Relationships

Where Have You Run Into an Ex?

Where Have You Run Into an Ex?

You know that ex, the one who sailed into your life, red flags flying; who grabbed your heart then chiseled it away; who somehow charmed his or her way back in and pressed repeat on the whole cycle again and again. The one that being done with makes you feel like a real grown human. Just me? Well, we all come face to face with that person again…

I was riding my bike over the Williamsburg Bridge, my sweaty hair clinging to my forehead. There I am, struggling up the incline, when he appears around the bend, coasting down without a care — the metaphor for our relationship all too real. Our eyes meet ten feet apart, and my heart jumps into my throat, but he just rides past. You can’t really stop on the bridge, and why would we? I manage to continue pedaling, my mind spinning as quickly as his tires. What was the chance of such an encounter?

I always figured it would go down at a neighborhood bar — where we had spent so many evenings in our 20s — cheap beer making it that much easier, or that much worse. On those early post-breakup nights when he was still knocking around my brain, I would check for his silver bike locked out front wherever I went.

Of course, running into an old fling isn’t always bad — my friend Scott got back together with the love of his life after bumping into him three years post-breakup. But the worst encounters are more fun to talk about, right?

Says Gemma Burgess: “I ran into my ex at a bar,” she told me. “I started shaking as he came over. Then, like Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, I drank all my vodka in one gulp, and said ‘Good Lord, I seem to have finished my drink.’ Then, I walked away and hid in the bathroom.”

It can be even more jarring to run into someone on public transportation. My friend Christina bumped into her ex-fiancé waiting on the subway platform. After a minute of sweaty-palmed, heart-thumping “catching up,” she jumped on a train — it was going in the wrong direction, but it was worth it.

Another woman I know, Maria, had no such escape route: “My new boyfriend and I jammed into a packed train, and lo and behold sitting right underneath us was my ex,” she says. “I turned beet red and was WAY too nice to him. I basically acted like he was my best friend from childhood; my boyfriend was totally weirded out.”

What about when you’re basically at home? “I ran into an ex-girlfriend outside my apartment while taking the garbage out holding an umbrella in pajamas,” says Stef. Her wife was right inside, but it can be just as uncomfortable after you’ve moved on.

Another example: “I was leaving a restaurant when I spotted him across the street,” says Alex. “We hadn’t seen each other in years — and we were both married, mind you — but rather than simply waving and saying hello, I leapt behind a parked car and crouched there until he left.”

Ghosts from the past aren’t limited to our own neighborhoods. “I was on vacation in Puerto Rico lying by the pool with my eyes closed when I heard the voice of my college boyfriend,” says Beth. “I thought I was hallucinating, but it really was him, one chair away. We had a stilted conversation and then I spent the rest of my trip avoiding the hotel lobby and pool.”

Running into an ex can spark reactions ranging from butterflies to full-blown panic attacks to confident satisfaction when you realize you’re totally over it. But no matter the situation, no matter the history, even if he rides right on by, it will always be… awkward.

Have you ever had a run-in with an ex? How did it go?

P.S. First date rituals, and advice to your younger self.

  1. Frieda says...

    I have too many weird ex stories!
    A big stand out is one guy who, when he broke up with me, said he never wanted to see me again for the rest of his life. (I never did anything wrong and it hurt my feelings, of course.) I asked him “How’s that supposed to happen – does one of us die or take a rocket ship to Mars?”
    We live in a big city (New York) and he had the mistaken notion that it was possible that we would never see one another again.
    Fast forward one year and I see him on the street one block away from my apartment (he knows where I live. He has been to my home 100’s of times.) He is with another woman standing in front of his new home where he now lives with her. I asked him “what are you doing here?” He replied “you don’t own the neighborhood?” I said “yeah – I know that. But you said you never wanted to see me again for the rest of your life so why did you move in right down the street from me?”
    He had no answer. After that I still walked down the same street and did my normal stuff. I would see him on the block once in a while and each time he saw me coming he would duck behind a light pole or a parked car. This is a 40 year old man with a college degree who owns a business.
    What a jerk!

  2. Maranda says...

    This is a very belated comment but I’ve just discovered this blog so I’m binge reading old posts and I loved reading the comments on this one!

    I have two ex stories to contribute. I’ve had 2 big loves in my life that didn’t work out and I’ve had run-ins with them both. The first was a guy I dated in early college. We would run into each other around campus but would always manage to avoid each other. The last time I saw him was at graduation at the end of the ceremony as I was getting into my car to make the three hour drive to my home state, he stops me and says something about wishing me the best. I don’t remember the exact wording now but it was incredibly sweet and the perfect note to wrap up that period of my life.

    My second run-in experience was less sweet but still very satisfying for me. My second big love was someone I dated for 6 months after I graduated college. We weren’t together for a long time but the relationship made a big impact on me and I thought this guy was the love of my life. Long story short, he was not and we wound up having a hard break up. He lived in the town where I went to college and I returned to visit friends. We were hanging out at a bar (thankfully I was looking good- hair freshly done, nice makeup, etc.) and I notice someone out of the corner of my eye- my ex! Apparently he was standing in the corner when I walked in and when he saw me he abandoned his friends and made a run for the door. Whenever I go back to that town to visit friends I always wonder if I’ll run into him and I haven’t since!

  3. Christina H says...

    Hi COJ team!

    I don’t usually comment, but something that’s been weighing on my mind lately is how to handle your social media-online life-breakup after you’ve gone through a real life-in person-breakup. With so many forms of communication (instagram, snapchat, gchat, facebook, twitter….and so on)…how do you respectfully handle breaking up your online life as well??

    Would love to see other reader’s stories and thoughts on this!

    XO

  4. Jacqueline says...

    I live in a small town and had a LDR with a fellow who grew up in the area and no longer lived here. The break up is relatively fresh (a few months)and I have just started to see someone new–dipping my toes in the water. My ex started seeing someone new right away.

    Every year my town has a block party along the Main Street. My ex brought his new GF to this block party and I live on the route. It was inevitable that I see him. Half the town did as well. Why would he bring her there when I am well known in the community? Why would he do that to a new GF and then have to explain why people were saying hello to him from a community that knew him with his ex?

  5. Danielle says...

    I’m so late to this post, but I have to share my story because it still makes me laugh more than 10 years later. I dated a guy I met on a dating site when I lived in New York. I lived downtown and he was decidedly an Upper East Side guy, someone who wouldn’t have gone near my 1st & 1st apartment before he met me. Six months after a breakup that shocked me, my parents came to visit and took my sister, me, and my roommate out for dinner. We hopped in their car for the ride and after turning off of my street, we stopped at a red light. I was sitting in the middle and couldn’t really see much on the street. My sister and roommate started yelling “it’s him!” and I turned to see what was going on outside. I leaned over my sister and saw my ex walking hand-in-hand with a girl. Just at that moment, my dad rolled out the window and yelled, “You made the wrong decision!” Oh, dad. I have never loved my dad more or been more embarrassed. No word on whether the guy recognized my family.

  6. Nicole says...

    My husband and our 2 small kids and I had just gotten off a long plane ride home from a 2 week trip in D.C. We were all exhausted and stopped at a pizza place to grab dinner to go. I was sweaty, sandwiched in between the 2 car seats in the back seat while my husband ran in to grab the food. Apparently my ex was working in a shop next door to the pizza place, had seen me, and came and said hi through a cracked back window. My skirt was way hiked up, no make up, looking homeless, I’m sure. One of the kids was crying. We had the weirdest long conversation about who knows what, through the window. My husband came out finally and after awkward introductions, I was finally released from my misery.

  7. Amanda says...

    I have an ex whom I SWEAR haunts me. For a while, we would bump into each other whenever I was about to get serious with someone else, it was like he had a Google alert set up for it. The weirdest one was a week before my wedding – I hadn’t seen him in several years (the last time had been a particularly fraught meeting at his sister’s wedding, as I’d remained close to her) and wasn’t living in our home town any more, but since my wedding was approaching I just KNEW I’d run into him at some point. My best guess was that I’d see him as my husband and I walked from our reception venue to the hotel we stayed at that night (both in a central location where all the town’s night life is), but as it turned out I drove past him minutes after I picked up the marriage license. My only thought was, phew, that’s over! And actually, I am in town visiting my parents things week and spotted him driving down the street just yesterday. I don’t know what kind of witchy chemistry draws us together, but even though the love is gone, it seems to keep doing its thing……

    • Roopa says...

      Hey Amanda,
      I was reading all the interesting stories in the comment section . I was wondering have u spoken to your ex anytime during those encounters .

  8. Oh boy, so get this:

    I dated my ex for six years, and we were living together. To keep a long story short, I broke up with him because he was very immature, he didn’t have a lot of ambition, and it was growing more and more obvious that we wanted different things out of life. Plus, in retrospect, he didn’t treat me very well and often made jokes at my expense, or worse, he would say that I didn’t have what it took to achieve what I wanted out of life. Messed up, huh?

    Funnily enough, after moving out of our place, he moved back in with his friends and I ended up finding an apartment less than a block away (not intentional), and even more funny is that I got a new job at an office vis-a-vis my roommate that was less than a block away from his house. (The city I live in is very small). We would run into each other on occasion and he would make it a point to talk to me, and we would help each other out with small favors; one time, he saw me walking by and called me over just to talk and he mentioned that I “looked sad” and I was like well yeah dude, we just broke up? Why wouldn’t I be sad? At this point, our friends were questioning if we were going to get back together, but I was dead set against it.

