How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On

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So it’s bad enough battling through a breakup – accepting that it’s over, getting your ex out your head and re-building your own life back up again. But then comes the curveball of how to deal with your ex moving on. (Yikes.) This can be a tricky one, even if you are over them.

So let’s first look at why it’s tough, to help make better sense of it all and what exactly it means. Then we’re going to break down how to deal with your ex moving on, so that it doesn’t have that hold or power over you. Sounds good? GOOD. You’re not alone through all of this, okay?

Why It Hurts That Your Ex Has Move On

So first up I want to talk about why it’s perfectly naturally for it to hurt that your ex has moved on. It’s important to know that these feelings of pain don’t always mean that you’re not over your ex – try not to confuse it with that. Instead, this is kind of a normal, natural reaction. Why? Well…

1) It’s Knocked Your Ego

Whether you want to admit it or not, watching someone you once loved – and who you wanted to love you – love someone else, well… it can make you be a little like, “why don’t you still love me?!” 

Even if you know the answer, or this was your decision, your ego will still always come into it to some degree. And your confidence will be knocked.

This can be confusing. See, it’s not that you necessarily have lingering feelings for your ex, it’s just that the feelings of being wanted by this person have gone.

There’s comfort in thinking there’s someone out there who’s still hung up on you. Seeing your ex with someone else can ruin the illusion you created for yourself, bringing you right back to the reality that – yup – it didn’t work out. And no, you are actually replaceable.

This leads me onto my next point…

2) It Makes You Question What Your Relationship Meant

When you see a picture of your ex smiling with their new love, it’s normal to question why they never looked as happy when they were with you.

That can lead you to wonder if they were even serious about you at all…

Were their feelings reciprocated if they’ve moved on so fast? Was all of this just a complete waste of time? Was the relationship ever what you thought it was?

This can hurt. But it’s important to remember…

  1. Just because they’ve “moved on” doesn’t mean they don’t still think about you. In fact, it doesn’t even mean they’re not over you. People deal with breakups in different ways and what can look picture-perfect on the outside, often isn’t.
  2. Even if they are happy with someone else now, that doesn’t take away what you had. It’s kinda like when you go on holiday…

Think Back On It Like a Holiday…

You don’t go on holiday, have an amazing adventure then FORGET about all of your past holidays. It doesn’t take away from the great experiences that you have had before.

At the same time, that one amaaaazing holiday – wouldn’t stop you from ever going on holiday again. This is why people move on.

But the point is, there doesn’t have to be a comparison and it doesn’t change the fact that what you had was actually super great and very special. You’ll always have the memories.

  1. You give your relationship the meaning. It’s not about what that person thinks, or trying to figure out how much you meant to them. You’ll never know for sure. All that matters is YOUR experience of the past relationship and what it would have meant for you, or – more importantly – how you’re going to use it from here.

3) You Might Feel Like a Failure

Another reason it can be difficult to deal with your ex moving on is because you start looking at where it went wrong. Maybe there’s mistakes you feel like you made in your past relationship that you keep beating yourself up about.

“If only I’d gotten rid of those insecurities. If only I’d stop acting in this way or that…”

When you invest a lot of time and energy into trying to make a relationship work, it can make you feel like a complete failure when it doesn’t. Them now being with someone else and seemingly “making it works” reminds you of the “failure” but you have to remember that it’s not one.

First off, you can’t put all the blame on yourself. Your partner would have had their faults too and – to be honest – they’re unlikely to have gone away unless they were recognised and worked on.

Secondly, some people just fundamentally aren’t right for each other. The two of you may not have been a fit, so it doesn’t matter what you could have done, it would have eventually broken down anyway.

How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On

4) You May Not Have Fully Healed

Another reason why it may be difficult to deal with your ex moving on is because perhaps you haven’t fully healed. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re still hung up on THEM, but you could still be bruised by the toll the relationship took on you or the “unresolved issues” around it. 

Just because you moved on, doesn’t mean the remorse or grief over the dissolved relationship totally disappears. You may still be grieving a relationship that you were once attached to, or trying to work through certain feelings that the relationship made you feel, get your head around certain things that happened or just altogether process it.

