Embarrassing exes are embarrassing for two reasons: because they are socially awkward buffoons, and because they remind you of a time in your life with which you’re not comfortable. In either case, if you’re going to dip your toe into that murky dating pool, you’re going to have to deal with them. Here are a few no-brainers that will help minimize the cringe factor when you see an ex.
So you’re stuck with an embarrassing ex and/or situation. The Day 1 Book of Life stipulates the following: You can’t control what others will do. All you can control is your reaction. Sounds easy, right? Too bad we are born, live and die as emotional creatures, and reigning in those emotions is easier said than done.
Remember: You’re not that person anymore.
Still, if you’re running into your ex on a semi-regular basis, all you can do is rationalize your response. The person you were as a teen is far different than who you are in your 20s and beyond. Your dating choice at any given time makes sense because of who you are at that time, or what you are going through. Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes, and at the time, your choice made sense. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Embrace the fact that you’re not still with him; that would be really embarrassing. At least you learned better and moved on — and there’s no shame in evolving.
Just make fun of yourself before anyone else can do it. If you’re out with friends and you see an ex who everyone regards as a total clown, say something like, “Yeah, he made sense back in my Jersey Shore phase.”
Embarrassing exes are going to happen. Take heart in the knowledge that they are embarrassing because you’ve grown out of a particular phase in which they’re still stuck. Never underestimate the therapeutic properties of moving to another city. That’s drastic, perhaps, but if you can’t throw a rock without hitting some dork who reminds you of a shady time in your life, maybe it’s time to start over somewhere else.