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The One Thing You Must Do After You Bump Into Your Ex

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My Ex was everywhere.

I saw her face in the crowd, on advertisement posters…even on the TV. But it was never her.

My mind was just playing tricks on me – I was being haunted by my imagination and fear.

The very thought that I might have to face her again, that I might accidentally bump into her, terrified and paralyzed me whenever I left the house.

What would I do when it happened? What would I say to her? What would SHE say?

In the end, everything went completely different than I had imagined.

How To Prepare Yourself For An Accidental Bump-In

One of the golden rules of 60 days of No-Contact, is to avoid places where you could bump into your Ex. Places they used to go to, mutual social circles, etc.

The reason for this is to not jeopardize the progress you’ve made so far.

But you cannot isolate yourself forever… and you shouldn’t.

You must understand that you have no control over your Ex or the circumstances of an accidental meeting. You can minimize the risk, but that’s about all you can do.

What you CAN do, is prepare yourself for potential run-ins, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to staying home.

I want you to try a simple technique that doesn’t take much time, but will help you deal with the fear.

Find a quit place, sit down, relax and close your eyes. Now imagine a situation, (like you would see it on a movie screen behind your eyes), where you run into your Ex – let’s say at a coffee shop.

How would that scene go off in the most positive way for you?

In other words, what would be your best performance that you could live with?

A good example would certainly be the following:

You run into them, you are a little surprised, you firmly look them into the eye and smile. You say “hi” and your gaze lingers a moment. You are calm and your smile confident, the situation is under your control.

Then you turn your head and go, giving them no chance for a conversation.

That way, you appear confident and polite without undermining the No-Contact Rule, (you’ll still have to start from day 1, even if it wasn’t your fault).

This is, in my experience, by far the best way to act on accidental bump-ins with your Ex.  (I’ll tell you in a minute how to NOT do it, how I did it back then).

You find YOUR perfect way of handling this, and you play it over and over again in your head, until you know it by heart.

You do this for a few days, for about 10 minutes, and each time the fear of bumping into them gets a hold of you, (or before you go to “dangerous” places).

This will give you confidence and some peace of mind.

How I Bumped Into My Ex – What NOT To Do

Approximately six months after the break-up, (about two months of No-Contact), I was walking through the town carrying some groceries when suddenly she appeared right in front of me. Just like that. She lived in another town and the chances of running into her were very slim.

But nonetheless… there she was right in front of me, no chance of turning around, no chance to bail.

She hadn’t seen me yet, and since there was no possibility that she wouldn’t, I walked right towards her.

She looked surprised when she saw me, almost shocked. Then she smiled her smile that always made me helpless before and said “hi”.

Ages passed where we only looked at each other, my smile was broken, helpless.

Then I watched myself suddenly doing something very stupid, and I hated myself for it a long time after that. But I was helpless.

I went towards her and hugged her. And if that weren’t enough, I whispered into her ear, “I missed you so much”.

It was an outcry for help, an extended arm to be pulled out from a world of pain.

She said nothing.

Everything after that was just a blur, and I don’t remember much. Eventually we said “bye” and we walked away from each other. I never turned around.

Today still, I have difficulties describing what happened inside of me. It was an emotional turmoil, my stomach knotted.

Somehow I got home and just fell into the bed.

Then something happened that pretty much saved me.

The ONE Thing That Saved Me After Bumping Into My Ex

There I was lying on my bed, thinking about jumping from a bridge, if I only had the strength to get up and go to that bridge, when suddenly the doorbell rang. And it rang persistently, for minutes, (felt like hours).

I somehow got up – I just wanted this ringing to stop – and opened the door.

In front of me stood my younger brother with a big smile on his face.

He started babbling like a waterfall about this “thing” we had to go to immediately, life and death depended on it, he demanded that I come with him right now.

He pulled me out of the door right into his car.

Before I even knew what happened, I found myself in a bowling center.

I am not a big fan of bowling, and he knew that, so I really couldn’t understand what was happening.

Little by little, all our friends came by, and after that we spent HOURS bowling, competing with each other, talking, laughing and drinking.

And you know what happened? I didn’t think ONCE about my Ex or the unpleasant encounter.

Not ONCE.

I just didn’t have the time for it.

And the next day it all felt like a far away dream.

What had happened?

The Worst Thing You Could Do After

I was forced to NOT think of the event. I was forced to NOT obsess over what happened… what I had said, what she said  – or didn’t say – what it all meant… in hundreds of different variations.

I was saved from overthinking.

And compulsive overthinking is the demon that destroys your recovery. [tweet this]

I was saved from destroying all the progress I had made in my healing until then by coercive distraction.

And that was all it took.

What To Do Should You Run Into Your Ex?

Should it happen to you, should your ever accidentally bump into your Ex, I recommend that you try your best to “play your role” according to the mind-movie you’ve created in your head before.

Do your BEST to be confident and strong.