See, it doesn’t actually matter how amicably you and your ex parted ways– breakups are complicated. There’s lots involved. Lots to deal with. This is why the best thing that you can possibly do is disconnect yourself from your ex and focus on making yourself feel whole again.

When you focus on yourself, focus on moving forward, working through the things that hold you back – it will put you in a far better position so that, if you do then find out that your ex has moved on, it won’t affect you so much, if at all.

Recommended Read: What To Do If You Want To Forget About Your Ex

5) Maybe You Do Miss Them a Bit…

Maybe you do miss them to a degree, or miss certain things about them, miss what you had. But it’s like the saying,

“You can love someone and still have to let them go. It’s possible to want to have someone in your life, and how that it isn’t possible. Not everyone is right for us. Not everyone treats us how we want or deserve. Releasing them isn’t a declaration that we no longer lover them. It just means that we love ourselves enough to let go even when it hurts.”

Our feelings are meant to be felt, not necessarily acted on, and sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to do.

This is hard, and making the right decision doesn’t automatically take the pain away. So it’s okay if you miss them, which is why it’s even harder to deal with your ex moving on. Just remember why you’re here – why this had to happen. And stick with that.

How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On

So now we know why it can be hard to deal with your ex moving on, we can start to build on that further looking at the “how” part. Here’s six steps to deal with your ex moving on.

By the end of it? I promise you will have a far better idea what to do and how to move forward. The key? Actually taking it in, acting on it, applying it and remembering it in the moments when you start to feel yourself getting down.

This isn’t too much for you to deal with. You can handle it. Trust me. So let’s start from the top…

1) Take a deep breathe

For whatever reason, this is hurting you right now. But take a deep breathe. Feel your emotions. Feel them but don’t make them bigger – don’t make this bigger than what it is.

Yes it’s tough. Yes this may have brought a lot of emotions back up to the surface. But – ultimately – you decide how much power this has over you, how much you’ll let it affect you.

Your ex moving on was inevitable. And if it’s happened sooner than you expected (which only makes you feel MORE hurt) then it’s a reflection on them, not you.

It takes strength to be on your own. Strength that you have. You’re doing this the right way.

And if you have moved on – you’re in a new relationship yourself, then pull it back to focus on that instead.

Your ex is your past. From here, it’s all about looking forward to your future – but to do that, you have to accept the way things are in the present right now.

2) Don’t overthink it

Overthinking can make you think something is far bigger than it actually is. If you overthink, you put far more focus on it than it needs or deserves.

Trying to figure out why you have these feelings and what it really means, will only make things more confusing for you. It can also make you come to conclusions that may not actually be fully accurate or true.

It’s OK to recognise that you’re feeling hurt and jealous. Feeling hurt over seeing your ex move on is completely normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re still in love with them.

So you need to recognise your feelings, understand the thoughts behind them which are driving them – but don’t search for answers, don’t overcomplicate this. It doesn’t need to go any deeper than that.

Healing After a Breakup

3) Spend time with good people

A rebound isn’t the right answer with this one. If you’re struggling to deal with you ex moving on, trying to find a “replacement”, a distraction, won’t make the pain go away. In fact, if anything, it will only make it worse.

Just because they’re with someone else now, doesn’t mean you need to be. It’s not a competition, not a race.

Instead, spend time with friends, family, loved ones. Date, but date healthily. Date good people. And date only when you’re ready. This is all part of the readjustment – learning how to live your life without someone who was once such a big part of it. Discovering you again. Finding or remembering your circle.

Who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference to how you think and feel. So choose wisely. Be smart. Look after yourself. And open up enough to allow others to be there for you too.

4) Remove the tainted glasses

Making comparisons is unhealthy. Your ex is your ex and is an ex for a reason, so it’s important to not compare your life against theirs. However, there will be times when your thoughts naturally drift in this direction. When they do, make sure you’re seeing the situation for what it is.

By this I mean, nothing more, nothing less. Yes your ex may be with someone new. But anyone can do that. Anyone can “move on” physically. And anyone can look picture-perfect, full of happiness online.

