After the end of a relationship, it can be difficult to cope with your ex moving on quickly. Seeing a new person with the one you loved (or still love) can be painful and make it difficult for you to move on from the relationship. When it happens, you may find yourself missing them.
On the other hand, you might be feeling mixed emotions or be annoyed to see your ex appear happy when you haven’t moved on yet. These feelings might be challenging to understand initially, and you might be tempted to react negatively. But following your impulses might not help you feel good or gain new perspective. Here are five areas to avoid when your ex moves on, plus tips for coping with the feelings that may arise.
Five Responses To Avoid When Your Ex Moves On
The following tips are a few strategies you might try to healthily use your time and energy to support your healing process, boost your self-esteem, and prepare you for stronger relationships in the future.
Relationships can end under unique circumstances, so not all the tips included may apply to your situation. Consider each tip and visualize how you might use it as a coping skill to cope with the end of your last relationship.
Don’t Violate Your Ex’s Space
After a recent breakup, past partners may experience various competing emotions. It can benefit both ex-partners to have time and space to process these emotions before making significant decisions. You may be more prone to react out of emotion when experiencing the pain of rejection, grief, or guilt.
Take a moment to think before you reach out to your ex. Is there any real reason you need to get in touch fast with the person who has already moved on after the relationship ended? Reaching out could open old wounds. Calling or texting your ex randomly could also make it look like you’re trying to get in between your ex and their new relationship. This behavior could cause challenges between you and your ex and the person your ex has moved on to date. Surround yourself with friends and give your ex space.
Don’t Ignore Your Instincts
When a relationship ends, it can be normal to question whether it was the right decision. Avoid allowing your thoughts to enter a cycle of self-doubt after your ex has moved on. Often, when a relationship ends, it’s not a spur-of-the-moment decision. You may have invested time and energy into considering the pros and cons of maintaining the relationship.
If your ex is with someone new, try not to allow this to affect your own thoughts in the present moment. Allow yourself time to accept the fact that the relationship has ended and to grieve the fact that your ex has moved on. If your instincts told you to end the relationship or that the relationship was unhealthy, trying to rekindle the connection may not be the best choice for your personal growth.
Don’t Get Revenge
Seeking revenge is often considered unhealthy, as it may backfire or cause emotional or physical harm to you or your ex. It may not serve you in the ways that coping skills can.
When a person feels rejected or abandoned, they may want to lash out at whoever incited those feelings. You might feel like you hate your ex or want them to fail in their new relationship. However, getting revenge may cause more emotional distress. It can consume your thoughts and actions and steal time that could have been spent productively.
People seeking vengeance are often those who haven’t moved on. Although it can be okay to not be over your ex, consider taking time to care for yourself instead of thinking about how you can hurt your ex. Instead of moving against your ex and their new partner, consider the people and situations you want to move toward that make you feel energized, accepted, and loved.
Refrain From Sending “Accidental” Messages
Missing someone is normal, even after an unhealthy or fast break up. However, subjecting yourself to more rejection from your ex, who has already moved on, may not help you heal. Sending “accidental” texts, like wishing them “happy birthday,” checking on the status of their sick relative, or sending an “accidental” emoji, can mean setting yourself up to be hurt even more.
Also, if communication is unwanted, it can be grounds for being accused of harassment. In these cases, try to avoid contact and focus on healing. Consider using practices like radical acceptance to accept that your relationship has ended, and your ex has moved on. Try not to entertain ideas of your ex coming back or leaving their new relationship for you.
Stay Out of Your Ex’s New Relationship
Stay out of your ex’s new relationship and manage your feelings discreetly. As difficult as it might be, try to stay focused on your own life instead of someone else’s. Even if your ex treated you poorly or you’re concerned about their new partner, try not to intervene. It may backfire or have consequences for your safety. Even if you don’t want someone to be hurt the way you were, consider whether you might have believed someone if they contacted you in the early stages of your relationship with your ex to warn you.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
How To Prioritize Your Healing After a Breakup
It can be understandable if you struggle to move on after your breakup. However, each person is unique, and how long they take to move forward. Let yourself take the time you need to heal, whether that takes a few weeks to a few years. Find ways to live your life healthily without your ex in it. Getting to know yourself again and addressing your emotions may help you cope with losing someone you care about. Below are a few tips to get started.
Face Your Grief
You may experience grief after the end of a relationship. Grief is a normal response to any loss, and something most human beings experience over the course of their lives. It’s normal to feel bad post-breakup, and you’re not alone. You may find that keeping a journal helps you release some of your emotions regarding how your ex has moved on. Seeking counseling may also be a way to talk to someone else about moving on from your ex and receive insight on how to handle your emotions.
