A few years ago, I was scoping out Black Friday deals in my hometown, and I spotted someone who looked... familiar. He was wearing glasses, was about 10 pounds heavier, and had a totally different hairstyle since the last time we'd seen each other, but it was definitely him — my high school ex. Naturally, I jumped behind a rack of discount sweaters and watched him, wide-eyed and anxiety-ridden, until he left the store. (I mean, what was I supposed to do? There's not exactly a how-to guide for seeing your high school ex over Thanksgiving break.) Then I threw up in the food court bathroom, because yes, our relationship literally ended that badly.
For the record, I wouldn't say that I'm not over my ex. But I'm definitely still not over the damage of that relationship (another story for another time), and seeing him put the fear of God in me.
If your heart still beats out of your chest when you see your high school sweetheart, bumping into them over Thanksgiving break — or any other time of year, for that matter — is sure to stir up a whole lot of emotions. And potentially some fear as well.
Here are four things to remember if you happen to run into your high school ex between baking pies and scouring clearance racks this year.
1. It's not a sign.
If your families live in the same town, the odds that you two will cross paths at some point during Thanksgiving break are pretty darn high, especially if you still share mutual friends. It doesn't mean the stars have aligned and now is the time to revisit your wedding-themed Pinterest board from 9th grade... If that were the case, I would be running into Zac Efron way more often.
2. They know how to contact you.
But, unlike Zac Efron, your ex knows how to contact you. And if they truly wanted to rekindle the relationship, they would have made a move before randomly seeing you over the holidays.
3. Don't be a stalker.
Another important reminder? Do not, under any circumstances, stalk your ex's social media pages. It's just... way too slippery a slope.
You'll either find yourself five years deep into their Facebook photos, guzzling pumpkin pie martinis and trying to squeeze into your old prom dress (mine still fits, guys! Thanks for asking!). Or, you'll think, "Huh, now that I've seen their Snapchat from the coffee shop downtown, I'm suddenly craving a latte myself," and actually end up stalking them IRL.
Neither has a positive outcome, I promise.
4. You broke up for a reason.
Now, let's say you've done everything right. You've turned down invitations to Friendsgiving gatherings that were sure to include your ex. You've avoided their favorite coffee shops. You've even unfollowed them on social media!
And yet, you still run into them and find yourself filled with butterflies and nostalgia. What do you do? OK, other than chugging a giant glass of Pinot Grigio?
Remind yourself of all of the reasons you broke up, and think about everything (or even everyone) you've done and accomplished since then. At the end of the day, there's a reason you decided to end things. And while every situation is different and nuanced, you're probably both better off out of this relationship.
After all, Thanksgiving is a time for turkey, family, and Black Friday sales — not reminiscing about how much fun you and your ex had at homecoming a million years ago.
PS: Think about all of the other people you could be hooking up with over the break! High school flings are so been there, done that, you know?
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