    Fast forward to six months after our breakup, and I’m walking back to the office after my lunch break. By this point, everything had become too much and I moved back in with my parents a few weeks before, but my ex and I were still amicable, and he had even come by my old place to help me move some stuff and say bye to my cats. LO AND BEHOLD, he’s biking alongside one of my (much younger) peripheral friends who I later find out is his NEW GIRLFRIEND and they had been dating for MONTHS. Like, he had the audacity to come over and pet my cats while he’s sleeping with a new girl, AND to top it off he’d been using my Netflix account to “Netflix and chill” with this girl. I said “Hi” to them because I didn’t want to be rude (and quite honestly I was really taken aback and didn’t know what else to say??), and they awkwardly waved to me and immediately biked in different directions without a word (she almost got hit by a car!)

    He texted me furiously apologizing for not telling me, and although I had the most serious ugly-cry in my car, I realized that it was the thing I needed to move on. Literally the next day, my social media feed was blown up with these black and white engagement-style pictures of them, so I blocked both of them on social media and started my journey of self-discovery. I haven’t looked back since.

    It’s been almost two years, he’s still with the same girl apparently and has referred to her as his muse or something equally barftastic. I saw her on the street once and she ducked into a dead-end alley in order to avoid me. I saw him last week, in fact, and he pretended like he didn’t see me, ha! I also saw them together at an event and they both DARTED to the bathroom in order to avoid me and my group of friends. From what I hear, they got a dog and he’s still doing the exact same partying that he did when we were together, and now he’s unemployed and convinced he’s going to “make it big” with his band (the fifth one he’s been in so far).

    I wish him the best, but I kind of wish he would get a grip and give up on being “famous” and instead focus on being successful and happy, especially for her sake. If anything, I feel sorry for her because he clearly didn’t take enough time for self-discovery before jumping into another serious relationship.

    Oh well though, not my problem anymore! I’ve been single since and I have learned SO MUCH about myself and I have grown immensely since we broke up. Every time I run into him, I’m haunted by the fact that I almost gave up my life in order to be with someone who was undeserving of my affection. Hindsight is 20/20, y’all!

    • Pat says...

      For someone who professes so vehemently to have moved on, you still seem to be mired in emotional quicksand when it comes to your ex. Be honest and admit it: you still love him very much.

  9. Caitlin says...

    I have yet to actually run into my “significant ex” as we no longer live in the same state and haven’t for quite some time. We dated for 3 years and had conversations about a future when he broke my heart by ending it. Which I am now grateful for. A few years ago he reached out to me via text and was super flirtatious reminiscing about all the “good times” we had. I found out he had a girlfriend and informed him I didn’t think she would appreciate his texts and that was the last time we spoke.

    Fast forward to this past year, when he adds me on Snapchat and asks me how life is going. Hoping the three-year hiatus has made it possible to be friends we get caught up on each others lives. I tell him I have been dating my wonderful boyfriend, soon to be husband next year, for almost four years. He tells me he married his then girlfriend and they plan on having kids soon. However, he continues to add and delete me as his friend on Snapchat for months. I finally ask him about it and he says he doesn’t have any female Snapchat friends as he doesn’t want to upset his wife but he wants to see what is going on in my life. Then he Snapchats me saying he is alone most of the week and still has “highlight reels of our times together”. My boyfriend was right his intent was never to be friends.

    All of these encounters have made me wonder if this is what he was like when we were dating and if so, how could I have fallen in love with someone like that. I also feel horrible for his wife.

    Forever grateful my ex broke my heart as I don’t think I would have fully appreciated just how wonderful and great the life my boyfriend and I have built together is.

  10. At a park. I was with my new partner and pregnant with our first child and my ex was with his new partner and their newborn. He had cheated on me with her and it was an ugly, ugly breakup. Somehow my ex and I managed to patch it up and become friends again but of course only in that distanced kind of way you can have with someone you spent a long time with… but you move on. So I guess I thought nothing of it to say to my boyfriend (now husband), “hey look, we should say hello”. It became immediately clear that it was a bad idea when we all stood there with little to say besides “congratulations” on our pregnancy and their baby. I felt like I was cringing the rest of the day.

  11. Unfortunately as i’m still at university (a campus one, in a relatively small town) I have the wonderful (not) opportunity to run into my exes all the time!! One of the most awkward ones was probably when I was with my new boyfriend in the park and my ex and his friend approached us, his friend waving hi to me I obviously said hi back but my ex boyfriend COMPLETELY blanked us !!! Ahahaha, I mean I guess there are worse situations but it was just so incredibly odd.

    http://www.diaryofanexpatgirl.com

  12. Anonymous says...

    Omg, I am so mortified for everyone as I am reading through these comments! I had a run-in with “the” ex about three years ago that I still cringe over. The then-BF and I were together on and off throughout the majority of college until he suddenly decided to transfer to another University about 3 hours away. I was ignorantly going along with it all until he texted (yes, texted) me out of the blue that he “couldn’t do it anymore”. Obviously, it crushed me and took me a while to get out of the break-up rut. Fast forward about two years down the road when he moved back to the city I lived in and we run in to each other at our fave bookstore/record shop. I was feeling myself that day so decided to go out of the house without makeup/looking very casual – of course! And as I’m mindlessly reading something I hear my name and before I can register the voice I look up and it’s him. He started walking toward me and I think he even asked how I was but I turned BEET red, gave some sort of half smirk/ awkward laugh, dropped my book and literally jogged away! I have no idea if he tried to follow me/thought I was nuts/no idea. I always fantasized about running in to him at a bar looking fabulous and telling him off, so needless to say I was truly devastated that was my grand appearance, lol.

    • Freida says...

      That’s such a funny story! I am sure you were great!
      I spent hours walking and hanging in the neighborhood my ex and I frequented together “looking good” but never encountered him. I live in NYC.
      Then one night I was standing on some corner recently, speaking with 2 people and my ex walks out of a very fancy parked car with a woman (girlfriend?) and walks straight toward me. I smile and wave. He nods and keeps moving.
      I wish I had the presence of mind to say “good parking spot!”
      We don’t always come up with the cleverest comments in those very deep moments. Hey girl – we’re humans:) I think the guys feel weird too. After all he did approach you in the store! Doesn’t sound like he made any Earth shattering conversation either. Lol

  13. Renee says...

    Wow, I ran into my ex the same day you posted this. I sometimes have to go to the building he works in because we pitch clients there, but have yet to run into him. This week I was at that his building to pitch a client, and braced myself for the idea that I could see him, but I didn’t. Fast forward a couple hours later after work, I was walking down the street to meet with a friend to help me with my taxes, and boom there he was crossing the street in the opposite direction. We just waved. Such a bizarre coincidence. No butterflies, no nothing, just simply, “oh you’re someone I used to know.”

  14. Conny says...

    When ever I see him, because we have mutual friends, he is single and I am divorced and with a daugher, I just turn the other way. It would change my day for the worse or good, but anyways I would waste a perfectly bad or good day on thinking of him. He was a waste of time from the beginning.

  15. I ran intoned my ex on my thousands of miles away from home in London! It was at the globe theater. He knew some of my friends I was there with and when I saw him I started shaking and crouched behind my friend and said “see that guy who is talking to Bree? That’s the ex I told you about. Get me out of here.” And then I RAN. just full on booked it. Ran as fast as I could.

  16. Twice! Once I ran into an ex at a restaurant where he was with another girl. Even though neither of them looked happy or like they wanted to be there, the whole thing was a shock to me and I got upset. Luckily my friend was there and she helped me escape ASAP where we went back to her house to drink wine and she let me cry it out.
    Another time I ran into an ex at the university library. He seemed way more flustered by it than I was, and for some reason running into him actually made me want to talk to him, maybe try to reconcile or at least get on better terms? But he turned around and ran down a random stairwell instead! Guess we aren’t the only one who find those situations unbearable! PS these posts are giving me life, I’ve been reading on/off all weekend!

  17. MC says...

    This is so good. Who doesn’t love to revisit the awkwardness! It only provides us with insight to our growth :)
    I broke up with my first boyfriend after 5 years and moved to New York. We started dating at the end of high school to early twenties. I went from “I’m so happy I can’t imagine life without you!” to “time to start my life without you!”. He ended up proposing to the girlfriend he started dating the month I left for NYC and was married to her in the less than a year.
    2 years into living in New York, and 2 years into his marriage I was coming home from a workout class in Williamsburg. I was wearing full sweats but with a faux leopard coat I had purchased in Paris because I thought it would make me look oh-so-hip. Low and behold I look up Bedford avenue and see him walking down Bedford with his new wife. I felt so angry he was in MY neighborhood! They went to eat at Oasis and I avoided them by hiding behind a car. I quickly realized I had nothing to hide from. He was in MY hood after all) so I pretended to walk by Oasis – and knocked on the window “OHhhhh what are you doing here!”. I decided to stand my ground and be confident in my workout leopard attire. 2 years later they divorced. I never had any reason to be mad at him after we broke up. His impulse marriage was exactly the reason I knew we couldn’t be together. He would have stayed with me even though I was unhappy. Sadly, they divorced after 4 years of marriage. I wanted them to last so I could be happy for him. Ghosts from the past are such good life check-in points.

    • Elaine says...

      “Ghosts from the past are such good life check-in points.” – I love that.

  18. S says...

    I just broke up with my live-in boyfriend three weeks ago, and we have 5 more months on our lease! I work late, so I only see him briefly in the morning and at night if I get off early. We’re very polite and not hostile at all, but each small encounter leaves me more and more heartbroken. He’s just left for a two week trip, so maybe things will be easier after some time really apart.

