Bumping into an ex can be cause for a major meltdown, especially if he's with his new girlfriend and you haven't washed your hair. But there's still a way you can emerge with dignity intact. The phrase “Are you well?” is the perfect thing to say to be polite, friendly, and just a tad emotionally distant. These words are super-effective in an awkward moment because it shows you care, without inviting your ex to open up. This lets your ex off the hook if he can't handle the moment.
Here is how slapping on a smile and dropping some kind words can work in a host of sticky ex BF situations:
You bang into your ex when you are in sweats and have greasy hair.
Do Keep it brief. Say "Hi. Nice to see you. I just finished working out. Hope all is well with you. Take care!” Then keep walking.
Don’t Mention how drab you look. Instead focus on the fact that it's a beautiful day, or that he caught you in the best mood because of X. Most importantly, smile. That way he's much more likely to notice your friendly grin than your unwashed hair.
You see your ex at the cinema with his new GF.
Do Be generous. Mention that you're happy that he's found somebody special. If you're still too tender to get into it, polite small talk will do. Try: "Hello. Nice to meet you. I hear this movie is great. I'm really excited to see it. Now I need to go and find my seats/my friends."
Don't Be nosey. What you want to avoid are questions about the relationship. Don't ask how long they've been dating or if she's met his parents. You'll come off as competitive if you start prying.
You meet your ex while you are on a first date with a new guy.
Do Look happy. You don't want to make it seem as though you're not having a good time or would rather be in his company.
Don’t Give labels. Don't give either your ex or your new boyfriend a title when you introduce them, just use first names. And don't mention any inside jokes the two of you used to have that will make your new date feel like an outsider.
Your ex comes round to your apartment to collect his belongings.
Do Be ready. Have his things compiled before he comes. That way, the only thing you have to say is, "Here are your things. Is it all there?"
Don't Be alone. Have a friend or family member with you to help cushion the blow of seeing him. If it's too uncomfortable, leave his things outside your door and you won't have to speak with him at all.
You meet your ex's parents for the first time since the break-up.
Do Mention how well you're doing. Remember that no matter how close you were to his parents, they are still his parents. Say hello and tell them about how fabulous your life is, but do not bring up your ex.
Don't Be dramatic. If you know that you miss seeing them, then do so without sounding like you're grief- stricken. Don't be rude, but don't feel that you have to ham it up with them. Just be cordial and sincere.
You see your ex's friends after the split.
Do Be bright and breezy. Ask his friends how they are and what they've been up to. Then mention the highlights in your life these days — without sounding like you're bragging or trying to come across as “so over him”. When you're giving off positive energy and at your most likable, they'll be left questioning what could've gone wrong with such a wonderful girl.
Don't Bitch about your ex. Remember they are his spies. Anything you say about your ex is going to get back to him, so try to avoid dissing him. Any mention of your ex is likely to be misconstrued. Be polite, short and sweet. Introduce anyone you're with to them, and let them know it's nice to see them, then exit!