the event screams of insecurity. Plus, you have to remember that this is still the bride or birthday girl’s (or insert person here, depending on the event) big day, and not yours.
Don’t tease your man with her
You and this woman are both intimately familiar with your partner’s flaws and quirks. It is something you could bond over, but don’t go overboard. Imagine how painful it is for your partner to have not one but two people discussing his largest insecurities and personality weak points.
Don’t say “This is awkward…”
You can skip that part—it just makes it more awkward than it is. This is awkward, but pointing that out makes everyone feel pressure to make it not awkward. This is one of those adult moments when everyone must swallow their words and pretend everything is fine.
Remember you did win
No matter what, don’t forget that you are, in fact, the woman your partner chose to be with. Even if you feel insecure and cannot think of the reasons your partner chose you, he knows what those reasons are. He isn’t going to forget those because he sees his ex. He has a grasp on why that relationship didn’t work out and why this one is working out.
Resist intimidation tactics
Don’t try to big-dog the ex by telling the loudest, funniest stories, or listing off all of your accomplishments in front of her. It’s distasteful. And don’t forget that some people there don’t even know what your relationship is to this woman—they’ll just wonder why you’re so egotistical.
This isn’t your partner’s fault
You might be feeling resentful of your partner for putting you in this situation. If it really isn’t his fault, don’t start acting passive aggressive and cold towards him. He isn’t a bad person for simply having an ex. He didn’t create this event that caused the two of you to meet.
Resist the urge to compare
Don’t compare yourself to her. Just don’t do it. You’ll probably bark up the wrong tree, anyways. What I mean by that is that the things you notice about yourself versus her are probably totally different than what your partner notices.
Don’t deny your jealousy
It’s natural to feel jealous when you’re around someone who has slept with your partner and been incredibly intimate with him. Just sit with that feeling and accept it. Trying to deny it will just cause you to act up by doing things like drinking a lot, dancing on the bar, and doing whatever you can to get attention.
Don’t become best friends
You may want so much to deny the negative feelings you have towards this woman that you overcompensate by becoming her best friend. Just pause for a second and ask yourself how you would feel if your partner became best friends with your ex. Not very good, right?
Prepare for snide remarks
The ex may not play nice. She may make some snide remarks that suggest you are somehow dumb for falling for this guy, or that you don’t know what’s coming. She may be bitter. She may be jealous. Remember, again, that you’re the one who has him. You don’t need to reply to these comments. The mere fact that you are his partner now is a response.
Remember, your partner is uncomfortable too
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and remember that he is uncomfortable too. In fact, he may be more uncomfortable than you are. You, after all, get the opportunity to judge his choice in past partners—that’s a very vulnerable feeling for him. And he’s probably afraid of what old stories his ex might share with you. Be kind to him right now: he needs it.
Know that they may share inside jokes
Your partner and his ex may still share some inside jokes or relive a few old stories. It’s okay: let them do it. Everybody needs a little laughing and a little levity right now.
Don’t hover around your partner
Don’t hover around your partner like a hawk. You’ll be bummed if the night ends and you realize you didn’t get to have any fun because you were standing guard by your boyfriend the entire night. Plus, everyone will think you are incredibly clingy.
His friends may like her: don’t freak out
Your partner’s friends may have liked the ex, and may still have a good rapport with her. Try not to get mad at them and feel like they are choosing sides. They’re just trying to enjoy themselves—this is awkward for them too.
Remember how many brownie points you just earned
If you’re really struggling, just sit back and think about all of the brownie points you are earning today. Your partner will be thanking you for putting up with this for months to come. If you can escape this day without incident, your partner will think you are a saint.