  19. Andrea says...

    My first love in high school ended amicably. He was a very good guy and we didn’t work out because, high school. We ran into each other trick-or-treating on Halloween, as his cousin happened to live two doors down from our house. I was in a cowgirl outfit along with my kids and my husband, he also in costume (can’t remember because I did get flustered!) with his wife and kids. I introduced him to my wonderful husband and kids, and he introduced me to his lovely family. In addition, his parents and siblings were also in town and visiting his cousin, so he called them out and I had a warm greeting with all of them. Glad to know he still is a very good guy!

  20. Kelly says...

    I had not seen my ex in three years and was well past thinking about him when one day, at lunch with my friends, I swore I saw him in the restaurant. I had all my friends walk by and confirm it wasn’t him. It took me a few hours to shake the feeling that if the person I thought was him wasn’t, he was somewhere near. Finally my blood pressure was back to normal and we were out shopping around when I looked up in a crosswalk and he was walking right toward me. I either looked exactly like a stressed out Cathy comic screaming hello or like myself with Obama’s swagger giving a slight nod. There is simply no way to know.

    • Emily L says...

      Haha, dying at your last two sentences. Brilliant!

  21. colleen k says...

    I ran into my ex and first love/everything on a plane to Las Vegas for my best friends bachelorette……for both my arrival and departure flights. I looked stunning for my arrival and felt pretty good about seeing him (aka him seeing me). After the bachelorette festivities, I did not look quite as sharp for the trip home! I didnt know he was on my plane until we were seated across from each other. To boot, there was turbulence the whole way home and all I could think was it was just my luck if this plane crashed to be alongside this guy. It was certainly interest luck and made for an entertaining story!

  22. Eva says...

    I have only had two significant relationships, my present long-term boyfriend and my first love, whom I dated on and off through our teenage years/early adulthood. I feel so lucky that we managed to remain in each other’s life; we share the same group of friends, so it sort of happened naturally, with time – sure seeing him was hard at first, especially when he started dating his new girlfriend. But he had been such an important part of my life, at a time that was so self-defining, that it seemed worth it. We grew up together, and that will always be there. Both he and I and our significant others are friends to this day, ten years later!

    • lomagirl says...

      This is great. I wish I could see my exes- or just on Facebook. Those guys were part of my life- and I miss them as friends- but so glad I didn’t marry them.

  23. Meg says...

    This might be the first time I’ve read every comment. Dying.

    I attended a wedding where I had had an on/off fling for years with the groom. By then we were obviously off and friends. No big deal. However my significant ex was there with his new fiancé. That was soul crushing. He offered to introduce me; I declined.

    It may have been one of the weirdest weddings though. We had a small tight knit group of friends surrounded by a larger peripheral circle. There was a lot of intradating over the years. Basically everyone at this wedding had at least one ex in the house. Some had two or three. Even the bride had an ex who was a groomsman! Needless to say, she had a hell of a time putting together a seating chart.

  24. Melissa says...

    I was on my way to a tattoo appointment, and had walked a little too far up the street, past the parlour who’s door isn’t so well marked. When I realized this, I turned around and started walking back, looked up, and there was my ex.

    The crazy thing is I was on my way to get a tattoo of our dog that we got together years before we broke up, and I hadn’t seen him since the day our dog passed away 3 years earlier.

    What are the odds of that!

  25. I love this topic; what a wonderful common ground for experience-sharing.

    The first time I ran into my ex (the big one), shortly after our breakup, was at a grungy pool bar I had always loved and he had always been sort of meh about. It was only for a second, and he looked miserable, but I really wasn’t expecting it, so yeah: bit of a gut punch. My girlfriends shot him some serious death stares and then got me out of there for a stiff drink.

    The second time I saw him was about nine months later, at a sushi restaurant, and I looked *amazing* (post-breakup/new-flame lithe, newly-blonde hair, smoky eyes, thigh-high black leather boots). In addition, I was there with a local ‘it’ crowd and my new (super-hot) s.o.

    I know that’s not how these things are supposed to go down, and the ex and I laugh about it now. But I’ll be forever grateful for the moment he saw me and was speechless for a full minute!

  26. A. says...

    I feel a little naughty posting this, but there must be others who have felt the same way I do! I had a really steamy and volatile relationship toward the end of college that was clearly going no where in the long term, though we did have a few flings after I graduated. When we finally drifted apart for good about nine years ago, there was no bad blood between us. Fast forward to a few months ago when I ran into him in the produce section of our local food co-op–a well-lit and cozy place regardless of the situation! We made small talk and checked in about our lives. Of course, he’s still an artist, and he gave a pretty charming smile when I motioned to my belly and said, “I’m pregnant… again!” We hugged and went our separate ways.

    Now, I am crazy about my husband and in fact take a lot of pride in our stable, supportive, and dynamic marriage. But that run in made me thrum for the rest of the day. Memories of my ex kept cropping up as I walked around the city that we evidently still share–a harmless secret for me to enjoy!

  27. Emma says...

    I ran into an ex while I was headed into my wedding venue 1 week prior to the wedding to finalize the contest. Turns out he was working there! We were standing across the street from each other at a crosswalk and there was no way to avoid it. I was totally freaking out and talk about being weirded out by the timing of it all. Was this the universe sending me a message?! It was quite satisfying when I explained what I was doing there though :)

    • Emma says...

      Contract (not contest!)

  28. Ana says...

    My husband and I were about to take a trip to Cambodia. The plan was to include a night-out with an ex of mine and his young family (he’s from Phnom Penh and my first love to boot). That may sound strange but 6 years after the breakup, we slowly became friends and kept in touch since via phone.

    This would be the first time for me to see him again after the breakup and I was deliberating if it was a good idea after all. My husband didn’t mind, it seems, but I wasn’t sure if seeing him again would be the same as just talking on the phone.

    These thoughts ran in my head as I was about to drop off my husband at the bank the day before our flight was due. Since there was no parking available, I told my husband that I would make a few rounds in the vicinity until he was done. As soon as my husband stepped out of the car, I made my first round to the back of the bank. In my mind, I calculated the merits of the hanging-out-with-the-ex again idea.

    All of a sudden, a man in head-to-toe black officewear crossed the road right in front of me. Lo and behold- he turned out to be my other ex! The one who I moved onto after the Cambodian ex dumped me. The one who I dumped for my now-husband (ah well, yes, it happened that way). The one sandwiched between my first love and the love of my life. The ‘middle’ ex.

    And there he was, literally in the middle of the road.

    I didn’t look my best at the time but my reflex got the best out me. I honked at him a few times. He didn’t turn to see me and kept on walking into another bank.

    It felt surreal. I drove a few feet ahead and there was my husband, waiting and waving his hands at me.

    Two exes in one weekend? A little bit too much, I would say.

  29. My ex and I were together for 6 years, I was 16 when we got together so those years were very significant in growing up. He dumped me a week before my birthday and a month before our anniversary. When we met up to exchange our things he cried both times but afterwards I found out that by our anniversary he’d already had a new girlfriend! Since I kept his friends (most of them didn’t want anything to do with him anymore), I knew that he’d be at a party that I was planning attebdung also. So we met there, me with my sweet new boyfriend and he with his new gf but when I tried to be the mature one and start a conversation, they moved to the other side of the room. After a really cruel breakup and me trying to be the bigger person the only thing that consoled me, was that his new gf must be quite a bit older than me and that he’ll soon enough be swallowed up by questions about marriage and babies and me knowing that he’s deathly scared about these topics and growimg up in general :D

  30. Christina says...

    My ex moved 2000 miles away after our breakup, but I worry sometimes that I’ll run into his family. I became very close with his parents and siblings over the 4 years we were together and in the end it was much harder to lose all of them than my ex. I didn’t go into the department store where his sister works for like 2 years for fear of seeing her, but I eventually got over it. It was a toxic relationship and I think I was more worried they’d blame me instead of his addiction and mental health issues.

  31. Louise says...

    So… not an official encounter, but I do think it still fits this post. 16 year old me was dating (and falling hard for) a family friend’s son. After only a couple of weeks, I was truly loved up, and he was truly ready to dump me. Did I mention he was a model? He was a runway model. So here I am, heartbroken from my first break-up, in bed with tea and tissues and cookies and such, and Elle magazine, as a distraction. Guess who is staring back at me from some fashion show’s pic. Not helpful, not helpful at all.

    • Frieda says...

      Hi Louise –
      Sorry about your bad “comfort read”. Lots of people end up on TV, billboards, social media or become world famous for something. Fasten your seatbelt. You will probably see just about every ex you ever knew “broadcast” on a billboard, magazine, YouTube, news item or reality TV show at some point.
      I have seen more than one ex on my TV set. It’s the modern age. You’ll get through it!

  32. Lia says...

    I had an unusual run in with my first love.

    During college I had a HUGE crush on one of my anthropology classmates, a full blown I can’t even concentrate he’s so beautiful crush. I never worked up the nerve to say anything to him, and only knew his first name…Michael. I dreamed of running into him, but 3 years flew by and nothing. The day I went to pickup my cap and gown, I ran into him. I was with my boyfriend, and I literally froze when I saw my dreamy unicorn-fantasy crush. When he walked by me, he looked me right in the eyes, and smiled. My boyfriend immediately knew who he was, and once I snapped out of shock he began to tease me. All of my close friends knew about my unicorn freshman crush, and they were glad he was real, and most importantly that I got to see him once more before graduation.
    I moved to the big city, began adulting, grew out of my college relationship, and one night after one too many glasses of wine, I “poked” the unicorn on Facebook. Long story short..turns out he had noticed me in our anthropology class and felt an instant connection, but he was in a relationship. He was also shocked to see me before graduation, he had also thought of me…but he could clearly see I was in a relationship.
    We quickly went from IM’ing, to texting, to all night phone calls, and finally to meeting in person. It was an intensely passionate long distance relationship (he was in med school and I was in law school), it was purely magical. But, we all know long distance relationships are hard, especially when both parties have never even lived in the same timezone. It may sound crazy, but that breakup broke us both down. It was painful beyond belief, but logic told us it was the right thing to do.
    This past fall I was at a bridal event (I’ve healed, i’m in a good place, and getting married this summer) and when my fiance and I were looking for a videographer, I pulled out a business card I picked up at the event. We were looking at the guys website, and the first video that we played was MY unicorns wedding video/photo montage. It took everything in me not to fall apart in front of my fiance that evening. That night when I got back to my place I watched the video again. Oddly enough, the hardest part was listening to her recite her vow to him. She beautifully put into words everything I love about him. Someone else was living MY unicorn fairytale.

