By Lovey Heartburn
Living in any small town has its plus and minuses. When trying to date in any rural town that’s like Cheers where “everybody knows your name” (and your date’s, too), it can be hard to have any privacy on a date. You get date bombed! Date bombing is where you are on a date trying to have a private conversation to get to know the other person better, but other people continue to interject. Say you are out on a date for drinks at a local bar, and (of course) run into someone you know and they come over to say hello but then don’t realize that you are on a date — and never leave. Sometimes they end up inviting themselves along to future date plans that weekend as well!
I’ve talked about ski dates before, which are always my favorite. But trying to plan a private ski date is nearly impossible. You meet strangers and do a couple of runs, or inevitably run into friends. A ski date, more often than not, turns into a massive ski group doing multiple runs all over the mountain. The best you can hope for is just to have a solo chairlift ride in between skiing with the big group.
Even people I know that are in long term relationships sometimes just want a quiet night on the town. So they pick the table in the corner of a restaurant hoping no one will see them and come over “just to say hello,” which so often turns into a longer conversation.
Also living in a small town, you are bound to run into people that you have dated in the past. In one particular recent instance, I saw such a guy trying to hide behind his Red Sox hat and cell phone so I wouldn’t see him. I was perfectly happy to ignore him, too, until I heard his friend tell him loudly that I was there. In such a situation it’s common to be unprepared and to act inappropriately. In my situation, I was practically frozen, old feelings welling up inside. But if you want to handle the moment cool and calmly, it’s polite to at least acknowledge the person is there and simply say “hello.”
If you ever encounter the ever-so-intimidating moment of running into an ex, here are some do’s and don’ts that might help you through the moment.
Do be your fabulous self. That’s easier said than done. It sounds like this: When he/she ask you, “What’s up?” Just answer: “I’ve been amazing,” (substitute “fabulous” or “fantastic” or whatever positive adjective fits you.) Don’t forget to add some other detail to your answer, to make your answer resonates (and be believable.) Most important, make it short and sweet. Don’t linger!
Don’t lie or over-sell it. I’ve known friends to make the mistake of making up stories when they saw an ex. In a small town, such lies are usually discovered and it will turn into a regrettable moment. Say something true even if it’s as simple as “I’m good. Skiing was great today.”
Don’t take anything he says personally. Be prepared, ladies – your ex might be following these same do’s and don’ts. Two can play this game. If you’re face-to-face with your failed love and still experiencing heartbreak his positivity may make you feel less than fabulous, but act like you don’t care and maintain your “I’m fabulous” approach.
Don’t look back. Once the brief conversation is over, end the encounter. It’s more empowering to be the one to walk away. Just smile, walk away and don’t look back. If he’s still looking at you, he’ll only see your fabulous behind on your way out!