In today’s day and age, you can get a good idea of what’s going on in someone’s life through social media. This ‘someone’ could be an ex too. Coming across his recently changed relationship status on Facebook can give you a big jolt. Who’s this brunette cozying up to him in the profile photo? You instantly struggle with a burning question – how to cope with your ex dating someone new?
Remember that wacky quote from Bridget Jones’s Diary? “Exes should never, never go out with or marry other people but should remain celibate to the end of their days in order to provide you with a mental fallback position.” If only this were true! Unfortunately, you’ve found yourself in a little bit of a predicament. Worry not, for here are 15 tips that tell you what to do if your ex is dating someone new.
What’s more, I have an expert on board to help you along the way. Let’s understand how to cope with your ex dating someone, with insights from counseling psychologist Kavita Panyam (Masters in Psychology and international affiliate with the American Psychological Association), who has been helping individuals work through their relationship issues for over two decades.
Why Is It So Difficult To See An Ex Move On?
First things first, right? It’s quite difficult to see an ex move on for a plethora of reasons. This is an individual with whom you shared different types of intimacy. What don’t you know about them? Their eating habits, daily routine, dreams and aspirations, family and friends, and so much more. It’s natural to be weirded out with the idea of them sharing all this with a new girlfriend. Of course, you’re wondering how to cope with your ex dating someone new.
Feeling jealous is also understandable to an extent. More so, if you aren’t dating someone. It makes you wonder how the ex found someone before you did. The acute realization, “My ex found someone new but I didn’t”, isn’t always easy to come to terms with. Sounds silly, but it rings true for many people. In such a case, don’t be disheartened. More importantly, don’t overthink things. You’ll find a partner at your own pace too.
A grim possibility (which I’m sure you’ve considered), is that you still love your ex. You parted ways, but there was hope for reconciliation. Maybe you separated due to your circumstances, not personal issues. Now you’re deeply hurt because he is moving on, and forgetting you by extension. What are you supposed to do with the feelings you have for him?
Kavita explains, “It depends on your attachment style too. If you’ve got a secure attachment, then you probably handle breakups in a mature manner; you can allow people to let go of you. In the case of an avoidant attachment, you won’t be too emotionally connected in the first place. But if you’ve got an ambivalent attachment style, then letting go won’t come very easily to you. And in a disorganized style, you’re confused about whether you want them or not.”
No matter the reason, you have to find a way to move on. It’s not an easy road to walk, and there’s a chance you’ll hit a few roadblocks. But let’s take the challenge head-on and find out what to do if your ex is dating someone new.
15 Ways To Handle Your Ex Dating Someone Else
You’re probably grappling with a zillion emotions and a trillion questions right now. It’s never easy to see an ex start afresh, especially if you’re still single. It’s quite easy to predict your thought process, “If my ex is seeing someone else, do I still stand a chance? My ex has a new girlfriend, does he miss me?”
Beware of these questions you’re entertaining; they will just make you open doors that better remain closed. If he missed you, he wouldn’t have moved on. You’re pretty right in thinking, “My ex is dating again and it hurts.” And we have all been down that road. Nothing hurts more than seeing your ex move on before you. Such a situation makes you very vulnerable. Coping with this knowledge can be challenging; here are a few tips that tell you how to cope with your ex dating someone new:
Related Reading: 9 Reasons You Miss Your Ex And 5 Things You Can Do About It
1. Don’t blame yourself when the ex has a new girlfriend
The first emotion you encounter when your ex has moved on is self-pity. You start to think that you were wrong and blame yourself for the end of the relationship. You’re dealing with loneliness after a breakup and trying to make sense of things. But this is not a failure from your end or a personal defect in any manner. Breakups are a part and parcel of life. Don’t blame (or victimize) yourself.
2. How to cope with your ex dating someone new? Accept the course of events
You might keep thinking that your breakup was a mistake but this is just because you didn’t expect him to move on so quickly. Remind yourself of all the problems your relationship had and why you were not a good fit.
Kavita says, “Accept the breakup and understand that there’s nothing to look forward to; you cannot rekindle your connection and you SHOULD not rekindle it either. The relationship has served its purpose in your life. Know why you broke up with your ex – things went wrong, right?”
3. Keep calm and carry on
There might be a hurricane whirling inside you but you have to stay cool. You both have broken up and someone had to move on first. Unfortunately, it is him that did so. Tackle this situation calmly. Remember, this is not a competition and you do not need to be with someone to prove that you have moved on. Neither should you try to get back together with him.
Kavita explains what you have to do after the relationship ends. “Decide what you want to do with the breakup. Do you want to cling to your ex? Wait for them to come back? Or would you rather work on your growth and healing? You can’t move on unless you gain this clarity. And you will have to let go at some point; no matter what happens in your world, the show must go on – you have to have your coffee, you have to eat lunch.”
4. What to do if your ex is dating someone new? Fall back on your girl gang
If your emotions are out of control, it is time to send an SOS to your girl gang. At this point, you need them the most and there is nothing that spending time with your gal pals can’t fix. They know what you have been through and will be there to make sure you do not do anything stupid. (The post-breakup don’ts must be strictly followed.)
An emotional support system is very important when the ex has a new girlfriend. You’re in a very vulnerable state of mind. Surround yourself with your loved ones – friends and family can be the stress buffer between you and the knowledge that your ex moved on.
5. Shopping and spa therapy
It is time to pamper yourself and unwind a little. Whip out your credit card and keep shopping till the picture of your ex and his new girlfriend stops flashing in your mind. Some self-love is just what you need. The intention behind this pursuit is not distraction, but indulgence. Do things that make you happy. Releasing serotonin is how to cope with your ex dating someone new.
