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You’re not alone in seeing your ex on a dating app – A N I T H
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You’re not alone in seeing your ex on a dating app

You’re not alone in seeing your ex on a dating app


Breaking up is hard to do. Being constantly reminded of the person who broke your heart can be even harder.

Back in the day, things were simpler. All you had to worry about was IRL run-ins, but now there are a thousand online minefields you have to avoid. Sure, you can block them on Facebook and Snapchat, but that won’t stop them from popping up on the very last online platform you’d want to see them. Yeppp, dating apps. 

Obviously you have to figure your ex is looking to mingle, but you don’t actually want to witness it in action. When you suddenly swipe across that familiar face, it can be disorienting and confusing.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Whether it’s been really bad, kinda awkward, or even a chance to reconnect, many people have shared this experience.

Rekindling old flames

For some people, seeing that their former love is ready to move on makes them realize maybe they aren’t so ready. Juliet, a 20 year old from New York, says finding her former boyfriend on Bumble was a surprise that made her rethink their breakup. 

“I realized what if he already found some new ladies? So I had to snatch him back up. I swiped right and BAM we match. I immediately message him and then we intimately reconnected the next day.”

Let those feelings fizzle

For Catherine, a 24-year-old Brooklynite, the constant reminder was not helpful in moving on, “After we broke up, I expected to encounter his profile like once on Tinder. But NO. I’ve swiped past him four times on Tinder and three times on Bumble.” 

As if once is not bad enough. She added, “At first I was really jarred and weirded out that I saw him, but I had to remind myself we were not together. We ultimately wanted different things.” 

It’s weird seeing someone you know so well

When Monica saw her ex on Tinder, she noticed his bio said he was looking for someone who “snorts when they laugh.” This happened to be his favorite thing about Monica. 

So she decided to text him about it, and they ended up having pleasant conversation.

Though Monica was happy she reached out, she says it’s probably better to just acknowledge that you saw them and try not to overthink it, “It’s like having to pretend you’re strangers but knowing you’re not.” 

Though most people try to put their best foot forward on their profiles, some people straight up lie. One person, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she saw her former boyfriend wasn’t being completely honest on his profile. She said, “He listed his profession as ‘consultant’ when I knew damn well he was a waiter.” She decided to call him out with a text. He didn’t respond, but he deleted his profile.

Yikes, caught in the act. 

Look on the bright side

Nicole actually had a surprising reaction to seeing her former flame, “So, is it bad that my first response when I recently saw my ex on Bumble, three years after we broke up, was a combo of relief and amusement? I literally chuckled and was like, ‘Ah, so he hasn’t found anyone either. Cool. It’s not just me.’ Like it somehow made me feel less bad about being single for so long.”

That’s a win-win. No hard feelings when you’re both in the same boat.

Sometimes seeing your ex can just plain suck

Nikki, a 22 year old from New Jersey, said seeing her ex on Tinder brought up a lot of old feelings, most of them not very pleasant. “I finally gained my courage, after totally shit-talking his whole profile with my friends, to swipe right — and just as I thought, we didn’t match.” 

Though she was upset by the rejection on one hand, Nikki tried to see the silver lining in the feeling not being mutual, “Do I really want to date a man who took a posed, self-timed photo in his backyard in a tight button down and a samurai bun? No, I actually don’t.” 

Good call.

If you’re worried about seeing your ex on Tinder, Bumble, or whatever app you’re using to get some loving, don’t stress too hard. At best, you’ll swipe right past them and end up finding someone far better. And at the very least, even if it causes some temporary shock, you’ll end up with a good story. 

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Anith Gopal
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