Phone: 301-738-7770
Steven J. Gaba, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Phone: 301-738-7770

How do you handle running into your ex?

Even if you don't have children, if you and your ex stay in the same area after you divorce, chances are that you may run into each other from time to time. You may maintain some shared friendships and even family connections. You may both shop at your favorite grocery store or go to the same gym. The bottom line is that you may run into each other.

So what is the best way to handle these meetings, unexpected or not? Relationship experts have some advice for how to best handle these encounters in a healthy way.

-- Acknowledge the awkwardness of the situation. Make light of the situation and then move on to whatever you were doing.

-- Keep the conversation brief. It's fine to ask about how your spouse and/or family members are doing. Then (as noted before), move on.

-- Avoid physical contact. A kiss or hug may be too intimate and a handshake may just seem weird.

-- If you know that you're going to be running into an ex, such as at a party, wedding or other event, preparation is key. Practice what you'll say and do.

If you get into a conversation with your ex about what's going on in your life, it can be tricky. You want him or her to know that you're doing well, but you don't want to gloat. As one author notes, "Being humble about how you're doing makes a bigger statement than bragging." Whatever you do, don't dredge up the past. Stay focused on what you and he/she are doing now.

Finally, no matter how curious you are about what's going on in your ex's life, as another author points out, "[D]on't dig too deeply for details." Your ex will share whatever he or she feels comfortable sharing.

If you have issues dealing with your ex, a divorce support group may be very helpful. You'll find that many other people have faced similar situations. Your family law attorney can likely recommend some resources in your area.

Source: Huffington Post, "Comment Email 8 Tips For Handling A Run-In With Your Ex Like A Total Boss," Brittany Wong, Oct. 09, 2015

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