Five Things You Shouldn’t Do When Your Ex Moves On Quickly

Updated January 6, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

One of the hardest things that can happen after your relationship ends is when your ex moves on, especially if they move on first. Seeing someone else with the person you loved (or still love) can be painful and make it difficult for you to move on from the relationship. A lot of times, when it happens, you may suddenly find yourself missing them and thinking about the good times.

On the other hand, you might be feeling mixed emotions or just be annoyed to see your ex appear happy when you aren’t moved on yet. These feelings might be a little hard to take at first, and you might be tempted to react when you discover that your ex is falling for someone else. As tempting as acting out may be, there are five common things that you should avoid when your ex moves on and tips for how to cope with your ex moving on from you. 

How To Cope When Your Ex Moves On Quickly

Seeking revenge is like drinking poison and hoping that it harms a person with whom you harbor ill will. It won’t serve you in the ways that coping skills can. The following tips are just a few strategies you might try to best use your time and energy in ways that build you up and prepare you for stronger relationships in the future. All relationships end under different circumstances, so all tips might not be applicable to your situation. It may be worthwhile to consider each tip and visualize how you might use it as a coping skill for the end of your last relationship.

Allow Yourself And Your Ex To Have Time And Space To Process Emotions

It Can Be Painful When An Ex Moves On Quickly

After a recent break-up, former partners may likely experience a variety of competing emotions. It is important to have time and space in order to process these emotions before making other big decisions. We may be more prone to react in ways we normally wouldn’t when we still feel the pain of rejection, grief, or guilt, for example.

Take a moment to think before you quickly reach out to your ex. Is there any real reason that you need to get in touch fast with the person who has already moved on? 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 could start drama not only with you and your ex but you and the person your ex has moved on to date. Surround yourself with trusted friends who will help you move on instead.

Trust In Your Decision-Making

When a relationship ends, it is not uncommon for one of the parties to wonder if it was the right decision. Avoid allowing your thoughts to enter that cycle of doubt after your ex has moved on. Most of the time, when a relationship ends, it is not a spur of the moment decision. You have likely invested time and energy into considering the pros and cons of maintaining the relationship, and a new person dating your ex should have no impact on those reasons. Allow yourself time to accept the fact that the relationship has ended and to grieve the fact that your ex has moved on quickly. Then, you can begin the process of moving on and being happy that your ex has moved on.

Understand That Vengeance Will Hurt You More Than Your Ex

When a person feels rejected or abandoned, it is easy to want to lash out at the person who impacted those feelings, especially if you feel that person has moved on from you too quickly. You might be thinking, "I hate my ex" over and over. However, the old “eye-for-an-eye” sentiment is not beneficial to your mental health. Revenge can quickly take a lot out of a person. It can consume your thoughts and actions, and steal time that could have otherwise been spent productively. It’s worth noting that the person taking vengeance is usually the one who has not moved on yet. Instead of moving against your ex and their new partner, consider the people and things you want to move toward, that make you feel energized, accepted, and loved.

Refrain From Sending “Accidental” Messages

Missing someone is normal, even after a bad or fast breakup. However, subjecting yourself to more rejection from your ex, who has already moved on, is not the way to begin healing. Sending “accidental” texts – like wishing them “Happy Birthday,” checking on the status of their sick relative, or reaching out to tell something that reminded you of them -- can mean setting yourself up to be hurt even more. Also, if communication is unwanted, it can be grounds for being accused of harassment. The best thing you can do in this situation is to avoid contact and try to move on, just like your ex, who has already moved on.

Stay Out Of Your Ex’s New Relationship

No matter what, stay out of your ex’s new relationship and manage your feelings discreetly. As hard as it is, it’s not your business whether your ex has moved on quickly or not. If your ex was abusive in any way or if they have a history of using people, it is no longer your problem, and you should do your best to move on. Of course, you don’t want to see someone else hurt. However, stop and think about it for just a second. If someone with such a biased perspective had told you that your ex was a bad person (before they were your ex), would you have believed them? Probably not. Most of the time, when a person tries to interfere with an ex’s new relationship, it makes others think they are desperate or vindictive. These are not labels you want to have attached to you, and they certainly won't help you move on from your ex quickly.

