That gut-wrenching moment when you find out your ex has moved on with someone else.
Whether they’re seeing, sleeping with or in a full blown relationship with someone else, the pain of knowing that it’s really over can be unbearable.
I think part of that pain is not being able to understand how they’re able to move on so quickly. How can they just disregard us and go straight into something with someone else?
So obviously they didn’t love us that much in the first place.
Maybe they were secretly seeing that person behind our back.
The relationship clearly didn’t mean that much to them.
They found the break-up easy whilst we’re still in pain.
All of these things can go through our minds because the thought of us being with anybody else just isn’t an option. So how can they just hop onto Tinder in search of the next person whilst we’re crying ourselves to sleep, resembling someone who looks possessed the next morning?
I think it’s important to understand that all of the thoughts listed above, many times, aren’t true. Just because someone has seemingly moved on quickly, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t love us or that they’re over us or that the relationship didn’t matter to them. Just think of all the stories you hear where someone has dated a guy/girl and it hasn’t worked out because they were still hung up on their ex?
The thing is, often people go in hot pursuit of finding someone else because they think that will fill the void of being without their ex. It will fill the gap where the relationship was and will fix what they’re feeling, which they can’t handle or deal with alone. Even if the relationship ended for the right reasons and they don’t want to be with you, moving on quickly doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten you. It probably means that this is what they’re using as a plaster/bandaid to temporarily heal that wound.
It’s rare that you can meet someone when you’re straight out of a relationship and be fully in that new relationship for the right reasons. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but in many cases, it’s to fill that gap. Some people struggle to face being on their own and what that means. They want to know that they can still get someone else and instead of using the time to get over the break-up and focus on themselves, they jump straight into the thing that’s going to give them the instant reassurance and confidence boost – dating someone else. And whilst doing that they’ll be taking all of the stuff from the break-up over into that new dating scenario or relationship, which is a cocktail for a complete and utter car crash.
So if you are feeling crushed that you’re sitting here alone and your ex is out with someone else and plastering pictures about their new amazing life on Facebook, just know that it can be a coping mechanism. People deal with break-ups very differently and just because on the surface it doesn’t look like they’re feeling anything, that likely isn’t true.
But what matters here is you, not them. What matters, and what I try to focus on when coaching people through this stuff, is that you’re setting yourself up SO MUCH BETTER by allowing yourself to feel this pain and kind of feel through it. Taking the time out alone and to be single is important because it helps you get over this break-up and everything that comes with that. It means that when you do want to go out dating again, you’ll be starting fresh over (or as much as is possible) instead of taking all that crappy break-up residue along the way.
This isn’t to say that you should now live in denial about the break-up and sit here waiting for your ex to stop dating other people, realise the error of their ways and beg you back. As I said before, the relationship probably is over. But just know that just because they’re with someone else or going on a dating spree, it doesn’t mean you have instantly been forgotten.
And if they are able to genuinely move on that quick, then the relationship clearly wasn’t right for you either.
What’s important is that you focus your time and attention on what you can do right NOW to move forward.