Here are a few guidelines:

1. Do NOT engage into a conversation.

A conversation is the last thing you want. It would mess with you and open up a wound. Maybe you would fall into old relationship patterns, maybe even have a fight.

Don’t risk it.

2. Take CONTROL over the situation

YOU are in control. YOU dictate what is happening. You DON’T react, you lead.

3. If a meeting is inevitable, don’t run away

Bailing out, and letting them see it, will only make you look bad, not necessarily in their eyes, but worse – in your own. You HAVE to be able to respect yourself after this.

Walk up to them, say hi, smile, and walk away.

4. Resist the urge to tell them how you feel

They know that you are going through hell, and they WILL ask you anyways. Tell them you are doing good, anything else will just lead into something you will regret later.

Trust me, there is no positive outcome for you by telling them how you suffer, how you still love and miss them etc.

Remember, self-respect is what you have to preserve. [tweet this]

So resist the urge.

5. Immediately after, you want to look for distraction

The goal is to avoid the harmful, compulsive overthinking. The best thing you can do is some competitive sport involving friends, family, etc. (I’ve heard many other variations, but this one proved to be most beneficial).

Conclusion

Those of you who must have “reduced” contact with your Ex during the 60 days, (kids together, working partners, etc), must deal with them on almost daily basis.

All others can prepare yourselves by re-playing the best possible outcome in your head, and by following the guidelines I’ve posted once the dreaded scenario plays out.

There are basically two ways this can harm your recovery – If you allow 1. negative conversations with them and 2. overthinking what happened over and over again.

If you manage to avoid these two things, then this event could actually bring you forward.

I was glad and lucky that it turned out positively for me after I ran into her. I later found out that my brother saw me with my Ex that day and immediately developed a “rescue-plan” that ultimately saved me.

What I wish for you is that this potential “scary event” loses its power over you a little, and that – should it ever come to this – you will be able to hold on to your self-respect.

And… that there’s someone out there who does for you what my brother did for me back then.

Because sometimes we just need a kick in the right direction.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

54 Responses to The One Thing You Must Do After You Bump Into Your Ex

  1. Monica October 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Thanks Eddie, that’s exactly what I needed. My situation is a bit different, had 5 months of total NC, after 5 months of not so good NC while I occasionally checked on him on facebook but still didn’t talk to him. Well done me! I don’t think of my ex anymore, don’t want to talk to him or have him back I am ok, in a new relationship only that I found out I will see him in 3 weeks time( we will be in the same place for 5 weeks). Since I was told that, I keep playing possible scenarios in my head. I came up with 3 options but couldn’t decide which one is best as all have good and bad points. Hide from him would make me the victim, he will eventually see me and it will look bad, looking for him to talk straight away might seem desperate too but accidentally meeting and just saying hi and leave sounds much better. You helped me make my decision. Now I have 3 weeks of virtual meeting rehersals and I will be great at it. This too shall pass and I will be proud of how it went. The last step and test of my recovery..

  2. Arun Kumar October 8, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Eddie,

    Thanks for the Article. A must need for me at this time.

    I got to know from office colleague that my ex is working a few yards away from my office and I have to pass through the way her office is situated everyday. I know she would have seen me sometimes. After knowing about my ex working near me, every girl I saw of her height and complexion I feel that’s my ex. I get panic stricken.

    Thanks Eddie once again now I know what to do if I accidently bump into her.

  3. Mpho October 8, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Thanks for this one Eddie, I always played the scenario in my head of what I will do should I be unfortunate to meet my ex, my scenario in my head works out pretty well but what freaks me even more out is if I should bump into her with her new man…that is something I do not think I will be able to handle well. I have maintained my NC the pain is slowly passing through and I am worried that it will all rush back once I bump into her or her and her man.

    I keep avoiding all the places I know she might be and I really do not want to live like that forever, my therapist told me that maybe it might not be a bad idea to see her again (in public) just to test myself and see how I can handle the situation, I do not think I can do that, any advice?

  4. Bruce Wayne October 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    This site has been the best source of guidance and advice during my fight for self confidence and recovery. Yet another brilliant article. On day 22 of NC, and getting there, it’s been rough, and I have no doubt it will continue to do so for sometime, but I really feel more in control after suffering a second breakup with my ex fiance… Eddie, you’re a legend my friend \m/

  5. liza October 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    thank you Eddie. Your stuff is so dead on compared to all the nonsense out there. I ran into my ex 11 months into my recovery. we met in our local bank and at first he did not see me so I had some time to breathe. I get a complete physical reaction to the trauma. Heart racing and my whole body shakes. He noticed me and grunted his not very nice hello, and I said hi, I guess looking like a deer in headlights. It seemed like hours while we were both attending to our personal banking, and then he finished first. He had to walk past me to exit. As he was approaching I turned and looked at him with a smile, hoping he would want to meet me outside and talk to me (this kind of thinking is what I will avoid in the future), as he quickly walked past looking annoyed. Let me also admit that I was completely conscious of the fact that it was the exact time he got off work and it was very possible that I would run into him in the bank.I did not try to avoid this and in fact made myself look extra pretty. Timing is something else I will now consider in the future.When I left the bank I calleda friend from my church. I was hysterical crying and ranting about “why does he keep ignoring me. She reminded me that this is the same behavior that has continued since day one. My friend eventually empathized with how horrible situation was for me. We ended our conversation with a prayer and asked God to handle the situation, specifically to do a mighty work in my husband’s heart. Not for reconciliation but for kindness toward me. Leaving it to God completely takes me out of the picture. Blessings to all

    • Rob Kiviranta June 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Liza thank you for giving it to God. I have done the same for my wife who is ending our marriage of 17 years. Most devastating thing to happen in my life and God has given great grace. Eddie’s NC advice is hard but it’s working!