    Maybe that’s what it was always meant to be, just a fantasy. Some people only have one great love in their life, sometimes people never really find love. But in two months the next chapter of my real life fairytale begins, and I think we both are where we’re supposed to be.

    • Jo says...

      This was moving.. I wish you the best in your married life.. May you make peace with the situation and enjoy your current life to the fullest!

  33. Elle says...

    I was madly in love with my boyfriend but it wasn’t progressing so I broke it off. It was the right thing to do but I was heartbroken and devastated. He moved away to another city. I knew where he lived because he wrote me letters and once when in his city I stood outside his door just to feel close to him for a moment. I didn’t make contact with him. One year after we broke up he emailed me to ask if we could be friends. I said no due to the feelings I still had for him. I then moved to another nearby area and I met my now husband. We married and moved again. Fast forward a couple of years. It’s early morning and I’m at the voting booth voting during a presidential election. I come out and run smack into my ex. He had moved back to the area and lived in my voting district three blocks away and neither of us knew it! At this point I was happily married and when he asked to contact me I said yes because I no longer had feelings for him (other than wishing him well in life). I never heard from him. I hope he’s happy!

  34. Em says...

    I fell for my big EX at 12, crazy butterflies for 6 years and we dated for 4. It was an intense and horrible last year before we broke up and we tried to stay friends but we had too much history. That was 10 years ago. We have had multiple run ins, back in our (massive) home city. And we are both married, I have 1.5 kids (one still cooking). I don’t want to see him, or talk to him but I do want him to stop cropping up in my dreams. Is this just happening to me? I’m happy, busy, in love with my husband.. and yet every few months I have a dream and the EX is there, being amazing. We weren’t good together, and I think of these dreams as like a background infection that flared up. Any hot tips on a good cream/drug to wipe it out ;) am over these random tugs from the past. Dammit brain!

    • Anonymous says...

      Dido sister! I have moved on from my ex in a big way – I have been with my now-BF for almost 5 years, we moved away to a big new city together, and now live together.. yet, still find myself having dreams about the ex. I would never consider leaving my boyfriend for him, and honestly don’t really like him as a person, yet still have dreams about him! What gives!

    • lomagirl says...

      Em- I’d say that’s pregnancy for you. Anonymous- I don’t know! I do have occasional dreams about exes. I would love to know how most of them are doing.

  35. Shannon says...

    I broke up with my boyfriend over the phone, and the very next day after work I was waiting for my train, and standing right next to me was my ex. We of course had to take the same train home and he insisted on sitting next to me while inside my head I was screaming IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?! Flash forward five years and we’ve reconnected (after 4 years of no contact) and we are about to celebrate our one year anniversary :) Life is funny. and sometimes uncomfortable.

  36. Alice says...

    New Year’s Eve, in a bar in Asia (5000 miles from where I grew up) I was sitting by a pile of coats and started chatting to a guy looking for his and his girlfriend’s coats, not a pick-up, just a chat. Turns out he went to uni in my hometown, oh he knows the area I’m from, wow he worked at that bar too…the penny dropped at exactly the same time. Neither of us recognised the other. To be fair we were just a fling 20+ years ago, but we flung heavily and I was young and he broke my naive little heart. But all those years later, with my beautiful husband by my side, it seemed so appropriate that we both had forgotten and moved on.
    But if, as yours, he had ignored me I think I would have crumbled on the spot. That’s a bit cruel, however long ago and irrelevant.

  37. Nina says...

    I was just thinking about this topic this morning. I have had 3 Big Loves in my life, am happily married to one of them. I don’t keep in touch w/the other earlier two, but know we all live in different parts of the country. I’d actually love to run into either of them. They informed so much of what love means to me. I still hold them both fondly in my heart, even though our break-ups were both very hard.

  38. Oy. So many times. And never in a place where I’d ever expect to see them. My favorite? In a state where neither of us had ever been – I had just moved there, he was visiting for a weekend. What I remember of it was nice. At least nicer than these things usually are. We still made each other laugh, which was interesting. I was shaky and sad for most of it but ultimately I felt relieved. Everybody survived, right?

  39. Gen says...

    I was dating a guy I was super attached to, then I transferred colleges and moved away and we broke up; for me it was excruciating and he seemed unaffected which made it worse. Shortly afterward, I ran into him in San Francisco, where we both happened to be vacationing (what are the odds; at the time we were living in two different midwestern states). I was getting off the boat to Alcatraz; he was getting on. I was with classmates, not friends, so I took off on my own to process, distraught.

    In that particular touristy area of SF, there’s a long row of bushes and that day, a street performer had a clever trick – he was crouching down, holding a branch in front of himself at the end of the bushes, and when a tourist would get to the end, he’d jump out and surprise them. Usually he got a big laugh. In this case, I burst into tears. He obviously felt terrible (and was probably confused), and in hindsight it’s pretty funny.

    The lovely circa to this story is that maybe 8 years later, after I’d moved across the country and moved on, we got back in touch, reconciled, found closure, dated long distance for a few months, realized we weren’t a good match, let the romance go and remained friends.

    We’re both married with kids now and we catch up every so often when I’m back home. We’ve known each other for 20+ years and it’s sweet to be friends with someone who “knew me then.”

    • Gen says...

      Circa = coda. ;)

    • Katie says...

      That guy dressed as a bush has been pulling that trick forever, and I am pretty sure he doesn’t feel bad at all!

  40. Nicky says...

    The one who broke my heart (at age 37 no less, and right after I lost my job), because, in his words, “We’re just at different points in our lives” which I later realized translated to “You’re too old” because he wanted to start a family. (At the time I failed to see I was his rebound-girl after his wife of five years left him for a coworker.) We met at the dog park and the last run-in I had with him was at a different dog park a year and a half later. He was with his pregnant, twenty-something girlfriend. Yeah, it stung. Still does years later but fortunately he doesn’t live in my area anymore. Good riddance!

    • Freida says...

      Men are such jerks some times. They waste your child bearing years saying “they don’t want the same thing”. Selfish and stupid. All girls – don’t waste time on guys who aren’t sure. Get your baby if you want it. Don’t miss that opportunity. And if you don’t want it and he does – well he should have told you or maybe he is just getting what he really wants.
      I am sure that was hard to see, particularly if you were looking forward to motherhood.
      Get out there and keep trying if that is what you truly want!

  41. Rose says...

    There’s a country song I love by the Turnpike Troubadours about a major ex girlfriend that I always think of…

    “That old scene is always coming to me, I see you standing with your husband and your child, and you’re the picture of strength and grace and beauty, and me I’m just a fool in the supermarket aisle.”

    I like to imagine my high school boy has seen me around town with my handsome doctor husband and beautiful baby girl and thought, “damn she did good.” Not that it matters…but still.

  42. Em says...

    I was taking photos on top of a windswept mountain about two hours from home with a group of international students I teach. My husband was along, and we were taking a photo together, when I heard behind me the unmistakable (and now sickening) sound of my ex’s voice as he talked and laughed with friends. What are the odds? Here I was, married, but I had never wanted to hear that guy’s voice or see his face again for good reasons. I gave my husband a huge hug, a “please get out of here and I’ll explain later” look, and he went and hunkered down in the car with me until the students were ready to go home (and the miscreant had passed).

  43. Luz says...

    Chiming in belatedly to say that my favorite running into an ex story is the standalone episode of Girls last season, with Marni and her ex. So good :)

  44. Natty M. says...

    UGH my 5yr college reunion is coming up. Not exactly an ex-boyfriend, but definitely an ex-something! On and off the entire 4 years in college… he never wanted a relationship. Senior year a few months after our last “thing” and an awkward me saying “I can’t do this anymore”, I see him hand-in-hand with some chick, and from what I heard very happy in a relationship. KILLED ME but oddly enough exactly what I needed to get over him and am now with my wonderful boyfriend of, thats right 5 years.

    Our 5-yr reunion is coming up in a month and a half and considering we had a few mutual friends, I’m anticipating running into him… honestly, I am not feeling prepared but like they say, fake it until you make it, right?

  45. Jd says...

    My ex brought a girl to the bar where I worked. Oddly enough I wasn’t actually working that day but came in to hang out and have a drink. He knew that I worked there so it was obvious that he came in knowing it was possible he could see me. When I initially saw him I freaked out and ran back into the kitchen of the bar to calm down. As I was in the back I realized that he came in to “my” space. I wasn’t going to let him come into my bar and intimidate me or act like he didn’t see me. I collected myself and walked back out there. I confidently walked up to him and said hi. He seemed a little shook and acted really awkward. My friends that worked there all knew what was going on so they started coming over to talk to me and gave me free drinks and the chef brought out food personally, all to show their support which made me feel loved. It made what had the potential to be a very uncomfortable situation more bearable. Luckily I haven’t run in to him since!

