The 6 Stages Of Seeing Your Ex On A Dating App

by Aoife Hanna
Universal Pictures

Internet dating is hard. Now, this isn't me being nostalgic for the good old days of dinner dates and love letters, because I've only ever known dating to be the dizzy, digital high of swiping left or right. But, either way, it's a minefield out there, and one of the worst parts of it is being confronted with people you've dumped, or have been dumped by, on the very app where you met them. It's something that's happened to all of us, and the stages of seeing your ex on a dating app are pretty relatable.

Look, your reaction to being confronted with your ex on a dating app really depends on how recently the break up happened, as well as what went down between you both. If things are a bit raw, it could potentially send you into a horrific downward spiral of totally horrific negatron proportions. But if you're a little bit further along in the break up process, it can be one of the funniest things to happen to you. And, dare I say, make your actual week.

Here are the six stages of seeing your ex on a dating app as I see them. Don't @ me.


Laughter, tears, & a whole bunch of OMG WTF

OK, so full disclosure, I myself have experienced both extreme devastation and extreme LOLs at seeing exes on dating apps. The common thread seems to be time having healed all wounds.

If you're at the crappy end of things, I'm sorry. But cry it out and you'll absolutely get through this, I promise.

But you GUYS, if you're at the chill end of things, prepare to laugh so effing hard you might drop your phone/fall over (happened to me once).

Either way, breathe it in. Feel the feelings. And let them provide catharsis.


Examining the photographs & bio carefully

Are they wearing something you gave them? Is that your cat in the photo? Was this photo taken before you broke up? Have they changed their look up? Or, my personal favourite, erm are those professional pictures?!


In terms of the bio, try not to torture yourself if everything they say they're looking for is the opposite of you or what you two had together. You are both different people now and you broke up for flipping good reason. Don't beat yourself up.


Discussing the encounter with your BFFs

I mean, obviously.

They've probably had to listen to you and your BS regarding this individual for far longer than they ever signed up for. Like an online subscription you just cannot get out of. Let them at least share in the LOLs and unfortunate coincidence of you seeing your ex on an app.



To swipe or not to swipe, that is the question

OK so the decision to swipe left or right is incredibly tricky but something you need to think about for like a gazillion reasons.

Maybe you guys are a bit "on again off again." Or perhaps you kind of left things a little weirdly. Hey, that person might even feel like the "one that got away."

However, IMO, trying to match with someone you have ended things with is a bad idea whatever the situation. Remember you broke up for (probably) good reason. So you do you and work on yourself. It's truly the best investment you'll ever make.

And hey, if you do hook up with the ex? I don't blame you. We all know sex with the ex is the forbidden fruit.


Suddenly realising they've seen you too

Babes this is a reality you have to acknowledge. Somewhere, they are going through probably the exact same process as you. For better or worse. And you may be in the position where you're regretting those ill advised photos you thought would show your funny side, or the fact that you're wearing a top that you never gave back to them.


Moving on

Freaking out about seeing exes is a tale as old as time, whether it's on an app or IRL.

Shake it off, move on, and use that app to get what you're looking for from it. That ex never deserved your resplendence anyway.