  6. Nick October 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    This is a nice post.

    I saw my ex 1 year after our really bad break-up.

    We never took the time to talk heart to heart after I met another girl and we got into these huges fights.

    So we’ve talked, and we saw how much each other missed the other one, or maybe that’s what I wanted to see because I left her but I miss her so much. And after I explained myself for every bad thing I did, she opened her arms and wanted me to hug her. So I hugged her and I said in her ear that I was so sorry.

    We talked a little bit after that. And we left on our sides. She wrote a text message to say she hoped I would be happy. It’s been 2 months. I wrote back 3-4 times but she doesn’t answer anymore.

    I lost her for another girl that wasn’t worth it and now I’m losing this other girl.

    So be careful my friends, if you love someone very much and they love you, take good care of them. It might be long before you feel the same way for someone else.

    Nick

    • Ricstar December 21, 2013 at 5:52 am #

      This is true. It could be many years before you meet someone again you can let go and be yourself in front of and with

  7. Sally October 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    What is your advice for those of us who have to work with ex’s or are in the same social circle? I have stayed away and have missed out on lots of group events so that I maintain NC. But its been 4 months now and I would like to go to some events in the future. Help please

    • suzan t. October 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

      Hi sally,
      Work wise and as what Eddie advised in NC and if a communication is a must with your ex, then keep it to the minimum.

      Social wise, I suggest to enroll into new groups or activities away from the old ones so as to help you healing faster…I went to different gym and charity and had changed my job (breakup was at the same time when I lost my job) and now somehow have new connections and new groups.

  8. Charger October 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    It’s been a little over two weeks since my break-up and it’s been a rough ride the last couple of days, including bumping into him this morning. My ex and I live in the same building so NC is definitely difficult. I did play this scenario in my head over and over and it went well over all. I said “Good Morning”, he responded in kind. I asked how he was doing, we chatted for second and then I said “Have a good day” and walked away.

    After reading this article however, I realize I probably should have just said hello and left it at that…but there is a part of me that really just wanted that bond between us if even for a minute. I unfortunately am at work now and finding a powerful enough distraction is not working, so as expected I am mulling this encounter over and over in my head.

    I guess I have to reset NC back to 1 now….

    It’s been a tough week and I could really use some positive energy right now.

  9. Susan October 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I attended a get together last week that my ex attended also. I totally ignored him, which was easy due to all of the lies he told me. His sister arrived and waved and then came over and spoke to me (we were co-workers) at which time he got up and left. Interesting because he blamed her for our break up saying that she supposedly told him that I didn’t really love him. Actually he was dating her neighbor while seeing me too! I’m sure he thought that I would ignore her too.

  10. hopeless October 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Thank you Eddie but what about those of us who have to see or ex becase we share custody, how do we deal? It’s very hard

  11. Farnam October 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I saw my ex 3 weeks after breakup, he was coming out of the university building. When I saw him coming out, I stopped at the door, waited for him to pass, and did not make any eye-contact with him, while I was standing 2 or 3 meters away from the door and he saw me. I TOTALLY ignored him while showing him my confidence. Although I did good when I saw him, I had another panic attack. In order to calm my self I attended a class that I love, while I was in the class, I was totally into the teacher’s speech and the attack went away by itself.
    What make me strong during the act of ignoring him, was thinking about the fact that “he is the source of my sadness, anxiety and pain, so I should ignore the source of injury If I wanna heal.”

    • Su October 9, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      Farnam – I agree that my ex too is the source of sadness, anxiety and pain and I should ignore the source of injury if I want to heal. I am going to paste it over the wall for me to be reminded of it everytime I miss him.

      • Farnam October 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

        I am so happy it helped as it helped me.

  12. Barb October 9, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    This post couldn’t have come at a better or worse time for me…depending upon how you look at.

    I was unceremoniously dumped on my birthday last November by a man I had been in a relationship with for over 6 years. The trigger to the dumping was me asking “So…where is this going…anywhere?” That’s all it took for him to push the escape hatch. Just so you know, we’re in our 50’s so it’s not like we were in our 20’s which, in my mind, would make more sense as to his behavior.

    It has been almost a year since that event and I have followed NC the entire time. We live in a small town and I have run into him on occasion but have always kept our meetings to a smile and a hello. I thought I was doing okay until a couple of days ago when it all collapsed around me.

