Home  >  Love Couch  >  Your Ex

Why It’s Normal to Feel Strange When Your Ex Dates Someone New

When your ex dates someone new, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions. It doesn’t mean you want them back, it means you need to process it and move on. 

when your ex dates someone new

Life is weird sometimes, isn’t it? You think you have everything clear in your mind and then bam! Something happens to throw you right off course, like when your ex dates someone new.

You’re left wondering if you ever had it figured out in the first place, and leads you towards endless questions and overthinking.

The problem is, it doesn’t matter whether it ended badly or perfectly fine, you’re always going to feel slightly weird when you find out that the person you spent a lot of time with, is suddenly spending a lot of time with someone else. You might even start thinking of all the good times and wishing you were still together. But, when you really delve deeper, you know that it ended for a good reason.

If you’re feeling funky since you heard your ex had hooked up with someone else, what you’re feeling is totally normal.

[Read: Do you miss your ex or think of them often even if you don’t want to get back together?]

Relationships we wish went differently

Relationships are even weirder than life in general. We all have past relationships that perhaps we wish had gone differently, or things we wish we could change. But life is life, and the past is, quite literally, behind us.

One situation which throws many people off course is when your ex dates someone new. It doesn’t matter whether you ended on good terms, bad terms, or somewhere in the middle, you shared memories and experiences.

When another person teams up with your ex, they make memories and have experiences, and all of that can feel very strange indeed. [Read: What are the signs your ex has moved on?]

You might have been pretty okay with your relationship ending at the time. But, when you hear that they’ve moved on, you may start to see the relationship through rose-tinted glasses. Suddenly you start to remember the good times and how you wish things were different.

It’s important to remain realistic here. They’re going to move on, but so will you. Push aside the weirdness when your ex dates someone new – we promise, it will pass. [Read: How to get over an ex – 17 steps to heal ASAP in the healthiest way]

It will feel strange when your ex dates someone new

I have an ex who I officially DO NOT LIKE. Really, I can’t stand the guy anymore, and I wonder why I even bothered with him in the first place. I put it down to confidence issues *at least that’s what I tell myself*.

It ended because he basically couldn’t keep it in his pants, and I walked away, wallowing for a while and then eventually picking myself up. I thought I was fine with it because let’s face it, I DO NOT LIKE him. Really, I don’t. Then one day I heard a whisper that he was seeing someone new.

Bam! This very strange feeling came over me. Suddenly I wasn’t sure if I really didn’t like him anymore and experienced this odd sense of someone having stolen something from me. It’s ridiculous because it was over. It had been over for a while, and he was free to do whatever he wanted. Let’s face it, he did whatever he wanted when we were together anyway.

I couldn’t figure out why I felt this way, but then I spoke to a friend and she told me that what I was feeling was actually really common. [Read: Why your ex crosses your mind from time to time]

We had a connection, we shared a part of our lives, and when an ex moves on and starts a new life with someone else, it’s bound to feel odd. It’s bound to make you think back over the good times, overlooking all the negatives, and the reasons for it ending.

Of course, then I came to my senses and started to feel sorry for the poor girl. Incidentally, he couldn’t keep it in his pants with her either. [Read: How to make it easier to let go of your ex]

Why you shouldn’t panic when your ex dates someone new

They are an ex for a reason. That is a mantra to keep in your mind.

It ended because of something that happened or the fact that you just weren’t compatible deep down. If it had been wonderful and the positive memories had been worth it, you would still be together. 

Also, if it ended because one of you did something terrible to the other, that’s simply life, and a reason for an end to the relationship.

Don’t suddenly think that they were the ‘one that got away,’ because they really weren’t. There were negative times and those negatives were the cause for the end. When you start to overlook the reality of the situation, it’s easy to start thinking ‘what have I done?’. However, it will fade and you’ll see things through normal glasses.

These strange feelings can cause you to panic, but stay calm and adjust your vision. When your ex dates someone new, it can easily cause your feelings to fly all over the place, but they will settle again. [Read: How to move on from a breakup without compromising your dignity]

What if you still have feelings?

Of course, we haven’t addressed the very real possibility that you still have feelings for your ex. Now you must cope with the fact that they moved on.

It’s hard, but remember that they’re actually not doing anything wrong. It’s easy to get angry and to almost feel cheated on in this situation, but your ex is single now. They are moving on with their life. It’s time for you to do the same. Time to turn the page and start a new chapter.

Many of us can start to experience the pain of the breakup all over again in this situation. It’s fine if you want to take a few days to lay low, give yourself a little TLC, and get your mind straight, but don’t let it go on any longer than that.

If you allow yourself to sink to depths, you’re wallowing, and there are few people who will have true sympathy for you for too long, because the bottom line is that this is life. Relationships end and we move on. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

[Read: When your ex gets engaged – The many highs and lows you’ll go through as soon as you hear the news]

Techniques to help you move on when your ex dates someone new

If you’re feeling the funk and you’re not sure how to shake it when your ex dates someone new, here are a few techniques to try.

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 facade of composure. Have your moment of sadness and realization to let the news sink in, and then try to move on. [Read: How to express your feelings and get your point across the right way]

2. Realize that your ex moving on before you is perfectly 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. When your ex dates someone new, 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. [Read: How long does it take to get over a breakup?]

4. Keep your 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 their new partner

Keep in mind that this person is not your direct competition. 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 their partner just because you’ve improved yourself overnight.

The less you know about the new partner, the better.

Hating on this new person who probably doesn’t know you exist will just fuel your bitterness even more. The new partner is not your enemy! Your ex wasn’t stolen from you.

Instead, they just ran into open and loving arms, and there’s nothing you can do about it other than move on yourself. [Read: Are you jealous of your ex’s new life?]

6. When your ex dates someone new, avoid places where they might go for a while

You know 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? Probably, 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 happily wrapped around their 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, Instagram will show you pictures of your ex’s vacation in Bali or your Facebook feed will display 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 your ex dates someone new

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: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]

Looking to the future

Life is strange. Sometimes life is hard, but realizing that it’s not going to feel this way forever is a vital part of recovery. It’s also important to avoid holding grudges and monitoring what’s going on when your ex dates someone new.

Remember that you’ve moved on too – you did that when you left. You’ll move on romantically when you’re ready but in the meantime, you can focus on yourself and enjoy the life you have. What your ex does is up to them, but what you do is up to you.

[Read: Is it normal to still love your ex? 15 good reasons for why you still do]

If you feel strange when your ex dates someone new, don’t panic. It’s normal. Whether you can’t stand them, or you still have feelings, you’re bound to look back and feel nostalgia. That’s all it is – nostalgia. 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
Follow Nicky on