My thoughts on seeing one’s ex at an event

As I was searching for wedding-related hair/dress/survival guide ideas for a wedding we’ll attend later this year, I came across this article. The first lines of the article say “Post break-up, you’re bound to get it: The dreaded invite to the party/picnic/wedding where you know your ex will be. But instead of viewing it like the sequel to “Doomsday,” start prepping for it like a big red carpet event.” My mind immediately started screaming “No, No, No. No!”

I read on, curious to see the rest of the advice listed in the article and kept shaking my head in disagreement. Especially since some of the suggestions are quite good, but not the way the author spins them. Also, I suspect it’s a semi-sponsored article, since the author keeps suggesting stuff to buy, like that “red carpet dress”. So, I decided to share with you the list of suggestions and my thoughts on them. I will wait patiently while you go read the original article for comparison.

  • Splurge on a new dress – I agree that you shouldn’t show up in PJs and can splurge on a new dress if you have the means to, or wear your prettiest dress that you feel excellent in!
    However, the reason for this should not be driven by what your ex thinks, liked on you or color he hates. You should feel good in what you’re wearing, all the time and regardless of your ex being there or not, let alone in a fancier setting like a wedding.
  • Bring a wingman – I mostly agree with this, it doesn’t really matter what the event is, of course it’s always more fun if you go with someone, especially if you might not know too many people there. Like the article says, sure, if you don’t feel like taking a date then take a platonic guy or girl friend.
    Not for your ex’s benefit/to make them jealous/to show off though!
  • Get your hair/nails/makeup did – The take-away from this suggestion in the article is to not look like you tried too hard, and if your ex never saw you with makeup before, don’t show up sporting false lashes and siren red lipstick.
    I think you should never look like you’ve tried too hard, not only when you might run into an ex. And I strongly disagree with that second part about makeup. On the one hand, you shouldn’t care if your ex never saw you wearing makeup before, and on the other hand: people change!
    Personally I only wore makeup occasionally during high school and uni years. I honestly wore little to no makeup up until two years ago, when I started working in an office setting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the minimalist style and most likely won’t wear false lashes to any event, but I do enjoy a darker lip color on occasion. So why we are told not to wear that only because our ex might be at an event and never saw us wearing such makeup is beyond me!
  • Wear your signature fragrance – In the article, this suggestion bluntly comes off as advice on how to bring back memories in your ex of fancy dinners you guys went on, of borrowing their shirt and giving it back smelling like you, of just you.
    While I agree that wearing your signature fragrance is fun because you love it, that’s why it’s your signature fragrance, I don’t agree with only wearing it/wearing it in excess only to bring up memories in your ex. They will remember the past just by seeing you anyway.
  • Take care of the areas he will never even see – Even the sentence in the article starts with “this might seem counter-intuitive.” So, really?
    Yes, of course, take care of the areas the ex or anyone else other than your current partner will see, but do it for yourself! You have to be the one who feels good in their skin so never think about this stuff as being something that you do for your partner’s benefit, or worse, for your ex’s benefit.
  • Have a drink… but not five – OK, this is one of the very few points in the article that I fully agree with.
    May I add though, that I think one should never go past their measure, regardless of their ex being at the event or not.
  • Give your friends talking points – The suggestion here is to tell friends to drop hints or work info about you into the conversation, so you’re not the one bragging about that new job, huge apartment or awesome vacation you’re taking. They end the paragraph with the question “well, better from her lips than yours, right?”
    Well, this is just a flat out “NO!” in my opinion. Unless specifically asked for advice, friends, either mutual or not, should not be involved with what is/was between the two of you.
    If you’re having a genuine conversation with friends and the ex is part of that conversation (or overhears it) sure, it’s not like that information is classified. However, if you’re manipulating the conversation into that direction, that is not OK. Both you and your friends should be mindful of what you say to an ex.
    If exes want to find out something about you, they will ask. If they don’t, they’re either too uncomfortable or are simply over you and don’t care to know. You can tell which of these two when you ask them about how they are doing. There is no need to over-share.
  • Be gracious – I do agree with this point. Don’t let your ex hear about grudges you hold, or names you’ve called them. It’s always helpful to have some easy conversation topics in mind so you don’t run into rehashing old things. Make your time with them short, sweet and gracious, and don’t monopolize their time over the course of the evening (ie. if both of you smoke, don’t time every single cigarette “break” at the same time with theirs).
  • Hit the dance floor (but not the karaoke machine) – I agree with this as well. Your every single action shouldn’t revolve around your ex’s presence in the room. Don’t fake it or over do it, don’t stay on the dance floor all night long if that is not who you normally are. Be yourself and have fun!
  • Make a perfectly timed exit –  I agree that you don’t have to stay until the end of the night just because your ex does. Unless you do actually have other plans/obligations, you probably shouldn’t be rude to your hosts and run out before the main course is served.
    However, my advice is to stay for as little or as long as you feel the need to! You’re the only one who knows how much fun you’re having, and it should not depend on your ex’s actions/presence there.

Now, this is just my two cents, I am not calling myself an expert on relationships. So now I have to ask you, what do you think about the points above?

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