Feel Your Emotions
Painful emotions can often cause physical responses in the body. For example, fear or anxiety may cause a person to breathe quickly or have a fast heart rate. These responses can be your body’s way of maintaining balance while navigating physical and emotional changes.
When you experience these feelings, pay attention. Stay focused on your actions and try not to focus on negativity. Take some slow, deep breaths and relax. If you feel the urge to cry, cry. However, try not to repress your emotions. Studies show that repressing emotions can worsen mental and physical health. Acknowledging and processing your feelings, even when you feel terrible, may help you make peace with your ex’s behavior.
Take Each Day as It Comes
Even if your ex seems happy in their new relationship or without you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need more time. Everyone manages situations differently. Try not to be too hard on yourself about how long you need to cope.
Take it one day at a time — set goals in the short term and long term. Visit a friend and plan dinner or social events to get out of the house. You can also consider investing in your dreams and interests that you may have previously ignored.
Consider Professional Support
No matter how “composed” you may be under normal circumstances, a breakup can be challenging to overcome alone. It can be frustrating to see your ex with someone else, and you feel stuck. It may feel like you can’t stop imagining their new reality or checking their social media. Other times, you may feel like no one understands what you’re going through. In these cases, a therapist can be an empathetic, stable, and professional resource to help you cope with the feelings you’re experiencing.
While some individuals may be comfortable seeking in-person counseling, others may feel more comfortable seeking support through other means, like online therapy. Online platforms like BetterHelp offer options for individuals seeking support in coping with significant life changes, including relationship changes and breakups.
NPR discusses the science of breakups and recovery and how it may affect the brain. One of their main highlights was from a study that found that reflecting on a recent breakup can aid in healing, including figuring out who you are as a single person. Therapy is a safe place for growth after a breakup. In addition, research has found that online therapy can reduce distress from isolation or loneliness.
Internet-based counseling may also have alternative benefits. If you struggle to get ready and leave home for an appointment, online therapy can allow you to connect with your counselor anywhere you have a safe internet connection. In addition, you can often receive a match with a therapist within 24-48 hours if you use an online platform.
What to do when your ex moves on?
When your ex moves on, it can bring up a mix of emotions or make you feel sad. Here are ten steps you can consider taking to cope with the situation:
- Allow Yourself to Feel: It's natural to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, jealousy, and even a sense of loss. Allow yourself to experience and start feeling without judgment.
- Limit Social Media Exposure: If seeing your ex with someone new on social media is affecting you negatively, consider taking a break from their profiles or muting their posts for a while.
- Focus on Your Well-Being: Prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that bring you joy, practicing healthy habits, and spending time with supportive friends and family.
- Avoid Comparison: Remember that everyone's journey is unique. Comparing your progress to your ex's isn't productive and can lead to unnecessary emotional turmoil.
- Embrace Your Own Growth: Channel your energy into personal growth and self-improvement. Set goals for yourself and focus on becoming the best version of you.
- Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist to talk about your feelings. Sometimes sharing your emotions can provide relief and perspective.
- Avoid Rushing Into New Relationships: Take the time you need to heal and focus on yourself before considering new romantic connections.
- Learn from the Experience: Reflect on the lessons you've learned from your past relationship and use those insights to make informed decisions moving forward.
- Practice Mindfulness: Stay present and focus on the moment instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
- Give Yourself Time: Healing takes time and may happen at different speeds for different people, and it's okay to take as much time as you need to come to terms with the situation and move forward.
Healing is a personal journey, and it may be important to prioritize your own well-being and emotional health. While it can be challenging, the experience can ultimately lead to personal growth and the opportunity for healthier future relationships.
How do I deal with my ex moving on with someone else?
When your ex has a new love interest it can be difficult to deal with. If you are in this situation it may be important to start by validating your feelings. Feeling hurt is a normal reaction to seeing someone you love move on, you may also feel heartbroken, angry, or like you still love your ex.
In addition to validating your feelings and taking time to reflect on them, it may also be a good idea to focus on yourself and your own health. You may do this by incorporating self-care, meditation, exercising, or seeing a mental health professional. A licensed marriage and family counselor may provide you with the tools to manage your feelings after your ex has moved on.
Will my ex come back after moving on?
Whether your ex will come back after moving on is uncertain and depends on a range of factors. Most people have feelings and circumstances that are complex, and there's no guaranteed outcome. While individuals can undergo changes and evolve over time, both parties would need to have made significant personal growth and addressed the issues that led to the breakup. Open and respectful communication is essential in determining whether there's potential for reconciliation, as it allows both of you to express your feelings and assess your current situation.