    I was invited to a dinner party of 10 people. We were having a fine time and then my Ex showed up about an hour into the dinner semi-invited. He knew I would be there but I had no idea he might show up. The minute he walked in and saw me he flipped a switch and became the friendliest guy in the room, the center of attention and the “stand up guy” he wants everyone to think he is.

    I was completely blindsided by him showing up. We were in a dining room and I had to sit there listening and watching him schmooze the rest of the guests. I lasted about 15 minutes and then my primal flight response took over. I SO wanted to suck it up and endure the evening but I just couldn’t. I got up, excused myself and went home. The hosts realized that the situation was awkward and apologized for the encounter, which made me feel even worse in a way.

    The next day after some reflection I came to some conclusions. The BEST scenario would have been that I didn’t care if he showed up or not, or if I did, I could mask my emotions and put on a performance like he was doing and preserve some “power.” The entire dinner party would be a silent show of one upmanship as to who was fairing better. And believe me, he is fairing better than me.

    Consequently, I decided I couldn’t play the game, decided what was the less painful scenario, and left the party. I may have appeared weak and a victim, but I knew what was best for me at the time. I put myself first and got out of an unbearable situation.

    I post this because “pretending” you’re okay when you’re not, and thinking you have to suck it up in really awkward situations in order to have dignity is not always the case. If I appeared weak by leaving the party, so be it. It beats the hell out of sitting there for hours pretending I’m feeling okay when all I want to do is leave. Take care of yourself first. But the absolute one thing I’m glad I never did…and wanted to on SO many occasions…was contact him in any way shape or form. Months down the road you’ll be SO glad you didn’t even if it’s the one thing you want to do now. Trust me on this. NC all the way. Especially with emotionally unavailable asshats.

    • Liza October 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Oh my gosh Barb… You did everything right. Do not be so hard on yourself. You took care of yourself and far from appearing week, you were appearing strong and confident. I would have done the same thing happened Had i thought I had had enough. Good for you.

      • Barb October 11, 2013 at 3:47 am #

        Thank you, Liza, for your kind words but I’m fairly certain I looked anything but confidant…more like a cornered badger that would have chewed my leg off if my foot were caught in a trap. But you’re right about being hard on myself, which I tend to do. Here’s to further emotional growth and recovery and hoping the next encounter won’t be as jolting.

  13. zoltan October 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi,

    I am working in the same workplace as my Ex and showing ignorance+confidence (partly a pose of course) had its first results as it is she who usually retreats from a situation when both of us are present. However here comes my bump… I begin to like this feeling that I am in control and I rule “the field of battle” which is bad, since
    – I should not gain confidence from her sufferings
    – it is a very fragile situation, since my confidence is dependent on her, as soon as she also starts to recover it will endanger my situation
    – the goal of the recovery is not to punish or ex but to forget them and live our life without them

    Can anyone offer a good advice how to overcome this phase? I am regularly repeating to myself that “my happiness is independent of hers and our life has separated” and it seems to help, but anything which accelerates the process would be helpful.

    • Barb October 11, 2013 at 4:05 am #

      Your site name cracked me up, Zoltan.

      I found your comments extremely insightful and honest. I think you’re more self aware than most…as well as forthright to acknowledge that your behavior is maladaptive and self serving.

      As one who is on the receiving end of this behavior I think you, personally, will eventually be just fine as you are aware of it. I don’t know if my Ex is cognizant enough to see how phony he appears. And believe me, it’s transparent. Being authentic is the best thing you could do for both yourself and your Ex if you truly don’t want to make her suffer and you want to move on.

      But I have a question for you. Do you put out the bravado mainly for the benefit of yourself, your Ex or for your friends and co-workers? Are you authentic with anyone in private? Just curious. And best of luck.

      • zoltan October 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

        Thanks for your comments Barb.

        To answer your question the order is 1, 3, 2… 🙂

        The least important is she herself, after all we have broken up… and the last four month has proven that I am better without her. Still I hope that she will also be healed and realize that she is also better without me (at least that is what she said and most probably it is true).

        I guess the colleagues themselves are more or less accepted our actual situation and thanks God none that I know took side in it. The atmosphere is quite stormy anyway (because of other things) the least I want to introduce another disturbance factor. And honestly it is none of their business.

        The most important however is personal integrity that I should be able to look into the mirror each morning (quite practical because shaving without a mirror is dangerous :). That was the whole ground why I chose to engage in the social activities, since she often bashed me how nerving and unlikable I am. This I successfully disproved, and the fact that it gave me power over her was just collateral. But the little devil on my right (or is it the left) shoulder starts to tell me that look “she tried to control your life and hurt you so often, look how weak she is… why not try to put more pressure on her”.

        But really we should not concentrate on people who brought us bad feeling, but the ones who make us feel happier. Payback is not really sweet, it just bring back old issues which are better to be forgotten.

