I Ran Into My Ex! What Do I Do Now?

I dated a guy for a month while I was living in Seoul, South Korea.
Before we made things “official” we’d been on a couple of dates. Between those dates, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I asked him to let us get to know each other first.
Two weeks in and he asked me to be his girlfriend?
Was that normal in South Korean dating culture?
I didn’t know, but I didn’t want to rush it.
Persuasion from my friend eventually won over my better judgment, so by the fourth time this guy asked me to be his girlfriend, I relented and said,
“Okay.”
So we dated for a month and then he ghosted on me… on my birthday.
A one-month whirlwind romance cut short by this guy’s cowardice of knowing he didn’t want to be in a relationship with me and not knowing how to tell me.
I was hurt, heartbroken, but it as only one month. I got over it.
There were other fish in the sea, other men to date in the city of Seoul. Plus, he didn’t even live in the city, and Seoul was pretty big anyway, so what did it matter to me if I saw him again? I probably wouldn’t ever.
Boy, was I wrong!
About six months after ‘Casper the Korean Ghost’ disappeared on me without a trace…well, you must know what happened.
My friend and I were winding down on our “Treat Yo-Self” shopping spree and we decided to grab a quick snack at a donut shop near her apartment.
We found a free table amongst the sea of Korean families and couples. Just as my friend was about to go to the counter to order, I saw Casper sitting at the table across from me.
Please hold for dramatic effect because
— pause for dramatic effect —
He wasn’t alone!
 
Yes, he wasn’t alone!
This fool was on a date.
And he noticed me.
You know how I know?
He was leaning this way and that way on his chair, which okay, yeah, could’ve been a nervous habit because he was on a date. But he kept looking in my direction as if he was nervous. And he kept hiding his face when I would turn his way.
 
I tried to act calm, cool and collected, but inside, I was a wreck.
My friend kept asking me multiple times if I was okay and if I’d like her to mess him up (putting it delicately because she did not say ‘mess.’) I was too shocked to think of doing anything, actually. There was no reason to go out of my way to ruin his date and cause a scene.
“But, Janell, what did you do after?”
You’re probably asking yourself that right now, huh?
Well, to be completely honest, I didn’t do anything. I’d blocked him from using the texting app I used in Korea. The last impression I left on him was of me walking toward him with Charlize Theron’s “murder” walk, thinking I was about to mess him up…
 
…only to fake him out and watch him cower behind his hand as I left the donut shop.
 
It’s rough having to run into an ex and not knowing what to do. Especially all you know how to do is try to remain calm when every part of your body is screaming in panic.
 
I understand that. But I have faith that each of you reading this article are strong, confident women who can stay calm, cool, collected. Running into an ex can be a very confusing experience, so one thing you should remember is
DO NOT OVERTHINK IT.
I’ll reiterate this with every section in this article to gently remind you of this. Overthinking is our enemy, especially after breakups. It’s hard to not want to dissect every aspect of a meeting with an ex with a group of friends over some coffee or wine (depending on the time of day, am I right?) But ladies, we have to stop doing this. It’s detrimental to our process of becoming a stronger version of ourselves.

 
And isn’t that what you want? To be a strong woman after a run-in with the ex? Yes? Then yes! We can do that, girl! Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll look back at the run-in incident and will be able to pull an “action star walking away from an explosion” and do not look back.
 

Preparing For A Run-In Ahead of Time

 “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

Have a Plan

Preparation is key to success in any situation. That is why it is important that you consider where you are in your Ex Recovery journey. This can be done by using if/then statements.

If I run into my ex and I have not started No Contact, then I will keep things short, sweet and to-the-point.

If I run into my ex and I am still in the process of No Contact, then I will be polite and remove myself from that situation so I can finish No Contact.

If I run into my ex and I have completed No Contact, then I will follow the guidelines laid out in EBR to get my ex back. I will do this even if it goes against what I want to do.

Short, Sweet, and To The Point

Why is it important to keep things concise?

Well, if you say too much, then you are more likely to ruin your chances. However, if you keep things cordial and remove yourself from the situation then you will avoid spoiling your relationship with your ex further.

