Bumping Into Your Ex-
I must have read thousands of posts about bumping into the ex-, thinking there might be an encounter with the ex- coming up, and so on.
It’s a difficult and stressful situation to bump into the ex- when you’re still recovering from the breakup, so it’s worth thinking in advance about how to handle it.
The best solution is to take all reasonable measures to make sure you don’t bump into the ex-. Don’t go to places you know s/he will be, avoid events that could lead to a chance meeting, and so on. You might be annoyed (“that’s MY place, not my ex’s, why do I have to be the one to avoid it?"). But claiming the post-breakup rights to a place or event isn’t worth the stress of bumping into the ex- and the inevitable setback in your recovering which you’ll suffer.
See the ex-? Leave asap
If despite your caution you still bump into the ex-, the best solution is to leave as soon as possible. A simple greeting of “Hi, nice to see you" is more than adequate, and then get out of there. Don’t stay, don’t chat. Small talk will be excruciating. You’ll be stressed, the ex- will be stressed, nothing will feel right, and you’ll end up spending hours with friends (or dozens of postings on internet forums!) analyzing “what it meant" when it really didn’t mean anything.
Stick to the same policy even if the ex- wants to talk. “Hi, nice to see you, but I have to go" is a polite enough way to cut the ex- off and excuse yourself gracefully.