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What is it about bumping into your ex that turns you into a bumbling fool? How can someone you no longer love cause you such emotional havoc?


I'm out shopping with a girlfriend, and we're wandering around the mall, having a great time, when suddenly she grabs my arm, shoves me in front of her and says, "Don't move. Hide me. He's coming right at us." "Who?" I ask, immediately panicked. I look around. I'm expecting a gun-toting madman, but all I see is this somewhat distracted fellow trying to balance his packages. "My ex!" she hisses, and of course he sees her and says "Oh, hi,"  and she giggles nervously, says "Hi" – still hanging on to my arm. It's really awkward, he's dancing from one foot to the other. Finally he leaves and she heaves a big "Oh, thank God that's over" and then "I gotta go home." So much for our girl's day out.


What happened? Why the big deal? Why do you let someone you don't even care about any more upset your emotional applecart?


Because of the hurt. This didn't end well! And your memory is stuck in the final days/weeks/months of pain.


What to do?


Shift your memories. As you do the work of healing from the relationship, allow the good memories to come to the surface too. Nowhere is it written that you have to hang on to the bad stuff and forget all the good times. Your goal is to regain perspective, know that there were bad times, but also good, and that your ex is not all bad or all good, just a person, a mix of both.


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