    • Lilly says...

      Oh god, I accidentally did this to my ex! He got a job at my favourite fancy neighbourhood pizza place – the one place I usually hide in with a book after bad days at work, where I bring my parents/sistera when they’re in town, where I know the owner… and where I went with my boyfriend to celebrate moving in together, because it’s a block away from what’s now our place. I didn’t realize that the great new job he’d talked about getting was there until guess who’s section we’re seated in? His.
      Ex & boyfriend carried it off well. I was far too enthusiastic about catching up and then clammed up in embarrassment. We stuck to takeout until he moved cities, despite it being so close to our apartment!

  46. Jen says...

    I’ve never commented before but HAD to share my story for this one. I dated a guy post college that was not a great guy- but my self esteem was really low due to struggling find my way after graduation (this was during the recession) and I was super vulnerable. Anyways, I finally got my head out of my butt and dumped him. Flash forward to a few months later, I’m employed, living on my own and had recently gotten together with my now husband, I pulled in to my apartment complex one day after work and see HIS CAR parked right next to mine in the carport. There was no way he could have known I lived there- we had zero mutual friends- it was just one of those freaky coincidences. I literally had a panic attack and called my then-boyfriend sobbing who had to come home from work to calm me down. Thankfully I was only there a few more months, and whenever we saw each other neither of us said anything, but it was horrible.

  47. Natalie says...

    My parents have been married for over 40 years and have known each other since first grade. They went to their high school reunion a few years back and ran into my mom’s old junior high boyfriend. At one point in the night my dad was trying to find where my mom had wandered off to and he ran into this old boyfriend. He said, “have you seen my wife? I seem to have lost her…” and the old boyfriend muttered “so did I” and walked away!

  48. Lindsey says...

    I was with my brother and new boyfriend (now husband) and we had just sat down at a diner for lunch. Unfortunately it was one of those U shaped small diners and when I looked up my ex was:
    -sitting directly across from us
    -with his GRANDMA
    -and when I thought about the date I realized it was his birthday!
    I took the mature route and grabbed both my boyfriend and brother and walked out. No regrets.

  49. Marisa says...

    I ran into my ex, who I had been living with and thought I was going to marry, barely 2 weeks after we broke up. I was really heartbroken and still totally in love with him and devastated by the breakup. I had what I can only describe as a panic attack and threw up in the bathroom of the restaurant we were at.

    We still live in the same area, I’m hoping next time I can just smile in acknowledgment and continue on with whatever I’m doing.

  50. Natalie says...

    I didn’t really “run into” my ex because the first time I saw him after we broke up was at his father’s funeral after his sudden passing. I was keenly aware that I would be seeing him (and his sisters, and his mom, and our mutual friends, etc. etc.) and I was incredibly nervous, but I also knew that seeing me again was the least of his worries on one of the worst days of his life. Any discomfort I felt was so entirely dwarfed by the heaviness of the day and the pain he was going though.

  51. Loesie says...

    Whenever I wake up and feel too tired to put any effort into looking even just a tiny bit like my better self, I remind myself: ‘This could be the day I run into my ex.’ And then I comb my hair a little more, pick out better clothes and secretly laugh on the inside, thinking “I’m gonna kick your butt. Or anyone else’s butt who I wouldn’t want to see again but run into.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha i love that.

  52. Megan says...

    Eek! My significant ex and I now live in the same city (thousands of miles away from where we met) and the first time we ran into each other was my ideal scenario. I was at a concert with my best girlfriends, looking and feeling good, saw him first (without his girlfriend) and staged the run-in. Phew! However, that didn’t stop the gittery-palm sweating-heart fluttering-I’m going to vomit-feeling. The next time I saw him, I was with my fiance (now sweet, sweet husband) and sister waiting on our table reservation when he and his girlfriend (now wife) walked in the restaurant. I noticed them, started to smile and say hello, and they just kept walking past me. I think she was pulling on his sleeve telling him not to stop. AWKWARD. We haven’t seen each other since, but I’m convinced our next run-in will be when I’m pregnant and in pajamas walking the dog.

  53. I was on a ski date with my now husband, the 2 of us in line for a triple chairlift. Well who is next in the singles line to join us and make our chair a triple?! My Ex! I freaked, my heart started racing, and I did what any panicked person would do…when we were motioned to get on the chair I let my husband go and then skied around to the other side of him to block my Ex from being able to join our chair. The lift operator was like “what are you doing?!” as just the 2 of us were scooped up by the chair and sent up the mountain. It was wild. And I’ve never seen him again, ha!

  54. JGB says...

    THE MORNING I GOT ENGAGED. Was walking on a nature trail with my soon-to-be fiancee and walked right by the one I never should have dated. It was horrifying at the time, but it seems very full circle now.

  55. Jane says...

    I moved to San Francisco for my boyfriend right after I graduated college. The plan was for us to live there while he finished his degree and that we would eventually move to LA for work. 10 months into living together and he essentially has mental breakdown. We decide to break up, that we want different things, (me, to eventually be married and live in LA, him, not wanting marriage and wanting to stay in SF). It was going to be a really amicable, mature breakup UNTIL I find out that he’s cheating on me with a mutual friend. I’m devastated, naturally, but I move out, get over him, and eventually start dating my now-boyfriend.

    Flash forward to a year later and we’ve decided to move to LA. I’m coming home from literally my LAST day of work at my job, and I get off the train, look up to cross the street and he’s standing on the other side of the street, staring at me, giving me that awkward/sad smile and wave. I freak out, pretend not to see him and proceed to turn around and walk in the entire opposite direction from my apartment, and end up walking so far that I have to take a cab home! Haha. Cut to 2 years living in LA, and I find out that he’s 1) engaged and 2) living in LA. But ultimately, it was for the best, I’m with the love of my life now, blah blah blah. :)

    Life is HILARIOUS.

  56. Running into exes isn’t a problem for me! I have so many exes I’ve gotten used to it!

    • Paula says...

      I simply enjoy everything about this comment, user name and all :-D

  57. Cat says...

    After reading all of these (hilarious) stories, I had to share mine. Some background: I work in a creative industry where there are a lot of office romances. We all work long hours together. It happens. I ended up dating two guys from that office (the first one stopped working there long ago).

    Luckily, I got a new job while I was dating the second one, so when he dumped me out of the blue, I didn’t have to worry about running into him post-breakup. Or so I thought. After a weird turn of events, I ended up freelancing at that company a month after our breakup, and though I knew it would be awkward to run into him, I assumed we’d be on different projects.

    Cut to me in a meeting room with the ex, PLUS the OTHER ex whom I’d dated before and hadn’t seen in over a year, who happened to be freelancing on the SAME PROJECT. It was the most excruciating week of my life.

  58. Laura says...

    My BF and I live about 2 streets over from my ex, which means that I put on makeup to run to the corner store because I’m terrified I’ll run into him when I’m looking my worst. I’ve never actually seen him there in 2 years, but I have run into him at events (he works with a friend of mine) and it’s always heart attack-inducing

  59. Christina says...

    The timing of this post is so funny for me… I just ran into an ex at a bar last Saturday, he asked me to dinner to “catch up” two days later, and it actually ended up being the most cathartic thing. Even though some people argue that “closure” isn’t a real thing and that it has more to do with yourself than your interaction with the other person, I disagree. During this encounter, he apologized, I apologized, we both explained things that provided clarity, and I felt like a weight that I didn’t even know I was carrying had lifted. So I would say that this was the best of all possible ex run-ins.

    • Amanda says...

      Love, love, love. I wish this for everyone!!

    • A says...

      I met with a college love recently and he apologized for being a stupid boy. Ha ha! I apologized for being crazy. Life is good, and I love where mine has ended up but yeah, closure felt nice. Acknowledgement that there was some immaturity and hurt feelings felt good.

  60. Karla says...

    It feels great to read everyone’s stories and know we’re all not alone :)

    Last time I saw my ex, my husband and I were out to dinner…and he was the bartender. He did give us free drinks, so that was nice. And, I was dressed up so that was double nice! We haven’t eaten at that restaurant since that night.

  61. Gab says...

    I normally bike to and from work, but the other day I had decided to take the metro because of the weather. I had gotten out of work late, coming off of several weeks of long hours at the office resulting in less effort on my overall appearance. Needless to say, I looked like a poodle on a bad day. As I’m about to step on the metro car, I look up and see my ex who I dated, on and off, all through grad school sitting and deep in a book with a smile on his face. We have not seen each other in over a year. By pure instinct that I didn’t even know I had, I sprung out of that car and ran down to take one several cars down just praying he had not seen me. Not exactly the picture I had in my head of seeing him after all that time!

  62. plch says...

    Funny to be reading this today…
    I cannot say to have any exes since my husband is also my first boyfriend but I had a paif of friends with benefits before meeting him, one of them sort of broke my heath *before* becoming a friend with benefits, he’s also the first guy I had sex with.. and I met him yesterday after at least ten years. In the street, I was with my sister and he was on the phone, I said Hi K. and he waved at me… that’s all. Actually, I was quite happy to see him and not particularly bothered… which is good :)

  63. Lucia says...

    When I first started dating the man who is now my husband, I would run into my ex’s friends everywhere we went. There would always be some awkward hellos and heart palpitations from me until I could see my ex wasn’t with them. I finally decided I needed to know before going further in this new relationship whether I was really over him, so I invited him for coffee. We had coffee, it was lovely, we always had a million things to talk about, but I knew it was really over and I could move on. After that, I never ran into his friends (or him) again, not once.

