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How to Handle Your First Meeting With Your Ex

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 3 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Ex Meet Separation Negative Positive

It’s one of those moments in your life that can change how you feel about yourself. If it all goes well, you can feel empowered and positive. If it goes badly, you can feel like the dowdiest failure.

When you meet your ex for the first time after a recent separation, it is imperative that you take steps to take the potency out of the situation and remain in control. The very fact that it can be such an emotional situation means that you need to be the master of your own destiny as much as possible.

While this does not mean that you need to be tottering about in high heels and full make up, just ready to drop some witty put-down when you bump into your ex, you do need to be emotionally prepared to handle the situation in a way which will make you feel positive.

Take Care of Yourself

Although you may feel like slobbing around in jogging bottoms and eating ice-cream for three months, you must only do this when no-one other than your mum and your best friend can see you. If you go to the supermarket in a state and see your ex for the first time since the separation, you will feel awful. Make sure you have regular baths, keep your hair cut and at least make sure your tracksuit is clean! Sounds shallow, but it’s really a good idea.

Avoid Certain Places

If you know that your ex is at the local sports centre every Wednesday, there’s nothing wrong with avoiding it for a while. Of course, if you have a class every Wednesday there too, then you need to hold your head up and get in there, but unless you have to, just stay away for a bit.

You may think that this sounds negative or defeatist, but it’s actually more about self-preservation and keeping your dignity. If you don’t have to be there, don’t go.

Don’t Bad Mouth Your Ex

However tempting it may be, if you tell everyone that your ex was rubbish in bed or some other detail that really should be kept a secret, it will make it far more difficult if you bump into him. The same goes for making tacky status updates on Facebook or Twitter. Just don’t do it. It’s cheap and unnecessary and it certainly won’t make you feel any better in the long term.

Unavoidable Events

If you know that you’re likely to see your ex at an unavoidable event – a school event, a solicitor’s appointment or some such – then you need to prepare. The cheesy American phrase ‘regroup’ is good here – think about how you want to present yourself and work to make that how you feel. It can be very difficult to stay polite and ‘professional’, particularly if you are the ‘wronged’ party, but you will feel far better about yourself in the long run.

Your preparation may involve making sure you feel good about your appearance, arriving in plenty of time, being prepared to handle difficult questions, taking plenty of deep breaths and being prepared that other people may be watching to see your reaction. You may well be centre of attention for a while in a way you’re not comfortable with, but it will soon pass onto someone else (so try not to make others feel uncomfortable!)

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