Illustration for article titled Running Into Your Ex: An Etiquette Guide

Running into an ex after a breakup is never a pleasant thing. It can be awkward, and even painful, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Here are a few tips for how to get through this tricky social situation with your heart and your dignity intact.

1. Initiate the interaction by pouring an entire bottle of okay whiskey onto the ground and saying, “Such was our love”: As soon as you see your ex, it’s considered polite to dump an entire bottle of just-okay whiskey onto the ground in order to demonstrate through metaphor the state of your feeble, wilted love. If a black tulip blooms from the spot where the whiskey has seeped into the soil, you should feed the tulip to a police officer and say to your ex, “This thing that I’m doing right here is a metaphor for our love also, in addition to the whiskey thing I did earlier.” This is a good way for both you and your ex to know where the two of you stand.


2. Don’t try to make your ex jealous by making love to a beautiful person right there in front of them: It might be tempting to make your ex feel jealous by revealing a beautiful person and proceeding to have sex with the beautiful person right there on the street, and hoot and holler on account of the good feelings while your ex looks on and thinks, “Oh, Christ, they are doing powerful intimacies to one another and here I am being a replaceable chunk of human jetsam,” but this is definitely not a good idea. It just makes you look petty.

3. If you have run into your ex at the grocery store, be sure to end every sentence with the phrase “Welcome to the grocery store”: In a tense situation involving your ex, it’s important to try to remain as calm and polite as possible. While you are talking to your ex at the grocery store, say things like, “We used to be in love and look at each other in the nude, but now we will only look at each other with our clothes on. Welcome to the grocery store.”

4. Show your ex that you’ve moved on by telling them all the facts about tobacco you’ve learned since you broke up: When you see your ex, be sure to tell them everything you’ve learned about tobacco since your relationship ended. By showing your ex that you’ve learned a lot about tobacco, you will subtly demonstrate that you’ve moved on from the relationship and have managed to dedicate your time and energy to other pursuits.

5. If you run into your ex while you are with a friend, do not introduce your ex to your friend as “my old nude friend from the past”: Remember: There’s no need to be dramatic. If you happen to run into your ex while you’re with a friend, keep things simple by pointing at your ex and telling your friend, “This is my previous sex companion, and you gotta know we fucked each other like idiots, but now we don’t ever speak.” It’ll make things easier on everyone!


6. If you have recently murdered a crow, nonchalantly hold the crow’s corpse over your head: Murdering a crow is an incredibly impressive achievement, because crows are very fast and can fly. If you want to make your ex a little jealous without being mean, wait until they walk by, then lift the crow’s corpse over your head and swing it around a little bit. When your ex notices the dead crow that you’re swinging around over your head—and they will—coyly say, “Oh, this old thing? I don’t even care about it, and in fact I hate it,” then toss it into the middle of the street.

7. Do not surrender the Glove: Try to be gracious and polite, but if your ex asks you for the Glove, stand your ground and refuse to give it up. The Glove is yours, and you don’t owe it to anyone.


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