Single in the South: It's a Small World After All by Chasity Boling

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I’m sure we’ve all been on dates that didn’t go as well as we had hoped. You know there won’t be a second date and you think you’ll never have to see them again. Wrong! When you live in a small town, you are bound to run into them, eventually. Take it from me, this can be very awkward. How do you approach it? Do you smile and give the polite ‘nice to see you again’ spill, do you ignore him/her completely, or perhaps just let your friends re-introduce you and act like you’ve never met before? I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve experienced all three scenarios. With one-time online dates, it can be easily dismissed or laughed off, but let’s say you actually had a relationship with someone. You invested a lot of time and feelings with that person, and probably acquired mutual friends. In the end, it didn’t work out and you parted ways. What happens then? You know you are going to see them again and nothing really prepares you for that moment. 

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You walk into a bar, or some other social gathering, and you see your ex. It doesn't matter that you broke up forever ago. It doesn't matter which one of you broke it off. It doesn't matter that you're much happier without him/her. It also doesn't matter that you're a mature adult and totally capable of handling situations like this. None of it matters because it always seems to fly out the window when you lay eyes on that person. Immediately, all of these juvenile thoughts start swirling around in your head. You start wondering if you look okay, if your lipstick is still on, if your hair is still in place, etc. You wonder if it looks like you’re having a good time; not just a good time, but a better time than he/she is having. Perhaps, you start laughing harder than you normally would or become more flirtatious with people around you. You start to wonder if they notice you and if the same feelings/questions come to their mind. Do they get nervous to see you in public with friends you most likely use to share? Who are they with? Do they have a new person? Should you speak? What should you say?

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Obviously, you’ve both moved on now, but you shared some good times and made lasting memories. It’s hard to go from being best friends spending all of your time together and knowing everything about each other to being practically strangers. After being so close and intertwined in each other’s lives, it’s only natural to reminisce about the past and wonder how they’re doing; unless they cheated or something terrible like that. Then you would look at them with disgust, throw water in their face and walk away. I’ve never actually done this but it looks really badass in the movies (insert laughing emoji).

The entire situation is rather annoying. Why do we feel like we have something to prove? It doesn’t even have to be an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. It could be an ex-best friend or ex-coworker. You could be a totally confident person with your life together and surrounded by friends. Somehow, these insecure feelings still creep in, demanding you to question every little detail. Is it always going to be this weird?

How do you deal with seeing exes or online dates in public? I would like to assume I’m not the only one that feels this way. Give a girl some reassurance by leaving a comment below, especially if you’ve ever thrown water in someone’s face. I would love to hear about it.