- Gender and Relationships
Are You Feeling Emotionally Jarred By An Ex Moving On?
When you hear that your ex-boyfriend has a new girlfriend, is engaged or has gotten married—this can be emotionally jarring. Your first reaction (and normal) is shocked, surprised, and possibly upset depending on where you are in your love life—yes, that can actually make a difference.
Feeling upset or a little taken back by the news that your ex has moved forward doesn't necessarily mean you want him back or any indication that he was the one who "got away." This foreign emotion you are feeling usually stems from the fact that the chapter he had in your life is officially closed. Like with many finales, a bit of sadness can occur. The relationship that once was is now dead. The possibility (even a sliver of one) of getting back together—if you found yourself desperate—is over. Hurrah! Right? You should be celebrating. The universe has worked its magic! However, for many this news can bring unexpected emotions to the surface.
Since most relationships never have a true closure of what actually went wrong and why two people didn't ultimately work out in the end, sometimes in order to officially—100%— move on emotionally, it can take knowing that the other person has a new relationship.
Yes, it can be emotionally easier knowing that your ex is in a relationship as long as you are in a relationship—of significance—but honestly, that is your ego talking. If your ego had its way the perfect scenario would be that you would have a boyfriend or would be getting married first—so when this ideal plan doesn't happen it can be easy to start making up stories.
These made up stories occur when you try to decipher how perfect or UN-perfect the relationship between your ex and his new girlfriend really are. You do this for two reasons: to somehow make yourself feel better or to give you a reason to have a pity party for yourself. Either way it's speculation which doesn't change anything so Stop. Remember he is your ex for a reason!
What you forget is that you Broke-Up For A Reason. You also have no idea what is really going on in his new relationship. Most people don't take photos when they are arguing or upset—they take photos and post ones when they are happy. At the end of the day you can play “make believe” of what you think the fairytale he is now experiencing is, but in actuality do you really....really care? And what does obsessing about it do for your life? Nothing.
Trust me, the mind can be a tricky thing…
Many years ago when I found out my ex-boyfriend from college had married—a year after we broke-up—I found myself in tears. Mind you, I ended things with him because I wasn't ready to get married, our relationship had entered this black hole of a slump—that neither one of us knew how to get out of…and I no longer was in love with him anymore. But, I was still emotionally affected hearing that he got married.
As I cried with my current boyfriend at the time by my side—whom I was also living with—I couldn't understand what my problem was. I loved my boyfriend, we had a great relationship and didn't want my ex back. I knew in my heart that my ex was not the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with—hence ending things—and any chemistry and attraction I once had for him burned out months before the relationship officially ended. So why the tears?
Ladies, even though you can know without question that a guy is not right for you, hearing that he has moved on can trigger you to start reflecting on what exactly it was about you and your relationship together that didn't work? And of course the age old question, "What is it about her...what does she have that you didn't that is making their relationship successful (again, speculation)?"
My emotions were purely stemmed from my ego. My ego was upset that he beat me to the punch—getting married—which was ironic since marriage wasn't something I wanted at the time nor ever saw myself rushing into at such a young age. Even though I had a boyfriend, I didn't expect my ex to emotionally get over me so easily....how dare he, right?! He was supposed to pine for me the rest of his life. A little narcissistic of me....absolutely.
People move on. It's called life and I had to have a serious talk with myself. That's why it's important to take time out and evaluate what you are really feeling and where these feelings you are experiencing are actually coming from—which most likely is ego based.
We tend to forget that the reality of why couples break-up is due to lack of compatibility, chemistry and communication—the 3 C's. These three things are a big factor to why some couples work and others don't. There is also the learning factor—are you realizing your mistakes while in a relationship and when one ends? Hopefully.
Even if your relationship wasn't successful the hope is that you both learned from your mistakes to become better people for your Next relationship(s). Again, it's called growing up. I know it can be easy to say that men never learn, but that is not true. Believe it or not, men can learn from their mistakes.
Yes, learning from their mistakes can happen, however don't hold your breath, it usually takes men longer than women. For many men, it's very hard for them to admit or own up to what they did wrong in a relationship. It can take having several relationships that have gone haywire before a man fully realizes what works, what doesn't, and what part he played in the demise. However, like with all miracles, it does eventually happen. Hurray!
When this miracle occurs, it can be like a lightning bolt for many men. Bam!....they all of a sudden Get It—what they need to do to keep a relationship successful—and in turn, they end up marrying the first woman they lay eyes on or who is in their life when this knowledge finally seeps in....Or at least that is what we want to believe.
Here's the thing. People don't change to that extreme. Whatever crap you tolerated with your ex is most likely still there—regardless of how much therapy he has or has not been to. Moving on whether he has a girlfriend or something more serious only means that he has found someone else to tolerate the crap that you couldn't. Even then, you have no idea if she really is able to put up with anything or if she just has no backbone. Or maybe she doesn't take him seriously or even cares.
Also know that it can be easy to mask issues until you move in with someone or get married. Before you get your panties in a bunch after hearing that your ex has gotten married or after seeing a photo of your ex with his new girlfriend "looking happy"—thinking that maybe there is something wrong with you because he has moved on first—Stop! Depending on how new the relationship is, maybe she hasn't experienced his "stuff" that made you break-up. Or maybe her personality is one that calms the dragon inside of him—making him want to be a better person. Who knows and frankly do you really care at the end of the day?
Ladies, repeat after me, "He is my ex for a reason!" What you had together didn't mix...like oil and water. It's as simple as that. Let yourself experience whatever emotions come up—give yourself a day or two, but no more, to vent to your closest girlfriends. Honor your feelings and just know at some point we all have experienced this and the shock does fade away.
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