        To your situation: I think you did the right thing, retreating is a viable move and sometimes it is the most beneficial. Next time probably fighting will be the better choice. As long as it is you who decides it is fine. I also suggest trying to forget these things, the past is already behind and tomorrow will be a new day with new situations.

  14. Rashawn October 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Wow Eddie, thanks for sharing. My approach is to deal with my emotions up front during that 60 day period. I have found if I sequester my feelings then they are prone to resurface during my next relationship. That is my strategy.

  15. suzan t. October 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Thank you Eddie…for the past 10 months I was and still do running scenarios in my head for what if meet my ex or have a telephone call. The best and shortest scenario among all was the one you have suggested.

  16. Susan October 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I appreciate Eddie’s concern and thoughtfulness for us. I am going to try this plan.
    I like what suzan t. said about how somehow she has new connections and groups after enrolling in new groups and activities away from the old ones.

  17. sid October 11, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Extremely wonderful article….guys who have thought about this situation ,i feel they are half way through their progress and they dnt want to face their ex or want them again ,that’s great sign…whenever I was scared I used to say “ignore the dog”….my girl abused me but I never said a word when she left me,and always wondered how do I get back and do the same…but only thing that made my mind was why would I ever talk or reply to barking dog….so jus ignore ,trust me guys who r sensitive ,u ignore them ,u learn to ignore many things…never care for dogs…

  18. Ray October 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    I bumped into my ex once in a supermarket, I immediately smiled and said hi but you know what she did? She literally ran away, left her trolley and ran! I expected awkwardness but never that! We broke up because her rich parents dislike me because I’m not white. The past is the past, but I think her reaction was uncalled for, she hurt my feelings.

  19. Ann October 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I got up to 50 days of NC and was feeling great. Until I ran into the person. It was unexpected and he didn’t even say hello, just acted like no time had passed and literally threw something at me. Trying to be playful I think, but certainly bad form. There were other people around, so I avoided eye contact and said I have to go. He followed me saying “can I ride the elevator with you.” I said sure but still made no eye contact and didn’t say anything. We saw each other later and he made an effort not to contact me.

    Then I made my mistake. I sent him a message later saying “I’m sorry things went badly, I hope you are well. I don’t know how to fix this.” He said to me “There’s nothing to fix, I have no bad feelings for you. This is perfect example of how I have no hard feelings or issues with you but you found a way to make it as awkward as possible. ”

    I really think that this may help me move on because it occurs to me he is BLAMING ME for things. Like he did nothing wrong, it’s ME who makes things awkward. I will have to start over from day 1 with NC, but maybe this is what I need to finally understand that he doesn’t deserve to have me in his life because I am awesome.

  20. Matthew October 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I Have children with my ex. I have them over the weekend. Just as I am getting my head together, she collects them on a Sunday, this sets me way back and guarantees The rest of my week is spent obsessing and planning on how to win her back…

    Is there any way to make contact easier when no contact isn’t an option?

  21. Dating101 November 7, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Haha, all I remember doing was trying to show her how I am happy now and have moved on, while inside I was dying.

    Made a good choice though, didn’t look like a fool and she didn’t trick me into any emotional blackmail.

  22. Mpho November 7, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Hi All,

    I did not bump into my ex but I bumped into her friend. We talked and in the midsts of the conversation she brought up my ex, at first I tried to divert the conversation into something else but ended up giving in and listening to what she had to tell me….”Mpho, (NAME) is pregnant and planning to get married sometime next year…” My heart sunk into my stomach when I heard that but managed to suck it up and play the better role by brushing it off with a “I wish her all the best”.

    This is someone I spent four years of my life with, planning step by step how our future will unfold, 8 months later she’s pregnant and engaged to a guy she met on a working trip for two weeks and cheated one me with…I am still in shock and feel dead inside.

    From what I heard most “rushed into marriages” seem to last and have happy ever after stories, that and the possibility that I was not her MR. RIGHT is the sad part of all this.

    Feel like crap!

  23. Renee Zillweggar November 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    i remember bumping to my ex and i still feel something for him that i can’t work out but now where back together just because of one tiny little secret 🙂

    I’m sorry Renee for editing your website out, we have a strict non-exback-sites police here! Eddie

  24. liZa December 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Hey all,
    Has this happened to any one else.?
    My x husband of a little over a year and I were recently at a mutual friend’s Christmas party. 80 people were there so he could kind of hide out. He was with his new girlfriend. I have not seen him in 4 months and since wrote him a letter of forgiveness. He COMPLETELY ignored me. Not a nod. Like I was invisible. Later, as he was leaving, I was on the porch and he walked out and passed me not saying a word, and when he back was to me, I wished him a merry Christmas. I am always trying to wrap my head around why he wants nothing to do with me. I love him and wanted to work things out. OK, so he moved on. Why does he continue to be so callous?? HELP!

