So, you’ve broken up and your relationship is done now. You’re casually checking your Insta feed when suddenly a photo of your ex with a new woman pops up and you think to yourself, “My ex has moved on, what do I do now?”
Don’t think you’re the only one who’s been asking this question once they see that their ex has moved on. The truth is nothing can hinder your healing process more than seeing your ex-boyfriend with a new partner. Your wounds are fresh and maybe you even thought of giving him a second chance and trying to rekindle the old flame.
It’s never easy to forget about your ex-partner, especially with the rise of social media. Many women and men still follow their exes online just so they can see what they’re up to.
But, what if you have moved on and gave yourself a clean break? It’s completely natural to be happy for your ex if he found someone new, right? Well, that’s not always the case. Sometimes it can feel as if your heart is breaking into a million pieces all over again.
I understand that despite it being over between you two, it’s still awkward for you to see him dating someone new. It’s like adding salt to the wound. It can spiral you down into low self-esteem, self-doubt, and even depression.
Why is it tough to accept that your ex has moved on?
Let’s be honest here for a second. How many times have you promised yourself you’ll move on and stop thinking about your ex? How many times have you said that you’re going to focus on yourself and leave the past behind you?
Many people ask themselves the same questions for a couple of reasons. Jealousy is a very powerful emotion that can force you to do things you never thought you could do. And finding someone else who is more suited for you is easier said than done.
1. Your ego is hurt
Perhaps the “pain” you’re feeling right now after seeing your ex with someone new doesn’t have anything to do with having feelings for your ex-partner. Have you considered the fact that your ego is hurt and nothing more?
Maybe you’re not even aware of it, but ego has a huge impact on you feeling hurt.
It’s quite fascinating that some people like the idea of someone having feelings for them even though they’re not interested in being in a relationship with that person.
That happens because people have the natural desire to feel wanted. Every one of us wants to be wanted by someone, even if we don’t feel the same way about them. It brings you comfort and boosts your self-esteem.
And seeing your ex moving on with someone new will definitely shatter that illusion you created, which could cause your ego to be severely bruised.
Don’t be surprised if you start comparing yourself to that other person. It’s natural to wonder what the other person has that you don’t. But your self-doubt will certainly increase and you’ll start questioning yourself.
You might think that your ex has found someone better than you, but in reality, your ego just took a knock.
2. You feel like a failure
Being in a relationship means that both partners invest their time and effort in making it work. It’s tough to give everything you have and sacrifice a lot for each other, only to break up months or years later.
It’s normal to feel like a complete failure afterward. And seeing that your ex has moved on can intensify that pain you’re feeling right now and certainly be a reminder of that failure.
I understand that you’ve been telling yourself, “My ex has moved on and I feel like a total failure right now,” but you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.
Almost every new relationship is great at the beginning. You fall for that person and get butterflies every time you see them, but that only lasts for a couple of months.
It could be that your ex-boyfriend is acting the same way in his new relationship as he did with you, and ends up breaking it off again.
Perhaps you dated a toxic manipulator who always blamed you for everything bad that happened in your relationship and now you think you’re not good enough to find someone new.
Well, let me tell you, good things do happen to those who wait.
3. You’re in a rebound relationship
Many people resort to having a rebound relationship shortly after a breakup. They hope they will distract themselves from feeling pain and avoid facing the post-breakup emotions.
But what everyone really should do once they experience a breakup is to give themselves a significant amount of time to heal.
You shouldn’t jump from one relationship to another, as your wounds are still fresh and you’re incapable of forming a healthy emotional bond with your new partner.
You still have lingering feelings for your ex that prevent you from moving on. That’s why it hurts when you see that your ex has moved on and found someone new.
When you’re in a rebound relationship, you’re convincing yourself that you’ve moved on, when you really haven’t. You try to open yourself up more to your new lover, but you fail every time.
Trust me, no good comes from rebounds. It’s better for you to give yourself some time to heal before starting a new romantic relationship.
4. He was your first real love
Sometimes fairy tales don’t come true and your first love may not be the love of your life. But even though you’re not destined to spend the rest of your life together, it’s still difficult to forget the one who made you feel alive.
