Ex anxieties

I'm going to see my ex at a wedding for the first time in two years. How should I behave?

By Cary Tennis
Published July 7, 2003 7:37PM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

About two years ago I was involved in a very unfortunate relationship that ended when my girlfriend announced that she was still in love with an ex who in turn wanted nothing to do with her. At this point I was fed up with her antics and declared my intention never to see her again. She had to that point been part of "the gang" at college and decided to spend six months in Italy sorting her life out. After her return she moved to California, and in that time we have not had any contact whatsoever.

In the next month or so, I will be returning home to Michigan for the wedding of one of my closest friends. My ex-girlfriend will also be in attendance. What is the best way to handle our inevitable encounter? I no longer have the harsh feelings I once had for her, but I also have no desire to let her in any way back into my life.

How Do I Behave?

Dear How Do I Behave,

Behave with polite distance and quiet dignity. Be kind but reserved. (If it feels unfamiliar or fake, that's OK. Just act the part of the good and unassuming friend.) If your friends are going out partying together and she's going to be with them, say you have already made other plans. You don't want to be partying in a group with her. Try, instead, to make yourself useful to the family of the groom; see if there's anything you can do to help out; they may be exhausted and overwhelmed and will appreciate a little kindness from one of their son's best friends.

It beats watching your ex dance, and your friend's family will remember your thoughtfulness.

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Cary Tennis

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