Timing also plays a role, as people often need space to gain perspective and heal emotionally before considering getting back together. It's crucial to respect each other's boundaries and decisions. While the possibility of rekindling a relationship exists, it's equally important to prepare for and realize the possibility that your ex may not return. Focus on your own well-being, personal growth, and acceptance of whatever outcome arises, prioritizing what is ultimately best for your happiness and emotional health.
Do exes miss you when you move on?
When you break up with a partner you may be wondering if they miss you after you have moved on. In some cases, this may depend on how you broke up. Some factors that may play a role in whether your ex misses you include:
- Mutual Feelings: If the breakup was amicable and both of you had mutual feelings for each other, there's a chance your ex might miss you when they see you moving on. This could be because they still have lingering emotions or memories.
- Regret: Seeing you move on and engage in new experiences might trigger feelings of regret in your ex, especially if they've had time to reflect on the relationship.
- Curiosity: Even if your ex initiated the breakup, they might still feel curious about your life after the relationship. Seeing you move on might evoke curiosity about what you're up to.
- Ego: Sometimes, an ex's ego might be affected when they realize you're moving on and doing well without them. This could lead to them experiencing a sense of missing your presence.
- Indifference: On the other hand, some exes might not feel any particular emotions when they see you moving on, especially if they have already moved on themselves.
Should I unfriend my ex to move on?
After a break up it may be challenging to end negative thoughts or to stop obsessing over your ex. If you get to the point where your daily life is being impacted by thoughts about your ex, it may be beneficial to unfriend them on social media. It may be tempting to continue following them, however, this may make it harder to move on.
On the other hand, if you have a healthy and amicable relationship with your ex, maintaining a distant but friendly online connection might not be problematic. Some people find it possible to move on without unfriending. Consider what feels right for you and what aligns with your emotional needs during the healing process.
Why am I scared of my ex moving on?
Feeling scared or anxious about your ex moving on after a breakup is a natural response that can be influenced by a range of emotions and psychological factors:
Attachment and Emotional Investment: During a relationship, you likely formed a strong emotional bond with your ex. The fear of them moving on can stem from the emotional investment you made and the connection you once shared.
Loss and Grief: Breakups involve a sense of loss, and the idea of your ex moving on can intensify feelings of grief. The fear might be connected to the realization that the relationship is truly over.
Fear of Being Alone: The thought of your ex moving on might trigger feelings of loneliness and the fear of being alone. It's natural to want companionship and support, and the idea of your ex finding that with someone else can be unsettling.
Comparison and Self-Worth: Seeing your ex move on can lead to comparisons, where you might question your own worth or desirability. It's common to worry about being replaced or not measuring up to their new partner.
Uncertainty and Change: Breakups bring a sense of uncertainty and change. The fear of your ex moving on can be connected to the unknown future and the adjustments you need to make in your own life.
Revisiting Pain: The fear might also be linked to the potential of reopening emotional wounds. Seeing your ex with someone new can remind you of the pain from the breakup.
Loss of Control: The fear of your ex moving on can stem from a loss of control over their actions and decisions. This lack of control can be uncomfortable, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
Nostalgia: Memories of the good times you shared can evoke nostalgia, making it difficult to imagine your ex being happy with someone else. You also may not want to forget the good times that you had.
Can exes fall back in love?
Yes, exes can indeed fall back in love under certain circumstances. Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion, and the journey of two individuals can take unexpected turns. People grow, change, and evolve over time, and the factors that led to a breakup might not be as relevant in the future. It's important to approach this possibility with open eyes and a clear understanding of what went wrong initially, to avoid repeating past mistakes.
That said, not all exes will fall back in love, and sometimes a breakup happens for fundamental reasons that can't be resolved. Each situation is unique, and while some couples can rekindle their love and create a stronger bond, others might find that moving forward separately is the healthier choice.
Should I talk to my ex after moving on?
Deciding whether to reconnect with an ex after moving on hinges on a combination of factors that are deeply personal. It may be a good idea to gauge your emotional readiness to engage without jeopardizing your newfound emotional equilibrium. Reflect on your motivations for wanting to reconnect – whether it's a genuine desire for a cordial connection or if lingering feelings could cloud your judgment.
If you decide to proceed, establish clear communication boundaries to prevent any misunderstandings or emotional complications. Be respectful of your current relationships and theirs, as this interaction could have ripple effects. Reflect on the past dynamics of your relationship; if it was unhealthy, reopening communication might not be advisable. If closure is your goal, it may be a good idea to ensure that it won't reopen old wounds.
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