After a breakup, people do everything they can to not run into their former loves. Friends are divvied up, certain restaurants are off-limits, and entire neighborhoods can no longer be visited. But even with all that careful planning, you still can run into your ex. Chanel Omari, former Bravo Princess turned 106.1 WBLI radio host, shares her awkward ex encounter with Personal Space.
“I recently ran into my ex-boyfriend in the worst places of all time ... when I was heading to my work out at Xtend Barre in Tribeca,” she says. “I always envisioned myself running into him in my best state yet. I had gained lots of weight since our breakup and he left me for his hot ex-girlfriend who supposedly had more than I did to be with him."
At the time, Chanel was rocking a messy hair bun, wearing boy shorts and a sweatshirt, and had no makeup on. “I looked like I was on another planet,” she exclaims. “So I start figuring out how to get to the other side of the street to escape him and his girlfriend. I could barely catch my breath.”
Chanel darted behind trucks and trash cans, praying she wouldn’t be spotted.
“Bumping into an ex in public can bring up a lot of feelings that we may not have been prepared to face, even more so if they are with a new partner. The feelings that come up from this situation may make it much easier to run and hide than to confront them head on,” says Lori Bizzoco, a relationship advice expert and founder of Cupids Pulse. “Most will run before their ex gets a chance to start up a conversation about their current love life or how great they’re doing at their new job. No one wants to hear how well his or her ex is doing now that you’ve split.”
Chanel definitely felt that way. “I was worried if he saw me, he would say to himself, ‘Thank God I left her!’ All these thoughts and feelings were coming back to me, just as I was starting to heal from the breakup and move forward.”
Lori points out that while you may be sweating bullets, know that your ex may be feeling the same way. “Seeing an ex can be uncomfortable for both parties, so it’s natural to want to avoid that awkward encounter,” she says. “They may not want to face the situation any more than you do, so they walk in a different direction as well. This doesn’t go to say that your ex doesn’t feel some sort of emotions when they see you, but just that they’d rather save the encounter for a later date.”
That wasn’t the case for Chanel. “I heard my ex call out my name and ask, ‘What are you doing by the trash?” she recalls. “I glanced up mortified and sweating profusely. I didn't know if I should go in for a hug or not. It was an awkward lean forward and hello to him and his girlfriend, who just happens to be a supermodel. I wanted to crawl up in my closet with a box of ice cream and never come out.”
Lori has some advice on what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation. “For some, cracking a joke about the awkward encounter may actually ease the tensions. For others, a civil ‘How are you doing?’ may get the job done.”
Chanel chose to face her biggest fear. “I realized I had a choice: to walk the other way and be a coward by not confronting my situation, or deal with my reality head on and let them both know I was super happy for them and their reunited love, and that I was even more happy with working on myself,” she shares.
Lori approves. “Keep the conversation short and sweet to avoid awkward rambling or uncomfortable silences. Say your goodbyes, and move on with your day.”
And Chanel did get in the last word. “Of course, saying I was seeing someone didn't hurt that much either even though my ‘seeing someone’ means my imaginary boyfriend, the couch, and TV!”
Got an ex? Yeah, we all do. Bravo’s Personal Space is diving into everything there is to discuss about breakups, from the ones that got away to ghosting to what the hell you should do with an ex on social media with Ex-Files Week. It’s all leading up to our new series A Night With My Ex, which explores what happens when former couples reunite…for one night only. Check back each day for exclusive interviews, personal stories, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c.
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.