I’m not going to pretend I know the slightest thing about your previous relationship. Maybe it ended on bad terms. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe you feel resentful towards your former lover’s new partner. Maybe you don’t.
Whichever way you feel about your relationship ending, please do not shame the ex. And let’s stop normalizing the shaming of their new partner if they have one, too. This goes both ways. If you enter a new relationship, do not make fun of your partner’s ex, and if you were the one who had a relationship end, do not shame the new partner in the equation.
It is cruel. It is unfair. And I think it’s safe to say most of us have been there, not only as the person on the outside, but as that ex. Most of us have gotten into new relationships and had this feeling their ex was stalking us on social media with their friends and speaking about us negatively.
Shamefully, exchanging photos and comparing the old partner with the new partner on a shallow level seems to be quite normalized, and this mostly happens when someone is broken up with or the other person seems to move on quite fast.
“You are so much hotter than their new partner!”
I want you to switch your perspective just for a moment. You might have made these types of comments in the past out of jealousy, insecurity, or misplaced hostility for your previous partner. But imagine you meet someone and begin dating them, and you’re both minding your own business. You’re happy. You’re excited. And you find out their ex had spoken nasty things about you behind your back for no reason. How hurt would you feel? You would feel upset because you did nothing wrong. All you did was enter a relationship that felt so right to the both of you, yet you ended up feeling unnecessary pressure from their old partners to look or act a certain way; you were shamed for not being attractive enough, not being good enough, not being of the same “standard.”
I hate the word “downgrading.” Do you know why? Because it always seems to be associated with looks and looks only. But looks aren’t everything, and if the person is happy, that’s the most important thing. Society needs to stop using this word and throwing it around with such casualty. It’s toxic. It’s harmful. It’s unnecessary. And you will find yourself in that situation one day, so why feel the need to partake in the shaming?
Look, I know many people out there don’t mean to be cruel. Maybe they were hurt too. They could have been cheated on or that new partner may have interfered in some way. Those words and reactions were most likely projections of their own hurt. You can’t go back in time and change the way you reacted, but you can be mindful of how you perceive the situation from now on.
You can be mad and upset without bringing looks into the equation. You can be hurt without stooping to a low level and tearing them completely apart for simply being human beings. You can be frustrated but you must understand that everything happens for a reason. And nobody can “steal” anyone. It does take maturity to truly grasp these concepts, but as long as you are mindful that being cruel towards others is a reflection of the pain you still hold inside, you are growing. Work on yourself. Prioritize your healing before anything else. And stop shaming the ex and their new partner for something they have no control over, because one day, it will be you in that position and you will only hope the ex treats you with the same respect.