  64. Do you have a long form entry for me? Just kidding, kinda.

    This guy and I dated for a summer. We went to different colleges that weren’t too far apart. Things were great until a bit into the semester, he seemed spacy and stopped calling. Well he got back together with his ex girlfriend. Fast forward two years and I’m getting ready to go babysit for a family I babysit for all the time. I’m in sweats, messy bun, and shopping for Halloween items. Turn the corner, boom there he is. We both stopped and looked at each other. Then I notice his wife standing beside him and she’s in her third trimester. Needless to say no words were exchanged.

    Last summer my son and I were messing around a local trail killing time while my cycling. He had passed us about five minutes earlier and I was trying to wrangle my son to go one way. We are starting to head towards the car and one of my ex’s walks out of office. No clue he worked there. We exchanged pleasantries and caught up for a few minutes. He’s married with two kids and I’m married. Just weird to run into each other YEARS after you have dated.

  65. SA says...

    You don’t know what hell is until you’ve run into your less than stellar ex in the family locker room at the local YMCA. There is nowhere to hide and your kids is repeatedly asking “MOMMY, WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO??!”

  66. Katie says...

    My big “love” in college lasted all of 14 or so months, but it left a lasting impression. We broke up middle of our sophomore year, remained on friendly terms until he started dating another girl and then…he just pretended like I’d never existed, which really hurt. He spent the next year and a half avoiding me like the plague. I even saw him dragging his then girlfriend out of the same shared space we were in when he saw me across the room (which was so lame!). Anyway, fast forward to graduation day: our graduating class in our small liberal arts college divided the whole group in half and had each group walking to the quad for the graduation ceremony in a single file line. At a certain point, each line converged with the other, and then the 2 lines walked down the sidewalk side-by-side. Who do you think I randomly got to walk next to once the 2 lines met up? I remember my heart beating really fast and then I just started laughing….BECAUSE WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! It seemed like such a fitting “goodbye” after he sheepishly avoided me all that time.

  67. Ashley says...

    I had an ex move into my apartment building once! Talk about horrifying!

  68. carrie says...

    My mom has a funny story of running into one my dad’s exes…

    My parents hosted an engagement party at their home soon after they were married. The engaged couple was still friends with my dad’s (now married) ex, so she was an attendee (even though her and my dad were no longer in touch). It was doomed to be a little awkward. When my mom went to open the door she was greeted my mom “Hi Linda, this is my husband, Steve.” (That was not her husband’s name… my dad is Steve!). She was mortified. My mom just laughed and said “actually, I married Steve!”

  69. Erin says...

    I am not sure where to say this, but I’d love to explore something I don’t read a lot about – exes and situations where there are children and you have to see or interact with the ex!
    I am dating an older, also divorced man with a young child. I strongly dislike his ex (for a million reasons but of course, she’s terrible right? But I don’t want her to be – I wish things were different). We will start our own family soon and I struggle with his previous life, while wanting to include his child in our own. I’d love to see some of these kinds of situations covered.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note, erin! we’d love to write about this, and i’m so sorry that she sounds difficult!! thank you so much xoxo

    • KC says...

      ack! I’ve been there! But, even though it’s still sometimes stress-inducing and nothing is perfect (but is it ever?), it DOES get better. And families blend just fine :) Not all blended family stories are bad ones.

    • sally says...

      I agree, this is part of my life as well and extraordinarily difficult

  70. Sam says...

    My cousin ran into his ex (of three years) in a bar, he was with his wife. He pointed out his ex to his wife in a discreet, “just so you know” way, she came over and sat down next to his wife at the bar, he leaned over and said “hey megan good to see you” and she goes.. “my name is katherine.” He was 100% certain it was her, same glasses, same mole, same everything, but she acted like a complete stranger and went on to make small talk with his wife for 10 minutes. Bizarre!

  71. Erin G. says...

    I had a brief fling with a TA when I was a freshman in college. He moved away (to continue grad school) a few months after we met, and though it had only been a short romance, I was heart broken. Four years later, I skipped my college graduation to have a wild week in New York City with my best girlfriend. We were graduating in December, so it was holiday time. Riding up an escalator in the Herald Square Macy’s, I look up and who is riding down! I was so stunned I could barely eek out his name as we crossed paths, but it was loud enough that I caught his attention. His eyes grew wide and then he smiled. He disappeared into the insane crowd on the level below and though I thought about going after him, I let it be.

  72. Running into an ex is seriously the worst thing ever. For many years I fretted about seeing my high school sweetheart around town when I was back home from college. When I thought it was him I’d go into a panic mode and turn bright red. I ran into him years later at a reunion. I didn’t turn so red, but I was still nervous. What an awful feeling, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  73. Jbhat says...

    I will have to come back to read through all these comments. So many stories!

    Once an ex-boyfriend came into the store where I worked, and after saying hello and making random small talk, he said that the specific purpose of finding me that day was to say how sorry he was for the way he had behaved towards me, both before and during our breakup. At the time, I thought it was very kind of him, very evolved…..but then later I thought, hey, wait a minute! Is he in a 12-step program, and I’m just on his apology rounds list? Ha! Aside from the usual early twenties bar-going, he hadn’t seemed like any sort of addict. I guess I’ll never know the motive for the visit that day.

  74. FM says...

    The other night, I almost bumped into The Only Man I Have Loved Other Than My Partner.

    It would have been fine, because we really are over it, and it was a long time ago… except I was headed back from my PhD office in jogging bottoms, at midnight. Looking the opposite of good. I’ve been doing PhD corrections all hours of the night, so my appearance is somewhere in the range of ‘haunted and sweaty’.

    So I took the mature route, and put my hood up and ran away… I guess I hope he didn’t realise it was me?

  75. KC says...

    I was already contracted to work with an ex when we broke up, and even though I could have backed out I decided to go through with it. I had four months before the contract started, and he spent two of those lying to me about starting to date the girl he cheated on me with. Definitely had to set up some boundaries when I got there, but all in all it could have been worse! The job only lasted five months, and even though it had its awkward moments I got through. Mostly by doing yoga twice a week.

  76. Dated this guy one summer before he went in to the Peace Corps – no great loss, just a summer diversion.
    Two and a half/three years later, I’m in a record store and he’s browsing the CDs on the other side of the aisle. He looks up, sees me and says, “You look really familiar, do I know you?”
    I knew him instantly. But if he couldn’t remember me, I wasn’t going to remind him.
    I frowned, said no, I get that a lot, I must look like a lot of people.
    He asked again but still didn’t recognize me.
    When he left, my friend I was hanging out with said, “God that’s so weird, he thought he knew you!”
    I replied, “Yeah, that’s Dan, if he can’t remember me, I can’t be bothered to remember him.”

    • Kate says...

      You rock. So hard.

  77. CoraD says...

    At the McDonald’s where I was working at the time – I was at the cash register and up he stepped to place an order. We were both happy to see each other – mainly to know that the other was still alive and doing well.

  78. Jo says...

    My first real relationship, the boy who stole my heart and my first kiss at 16, (late bloomer?) is still really good friends with my fiance. We all went to high school together a decade ago and while most of my high school friends have fallen away, his group is strong and thriving, always making time for each other. My fiance knows everything about our heartbreak, how he broke up with me very abruptly and started dating one of my friends immediately. Ironically he dumped her too and she became one of my only high school friends to become one of my best lifelong friends and we even lived together for a while. I know that it was forever ago and the experience shaped me, but I’d be lying if I don’t feel a pang in my heart whenever I see him, for the memories of all that adolescent angst and love lost. We do see each other a lot because he is roommates with my fiance’s brother. We mostly avoid each other, saying the basic pleasantries. I know I am over it, and I have seen other exes and not cared at all. This relationship was such a blip in my life but I remember it so significantly. So how do I get rid of that initial shock to my heart whenever I see him that’s replaced the butterflies I used to get?

    • Gosh that sounds so hard Jo, since you are still around each other. A similar thing happened to me in high school, with my first boyfriend. We still have a few mutual friends but are never in the same place. I’m not sure if that feeling will ever really go away…it certainly hasn’t for me. I think for myself, that person was my first love, someone I was fully open with, so that wound, though now closed, hurt the most. I never fully understood why I was rejected, and it’s hard to forget that intense pain and heartache you feel when you’re young.

      Moving forward I’d say that you should use seeing him as an opportunity to forgive how he hurt you and not let it define how you see him now. Try to see him for who he is today, many years later, rather than the crazy hormonal kid we all were in high school. I would also pay attention to your feelings when you see him – are you worried about your appearance? worried that he’ll say something mean? Unsure of yourself? How does seeing him affect you? And then take that and work on reassuring yourself of who you are and how strong you are. You’ll never be best friends, but it might make it less difficult and more reflective of who you both are now, many years later.

    • Jeanne says...

      I like to look at it this way. He had a purpose in your life but it was not to break your heart. You dated him and went through that pain so that you could meet and develop a relationship with your lifelong best friend. And we all know how valuable and rare those are right?

  79. Katie says...

    Hand to heart, this happened… After breaking off an engagement, in a rather dramatic fashion, we parted ways and I moved to a new apartment, taking with me the furniture that I had bought (the kitchen table, the bed, etc. He kept the couch, the TV, coffee table, etc.)

    It was the start of a new life for me, and being the young twenty-something that I was, wanted to flaunt my new independence and decided to make that IKEA trip all by myself. While I was feeling pretty proud of myself for hauling the heavy pieces of my new couch and coffee table onto the pushcart, I knew there was no way I could manage getting it home, by myself, so I lined up in the longest and slowest line for delivery (thank you, Brooklyn IKEA).

