He Said She Said
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Question: “I broke up with my girlfriend at the very beginning of the summer, and now that the school year has begun, I am nervous to see her around campus for the first time. Things didn’t end so well, and I am not sure to handle the situation when I inevitably bump into her! What should I do?”
He Said: No matter the situation, it’s always good to be a gentleman. Even though Boston College is by no means a small school, it’s still small enough that running into exes is a common occurrence for many students here. Some choose to go with what has been known as “the BC look away,” while others might venture too far to the other side and really start chatting their ex up. I think the best move here is a nice middle road of cordiality and friendliness. A simple “Hey, how was your summer?” can go a long way without being creepy. It shows that you have the decency to acknowledge the legitimacy of your past relationship, while not coming off as being the overzealous ex-boyfriend she and all her friends make fun of. You know that if you say nothing, the first thing she’ll do is tell her friends later that day is how much of a jerk you were for completely ignoring her earlier, so it’s best to avoid that all together with a simple greeting when the run-in occurs. Break-up or no break-up, no one likes to get ignored by someone they know. It’s also important to try to get a sense of how they react to you the first time you end up seeing them back on campus. Some people prefer to keep their distance after a break-up, while others might want to try to stay friends. If you’re the one who broke up with her, it’s important to respect where she’s at emotionally with the break-up and act accordingly. As long as you’re polite and amicable, her friends can’t hate you any more than they already do, and that’s about as much of a victory as you’re going to get in this scenario.
She Said: Unfortunately, at times like these, Boston College doesn’t seem big enough. Running into your ex on campus can be uncomfortable if you’re not on speaking terms and especially if things ended particularly badly. Hopefully, you had time to relax and refresh over the summer, but it’s understandable if the wounds are still fresh. The most important thing to remember is that you have no obligation whatsoever to engage with her at all. Don’t feel immature or petty, and don’t get pressured by your friends to socialize with her if you share friends—remove yourself from a situation that you know she’ll be involved in. It will be unavoidable: you will run into her at some point. Honestly, the best thing to do at these moments is to ignore, keep walking, and keep your head up. It will be hard at first, but an awkward “hi” isn’t worth it. You’ll always have the support of your friends, and as the transition to campus life progresses, you’ll be more used to potentially running into her. Don’t hang around in places you know she’ll be, and don’t ask mutual friends about her happenings. I’m sure you find reminders of your ex everywhere, but soon those memories will be replaced with new ones that are even more fantastic. Seeing such a familiar face and pretending she’s a stranger stings, but sometimes, you just have to rip them out of you like a Band-Aid. Luckily for the human heart, time heals all wounds and you’ll be on to bigger and way better things.