Ex-Communication: Meeting Up After Breaking Up

Whether you make up, make out, or make haste and get the hell away, a meet-up with an ex is what you make of it.

It’s mid-afternoon when the text comes in.

“Hey, I saw you’re back in town. Want to catch up some time?”

It’s been six months since the breakup and although you’re doing pretty well, there are still some nights spent stalking his Instagram with a chocolate bar in one hand and a pack of tissues in the other. And now this. What does it mean? What does he want? By “catch up” did he actually mean “make out?”

If you’re at all like me, you tend to over-analyze situations and meeting up with exes can be especially stressful. Here are some things to consider before jumping right in.

Tumblr via trustmeiamalawstudent

Tumblr via trustmeiamalawstudent

  1. Do you actually want to see him? Don’t feel obligated to see an ex. Some wounds are too fresh to be probed. Sometimes you’re too busy and too over it to offer him the time of day. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and your well-being and say no.
  2. OK, so you do want to see him. Why? Knowing what you want from a meet-up is hands down the most important thing. Do some soul searching and figure it out. You could be looking for a hookup or an opportunity to brag about your awesome new job, knowing that he’s still mopping floors. All reasons are valid. Knowing what you want to get out of this gives you good guidelines for the encounter. If you just want to reminisce about that one time at band camp, you probably shouldn’t put your hand right there and talk about his skilled tuba fingers. Yeah, definitely no.
  3. Where do you go? I’d say stick with the date/friends/what-even-are-we basics: coffee shops, bars, a casual lunch place. They’re public places and offer an easy means of escape if things take an uncomfortable turn. If you want something a little more private, try meeting in a park. There’s less required eye contact when you’re stomping through the woods and, depending how things go, the trees give you a little distance between you and everyone else.
  4. And you have to wear something, right? (Or do you…?) Yes, I would recommend wearing clothes. Although you have the body of a goddess, public nudity doesn’t really say, “Yes, I’m emotionally stable. I’m doing great after the breakup! Why are you asking?” But what clothes you wear all depends on…
  5. The vibe you want to give off. Vibe, in this context, is a mixture of attitude and appearance. Are you friendly or fierce? Totally over it or romantically nostalgic? Wear whatever you feel most confident and comfortable in. Vibe also extends to accessories. Sometimes I bring a book to meet-ups in case I get there early, which not only fits with my nerdy vibe, but it also lets me test out the water. If he throws any shade on Bell Hooks or whomever I’m reading, I know to cut the meet-up short.
  6. How over it should I seem? Emotional distance is the worst. It’s hard to be aloof when you were once in love with the person sitting across from you. I know caring can sometimes feel like a weakness, but don’t feel like you have to be fifty shades of apathetic if you’re dying to know what he’s up to these days. Depending on what kind of relationship you had and how good of friends you were before you started dating, transitioning back into friends territory might be easy…ish.
  7. Don’t overthink it. I know, I know. This sounds stupid coming from a girl who just wrote 500 words overthinking a make believe make up, but I mean it. No matter how many scenarios you play out in your head, you’ll probably never get it right. Relax. Breathe. See how it plays out and make the best of the situation.

Feature photo by Bruno Gomiero/ VIA Unsplash