6. There are perks of being single
Why would you want to put yourself through all that drama again? Ask yourself whether you really want to be in a relationship with your ex. Constant fights, arguments, and cheating behind the back. You deserve much better. Enjoy your single life where you can do whatever you want.
Kavita astutely says, “Being in a relationship for the sake of it is really counterproductive. Be by yourself, direct your energies toward your betterment. Healthy individuals make healthy relationships.”
7. What to do if my ex has a new girlfriend? Explore your hobbies
I know you’re feeling the blues because your ex moved on. But here’s a solution: hobbies are the things that make you happy. Involve yourself in productive hobbies to occupy yourself. Take some ‘me time’ and focus on yourself rather than your failed relationship. If you don’t have any hobbies, find new ones. Experiment with your skills and you could amaze yourself.
A close friend of mine was devastated after her ex started seeing someone. She decided to dabble in different things to spend more time by herself. Nothing really stuck until she gave piano lessons a go. She says, “I was so hurt that my ex is dating someone new, but I found something much more precious because of it.” Oh, did I not mention? She played her first concert last month.
Related Reading: 18 Proven Ways To Get Over Your Ex-Boyfriend And Find Happiness
8. My ex found someone new, what do I do? Believe in yourself
Trying to figure out how to cope with your ex dating someone new? Don’t treat this like it’s the end of the world. Your happiness does not rely on one individual only. You’re a self-sufficient, strong person who can take care of yourself and find joy outside a romantic relationship.
Kavita explains, “You can live without your partner, and you should be able to live without them too. One relationship cannot be the whole and sole of your life. Take a wider view of things and you’ll be able to take the breakup in stride.”
9. Avoid hasty decisions
News like this can make you do some pretty stupid things that you will soon regret. Stalking your ex’s new girlfriend’s social media profiles, staying in touch with your ex, hooking up with random guys, etc., are not an option. Be wise in your choices because such poor decisions reflect immaturity on your end.
Roy Bennet wrote, “You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can always choose how you respond to it.” Yes, your ex moved on. But ‘my ex is seeing someone new’ can’t be an excuse to become a lesser version of yourself. Think things through before doing them.
10. Stay away from alcohol
Another thing to add to the list is to stay away from alcohol. Drinking to drown your sorrows is a gigantic mistake because all that comes from it is a bad hangover and blurry visions of you drunk dialing your ex. (Exactly why you should block your ex.) Alcohol addiction will make things infinitely worse and messy. Instead, cope with your feelings while you are sober. Have meaningful conversations with your friends about your emotions.
11. How to cope with your ex dating someone new? Do not compare yourself with her
Seeing your ex’s new girlfriend will make you start comparing yourself to her. You will wonder whether she is prettier than you or not. And you will ask yourself whether she makes him happier than you did. Rise above these petty tendencies and set yourself free.
A reader from Newark wrote, “I kept stalking her Instagram and their pictures together. It was a very miserable way of behaving, quite undignified to be honest. But I realized soon enough that nothing I did will affect them; I was the only one suffering through my actions. This was an important realization when my ex found someone new.”
12. Surround yourself with new company
How to cope with your ex dating someone new, you ask? At times, surrounding yourself with strangers helps. You don’t have to explain why you are sad. They don’t see you with sympathetic eyes. You can get to know some new people that might share interests similar to yours. Visit interesting places or take a solo trip. Some soul-searching might soothe your heart.
13. My ex has a new girlfriend, what should I do? Keep yourself busy
Being occupied is a great way of not falling into a state of lethargy and inactivity. Kavita says, “Practice mindfulness, yoga, meditation. Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Fall back into your daily routine of work and leisure. Basically, take care of yourself through this stressful period. Self-love and self-care go hand-in-hand.”
It is important, however, to do all this with the intention of self-love, not distraction or denial. Processing your feelings is a must. If you had a long-term relationship, be watchful of your mental and physical health. Kavita adds, “Any relationship that lasted for over a year will take a toll on your mental health when it ends. See a therapist if you’re exhibiting the symptoms of depression.”
14. Embrace your grief
You cannot escape the truth that your ex moved on while you were still mourning over the last bits of your relationship. Embrace this grief and all that comes with it. It’s okay to be a sobbing mess when you have so much on your (emotional) plate. Just be mindful of not dwelling in one stage for too long.
Kavita explains, “The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Go through these after a breakup by processing your feelings in a healthy manner. Don’t get stuck in the bargaining stage by dwelling on the what-ifs and maybes. There’s a lot of futility in this activity.”
15. What to do if your ex is dating someone new? Set yourself free
Closure weighs on your mind when you think, ‘my ex is seeing someone else,’ but it is not easily gotten. A very important element of closure is critical thinking. You can view your relationship with the ex rationally in retrospect. And this is how to cope with your ex dating someone new.
Kavita says, “Even if you haven’t gotten the closure externally, you need to give it to yourself. Why did you get into the relationship? Was it a co-dependent relationship? Maybe it was dysfunctional in nature. Once you realize why things happened, it becomes easier to move on and find happiness again.”
The mantra to a happy life after a breakup is self-love. Appreciate the positives around you and sever ties with things holding you back. As they say, love yourself and the world will love you.
It’s anyone’s guess, to be honest. Maybe it’s a rebound relationship or casual hookup. Or maybe he’s truly over you. Don’t concern yourself with his motivations. Focus on moving on and setting yourself free from the past relationship.
Perhaps you’re just jealous of the fact that he’s moved on. Or you’re still in love with him. It’s for you to ascertain whether this is a case of residual feelings or unrequited love.
Hmmm, this does complicate things a little. You can start by focusing on your work and wellbeing, and not letting them live in your head rent-free. Don’t involve yourself in their matters. Be aloof and curt. This is how to cope with your ex dating someone new.