Olivia Rodrigo once posed the age-old query: Seeing [them] tonight is a bad idea, right?
But, what if seeing them is unavoidable? I mean, you dated after all, so there’s a pretty high chance your friend groups became at least somewhat intertwined. Which also means there’s a pretty high chance you’ll eventually both be invited to the same function. Which means there’s a pretty high chance you’ll see each other if you both attend said function.
When this happens, don’t panic and *definitely* don’t bail! Running into an ex at a party doesn’t always have to be the tragic, horrific, terrible, nauseating, sickening thing most of us are expecting. In fact, it might even be, well, mostly okay!
DO mentally prepare yourself. For anything. We hate to admit it, but your ex could’ve totally glowed up since the break up. Or worse (jump scare warning): They could be pulling up with their new boo thang. Agh, nauseating. Our suggestion: Take the high road and compliment their date on something to show them you’ve moved on and are comfortable with their new life. And don’t be afraid to make it clear you’re thriving, too—there’s no shame in subtly flexing that new job or name dropping your new bae.
DO remember why you broke up in the first place. Feelings don’t just go away overnight. And through rose-colored glasses (or, more likely, beer goggles) your ex is probably looking pretty good. But don’t fall for it. It’s times like these that you need to stay strong and call upon the strength of icons like Ms. Miley Cyrus, who astutely notes, “I can love me better than you can.” Yes, Miley. Yes👏you 👏can👏.
DO take a moment to collect yourself if things start to feel intense. Breakups are hard—you’re allowed to be sad about them. You’re even allowed to wallow—it’s just probably best for everyone’s sake to avoid doing so in public. The last thing you want is to have a full-blown meltdown. Like, remember that KUWTK episode when Kim lost her diamond earring in the ocean? Yeah, don’t do that. Instead, step outside for a minute, take a breather and collect your emotions before you get back to the party.
DO stay positive. If you need to, find a bathroom, lock the door and say some affirmations in the mirror (i.e. ✨I don’t chase, I attract✨). Smile big. Power pose. Literally whatever you need to do to keep ~keep calm and carry on~. You know what they say: Fake it till you make it. And also: Fake it till you’re back in the comfort of your own home where you can have a mental breakdown in peace.
DO keep things brief. Though the two of you may have dated for months or even years, now is not the time to fill your ex in on every detail of your life. If you’re feeling up to it — and you’re on good terms — then say a quick hello. Heck, have a little small talk, even! But keep the convo short and sweet.
DON’T pretend like you didn’t see them. Unless your breakup was the result of #Scandoval level drama, then completely ignoring your ex will just seem childish and immature. You don’t have to be BFFs, but you should at the very least acknowledge one other’s presence—a friendly wave, a cordial nod. Literally anything.
DON’T drown your sorrows in tequila (or any other liquor, for that matter). Sure, drinking your woes away may sound like a good idea at first, but if you overindulge in the alcohol department, you’ll likely be spending the rest of your night on the bathroom floor. Not cute. Anti-slay. Major flop. Instead, stay for a drink (read: ONE drink) and then make an early exit with your dignity and liver still intact.
DON’T hook up with them. We repeat, do not hook up with your ex. Much like the tequila, it might seem like a good idea at the time, but rest assured, come the next morning you’ll wake up with nothing but regret (and probably a hangover). Old habits die hard, but if you’re ever going to move on you need to move forward, not back (into bed). Remember: Nothing good happens after 2 AM.