    I could not believe it when my ex pulled up right behind me with his own cart (he had brought a friend, which I felt slightly smug about) and looked just as about surprised as I was. Between our two carts, we made up an entire apartment. He had all the items I had taken with me, and I was replacing all the furniture I had left behind. His friend greeted me politely and when I went to say hello, he said, “I’m not doing the small talk thing with you.” Not knowing how to respond, I nodded and went back to facing the now excruciatingly slow line I was in. In complete silence. With the other half of my old apartment directly behind me.

    The dude did not get out of line! And I’d be damned if I was going to move, that line was long and I was definitely there first! Not a word was spoken for the rest of the wait, and we have never encountered each other since.

  80. kelly ehlers says...

    A guy I went on ONE date with came to my wedding. It was weird. Saying all that he is my besties brother in law but still didn’t expect him to be her plus one. Since we went on ONE date it wasn’t a big deal in my mind. It was a joyful day and it didn’t damper my day.

  81. Sara says...

    This post comes at such a fitting time! My boyfriend of over five years and I broke up, and I have since found out that he cheated on me for over a month before ending things. Although I have found closure and have moved on I have been constantly wondering where we will run into each other and how I will react. Part of me thinks that I will be brave and show him how great I am without him, OR slap him across the face, and part of me thinks I will sprint in the other direction! Only time will tell.

    • Valerie says...

      I found out my ex had been cheating on me for two years after he dumped me. I was a mess, but it’s been two years now and I know that I’m much better off without him. Last year I had to spend a week on training with the girl he cheated on me with. I chose to take the high road and did not blink once, it was so satisfying to be gracefull enough to ignore her and not get into a fight. So, don’t worry, be nice to people and life will be nice to you in return.

  82. Sarah says...

    My fiancé’s ex girlfriend is still a part of his friend group and we’ve joined her as part of the group for occasional dinners, trips to beach houses, weddings, etc. She doesn’t talk much to either of us, but we’re all polite. When we went to the beach last summer, different people were arriving at different times in different cars, and for a hot second it looked like we’d have to share a room with her…luckily she very gracefully opted for the couch in the living room instead. That would’ve been just too awkward!
    .
    My one significant ex moved out of the country, and was back on a visit and hanging out with our mutual friends (well they were his friends that I kept when he left the US). My fiancé (then BF) and I happened to run into them at a bar. I recognized my ex from the back and had to quickly tell BF what he was walking into. We were on decent terms but not talking much since I’d started dating my now-fiancé, who was now becoming friends with the same friend group. Luckily we were going to a movie later and only had time for 1 drink, which put a time frame on the hanging-out. Later, though, one of these mutual friends roped my BF and my ex into coming over to his place and playing D&D together. Which they did. And then all the other guys left for a cigarette break outside, so the two had to make awkward conversation until they came back.

  83. Laura says...

    I still talk to my ex on occasion. We were together from teens to early 20’s. Being in my late 30’s now and so removed from life back then it feels like such a special link to my past. I mean, we did our initial growing up and teen angst years together after all. He recently took a trip to Romania with his partner (where my husband is going in a few weeks oddly enough). My ex posted a few pics on Instagram and I was curious if his partner did too, so I looked on her feed, no big deal, no stalking, just curious, just looking for scenery pics. A few days later I noticed her feed was showing on my timeline…. some how I ended up following her! I tell myself it’s no biggie, I’m too old to feel embarrassed or too awkward about such things. But under all that self reassurance I am absolutely dying of embarrassment. And laughing – totally laughing at myself.

  84. Oh goodness, I had one crazy encounter two years ago that still makes my stomach knot. My ex and I were in a weird, rocky relationship when I met my current boyfriend, and pretty soon I told the ex that I had met someone else. He understood and we parted ways amicably–we both knew we’d always have a special place in each other’s heart, though we just weren’t right for each other. Four months later, I was meeting my boyfriend at an NBA game and I arrived first. As I walked to the assigned ticket seat, guess who had a seat IN THE ROW RIGHT ABOVE US. He and his friends, who I had gotten close with while we dated. He stood to greet me and proceeded to sit in my boyfriend’s seat to catch up. I didn’t know what to do, so before I knew it we were having a friendly conversation–then my boyfriend arrived, tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Um… excuse me, that’s my spot.” How ironically fitting. The ex introduced himself and they both knew exactly who each other were right away, and that may have been one of the top awkward moments of my life. Not only that, the ex got up from my boyfriend’s seat only to move one row up–and there he and his friends were the entire game, five feet away from my new boyfriend and I. Looking back, it felt like a strange sense of closure… but wow, what were the chances.

  85. Katie says...

    Months after a traumatic breakup, I hear that my ex has moved out of state so I’m ‘safe’ and won’t have to run into him on the sidewalks of our small town. I walk to meet a friend at a bar one afternoon, and there he is on the patio. He’d come back in town for the weekend and happened to be at the same place I was. I was so shaken I downed my drinks much faster than I should have. We chatted with our mutual friends but ignored each other. Why is it so hard to be polite??

  86. xeniya says...

    Funny enough my boyfriend and I always run into my ex and now his wife. Galleries, walking in the neighborhoods, restaurants even an air port last summer. I was weird out by it a lot in the beginning but now its almost funny. NYC is a small town after all:)

  87. Estee says...

    I was with a friend at the theater my ex worked at. We were browsing the gift shop when he bounded up with a smile on his face. I was so nervous about seeing him and didn’t know what to say. The break up was a few months old. My friend and I proceeded to completely ignore and not make eye contact with him. Awk. Ward.

  88. Katherine says...

    I ran into my college boyfriend at a mutual friend’s wedding. I knew he was going to be there and we both acted juvenile for most of the weekend and tried to avoid each other. To make matters worse, my husband had horrible food poisoning and was stuck in the hotel all weekend, so I was flying solo. Finally, at the reception, I decided to woman up and I walked over and talked to him. I even asked him to introduce me to his wife – we had a totally pleasant conversation and I was glad I decided to be an adult rather than hide in the corner.

    • Amanda says...

      You go, lady!! I hope I’ll have the courage to do the same.

  89. Erin says...

    I see my ex-husband all the time because we co-parent. It’s funny how when you see them on a regular basis, the reasons for not being with them anymore are still so glaringly obvious. I would imagine if I saw some casual boyfriends with whom I don’t have to interact with ever again, I would be horrified. Something about cutting something off never to revisit makes the heart confused I suppose.

    • Kadija says...

      Amen to this! My son’s father and I are cordial, bu I often find myself secretly rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yes, THIS is why I left!” Thankfully, things have been improving over the past few years.

  90. Talia says...

    I live in a small town and ran into my ex at a local festival I was attending with my husband. . The first year, we politely avoided each other. The second year, same thing only this time I decided to be an adult and walked over and said hello. It was better than awkwardly ducking each other and honestly, now when I run into him we can acknowledge each other and move on.

  91. Kumi says...

    I dated a sweet English major for a couple of years in college and it was fairly serious at the time- we had a difficult breakup when I left for graduate school where I met my husband and the father of my future children. I felt pretty guilty about how that earlier relationship ended for years.
    Amazingly enough, 22 years later, my son was accepted into Stanford where my former college boyfriend was a professor; long story short, a mutual friend set up a “reunion” at a breakfast diner, and we met each other’s families, he had a lovely young son and it was great to see that his wife was smart and fun.
    Though, I never doubted that I made the right choice, that day during what could have been a very ackward breakfast, my husband was as charming, bright and cordial as he always is and put everyone at ease, and I felt lighter and happier about the whole world when we left, and if possible loved my husband even more.

    • Lauren says...

      This is a great story :) A real sliding doors moment!

  92. y says...

    I’m also curious about people’s stories of running into their current boyfriend/spouse’s ex. I run into my husband’s ex-girlfriend (from 8 years ago) EVERYWHERE and she also stalks me on social media. It’s always so awkward because she is so transparent about her stalking!

  93. Ciara says...

    I went to NYC to visit the city and a friend. I got on the L to go into Manhattan and lo and behold, my ex (who had just broken up with me a month prior) was sitting across from me on the train. We were both living in Atlanta at the time, so the chances that we were both in New York and on the same line and on the same car…. totally absurd. We made acknowledged each other and made very sparse small talk until he got off at the next stop. It’s been years since the break up and I’m married now, but since we still have so many mutual friends, every other year we tend to run into each other at a wedding or party of some sort. Thankfully I live in another state now, so I don’t have to see him crossing the street anymore.

  94. Kaitlin says...

    Two times on an airplane!!! What are the chances? The first time was with a guy that I had only gone out with on a couple of dates and things just fizzled. We were on the same flight both ways across the country – what are the chances? I totally avoided him both ways – so glad we weren’t seated near each other!!!
    The second time I was flying to my hometown from the city I live in 10hours away and as I was sitting in my seat a guy walked by and I checked him out and didn’t think much more of him. UNTIL… he sat down in the row behind me. I didn’t recognize him at all, but it must have been his voice or he said his name when I realized it was the guy that I had the BIGGEST high school crush on. And then of course I’m trying to sneakily see him better. Long story short, at the end of the flight I decided I had to say something… I’m sure it was not smooth but I walked up to him and talked to him. We had an extended layover because of plane problems, ended up eating lunch together and catching up on people we both knew. I of course was texting my bestie from high school the whole time. Who thought the entire situation was hysterical. He was married with a kid and any sparks on my part were long gone, turned out to be quite the random afternoon but a fun way to pass a long layover!

