The heart-rending split second when you find out your ex has moved on with someone new. Whether they’re dating, sleeping with, or in a full on relationship with someone else, the pain of knowing that it’s really over can be excruciating.
Part of that pain is not being able to understand how they’re able to move on so quickly. How can they just ignore us and dive into being with someone else?
Thoughts spring to mind:
“They can’t have loved me in the first place.” “Were they secretly seeing that person behind my back?” “The relationship clearly didn’t mean that much to them.” “How can they find the break-up easy whilst I’m hurting.”
We go over these gut-wrenching questions over and over in our minds because the thought of us being with someone new just isn’t imaginable. So how could they possibly just hop into another relationship, when we can’t eat, and cry ourselves to sleep?
Sometimes we hurt ourselves more by wondering all the reasons why. But just because someone has appeared to move on rapidly, doesn’t mean that they didn’t love us, or that they’re completely over us or that the relationship didn’t matter to them. How many times have you heard stories where someone has been seeing someone, and it hasn’t worked out because they weren’t over their ex? Exactly.
The issue is, often people jump into something with someone new because they think that will fill the you-shaped-hole. It will fill the gap where the relationship was and will temporarily repair what they’re feeling, which they can’t handle alone. They’re using this person as a plaster to temporarily heal the wound.
[Read: How to Handle Being Cheated On]
It’s rare that you can meet someone perfect when you’re straight out of a relationship (without cheating) and be fully in that new relationship for the right reasons. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but in many cases, it’s to fill that gap. Some people struggle to face being on their own and what that means. They want to know that they can still get someone else and instead of using the time to get over the break-up and focus on themselves, they jump straight into the thing that’s going to give them the instant reassurance and confidence boost – dating someone else. And whilst doing that they’ll be bringing all the issues from the break-up over into that new dating scenario or relationship, which is a recipe for disaster.
What’s important is that you focus your time and attention on what you can do right NOW to move forward.
How To Handle Seeing Your Ex With Someone Else
#1 Let all your emotions out
Cry it out, if you must. Get it off your chest. Set up a night out with your close friends so you can tell them all about it and then move on. Just don’t try to hide your pain under a steely wall of composure.
#2 Those who run, stumble
When two people break up, there is usually a slight competition to see who becomes happier with their lives first. If you only pay attention to being the first to get over the breakup, you won’t be able to concentrate as much on healing your heart and moving on in a healthy way.
#3 Keep in mind all the bad things about them
Remember why it didn’t work out between the two of you: your ex’s annoying quirks are now someone else’s problem!
#4 Don’t compare
Keep in mind that this person is not your competition. Don’t compare looks, success or anything else – you’ll either hurt yourself more or just fuel your bitterness. The less you know about the new partner, the better.
#5 Don’t social media stalk
This can be just as bad as stalking in person! The internet has definitely made it so much harder to get over people because we’re constantly bombarded by updates about their lives. Without you wanting it, Facebook will show you pictures of your ex’s half-naked holiday photos, or your ex’s sweet love posts to the new boyfriend or girlfriend. Even if you try to resist, there’s always the temptation to have a teeny tiny peek at what your ex is up to.
The answer: block them until you’re over them. It’s the only way.[Read: How to Deal with a Crazy Ex]
But what matters here is you, not them.
What matters is that you’re setting yourself up SO MUCH BETTER by allowing yourself to feel this pain. Taking the time out alone and to be single is important because it helps you get over this break-up and everything that comes with that. It means that when you do want to go out dating again, you’ll be starting fresh over (or as much as is possible) instead of taking all that crappy break-up residue along the way.
This isn’t to say that you should now live in denial about the break-up and sit here waiting for your ex to stop dating other people, realise the error of their ways and beg you back. As I said before, the relationship probably is over. But just know that just because they’re with someone else or going on a dating spree, it doesn’t mean you have instantly been forgotten.
And if they are able to genuinely move on that quickly, then the relationship clearly wasn’t right for you and you deserve more.[Read: The Newly Single Starter Kit: 12 Ways To Embrace Singledom]