Keeping things short keeps you from saying too much.

Consider Running Into Him “Accidentally on Purpose”

Orchestrating a run-in on your own terms after No Contact allows you to control the narrative.

If you were surprised by a run-in you had not orchestrated, then you might not be prepared, knowing what you should say and when to stop speaking.

Not to mention you will avoid looking like a hot mess when you first run into him again.

As Chris always says, you should end all of your conversations on a high note, leaving something to be desired in a future conversation.

Say No to The Booze

Drinking and doing drugs lowers the inhibitions. It might make you less anxious. However, it will also make you forget everything we’ve laid out for you in EBR. You will forget when to walk away and what topics to avoid. You will not walk away on a high note and leave him wanting more.

So, to be clear, avoiding anything that alters your perception is a good plan.

Have Backup

Filling in a friend or two is always a good idea. That ay you can keep things friendly and concise, but they can stand behind you to help maintain that “I got this” attitude.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

This one is a big one if the two of you ended on not-so-great terms.

Remind yourself that if you want him back, you can’t just spout off whatever comes to your mind when it pops up. Think through how that might affect your success down the road and adjust to keep things pleasant and civil.

Work Backwards from the Worst-Case Scenario

If you are having trouble coming up with a plan, you can always use my favorite ay of planning.

Imagine the absolute worst-case scenario and come up with a solution for that.

How will you handle it if things go horribly horribly wrong?

You see, once you have a solution for your absolute worst-case scenario, then you can relax. Anything that isn’t a worst-case scenario is something that you can handle because you have already prepared for the worst already.

What Not To Do When You Run Into Your Ex

Don’t Let Him Lead the Conversation

There are two situations that you don’t carry control of the conversation.

  1. You carry on about nothing in particular.
  2. You expect your ex to carry the conversation.

Both of these result in you not taking the lead in the conversation. You can do this by

  • being interested in what he has to say, rather than staying focused on what you are going to say. (This is where that plan comes in handy.)
  • make him feel comfortable.
  • stick to topics that aren’t confrontational.

Keep the Conversation Short

If you keep the conversation short, then you are less likely to screw up. Short positive interactions are the goal here.

You can make this work by simply asking how things are with him, hinting that things are going well in your life, and then excusing yourself politely for whatever reason.

Don’t Run Away or Hide

If and when you run into your ex you will be tempted to turn on your heels and hightail it out of there. That will not make you come off as The Ungettable Girl. It will, however, look like you are falling apart and like you can’t handle the situation.

So, when you do, take every ounce of bravery and confidence that you have and channel it towards not running away. Okay?

Do Not Spill Your Emotions

The one thing you will definitely be tempted to do is spill your guts. You will want to talk about the past and the problems from the relationship.

Fight that urge.

Why?

Well, the idea is to stay positive, remember?

Bringing up the problems of the past would be negative. Trying to talk about your emotions would be overwhelming to your ex, assuming he is like most guys when it comes to being emotional.

Save that conversation for when the to of you have built rapport again and are leaning towards getting back together. Even then, I would tread lightly.

Free On Demand Coaching
Yes, please

What To Do After You Run Into Your Ex

So, you saw your ex. After that, your emotions are bound to be overwhelming and unpredictable. You can’t expect you rein them in easily.

Find a Distraction

Take a step back, away from the world, where you can be alone with your thoughts. Come to terms with the fact that you aren’t in control of how your ex responds to things, but you can control how you respond to things.

So, take your emotions and decide what is more important, assuaging those or getting your ex back. Because, if you don’t get them in check, then you run the risk of missing out on the chance of rebuilding a meaningful relationship that lasts.

The Take-Away

Look.

Essentially, you need to do three things:

  • Come up with a plan before you run into your ex.
  • Know how to handle it when you do.
  • And know what you need to do after you run into your ex.

Now that we have gone over those things, let’s talk about your situation.

  1. Tell me about your breakup.
  2. Have you already run into your ex or are you just dreading the moment you do?
  3. What do you think your next step is?

Our experts will start a conversation with you to help you decide what your next best step is.

		

Written by EBR Teamate

Janell