Upon unexpectedly encountering your ex in the street



Life is made up of winners and losers. There is very little to be found in between. Nowhere is this sad reality more evident than in the instance of failed romantic relationships. As is the case in other facets of life, the losers tend to heavily outnumber the winners. So ….. the odds are, dear reader, that you are a loser. Don’t feel bad. You are amongst friends.

I write this from the perspective of a male heterosexual, but my understanding is that the experience is no different when viewed from any other sexual orientation. I would like to be able to say that losers come in all shapes and sizes but this is, not strictly speaking, true. Losers tend to be the less good-looking ones. Get used to it. I have.

Unless you are in the habit of moving interstate every time a romance goes belly up then the chances are that, at some point, you will come unexpectedly face to face with a former object of your affections who has unceremoniously dumped you in favour of a wealthier, more attractive and more entertaining alternative. There is nothing more irritating than watching two winners walking, arm in arm, happily down the street. And if you are in the early stages of emotional recovery it can be a major setback. The odds are high also that you are on your way home after a third consecutive job interview failure in a week.

Violence is perfectly acceptable.

Make it as savage and as unrestrained as possible. Launch into this bastard as though he had recently murdered your grandmother. The more unhinged you can appear to the growing crowd of spectators the more water your subsequent pleading of temporary insanity will hold in court. Remember that you have the element of surprise on your side. Hopefully you can get a few telling blows in before the police arrive. And hopefully some lonely member of the public may have been impressed with your display of passionate athleticism.

If, on the other hand, you elect for a more passive approach then it is important to remember that a full recovery is out of the question. You are now in damage control. As tempting as it may be, do not, under any circumstances, fall to her knees in a sea of pleading tears. This is the very sort of pathetic, spineless act that she dumped you for in the first place. If you happen, just at that moment, to be stepping out of a Ferrari with a scantily clad actress by your side then you may be able to win back some ground. The trick here is to barely notice her. Wait until you and your glamorous partner are almost past her and then just give her a look suggesting a hint of recognition and say,

“Oh, hello.”

And walk on.

But unless the actress is being paid and your timing is impeccable then this is an unlikely scenario.

It is far more likely that you have just stepped out of a public bus and are searching the gutter for old cigarette butts when you notice her shapely leg beside you. Stand up and look her in the eye. There will be a look of alarm on your face. Keep it there. Then you can say.

“Oh! My! God! What happened to your nose? You look terrible!”

She looks sensational, of course. And she knows it. Everyone knows it. She will turn on her heels and strut away in indignation.

But you have planted just the smallest seed of doubt in her mind. And in that fertile garden of uninhibited vanity the seed will take root. And grow. You can take pleasure in knowing that she will be spending a little more time each night before the mirror looking for blemishes. Eventually she will find one. And it will drive her insane.

It is a hollow victory, I admit. For the sad truth is that nothing can be done in this situation to make your own life better. But at least you might be able to make someone else’s worse.

10 thoughts on “Upon unexpectedly encountering your ex in the street

  1. I have a different reaction to meeting my ex. She re-married believing that was the way to gain an air of respectability. Therefore I have nothing but sympathy for the poor sod silly enough to take her on.


  2. That was a humorous piece. I really like your “nose” idea.
    I’ve lived in a few places throughout my life, so I don’t really go through this, but wonder how people deal with that when they are born and raised (and will die) in those small towns where everyone knows everyone.


  3. Your advice is always so on point. Perhaps it should be added to the school curriculum.
    I was wondering if you might be able to give some advice for acing job interviews? I feel that is an area in which young people around the globe really need a guiding hand.


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