It would be great if every new relationship started with neither of you having any baggage from previous relationships.
However, if you’re over the age of 25, that’s probably not going to happen no matter how strict the woman’s parents have been about her dating life. Everyone, including you, has a past.
If your new girlfriend still lives in the same general area as her ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, then you are most-likely going to run into him at times.
So how should you react when you run into her ex boyfriend or husband? Your best bet is to pay attention to how she reacts to him.
If she spots her ex when you’re out in public and then seems upset or aggravated by saying something like, “Damn, there’s my ex,” ask her if she would prefer to leave or stick around. There’s no reason to ruin your evening if she’s going to be focusing on what her ex is doing rather than paying attention to you.
If she doesn’t want to go, then at just don’t worry about the ex at all. When around an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, your new girlfriend will want to see that you don’t feel insecure about attractiveness to her compared to him.
You need to have the mindset that he isn’t as good of a man as you are, no matter what she says about him or what he brags about if he comes over and talks with the both of you. You are the man, she is with you and you are better than him. End of story.
When your new girlfriend sees that you are not concerned about her ex, it makes her feel attracted to your confidence and self-belief. She may try to test you by showing some interest in him, saying that he’s a psycho (to get you scared) or saying some positive things about him.
No matter what happens, just remain relaxed, easy-going and don’t care about the ex’s potential attractiveness compared to you. When your girl can see that you aren’t worried that she might have some lingering feelings for him and are completely confident and relaxed, it will make her feel a lot of respect and attraction for you.
What if She Seems Upset?
While it would be helpful if you knew exactly why she seems to be upset in his presence, don’t push for details if she’s not forthcoming about it, especially if this is the early part of your relationship. However, if you’ve been dating for more than a couple of months, it is useful to know about their history, especially about why she’s so irritated at the mere sight of him.
If she doesn’t volunteer to say anything to you about him, you can casually ask her why she reacted with “Damn, there’s my ex,” and give her a couple of minutes to get it off her chest (but not so long that she gets worked up in the wrong way). By listening to what she is saying and noticing any changes in her behavior, you’ll get a good indication of how she feels about her ex.
The worst thing you can do is begin to get jealous about her ex or feel insecure about his place in her heart. If she that says she is over him and is glad they broke up, believe her and say, “I’m glad you broke up too; otherwise we wouldn’t have met.” A response by that will demonstrate your emotional maturity and she will begin to shut down her ex in her mind.
On the other hand, if she spots her ex and says, “Oh, hey, look, there’s my ex,” and then smiles and waves at him, then he’s most likely going to come over to say hello. After they greet each other, stand, hold out your hand and if she hasn’t already done so, introduce yourself.
Unless you detect some underlying tension (sexual or otherwise), there is no reason for you to freak out about whether or not they are still on good terms. Be relaxed and just let the situation play out. Chances are, he will leave after a short while and you can then get back to your date.
If she’s constantly scanning the room for him or staring over in his direction, there may be something else going on in her mind. She just might not be over him yet, or they may have been staying in contact all this time via Facebook, text or otherwise.
If you have reason to suspect that they are still ‘on’, you can either choose to have the “So what’s the story with you and your ex?” conversation or you can decide dump her after the date, cut your losses and move on to another woman until she comes crawling back to you with an apology.
If she seems interested in him, it could also be something as simple as her ex being in the company of a mutual and she wants to say hello to them, but doesn’t know how you’ll feel about it. If that’s the situation, encourage her to go over and say hi.
It doesn’t matter if she goes over by herself or with you. If you go over with her, simply be confident, relaxed and easy-going, but don’t try hard to be liked. Just be there and relax as the situation plays out. Let her/their friends see how lucky she is to have found a cool, confident guy like you who doesn’t feel insecure about running into her ex-boyfriend or husband.
Running into her ex will only become an issue if you allow it to. Remember, there is a reason that their relationship is over and none of the reasons have anything to do with you. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel threatened by him at all.
Running into a girlfriend’s ex may trigger a “fight or flight” response for some guys, but unless you have a clear reason to think she still wants to be with him, her ex may have no more romantic emotional significance to her than anyone else from her present or past that you happen to bump into.
A lot of the time – running into an ex can trigger a negative emotional reaction and remind a woman of how much she doesn’t want to be with him and how happy she is to be with you. Just as there is a reason why they broke up, there is also a reason that she’s with you. She likes you and wants to be with you, so embrace it and don’t worry about guys from the past.
Be the charming, confident dude that she agreed to date in the first place. If you can do that when you run into her ex, he will remain exactly where he should – in her past – and you will solidify your place in her new life.
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There is a reason for every breakup, and a reason for every relationship. The reason you are with her could be better than the reason they were together…so just treat him nicely, but like he is a thing of the past. Really like this article…rarely see this type of stuff online…great advice.
Awesome advice. My girlfriend’s ex is still in her life and it has been erking me to all hell…it is like he is trying creep back in to her bed and life. But, after reading this I can see that she only treats him like a friend and there is no flirting or anything between them. Still I hate him being around nonetheless.
Cool article – thank you for this. Just the sort of advice I have been looking for.
I’ve been privileged to only have been with people who had horrible relationships, so when we run into them or see them from a distance we just look and walk the other way.
I do not have to worry about a couple of my ex-boyfriends. However, I do have an ex-husband in which he and I have a kid.
It is not awkward, but in the months after our divorce… I did feel awkward. I will say, even though being awkward, I was myself. That is all I could do and really what I would suggest.
For any ex, it is best to say hi, wish them well, and then goodbye. Simple, right?
I 100% agree with you james. since the ex was her past so must be treated that way
She’s got to feel normal around her ex for me to believe everything is normal. If her ex can cause sudden mood changes in her – excitement, anger, sadness or whatever, then I don’t need anyone to tell me that he’s the prince with the magical spell, who’s got the golden set-me-free Cinderella kiss. If she can’t get overwhelmed by my presence in her ex’s presence, it means I’m absent even while present. I’ll keep her for casual sex or walk out the door with clear reasons.
Thats a very good advice,, i can easliy relate to that..
How to react when you meet her ex?Simple..beat the crap out of him!nkt..lol.ok am just kidding…cool article
This a great article for someone that has not in fact been through a few break ups. I was married for 12 years and I will tell you that the procedures demonstrated in this article involve “Learned behaviors”. You have to evaluate very quickly every situation and if possible do this from every person that is directly involved. Not easy my friends. In time those of you that have not experienced this, will and as you mature emotionaly you will begin to handle these types of situations very different than you may have in the past. Good luck guys.
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