I always dread the moments I accidentally bump into an ex, because it's inevitably when I'm in a rush and looking like a mess — not that it really matters. (Let's be real, it matters to me.) But once you've made your awkward small talk and your not-so-smooth escape, the question becomes: Should you tell your partner you ran into your ex, or is it better to just keep it yourself? To answer this question, I reached out to several relationship experts for their take on this super awkward situation. The answer, it turns out, is unsurprisingly complicated.
"It's completely up to you if you feel like telling your partner or not. There's generally no need to tell your current partner that you ran into an ex unless there's really something to tell," Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author ofAren't You Glad You Read This?, tells Elite Daily. However, if you do decide not to disclose the encounter, Celia Schweyer, a dating and relationship expert at DatingScout.com, tells Elite Daily you run the risk appearing like you're hiding something. If that's of concern, she says you're better off disclosing the info right away.
"It’s better that you tell your current partner that you ran into your ex instead of [them] hearing about it from another person. Some people can spin stories or add information or meaning to what they witness. So, it is possible that when your current partner hears it from another, they might get the wrong idea," Schweyer warns.
Gordon adds that if you do decide you to tell your partner you had an unplanned run-in with an ex, make sure you don't have any ulterior motives. "It's important not to tell your partner you ran into your ex for the wrong reasons. Don't tell your partner this information to make them jealous, for example," she warns. "If something happened during the run-in that you think you should be honest about, that's when you're telling your partner for the right reasons."
It's complicated, but there are some situations that are a little more clear. Here's when the experts say it's OK to keep the info to yourself, when to open up, and how to go about it.