Prioritize Your Own Healing

It’s understandable that, after a breakup, moving on is challenging. The truth is, no one can tell you when “moving on” happens. While forcing yourself to move on quickly can create more stress, it really is essential to take steps that lead you to learn to live without your ex as part of your life. Getting to know yourself again and addressing your emotions will help you become a healthier, happier person. Here are a few things you can do for yourself.

Face Your Grief: If your relationship meant anything at all, you are likely going to experience some form of grief. It’s okay to feel sad. In fact, it’s normal. You may find that keeping a journal will help you release some of your emotions regarding how your ex has already moved on. Seeking counseling may also be a great way to talk to someone else about moving on from your ex and get some insight on how to handle the emotions you are experiencing.

Let Your Feelings About How Your Ex Has Moved On Flow Freely:  Often, emotions trigger fast physical responses in the body. For example, fear or anxiety may cause a person to breathe quickly or have a fast heart rate. This is your body’s way of maintaining balance while trying to navigate both physical and emotional changes. When you begin to experience these feelings, pay attention. Stay focused on whatever you are doing, and try not to focus on negativity. Take some slow, deep breaths and relax. If you feel like crying, cry. Whatever you do, try not to ignore your feelings. Acknowledging and processing them is a major part of healing and can help you make peace with how your ex has moved on. 

Take Things One Day At A Time: Just because your ex may seem like this happy person who moved on without you and never missed a beat, doesn’t mean you don’t need more time. We all  manage situations differently. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Take it one day at a time. Set goals, both short-term and long-term. Visit friends and plan times to have dinner or some other social time with others. Now can be a time to invest in dreams and goals you’ve long held on the backburner!

Consider Professional Support To Help You Heal Quickly:  No matter how “composed” you may be under normal circumstances, a breakup can be hard to overcome. When your ex has moved on quickly, and you feel stuck, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes it seems difficult, even unattainable, to get a grasp on life without your ex. Other times, you may feel like no one understands what you’re going through. There are people who understand. There are people who care about how you're feeling now that your ex has moved on. If you’re struggling with depression after your breakup, know that there are fast and effective treatment options available.

It Can Be Painful When An Ex Moves On Quickly

Seeking Online Therapy To Heal From A Breakup

While some people are comfortable seeking in-person counseling, others may feel more comfortable seeking help through other means. BetterHelp offers online counseling options for individuals who need help coping with major life changes, including relationship issues. Our staff of licensed, accredited professionals offer a wealth of knowledge and experience about how to help you once your ex has moved on quickly.

NPR ran a whole article about the science of breakups and recovery and how it affects the brain. One of their main highlights was from a study that found that reflecting on a recent breakup can help with the healing process, including figuring out who you are as a single person. Therapy is a safe place where that can happen and where you can grow after a breakup. Additional research also shows that most types of talk therapy work for general issues on an online platform as well as they do in person.

Online therapy has some additional perks as well. If you’re still feeling that getting yourself together and heading out of the house is too much work, that’s not a problem: you can connect with your counselor anywhere you have a safe internet connection. Online therapy often matches you faster with a counselor than traditional therapy. Where you may go onto a waitlist to get into an office, BetterHelp matches most people within 24 to 48 hours. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Julia is a very open-minded, understanding, and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgment. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad break up and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding have been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame.”

“I’ve tried other counselors that I liked but didn’t seem right for me, but Margaret has been amazing! I love her honesty, compassion, and realness! It was really easy to open up to her, and she’s helped me get through a very tough breakup that nobody else could seem to get me through. I would recommend her to anyone! She makes it so comfortable to talk to her as if you’ve known her forever!”


If you truly love and care about your ex, then it makes sense to wish them the best in their future relationships and endeavors. Unfortunately, sometimes, that means having to sacrifice your own happiness when they have already moved on. Moving on can be a challenging process, but our team at BetterHelp is here to help you take the first step.

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