Q: What's worse than bumping into an ex at a social occasion?
A: Bumping into five of them. Oh, and the tabloid press being there to capture the #awkward.
We can only imagine the buttock-clenching that occurred when Princes William and Harry went to a society wedding last week, only to find nine (NINE!) of their former flames also in attendance. We imagine that the Queen's classic 'Did you come far?' line only helped them so much…
But did we later see pap shots of Wills having a teary slanging match with ex number three? Was Harry spotted necking WKD, glaring over at ex number 6 and talking loudly to his friends about 'just needing some closure, you know?' Of course not. They know that when you happen to see an ex, the name of the game is to play it cool.
Here's our advice for when the same thing happens to you.
1. Remember to KISS
No, we don't advise lunging in for a cheeky snog. We mean Keep It Simple Stupid. You don't need to spin plates on your head, or make your ex laugh until cava comes out of his nose. You just have to come across as in control and civil. That's literally it. You can do this.
2. Prepare your mind
Once you've realised your ex is on the other side of the room, visualise yourself having a short and polite conversation with him, to help you feel prepared.
3. Take control
Don't spend the evening ducking into the nearest loo, or hiding behind your friends. Take the initiative and say hello first. For one, you'll look like the mature one (which you are, obv). Second, once it's out of the way, you can get on with enjoying your day.
4. Be confident
Remember, you are in control. Appear confident and stand tall while you're talking. This isn't the time to moan about your boss or complain that your shoes are pinching you something rotten. Keep it light and don't fidget. Playing with your hair or adjusting your dress will make you look nervous – or like you're flirting. (You are NOT flirting.)
5. Keep it brief
Be warm and friendly, but keep the conversation short to avoid awkward moments. Keep the 'here's everything that's happened to me in the last two months' updates to yourself. Find out how he is, share one piece of good news about your life, wish him all the best, and you're outta there. Don't linger.
6. Don't pick a fight
Don't be that girl. Losing your cool and bringing up the time he did that thing is only going to make you look unhinged. Yes, a five-minute conversation with Mr Not-So-Wonderful may remind you why he's now the ex, but don't let it show. Bite your tongue, send your regards and get gone. Congratulate yourself on a lucky escape.
7. Say hello to their new partner
This is the moment to channel K-Middy – be graceful, be friendly, act like you're going to be the Queen one say – you can afford to be benevolent to your subjects. (Do not refer to the new girlfriend as your subject.) Think lightness and brightness.
You don't have to make this person your new BFF. Chat for a couple of minutes and then make an excuse to go. Give a pleasant 'It was lovely to meet you,' and float away like a beautiful, benevolent angel.
8. Don't look back.
After you say goodbye, just walk away. No need to look back – physically and emotionally, you are moving forward. Now go and find a drink. You deserve one.
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