  25. Sheryl January 13, 2014 at 2:53 am #

    I found this wetsite shortly after I broke up with my boyfriend four months ago, I was so devastated, and hurt. I want to say that I am so grateful for this site it helped me deal with my breakup. Instead of dwelling on him, it made me look at me, to learn from this breakup and work on me, and I practice the NC . Last night I went out with a friend and I was taken back when he came up behind me and said “hi”, and “ask me how I was doing”….I was shocked but I told him “im going great”. He then walked away and sit with his gf, a girl I feel he left me for…but anyway I didn’t die, I survived. I have to be honest at first I was sad but I stay and I had a good time. I never looked his way again. I never got the chance to meet his gf but I did smile at her when she passed me…but her response to my smile was not welcome. OH well, kill them with kindness, right? I dont know if I would have made it if it hadnt been for this site and all the wonderful articles I read here. Ive lost 32lbs, and I am doing a lot of wonderful things with my life. I will always love my ex, but I know now I will be ok. I will take what I learned about what I did and didnt do in my this last relationship and hopefully my next relationship will be great for it.

  26. Al February 11, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    Hey everybody. I am 9 months into my breakup, Several times we talked but it was just worthless chit chat. Ive never been able to complete 60 days NC. the max is about 40. Anyways Ive been strong have been, and was mantaining firm no contact. But feeling something wasnt just right, somehow I knew I would bump into her. And karma did its thing. I bumped into her this morning and it was tough. It was really a “hi” exganche and that was it. although I just froze I wasnt able to say anything, she didnt either and just walked away. Im a little broken right now, just feeling lost and dont know why but sort of humiliated. I dont have that brother-like Eddie explains- to save me from thinking bout it. Im just trying to relax, hit the gym to blow some steam off but it is tough. im kind of a shy and reserved person. She isnt she even hangs out with some friends of mine which I obviously dont see anymore. Ive been good, some good days and bad but today I just feel like a mess. anyone some advice? words of wisdom. Best regards now NC is back to day zero, god thats tough

    • Sean February 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Just be glad it’s over!

      You still care so there’s still work to do, concentrate on the bad things, she hanging out with your friends sound sick, you deserve better, and you know what? There is someone better for you out there somewhere, just keep that in mind. When you see here the next time, raise your hand, say hi and keep on walking, dont stop, give here the feeling you dont wanna freakin’ chit-chat, she’s not worth it and really, you dont want her back, ever!

      I know how it feels, i’ve been there, the ‘big indifference’ is what you need, you will get there in time.

      Good luck and stay strong!

  27. Sean February 24, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Last saturday i ‘bumped into my ex girlfriend’ after 6 weeks of No Contact since we broke up, yes, i know it was gonna happen at this rock & roll festival…i had to go, i bought tickets before we broke up so not showing up would be weak.

    Well, what happened…my brother was with me and i told him allready that it would be awkward seeing my ex, maybe very painful…it wasn’t painful, we ignored eachother the whole day, never said a word, which is the right thing to do i guess because our love was very real and you know you cant be friend because of that…i was actually honored she didn’t talk to me, it was the right thing to do at that moment.

    But what did it for me emotionally, i felt sorry for her, because she’s in the same situation as i am, we had future plans, i mean really big plans, but it didn’t work out between us, so i felt sorry for her, i could cope with the situation, i wasn’t thrashed on the inside or anything, my feelings for her are not completely gone, but i can handle it.

    So, in my case it was actually a good thing to see her, i would probably still being overthinking our relationship right now if it didn’t happen, so it helped me and it made me move on just a little bit further, right on!

  28. Brandy February 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    We’ve been no contact for a few weeks now but we passed one another on the street the other day – he was driving one way, me the other and we saw each other. Does that mean I have to start over again at day 1? We did not speak.

    • Eddie Corbano February 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      No, this isn’t breaking NC… you don’t have to start all over again. Just carry on.

  29. Steve March 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Great article. Eddie’s material has helped me so much.
    My breakup occurred about 4 months ago, she broke it off and I was devastated. We hadn’t gone out that long, but I had pursed her a long time and thought she was the one. I also struggle with abandonment wounds as my Dad died when I was 5, I see a counselor. We were in the same church and recovery group. At first I tried to continue to go, but it was to painful, as i could barely function. It was so hard to leave everything too, I have about 3 weeks of no contact and I am doing better, finally stopped obsessing about her, well, not as much. I am scared to bump into her, as I could at some meetings I go to. But I refuse to not go places because of fear. I get upset if I ride by her in my car. I am still fragile, but see the benefit of no contact, but have struggled with the thought of being weak for leaving everything. I tried the go see a friend thing after seeing her once and that worked great. I am seeing old friends and doing new things which helps. My question is when do I know I am ready to go back to my social circles? Is facing the fear sometimes a good thing to help us get over our Ex?

    • ben May 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      i feel ur pain steve..im the same as youself

  30. Milena March 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Great article. It helped me a lot. Thank you so much.

  31. Ray June 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Hello Eddy,

    I read this article exactly a month ago and I expected the worst scenario in my head, seeing my ex and not talking, and well it happened a few days ago after 6 months of no contact, actually I had sent a few drunken texts and emails, but never got any response back.