And according to several scientific papers, many people feel overly protective over their first love even when they’re not in a relationship with them anymore.
That happens because they think they have certain rights over their exes since they’re the ones who got there first.
That’s why you feel possessive over and hurt by your ex-boyfriend when he finds someone new. You think that the new woman doesn’t deserve him even if your desire is not to reconcile with your ex.
But if you wish to move on, you have to let go of the past. Even though your first real love didn’t work out the way you planned, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to experience true love and find the man of your dreams.
Possessiveness is keeping you from healing and moving on with your own life.
5. You haven’t fully recovered from the breakup
Even if you think that you’ve already moved on from your ex-boyfriend and perhaps even entered a new love relationship, you might still need a bit more time to completely recover from the breakup.
Being committed to someone and letting them go is tough and many people fail to detach themselves completely.
The sense of grief and remorse still remains and that might be why you have a tough time accepting the fact that your ex has moved on.
You didn’t take time to clear out the negative feelings you have toward your ex. And your past relationship is keeping you away from seeing the truth.
Maybe you’re wondering why your current relationship has so many problems. Well, the reason for it might be because you didn’t give yourself enough time to fully heal from the breakup.
6. You believe that your past relationship meant nothing to him
It’s difficult to cope with the post-breakup emotions once the person you loved so much is gone from your life.
At the same time, you feel grief, love, and hate for them. You may even secretly hope that they will suffer the same way you do.
But it’s tough for us to accept that our ex-partner feels completely indifferent about our past relationship.
You start to believe that your past relationship meant nothing to him and that can have a negative effect on your emotional well-being.
Seeing him all happy with his new partner only intensifies the pain you already feel. You question your own worth and you wonder why he couldn’t be happy with you as he is right now.
This brings on many awful thoughts about yourself and you doubt that he was serious about your relationship at all.
7. You’re only human
You might feel hurt by the fact that your ex-boyfriend is dating someone new even if you’re already in a new relationship. But remember, you’re human with emotions, so it’s totally okay for you to feel that way.
You shouldn’t worry about it. After all, it doesn’t mean you want your ex back or that you still love him.
It’s okay to feel hurt and jealous, but you have to do all you can to move on with your own life. Don’t be stuck in the past and fail to live in the present.
What should I do when my ex has moved on?
It’s no easy task to move on from someone who meant the world to you. Your heart says to get him back while your mind is telling you that it’s over.
On top of that, if you see that your ex has moved on even though it has been only a couple of weeks since you two broke up, it could only make it that much harder for you to keep going.
But there are certain things that you can do to help you alleviate that pain a bit.
1. Embrace those feelings you have
I know your only wish right now is to lock yourself up in your apartment and cry yourself to sleep, but that’s the last thing you should do.
Don’t be hard on yourself for still caring about your ex-boyfriend, no matter how long it’s been since you two were together.
Experiencing heartbreak for the first time can be devastating. You might think that you moved on because it’s been months since you two dated, but the wounds still feel as fresh as the day of the breakup.
Rest assured, you’re not the only one who’s felt this way. You’re feeling something new, something you haven’t had the chance to process yet.
Instead of building walls around yourself and shutting yourself off, try to take some deep breaths and find a way to calm yourself down a bit. Find someone to talk to, or express all your feelings in a journal.
The pain is an indication that you loved your partner very much and it’s totally okay to feel that way if you see that your ex has moved on.
2. Try to change your perspective on the relationship
I get that you feel like you’re the victim right now and that your ex-boyfriend is the worst person on the planet. But ask yourself this: Are you really the victim or are you just holding onto the sad version of your relationship?
In order to give love another chance once you see that your ex has moved on, you have to shift the narrative to one that will give you the strength to move on with your life.
Try to think about your relationship as something that had to happen to become the woman you are today.
You both gave it your best, but it simply wasn’t meant to be. You loved, cried, and laughed with each other and that’s what made your past relationship great.
And even if you fought and forgave, you had to call it off for good. But you could never say that it was for lack of trying. You both decided that you were just two different people who were incompatible with each other.
