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Sequin-clad celebrities like Diane Kruger, Hailey Baldwin and Lea Michele were flowing into InStyle Magazine’s Golden Globes after-party faster than the champagne was meeting its glass’ brim.

While it’s always awkward to run into an ex-partner at any party, Nina Dobrev looks to have experienced what it was like to see her ex-boyfriend Ian Somerhalder kissing his new wife Nikki Reed in the elevator. So how do you act when a past love pops up with a new love in the dark nooks of the same great party you’re at? Here, psychologist Gemma Cribb ( takes you through each emotional state of mind and has tailored your reaction plan for you.


If you’re still in love with your ex-partner
“Be kind to yourself,” says Cribb. “It is normal to still have feelings for someone you were close to and just a sign of how faithfully you can love. Don’t drink too much, don’t try to flirt with someone else to try and make your ex-partner feel jealous. Don’t avoid or ignore him. Don’t dredge up the past. Don’t create a scene.” 

“Do make sure you have supportive friends around you.  Do look fabulous. Do talk to your ex like two normal friends, ask them about his/her life, share with him/her some of the better parts of yours. Do be real, if you are awkward say it, if it’s difficult for you, say it. The more ‘normal’ contact you have, the less likely you are to exaggerate how wonderful your ex is in your mind.”

IF The visual of your ex-partner with another person kills you
“Again be kind to yourself but don’t avoid it,” says Cribb. “Try not to compare yourself with that person and if you need, get a friend to remind you of all your amazing qualities. Again, talking to the two of them like a normal person can help you get a reality check that she/he is human like you and may even (hopefully) show some of his/her flaws while you get to show how mature you are. You are likely to get over it faster if you don’t ignore what is happening and how your ex is moving on.”

IF You’re over the relationship and at peace with your ex-partner
“If you are really over the relationship and at peace with your ex-partner then you would treat them like any other friend you haven’t seen for a while,” explains Cribb. “You would approach your ex and ask them how they are and share what is going on in your life.”