But your ex is still the same person. This means he’s likely to still have the same problems that he has with you, with someone else. Those issues won’t magically disappear if they resonated from him. And you didn’t want that, remember?

If the breakup was out of your control, it still happened for a reason. It still happened because fundamentally it wasn’t right. Your ex wasn’t perfect. What you had with him wasn’t perfect, and what he has with someone new won’t be perfect either.

So use this process to change the way you see the situationclick here. Work through this. Because once you do that, it will make it far easier to deal with your ex moving on, I promise you.

5) Don’t hold on to any anger, bitterness or resentment

The more you hold onto your past relationship – particularly the negative feelings you have around it – the harder it will be to deal with things like your ex moving on.

In your mind, it’s not right. Maybe you think he doesn’t deserve to be happy, maybe you think he mistreated you and it’s just not fair that he’s now moved on yet you’re still being affected by it. But that’s the thing…

Holding on to all of these emotions is only hurting you. As Mandela once said,

Hatred is like drinking poison and then waiting for it to kill your enemy.

It’s not going to happen. It’s you who it gets to. So no matter what happened, no matter how wrong something is or was – forget it.

Recommended Read: What To Do If You Want To Get Back At Your Ex

Do what you need to do to gain the closure and acceptance you need around it, then decide that it’s not even worth putting your energy and emotion into.

When you become indifferent, when you feel nothing or no way towards your ex, you won’t even care who he’s with or what he does. It doesn’t matter to you anymore. And that’s the goal here. This leads me onto my next point…

Self Care After a Breakup

6) Focus on you again

The best way to get over your ex moving on is to move on yourself. Not onto another person – but instead onto focusing on you again. All of that time, energy and emotion you’d have put into them, give it back to yourself.

Get clear on what you want, map out a happiness plan, do things that make you feel good, be around others who lift you up, like we said above.

This is your life, your time. So let go. Free yourself. Brush away the care. Because your ex really doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is what you’re doing now.

And be your own best friend with this – all the things I’m telling you, say this to yourself when you need to hear it. Because you know deep down it’s true.

Everything that’s hard – but which we get through – even if it feels like a struggle, it makes us stronger. Your ex moving on is the last struggle to close that past chapter, so really allow yourself to close that door now.

Final Tips To Deal With Your Ex Moving On

I’m leaving nothing to chance here! I told you you could do this, didn’t I? You’re going to have more than enough here to apply that will help you through this.

So here’s some final quick-fire tips for how to deal with your ex moving on…

  1. Stop the stalking. You shouldn’t even SEE that your ex has moved on, but if you did find out, don’t fuel the fire by continuously checking in to see where they’re at.
  2. All contact should be cut. Absolute no-brainer. But if you’re still speaking to your ex at all, have him on social media, are in touch with him in any way – break it now. Here, this is what you can do in the moments when you feel like reaching out. This leads me onto my next point…
  3. Don’t act on your emotion. You may be hurting, but feel it and release it – in healthy ways. Don’t use this as an excuse to lash out, get back in touch, do something that you think will hurt your ex. It will only hurt you instead, like we said above. So in the heat of the moment, when you feel yourself getting worked up, instead try these relaxation tricks and get more level headed so that you can think clearly again.
  4. Talk it through with a therapist or coach if you need. If there’s things that are troubling you, work through them, discover WHY this is hurting so much and what you can do to stop it. There’s no shame in it. It takes strength. It’s also a smart move. You’re not happy with the way you feel, which is why you’re doing something about it and THAT my friends, is a winners attitude.
  5. Last but not least – decide. Decide that this won’t be a bit deal to you. Decide to take control of your thoughts – to challenge them, to control those negative inner voice, to shift the way you see it and refuse to let this knock you. This can mean as much or as little as you like. The choice is yours when you apply everything else along with it.

So There We Have It – How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On…

That’s everything you need to know when it comes to how to deal with your ex moving on. I really hope this helps. Remember – it is what it is. If you’re not okay with it right now, you soon will be, trust me.

This really is the end of that last chapter, once and for all. It’s a good thing. So welcome your fresh start with open arms and really start to not only appreciate where you’re at, but get excited for everything that’s to come.

Take care!


How To Deal With Your Ex Moving On
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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