You have to switch your perspective on your ex and your past relationship. It’s the only way to move forward with your life and be open to new experiences.
3. Have no contact
Following the no-contact rule takes a lot of self-discipline yet can help you with moving on from your ex.
I know you’re interested in seeing what’s going on in his life and you want to stalk his social media profiles a bit, but it’ll only make the process of healing that much more difficult for you.
What is the no-contact rule? Well, it means that you’ll unfollow him on social media, delete his phone number and you won’t bump into him “accidentally” at places where you know he’ll visit.
It’s better for you to let go of the past and just forget about it. After all, there are a lot of other things you can do to improve yourself and not let the past hold you back.
You might feel the urge to take a glimpse or two, but remember that he has moved on and so should you.
4. Let go of the fantasy
Many people fail to realize that their post-breakup pain has little to do with the actual relationship they had with their ex-partner.
There’s a reason your relationship had to end. In most cases, people aren’t surprised by the breakup because they know things haven’t been going well for a while.
And even if you still have feelings for your ex, I can guarantee you don’t want back the relationship you actually had with him. Why?
Because there’s always a list of things that each person did or didn’t do that eventually led to all the fights and disagreements.
So, you’re not actually mourning the past relationship. Instead, you’re having a hard time letting go of the dream of what could have been if you two decided to stay together.
You’re doing your best to heal, but those painful memories stick around and you start longing for the good old times.
One of the ways to deal with those painful memories is to write them down and read them aloud every time you start questioning your decision.
Your goal isn’t to stay angry at yourself or your ex-boyfriend, but to remember the reasons your relationship ended. If you wish to let go of those painful events, first you have to accept and acknowledge that they happened.
5. Think about what excites you
Being in a relationship means that you have to sacrifice your own time for the benefit of making your partner happy. Sacrifice and hard work are the pillars of a healthy relationship.
But many people don’t realize that you still have to have some me-time. You shouldn’t give up on those things that excite you just because you’re in a relationship.
“My ex has moved one. What should I do?”
Well, now is the perfect time to focus all of your energy and time on something productive. Perhaps you can revisit some of your old hobbies or start doing some new things that might pique your interest.
Is there a new hairstyle that you always wanted to try out? Or is there a place that you’ve been meaning to visit?
Now that you have all the time in the world, you can prioritize yourself over everyone.
The time after the breakup is actually more about rediscovering yourself and redefining your identity than crying yourself to sleep every night and thinking about what might have been.
6. Spend quality time with your loved ones
Many people start neglecting their friends and family once they start a romantic relationship. It’s only natural to spend more time with your significant other than with your loved ones, especially at the beginning of a relationship.
But now when you know that your ex has moved on, you can shift your attention toward spending quality time with your loved ones.
Have an honest conversation with them and don’t be afraid to ask for their support if you need it. Ask them to join you in your healing journey.
Just be careful not to confide to your mutual friends, as it can bring you more harm than good.
Go out and meet new people. Don’t just stay in your house and wait for time to heal your wounds. You have to make the effort to heal completely.
7. Make peace with the past
It’s understandable to feel anger toward someone who treated you poorly or did something to hurt you. Being in a toxic relationship will definitely leave you with some scars.
But never hold onto that anger and resentment for too long. It won’t help you heal from it and it means that your ex-boyfriend still has control over your life.
To achieve emotional freedom means forgiving yourself and your partner for what he did. One way to achieve this is to put yourself in his shoes and try to see things from his perspective.
Maybe he didn’t hurt you intentionally, he only made certain choices that he thought were better for him. And seeing the other person’s perspective can help you make peace with the past.
If you have difficulties handling the anger inside you, then try to remember the reasons you dated him in the first place and some of the good qualities you saw in him.
It’s important to realize that no one is perfect and that all of us have our own sets of flaws.
8. Discover what went wrong in the relationship
The worst thing you can do is dwell on the past and not try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship.
Your goal is not to repeat the same mistake twice, am I right? Then think about the things that could’ve been done differently.
Determine what role you played in the breakup and work to improve yourself so that you’ll be ready for the next man that comes long.
Be patient. The right one will come, but you have to do some self-reflection first.