  95. My high school ex just happened to decide to come to the same college as me, and then he decided to go to the same ABROAD program as me our sophomore year! I’ve decided he’s stalking me…;p

  96. Two months after our breakup, my ex texted me that he had been thinking about me because he moved into my “area”. Mind you, I was reading this as I was walking out the door to go for a run, so needless to say, I felt like I was a running eyes emoji that night. I never responded. Ever since, I have kept my eye out. We had a weird breakup, and I’m pretty sure that he would act like nothing happened if we were to run into each other. My neighborhood is filled with restaurants and my favorite coffee shop, so it’s crazy we haven’t met up. Two weeks ago (about a year later), I was driving down a one-way and there he was. I had seen his car once before leaving Trader Joe’s and again on the same road, but it had a bumper sticker on it. Who puts a bumper sticker on a BMW? I guess that person is him, and there he was gathering things from his car only two blocks down from my apartment. I have felt much better about him living so close for a bit now, and now that I know where exactly, it’s even better.

  97. Tricia says...

    I was in New Orleans visiting one of my best friends. We were unshowered and sweaty from the summer heat. I was in some supremely unflattering dress. We were sitting in some kind of nice, presumably historic restaurant eating brunch. I had just declined to start drinking yet when I saw some people descending a spiral staircase across the room. At first I thought “Gee that really looks like…” and then I thought “OH MY GOD that is!!!” It was him, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s parents… To put this into perspective, he was the love of my life, the one that got away, the one I really screwed the pooch with. And she, the new girlfriend, loathed me – probably because she knew I was still in love with him. They didn’t live in New Orleans, so I was absolutely shocked to see them. I had completely forgotten she was from there. They were going to be walking right past our table on their way out. Of course, I reacted to this very maturely. By that I mean I began sputtering and trying to hide behind both my hair and my water glass. I considered diving under the table, but I thought that would draw too much attention. My friend had no idea what was happening and was simply bewildered. They waltzed on out. I have no idea whether they saw me or not. Regardless, I began drinking heavily at that point. And after an afternoon of karaoke and piano bars and continued heavy drinking, I decided it would be such a good idea to text him! But oh, I didn’t have his number… But I remembered his email address! So I texted his email address. Didn’t know that was a thing? Oh it is! He got an email from my phone number and responded “Sorry, who’s this?” We ended up seeing them again at a bar that night. He graciously came over to say hello, told me he had thought I hated him, and I responded “Of course not. I adooore you.” Very smooth. All very smooth.

    I also once ran into a guy that I knew was about to break up with me in a nun costume on my way to a dog Halloween parade with a dog that wasn’t mine… Not quite an ex, but close enough. I think that clinched it for him that he needed to dump me. Your loss, dude! I’m super fun.

    • Lana says...

      this is amazing. My boss just walked by and gave me a weird look for laughing so hard

  98. Ani says...

    I have no horrifying and/or lovestruck anecdote add except to say this is so beautifully written.

  99. Ryan says...

    One of my favourite things about Cup of Jo is the comments section. High five to the editorial team for bringing together such an interesting and hilarious group of readers/commenters, and for prompting such great discussion. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “One of my favourite things about Cup of Jo is the comments section” = me too :) :) :)

      thanks so much for your sweet note.

  100. LM says...

    I have two exes that live in the same city as me, and when my husband and I were house-shopping, we looked at a house for sale that was the house literally next door (row house style, so shared walls/backyard) to my ex’s house with his then girlfriend, now wife. I knew it was the street he lived on, but didn’t quite know which house was his (til I found out using some stealthy detective work! yikes!). My husband really liked the house and wanted to consider making an offer, but needless to say, I couldn’t imagine it would work out very well for any of us involved. We now happily live at least 5-6 blocks away (but still in the same neighborhood) and have the typical somewhat awkward/friendly run-ins with the ex and his wife.

  101. Emily says...

    The first love of my life, my high school boyfriend whom I dated for 6 years and broke up with when I was in college and realized I wanted to explore all the other experiences and people life was sending my way.

    Fast forward 10 years and we’re both now living in NYC (a far cry from Texas where we first fell in love) and we are both in the same industry so we’ve run into each other here and there at events.

    I am now 30 and headed to London on my first solo vacation last September and I walk up to my gate at JFK and who is sitting there, but my high school boyfriend, his wife, and mother-in-law. They are on my flight to London, staying 3 blocks from me, and we continue to run into each other the entire trip.

    Not sure what the universe was trying to tell me with this one… maybe it was more about showing me how far I’ve come from being with him to being a strong, independent woman traveling the world with nothing but her own company.

    • anne says...

      “… how far I’ve come from being with him to being a strong, independent woman traveling the world with nothing but her own company.”

      I want to give you a high-five, Emily! You are fabulous.

  102. Em says...

    The last time I saw my ex I was getting a colposcopy! I turned around to thank the nurse (who had left so I could get dressed)… and as the door swung closed….he was in the hallway behind and turned around. He was a medical student at the time in the hospital section, behind the Drs office. Turns out he was the student of the Dr I was seeing at the hospital but he wasn’t in my appointment. I don’t know if he had excused himself/made the connection but the Dr seemed quite surprised when I panicked and blurted out our breakup story. I shook the whole way home.

    • Lauren says...

      You know the silver lining of all of this is that your ex wasn’t IN your appointment during the procedure. I hope you are okay and everything turned out well, but truly, the thought that an ex could be present during a colonoscopy exam is the stuff that nightmares are made of — but would be a very good plotline on The Mindy Project.

  103. Emily says...

    Ha – I actually have a decent story for this one! I was at an ice cream shop with my current boyfriend. He was sitting facing the windows and door, I was facing away from them. He started looking at the door somewhat confused and he said “What’s that guy doing?”. I turned around to see what he’s talking about and realize ‘that guy’ was my ex! My boyfriend had actually never seen him or a picture of him, so he had no idea what my ex looked like and didn’t recognize him. My ex and I made brief eye contact and he turned on his heel and started speed walking down the block away from the shop. To make it worse, he was with his current girlfriend, who he left standing outside utterly confused. According to my boyfriend, he had started to open the door, was startled by something (assuming seeing us inside), then waffled by the door for a second until I turned around.

    We also rode the same bus pretty regularly and he would always make a point of sitting or standing as far away from me as possible, even when it made no sense with the flow of people getting on the bus. His whole attitude toward seeing me in person was kind of nuts, considering that he was the one that dumped me.

  104. kristina says...

    My friend has the most terrible story: She dated a divorced man in his fifties with kids almost grown up. She has been in her late twenties. She loved him very much, but he refused to start a new family with her. Didn’t want to have any more kids, so it was painfull for her, but after few years she managed finally to break up with him. About two years passed and she’s been trying to park her car into a narrow place. It was winter early evening, so lights on. A couple with a baby stroller holding hands were passing by and the man turned around and seeing that the driver has some problems to fit into the parking place has some troubles, started to give her signs (don’t know the right expression) as to help. By now, you can very well guess as to who that evening helper has been… Of course he never saw her through the carlights, so when she finished parking he just turned around, took the other woman around the shoulders and stroled away. By then my friend’s been sitting in that car crying her heart out….

    • Cait says...

      That is so devastating. I hope your friend finds healing and true love.

    • Annie says...

      Oh man – my story doesn’t compare, but I dated a man for yeaaars that didn’t want to get married.

      Fast forward and a one night stand “accidentally” gets pregnant, so he’s married and a father within one year with this person he didn’t know.

      The point is, there’s a solid chance that man didn’t change for the new woman, she just made it happen (the desperate way, imo).

  105. Katie C says...

    This is a way of life in a small town! I run into my ex almost every holiday when I go home to visit my parents. The universe also has some rule that ensures I always run into the one person I do not want to run into when I go to my hometown grocery store. Every.single.time. I also dated one of my cousins friends while I was in college and will have the *pleasure* of seeing him again at my cousins wedding this fall. And because everyone knows everything going on in a small town, I’ve been hearing updates through friends and family about both ex’s since we broke up, no thank you! Small town ex’s don’t disappear into the night like new big city ex’s can…

  106. Sarah says...

    I find these stories so interesting, because they are not my experience at all! Granted, I only have one ex and we remain casual friends. Every time I’d unexpectedly run into him (including on the subway, at the opera with my now-husband and his father, once at my work) it was the highlight of my day. My husband probably felt differently of course.

  107. So I dated this boy from the last couple months of high school, pretty much until I graduated college. It was long distance and the typical break up, get back together bs that I thought was romantic back then.

    After breaking up I would always run into him when I would go home to visit my family for the holidays. While it is a small town, this was just too much.

    I would be riding with my sister and her family and his work truck would turn right in front of us. I would be driving to my sisters house early in the morning, and there was no one on the road. NO ONE. Then his truck would be right in front of me. We pulled up at the same red light, I tried to keep my distance but then it looked even more awkward that I was a full cars length behind the line. We made eye contact and waved.

    One Christmas I was out getting drinks with my childhood friend and we were walking to another bar and I was explaining this same story to her. She was laughing and making fun of me and we opened the door to the new bar. In the first booth, the only one you can see right when you walk in, there he was. She about peed her pants.

  108. These are hilarious, I love these stories. I recently ran into my ex at the Met; both our friends happened to be in town that weekend and we were showing them around. Thankfully he was on the way out. We exchanged a hug and I proceeded to ask his friend too many questions, and then abruptly I said I had to go. I was in a museum, where would I have to go… haha oh so awkward.

    • Kate says...

      I laughed out loud at this at my desk. “I was in a museum, where would I have to go….” hah!!

  109. Allyson says...

    Well the see him at the bar you always went to together thing has definitely been a reality for me. Also.. weddings (which is far worse!) That’s the real problem with meeting through mutual friends ha!