Have you ever been in a situation where you had to meet your current partner’s ex? It can be uncomfortable. It can be down right awkward, but I am going to outline some strategies to help you get through it. Keep in mind that I haven’t met an ex of my current partner. Which means, I’d like to think that I would act perfectly, but I’m not perfect. So I’m admitting right here, right now, that I would strive to be this person, but I can’t make any promises right now. Note – the image above depicts how I would react if my partner told me that I was going to have to meet his ex.
Look good but not too good
As the subtitle suggests, you want to look good, but don’t over do it. Wanting to look hot is one thing, but wanting to be the hottest person there is going to send the message that you’re insecure. Keep in mind, this might be someone else’s birthday party or wedding, and you don’t want to appear like you’re trying to outshine them.
Don’t tease your man with her
You and the ex are intimately familiar with your partner. Inside and out. There’s a chance that you could bond over this with her. But try not to go overboard. Think about how your partner would feel in this situation. Perhaps you think it’s cute and funny to make fun of the way he pronounces a word, but to him, its highlighting his insecurities.
Don’t say “This is awkward…”
It is awkward. Awkward AF. But you don’t need to say that. In fact, the only reason that it’s really awkward is because you’re acting like an adult. Pretend like she isn’t his ex. And you’re just meeting someone from his past. Saying “this is awkward..” is only going to make it worse. And more awkward.
Remember you did win
The idea here is to remember that you’re the current girlfriend. Or whatever title you’ve assigned for yourself. Even if you feel insecure, remember that your partner chose you. He’s a big boy and remembers why the relationship didn’t work out with an ex. He’s not going to leave you at the party and run off with his ex. And if he does, well, ladies, better you find out now than when you’re at Macy’s putting together your wedding registry.
Resist Intimidation Tactics
Don’t try to be better than her by telling funny stories, or rhyming off all of your accomplishments. It’s distasteful. Further, some people won’t even necessarily know how you know this woman, so it’s just going to make you look bad.
This isn’t your partner’s fault
Try to remember that it isn’t your partner’s fault. Don’t be passive aggressive or cold towards him. He isn’t a bad person just because he has an ex. He may not have had any control around the reason the two of you are meeting. If it is his fault, well, that’s another post all together. I joke.
Resist the urge to compare
I think this one would be hard for me. I am very hard on myself and would be comparing myself to the ex, regardless. But like I said – do as I say, not as I do. Try to resist that urge. You might think – she’s prettier than me. But your partner might not agree. And honestly, what your partner likes in you should matter more, at least in this context.
Don’t deny your jealousy
Don’t deny your feelings. If you’re jealous, then you’re jealous. It’s a natural reaction. Especially when you think about how much time this other person has spent with your partner, and how she knows him just as intimately as you do. Of course that’s going to sting. Sit with the feelings. This is what I do whenever I get an uncomfortable feeling. I don’t deny it. I don’t push it down. I accept it the same way I accept a happy feeling. It eventually goes away and in time, these feelings might change.
Don’t become best friends
If you’re trying to deny the feelings too much, you might find you’re over compensating by being her best friend. Just don’t. Again, think about your partner. Is this something that he would want? There’s a reason they aren’t together any more, so spending a lot of time with her, just because you feel like you have to isn’t going to make your current partner feel very good.
Prepare for snide remarks
The ex may be jealous of you. She may have her girl squad there, so be prepared for some snide remarks. Hopefully, these remarks aren’t about things like how you look. But you never know. It’s more likely that she will try to suggest that your partner is horrible and that you’re stupid for falling for him. Even suggesting what’s going to happen to the two of you.
If I can diverge for a moment to share a story with you. I have been in this situation, and it’s uncomfortable. Especially if the relationship is new. I found myself believing what the ex had to say. Which didn’t help my relationship. Sure, she had been with him for a long time, but her situation was different. In the end, it didn’t work out, but not necessarily for the reason she suggested. The idea that someone was spelling out how and why my relationship was going to end troubled me. It upset me. Maybe something bad happened between you guys, and maybe he should take some blame in that situation, but that’s not the relationship you’re in now. Keep that in mind.
Remember, your partner is uncomfortable too
It’s possible that your partner is uncomfortable too. In fact, he might be more uncomfortable than you are. Feeling like you’re judging his choice in past partners is likely not easy. If my current partner ever met anyone that I’ve ever dated, or been in a serious relationship with in the past, I can only imagine what he would say. But I mostly worry that he would make a comment about the other guy’s appearance. Not because I think they weren’t attractive (because if they weren’t, I wouldn’t have dated them), but because what attracts you to someone in the moment might fade over time. It’s not always about looks. For me, it’s about the way a guy handles himself. His attention to detail. What is the first thing he says to me? Sometimes its purely a physical attraction, but regardless, I would feel judged. And he might as well.
Know that they may share inside jokes
They have a history together, so there might be some inside jokes between them. They might have stories about a trip they took somewhere. Let it play out. It’s not necessarily a reminder about all the good times they had together. It might just be a way to lighten the mood.
Don’t hover around your partner
Have fun, where ever you are. You don’t need to hover around your partner. I feel like I would do this regardless. Especially if I didn’t know anyone at the party. But give your boyfriend a break and try to have some fun. If you’re stuck to your partner like glue, people will think you’re incredibly clingy.
His friends may like her: don’t freak out
Just because his friends like her, doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Or they won’t like you when they get to know you. They’re not choosing sides. It’s not a competition.
Remember how many brownie points you just earned
Lastly, think of how many brownie points you just earned by playing it cool. Even if you’re dying inside, try to give off the impression like you’re not. This would be incredibly difficult for me, but for appearance sake, I would try my best.
Like I said, this isn’t an easy place to be in. Yes, I’ve kind of been in this situation before, but the interaction I had with the ex was minimal. It wasn’t pleasant. But it’s part of being in a relationship. And it’s part of being an adult. Which is something I’m not a huge fan of these days. If you find yourself in this situation, remember it’s not comfortable for anyone. But the ultimate goal is to make your partner happy, at least for a few hours. So put on your big girl pants and a brave face. The rest will happen naturally.