Don’t disrespect your ex in public

Malisa McClure Chief Photographer/Staff Writer

It’s the old song and dance. I’m sure we’re all familiar with it.

You’re walking to class, minding your own business, and BAM! There stands your ex.

Just as you feel your pulse quicken and your stomach start to flop (and not that good way it did when you were falling in love with said ex), you see him tense up and “casually” turn the other way. Whew, crisis averted.

As you zip away into the nearest hallway, staircase or bathroom, you are probably asking yourself, “Why does this keep happening to me?”

The simple answer? It’s that you (and your ex) are allowing it to happen. By avoiding and ignoring each other, you are only fueling the animosity between yourselves.

Granted, being civil after a breakup isn’t easy. Being friends can seem impossible, sometimes even years after a break up. Still, there’s no sense in pretending each other doesn’t exist. Chances are neither of you are going anywhere anytime soon.

Why not learn to act like civilized, intelligent adults? After all, you aren’t in high school anymore. It’s not like you dated for two weeks and really barely knew each other. Chances are you spent a long time together and made some difference in each others’ lives.

Of course, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to be best friends anytime soon. And you don’t have to be—but it’d be worth it to at least be friendly when you run into each other.

There is a reason (probably many) why you fell in love with this person to begin with. And sadly—as you found out—love doesn’t always last. But those things you respect and love about that person are still there. So don’t disrespect each other because you’re angry or hurt—especially since your ex is going through the same thing.

Sure, it’s not going to be easy, but you need to find a way to quash the hostility with your ex. Stop alienating each other and friends by being awkward, and learn to just accept one another.

Just remember it takes two to tango, and it may take some time to perfect the dance. The next time you have a run in with “the ex,” I challenge you all (and myself) to invite him or her to the floor by having the guts to make eye contact. Maybe you can even muster a smile?

Yes, it’s scary—scarier than dancing in public, even. And yes, you may be left out on the floor by yourself, but at least you can say you’ve made the effort.

And remember—it’s one small and easy step toward friendship after a breakup.