• Tracy Duell-Cazes

How to Handle Social Gatherings with your Ex

Updated: Nov 22, 2021



After a divorce or a breakup, there are still going to be awkward interactions with your ex. After being together, you share friends, and therefore, you will continue to have some social groups in common. As much as you may want to, you won’t be able to completely control the situation, especially at social gatherings. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to face these moments without a plan. Here are some steps you can take to make these interactions as smooth as possible.


Mentally prepare yourself before you go. Remind yourself why you aren’t together anymore. Seeing your ex in a situation where they are on their best behavior may remind you why you loved them. However, these rose-colored glasses are not going to help you. So when you find the world taking on a rosy tint, take a minute to shake it off and keep enjoying yourself. And it’s okay to feel sad about your former relationship, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you need to take a minute to step away and collect yourself before you head back out.


In the moment, don’t panic and ignore them or look like you’re trying too hard. Now is not the time for a miniskirt, nor is it the time for pretending to be blind to an ex’s existence. These actions will simply make you seem immature and childish. Also, don’t bring a date in hopes of making your ex jealous. This will only leave you feeling awkward with a date you may not even enjoy. Remember, you once loved your ex. Respect them now and act maturely and they’ll probably do the same. You don’t need to completely avoid your ex, just keep it short, simple, and civil when you do need to interact with them.


Take a wingman (or wingwoman) with you. Going alone leaves you without a buffer to make small talk. They can also help by steering you towards the dessert table instead of accidentally towards your ex. There’s something very comforting about having a close friend by your side in an awkward moment, especially someone who understands the situation and won’t leave you alone to flounder while they gab.


​Finally, don’t let your ex being there ruin the day for you. Remember, you came to this event because you wanted to see friends and celebrate them. Try not to dwell on their presence or focus on your ex at all. Relax and have a good time knowing that while you can’t control everything, you’re prepared for most of it.

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