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What You Learn When Your Ex “Replaces” You

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Nov. 15 2018, Published 3:55 p.m. ET

So you’re scrolling on social media and you see that your former bae is boo’d up. Either that or a mutual friend drops the “by the way, you know [ex’s name] has a new girlfriend.” It can be a pretty strange feeling. Obviously, this depends on the term that your relationship ended on. You might feel super happy for them, a little jealous, angry, shocked, or not shocked at all. It’s important to try to understand these emotions rather than just feeling them or even suppressing them. How you feel about seeing an ex with someone else could highlight key areas for self-improvement and could render more success in future relationships.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that just about every emotional response is completely normal. Acting on these emotions, however- not necessary. It does not help you, your ex or their new significant other if you curse them out, scream, swing on them, or an even less direct but more petty approach.  Also contrary to popular belief, getting under someone new is not at all the best way to get over someone. Anger and jealousy is best channeled through productivity. You can take advantage of the energy and get things done. Ranting with your girlfriends over drinks, taking an intense exercise class, or even a short road trip can be a great way to blow off some steam and look at their new relationship from a new perspective other than that of the ex-girlfriend.

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Pretending they don’t exist, or that they’re dead to you, doesn’t showcase too much strength if any at all. In fact acknowledging their existence and proving your okay with it, not only makes you the “bigger person” but can give you the confidence to move and remember why you broke up in the first place.

There is no need to be jealous. Every once in awhile you might think about where things went wrong. That’s healthy, but also try to think about what things would be like if your forced a relationship that had no business continuing. The cliche goes: Things happen for a reason; so try not to forget that reason.

Lastly, shock. This can be generated from multiple factors including the length of time you’ve been broken up for, the person they have “replaced you” with, or how different they act with their new bae compared to how they were with you. You might not be shocked at all because their behavior might be typical. Whichever the feeling is, soak it in and allow things to start to make sense. Books and TV can come in hand here, as they tend to evoke emotional responses and get you thinking about your own experiences.

Now your ex is walking by with their new girl. You reflect, you smile, and you go on to do your own amazing things.

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