    We didn’t have any eye contact when we saw each others, it was like a mutual avoiding situation, we could “see” each others around but we didn’t “look” at each others at the same time.

    I was with my friends, they held me together, I was upset for half an hour and my energy just got sucked in, then I decided to go back dancing and just ignoring him further. He passed by me a couple of times from behind, and I chose not to go after him for the friendly hi because we are not really on good terms.

    I wouldn’t have minded saying hi, had he initiated it but I felt his body language and facial expressions telling me he was nervous and uncomfortable so I did not want to have any awkwardness for either of us. I’m not very sure if he actually did see me, but it was hard at first, like getting a flashback of the entire relationship from the moment we met till the moment we said goodbye, it was very emotionally intense on me.

    DO you think that was the right thing to do? And If I do bump into him again, shall I avoid him too or actually initiate a very short “hello how r u”?

  32. Morena July 6, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Oh my gosh thank you very much Eddy. I
    I was deeply in love with my ex, and he walk away from my life just like that without good reason, he doesn’t wanna listen the truth and all he believes is his stupid guy friend. Who were jealously of me and him being very close. And I stop him drinking and smoking. I manage his life different than b4.i make him a be an independent man how can make his own money. When he fly back his homeland and come back one 2 of his best friends told him that I was dating after he went back home. Which is absolutely wrong and propaganda. I did this 3 mistakes you’ve shown us in the video. And I have loss weigh and stop going out with nobody, lonely, depression and so many uncountable things. Sometimes you would see me walking around where he lives,and being all the places where I think we would bump over, thanks God today am a different person but still single.and still deeply in love with my ex.

  33. Kate July 23, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    This is going to sound odd, but… what about the other way around?
    I left my ex a couple of months ago. It was hard as I didn’t want to hurt him, but it wasn’t fair to pretend I still felt something when I didn’t. We had mutual hobies, and I avoided them out of respect for him (even though he kept saying he was only into said hobies for me). It’s been months and I miss certain activities and old acquaintances… but I’m worried about running into my ex. I don’t want to open old wounds or ruin his healing process (it wasn’t a mutual breakup).

    It’s making me feel slightly miserable, but is it better for me to stay away?
    Or should I go back to enjoying my hobies and just be ready to talk to him should he come up to me?

  34. Charlie September 8, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    3 months into my breakup after 16 years together and I am still having to have contact with my ex, until our house we own together sells. It’s been sad this week as we have also had to rehome our two much loved dogs, neither of us can keep them.
    I find I prepare myself before I have to have contact with him and know what it is I have to say and try and keep to just that. We have bumped into each other around town a couple of times, I get anxious and really try not to show it. It is difficult as he is the one who wants to remain friends with me but no longer loves me, I know that I cannot be friends with him for my own benefit. It’s also hard for us as my sister and his brother are married and have been for over 30 years.
    I am currently sorting out selling the house and then it’s off oversea’s for a three week holiday with three girlfriends and when I return I’m leaving my home town, have quit my job and am going on an adventure with another girlfriend around my country of New Zealand. I am 50 next year and this is very exciting and terrifying for me at the same time.
    That is when I will be able to start on NC. It helps reading everyone posts, we are all at different stages of our grieving process. Keep your heads held high while going through this very painful process. I see it as honoring yourself that you know how to love, you will recover, you will get through this and it will be so much better when you do. Take one day and a time and keep moving forward. xxxxxx

  35. Bella September 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    My boyfriend left me a month ago. We already bumped into each other, and then just said “hi”. Now it seems that he already has a new girlfriend… We live in a town where we all go to the same places, so one of these days I’m gonna run into him WITH this new woman (who he was already attracted to before the break up, he admitted). So how to react when I see them together? Just say “hi” to both of them? Ignore her? No, that would make me seem bitter and angry….? I will do the visualisation exercise and hope for the best.

    • Moon November 6, 2014 at 8:36 am #

      Hey Bella!
      Just to tell you that life is a party… don’t let others spoil it. See after 13 days of NC, I run out with my ex this morning… I walked in front of him and smiled and waved my hand quickly cause that is how I usually say hi. He looked at me and smiled too but I had the control of the situation. Few mins later, I saw him with some of my friends outside the lib… I just decided to go and say Hi, I walked straight and hugged one of my friends, even she was surprised hahaha Thanks God right after that another friend came and said out loud my name hahahaha he was just standing there next to his other friend. So after saying hi to this girl I turned and said Bye Guys!
      I felt so good after that, I am sure he already feels I am over him and even when I still feel a little sad inside, I must be strong and pretend everything is gonna be alright! You should do the same Bella, go to those clubs and if you seem them just smile and say Hi! try practising at home, it is gonna be ok you just have to do it for yourself and don’t give a shit about what they might think of you. Remember, they don’t deserve it! they are not worth it, so the best thing you can do is to accept that God has something better and bigger around the corner, and that he is the one who removes wrong people from our lives so feel safe and confident. I hope this helps you 🙂 Best of luck and enjoy your party life!
      Moon

  36. sumit November 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I totally agreed with Moon.I salute to Moon the way she thinks omg. Glad to read thanks moon.

