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How to Act Around Your Ex (If You Want Them Back)

There is nothing worse than unexpectedly running into your ex with bad breath, bed head and wearing a ratty old Cheetos dusted track suit. It feels like you completely forget how to act around your ex as soon as you see their face. And to top it off, being at a loss for words when he or she strikes up conversation:

Your ex: “Hey, what’s up?”

You: “GOOD, you?”

We’ve all been there where we are unable to answer the question properly because we’re so flustered from seeing our ex that our heart beat is so intense it paralyses our tongue.

Sadly, this kind of unexpected run-in with an ex is inevitable, unless you only ever leave your house completely put together. For a lot of people that is an exhausting and unrealistic expectation to have. But don’t fret because I can help you to learn how to act around your ex, especially if you want them back.

If you want your ex back, do these five things

Here are some ways to act around your ex that will let them know your life has continued post breakup.

#1 Look Good

If you know that there is a chance you will run into your ex, spend some time making sure that your outfit looks good and—here is the key—that you feel confident in it.

Because how you feel in your clothing will affect how your ex sees you. And a lot of the time it has nothing to do with the actual clothes you’re wearing, but how you wear them.

For example, do you wear your clothes proudly? Are your shoulders back and relaxed? Or are you clenched up like someone caught in a snow storm? The more confident you feel the more confident you will appear to others as well.


After the breakup, if you’ve taken some of my advice from the Ex Factor Guide Program, you will be on track to feeling your best, so show that off. Present yourself well.  Happy and well dressed.

Looks aren’t everything, but, in this situation, they are not just to cover your body from public exposure; they are to help you to feel your most confident. Better still, they are meant to reveal your confidence. So trust me and iron your shirt! Wear your confidence!

# 2 Don’t Talk About the Breakup

I have had numerous clients make this mistake before they seek my help. When you encounter your ex with your emotions running high and you engage in a sappy conversation about the past, you do more harm than good at repairing the relationship.

You want to refrain from seeming needy or desperate when seeing your ex after the breakup. If you want them back, that’s not how to act around your ex.

For the love of all that is sacred, do not, I repeat, do not, get into an emotional discussion with your ex. The key is to be light, funny, and a little flirty, and this is especially so if you want to get back together with this person. Misery is not an attractive scent, and wearing it makes you less attractive.


All of this is a lot easier said than done and movies have a way of making this scene look effortless. They make it seem like getting your ex to miss you is instantaneous. When, in reality, it’s not like that at all.

This encounter, in real life, is usually fraught with high emotions, sweaty arm pits and an insane amount of nerves. It doesn’t have to be that traumatic though. Take a few deep breathes, and if alcohol is present during this encounter, mix in a glass of water or two. Remember, this is your life, so don’t be a victim of this circumstance; rather, let this circumstance reveal your strength and determination.

RELATED: Using The No Contact Strategy To Get Your Ex Back

When you run into your ex in a social situation or just out and about running errands, don’t see this as an opportunity for some closure. See it as an opportunity for growth.  This is a time to make them see how you have progressed without them.

You want to be on your best behaviour, especially if you want them back. The key to making them miss you, too, is to let them know, subtly, that your life has moved on from the pain of separation.

#3 Limit the Small Talk

Do not ignore your ex. By all means, say hello and engage with your ex when you run into them. By ignoring them, you seem cowardly and that is not how you want to act around your ex.

I encourage you to have a conversation that includes catching up, exchanging some flirty remarks and or some funny jokes. But the important part to remember here is to limit your time with them.

friends taking selfieSay, for example, you’re at a dinner party at a mutual friends’ house and you run into your ex there. This is a good time to practice what I just said: talk, laugh and flirt, but don’t make talking to your ex your sole priority for the evening. Even if it is, you need to seem a little more on the aloof side than the desperate side.

I strongly recommend learning when to cut off the conversation on a high note. When you do this, you trigger your ex into remembering fond memories of you and your relationship. This leaves them wanting more and starts your journey of getting back together. And make sure you speak to other people! Be genuinely interested in other people. You don’t want your ex to be your sole focus of the evening.

Be the person that your ex fell in love with. Or be the better version of that person; put any bitterness or resentment away.

#4 Don’t go Into the Friend Zone

It is one of the most common lines in breakups, “Let’s still be friends!” It’s a lie and a terrible idea. Friendship in exes usually only benefits the person initiating the breakup or the one that likes to have a backup on the bench ready to go at the drop of a hat.

You might be asking yourself why not go into your ex’s friend zone, and that’s a great question. My answer for you is that it is very hard to escape. Instead of being in a healthy relationship, usually, you are being held captive, either by your own emotions or by their desires. This leads to a loss of status in their eyes. That’s not how to act around your ex.

“You see the difference between ‘boyfriend’ and ‘boy friend’ is this little space we call the friend zone” – anonymous

Remaining friends with your ex changes the entire nature of your relationship, which isn’t a bad thing; it just puts you in a different league, one that is avoidable.

If your goal is to get back together with your ex, you need to remove yourself completely from their life and give them a chance to see what life is like without you. This no contact period also allows them to miss you, which is what you want when trying to rekindle your romance. Remaining in the friend zone doesn’t help you achieve this end goal.

#5 Don’t Get Jealous

Again, you run into your ex and you see them talking to someone of the opposite sex and it sparks the rage monster inside of you.

Try to control the jealousy that wants to come out because if you have a jealous outburst towards your ex, you will make yourself seem petty and still sorely affected by the breakup, which is not how you want to appear. Jealousy, like misery, is another scent best left in the bottle.

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Don’t say snide remarks or sarcastic jokes about hearing that they are dating. Take your elementary school advice and rise above it. Don’t feed into negative emotions or bad practices when it comes to exes. You will be better off for it, and it will help you later on if and when you try to rekindle things with your ex.

Remember that every breakup is a break through. Something caused you both to separate, and the separation is an opportunity to address that cause. If you spend it having a pity party, then you squander that opportunity to grow beyond that obstacle to your happiness.

Good luck! And remember these five steps for the next time you have an unexpected run-in with your ex.