What to Do When You See Your Ex on A Dating App



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By Olivia Lucero


You’re swiping for a new love interest on a dating app when suddenly you see your ex. It almost feels just like bumping into your ex in person. You see them, your heart stops and then races and you can’t decide whether or not you want them to see you, but you know your trip to the market has just taken a very exciting turn. So, what do you do?

I, for one, am terrified of seeing my ex in person, but I would still be fascinated if I did see them. After you stop in your tracks and try to appear cool, calm, and collected, your natural instinct when you see your ex in person will probably be to watch them. What are they doing? Who are they with? Do they seem happy? Likewise, seeing your ex on a dating app is just as unexpected. It will take you by surprise, but don’t panic. Take deep breaths. Be cool. You’re going to want to check their profile, and that’s natural. In person, you can’t help but look at them. They are right there in front of you. On a dating app, however, it’s not that easy. Either you scroll through their profile, or you swipe left without a look. It’s a tough decision, and ultimately only something you can decide, but scrolling through your ex's dating profile is something I would highly advise against.

I know I would want to see my ex’s profile, but the wounds are still so fresh, I doubt I can handle seeing him put himself out there on a dating app. I would pass because I know that I would overanalyze everything he wrote, compare myself to his ideal match, and wonder what kinds of women he's been connecting with. I would much prefer to keep swiping and focus on what kind of guys I can connect with. This isn’t about him!

No matter how long it has been since your breakup, it’s natural to be curious about what your ex is up to, but this curiosity prevents you from letting them go and moving on. Much like social media, checking your ex’s profile on a dating app would just be an excuse to get intel on them without actually talking to them. Don’t do it! Check out this article about how and why to do a digital detox of your ex. Whatever they post or write could just end up hurting you and causing more questions than answers. Practice self care by preventing yourself from letting this happen. And if you want to, reward yourself for maintaining no contact, which includes not checking up on them.

This isn’t about them, and swiping left past their name and face will feel liberating because it is! It's a very tangible way of proving to yourself that you don’t care what they are up to. It means you're one step closer to letting them go. So, when you see your ex on a dating site, don’t click on their profile. Instead, just keep swiping for a new potential partner and be proud of yourself for not checking up on your ex. I know it's hard, but you'll save yourself a lot of energy if you don't peek at your ex's dating profile.

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Olivia Lucero

Olivia is new to the Mend team but no stranger to heartbreak science. She studied romantic relationships and personal development for four years at The University of Texas at Austin. A true free spirit, she recently returned to America after farming in Ireland for a few months. Find her at her blog, Free Reins.

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