  37. Lily March 8, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Help me pleeease! I accidentally ran into my ex in the dorm kitchen after 4 weeks of NC. I was with two other people; we just bought groceries and stayed in the kitchen to label things. When I saw him I was surprised but hid it well and said hello; he said very nicely, “Hi, Lily.” We didn’t talk at all. I was talking with the two other people about making dinner tomorrow for 20 people. After we were done we left; I was the last one to leave and there was a 10-second period when we were alone in the kitchen because I went to get my coat. He was still there, cooking dinner. I made sure I didn’t linger and said bye and he said “see you later” almost as the door closed, and I joined my two friends and kept talking to them. I think the encounter was pretty cool. We didn’t really talk. But afterwards I freaked out, what if he was making dinner for someone else; it was Saturday night and I know he doesn’t usually cook a lot. I distracted myself. Not gonna contact him.

    But please help me decide whether I have to start at Day 1 of No Contact? (It was a hostile breakup.) I’m afraid he’s already moved on. I was gonna wait for two more weeks when we are both away for spring break to send a planned text. But do I have to start at Day one due to the run-in?

  38. Lily March 8, 2015 at 12:25 am #

    Sorry I meant it was NOT a hostile breakup. Pretty civil.

  39. That One Guy May 13, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    It has been over a year since I ended a relationship with a girl I dated for almost 5 years. The breakup didn’t really hurt that much at the time. Last night I saw her in a bar. I didn’t really see her, but I heard her voice, and my spine tingled. I didn’t want to leave just because she was there; I’m not a coward, and I don’t want to give her that power. I had to walk by her to use the restroom, but I didn’t even look at her. I did see her boyfriend though, a guy she cheated on me with who was a friend of mine before. Fortunately I had a friend with me who knows the situation, so I didn’t have to sit there alone. I have not dated in a year, and I’m not sure how I’ll ever trust women again. They all say they are different and would never do the horrible things my previous love interests have, but they all turn out to be the same.

    I am trying to be logical about this. I know my memory has built her up into some wonderful person, but she is not a wonderful person. I still love her, but she is toxic for me. After last night, I am absolutely devastated. I am intelligent enough to know that this hopeless feeling will go away, but in this moment, things are pretty bad.

  40. JIm September 13, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Saw my Ex today after 2.5 years, feelings of total hatred bubbled up inside, I pursed my lips looked directly at her and walked on by, I’ve felt furious all day since.

  41. guy April 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Hey, This is cool advice! Thanks!
    This is the first site that advices NOT to engage in a conversation!
    This is the ONLY way to handle it.

    It is amazing how much bad advice there is on the internet- most other sites say you should walk up to them, greet them and make small talk- what BS! This is an Ex, not a friend. An ex is never a “friend” or a colleague and you must question the intention of any ex to walk over and engage in any type of conversation. What is it that they (or you, if you initate contact) want?- No matter HOW you play this, once you say hi you seem desperate to get them back.

    Not talking to them is the safest and sanest, and COOLEST way to play this everytime. :)! Regardless of how the breakup was. There is nothing that looks more desperate than people that initiate contact with an ex, regardless of the situation.

    I have exes that I broke up with amicable, but why would we greet each other when we accidentally run into each other? Saying HI means I still care about them, while I dont, I moved on and so did they and that is cool! The relationship is over, there is a reason it didnt work out and I am not stuck up on them and they are not stuck up on me.

    NEVER initate contact or engage in conversations with an ex, no matter how you do it it just makes you look desperate to get them back!

    Not greeting an ex ist totally fine, acceptable and actually the only sophisticated, classy way to handle such a situation with class and style 🙂 Everybody will understand and respect you for ignoring them. Your life is yours, you moved on and if you like it or not: that person has become a stranger. That is reality.

    So unless you want that girl/guy back, NEVER initate contact or engage in conversation. Initating contact and engaging in converstation shows you are not over the relationship, while the person that is ignoring you has moved on. This makes the person that initates contact seem like the most desperate looser..LOL

    You are not in each others life anymore. Any contact would mean you have not moved on with your life. Even worse, it seems like you are trying to hit on that person. That is the message you are sending. You seem desperate, not cool!

    If you are a girl,like the one posting here, dont ever do this! There is nothing worse than acting “desperate” as a woman/girl. Ladies that makes you seem like total loosers.. If you want to be respected be cool , do not initate contact or engage in conversation, it makes you look desperate. Guys will disrespect you for it.

    It is amazing how many girls always talk about how totaly over they are a guy and than they walk over to say hi and engage in conversation to show “how totaly over the guy” they are. In reality girls/woman, it makes guys think you are totaly “hot for them”! This is what guys (your ex) think when you initate contact or engage in conversation.- period.

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