Imagine you’re just sitting at home, looking for something to do. And then for some reason, you remember one of your exes. You start to wonder how your ex is or what your ex is up to. So you get on Facebook to have a little peek into the life of your ex.
You see that the little thumbnail of a profile picture has two people in it. You tap on it and out pops a photo of a deliriously happy couple, with their cheeks squashed together. You check the rest of the photos and see that this other person invading your ex’s profile pictures is your ex’s new beau. And the worst part is that each photo is radiating joy and sunshine and all the good things in the world.
It’s confirmed: your ex is with someone else. This probably shouldn’t bother you all that much if you’re already in a happy state in your life. If anything, you’d be happy that your ex has decided to move on. But what if you’re still not completely over your ex? What if you’re not happy with the way things turned out after you broke up? [Read: 8 common post-breakup mistakes you should never do]
How to deal with your ex seeing someone new
To help you keep your sanity and to keep you from revisiting that dark place you frequented after your breakup, here are our tips for what you should do.
#1 Express what you feel. Don’t scream it out at the top of your lungs on the highest building you can find! Just express it in your own way, with minimal damage to those around you. 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 faà§ade of composure. Have your moment of sadness and realization to let the news sink in, and then try to move on.
#2 Realize that your ex moving on before you is okay. At first, you might think it’s so unfair that your ex has managed to find someone new while you’re still struggling to get over your breakup. But you have to understand that breaking up means having the right to see other people. You can’t expect your ex to be stuck on you even when you’re no longer on speaking terms!
That three month rule after a breakup doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people simply get over their exes in a shorter span of time than others. On the other hand, your ex might just be in a rebound relationship. Whatever technique your ex has used to get over your relationship isn’t really your business. Just accept that your ex has moved on, and so can you. [Read: 10 signs that a past relationship is keeping you from moving forward]
#3 It’s not a race. When two people break up, there is usually a slight competition to see who becomes happier with their lives first. Some people engage in this, especially if they’re still super bitter about their ex. However, you have to consider that you can’t accelerate the way you get over things at will. So if you concentrate on being the first to get over the breakup, you won’t be able to concentrate as much on healing your heart and moving on the healthy way.
Also, happiness is different for everyone. Just because your ex is doing something that makes him or her happy, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. So if having a new relationship is what makes your ex happy and focusing on your career is what’s making you happy, stick with your career and quit mimicking what your ex is up to.
#4 Keep the ex’s flaws in mind. This may already be something you’ve done when you were still trying to get over the breakup, but keeping that mental tally does come in handy in situations like this. When you remember why it didn’t work out between the two of you, you’re less likely to be jealous of the person who used to be in your position. Simply put, it’s like inwardly saying that your ex’s annoying quirks are someone else’s problem now!
#5 Don’t make comparisons between you and the new partner. Keep in mind that this person is not your direct competition. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the new person is your ex’s life has already won, but it’s not a competition you’re still participating in. So even if you force yourself to try and be better than the new partner, your ex probably won’t dump his or her partner just because you’ve improved yourself overnight.
The less you know about the new partner, the better. Hating on this new person will just fuel your bitterness even more. The new partner is not your enemy! Your ex wasn’t stolen from you. Instead, he or she just ran into open and loving arms, and there’s nothing you can do about it other than move on. [Read: Are you jealous of your ex’s new life?]
#6 Avoid places where they might go. You saw that the happy new couple is always at this pub near your place. It’s so near that it wouldn’t be weird if you were to suddenly show up and see them there, right? But what would that accomplish? You’ll go to the bar and you’ll run into them, and then what? You’ll just ogle and move along? You’ll berate your ex for being with someone else? God forbid you might even make a scene!
In theory, your sleuth skills might be enough to let you go unnoticed, if you do deign to check them out. But in reality, there’s always the possibility that you’ll be overcome by your emotions. Seeing your ex with a new significant other can feel like a painful blow right to the heart. And when you see how happy they look together, it may just cause your heart to break into even tinier pieces. [Read: 14 things to keep in mind when you run into your ex]
#7 Avoid stalking online. 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 vacation in Bali 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.
To prevent this, your most effective course of action would be to get off social media for a while. Ask a trusted friend to change your password for you for about a week or two. Use this time to sort out your feelings and to make yourself more resilient. After all, the less your ex is on your mind, the faster you can get used to not thinking about how things were between you two. So by the time you’re back on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, you’ve already worked up the courage to accept your ex’s new relationship. [Read: 12 things that will make you look like a creepy stalker]
#8 Focus on your own life. When you severed ties with your ex, you’ve basically forfeited the right to butt into your ex’s business. There is no more bond to speak of, so whatever your ex does is out of your hands. Your ex should no longer have an effect on you once you’ve moved on. In knowing this, you’re better off focusing on something that can improve your life right now.
Whether you choose to search for a new relationship or put all your efforts into a hobby, it’s infinitely better than sitting at home and thinking about your ex and your ex’s new partner. You’ll do you, while they’ll do whatever it is that they do.
[Read: 9 things to keep in mind when your ex is about to get married]
The more you pay attention to what you can do to become a better person, the less time you’ll have to sit around and be bitter about your ex’s new relationship. So quit the comparisons, quit the stalking, quit the brooding over the fact that your ex got over you first. It’s out of your hands now, so shift your attention to something that’s within your hands to change.
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