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Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Carlos Lopez
You knew this day would come, but you didn’t realize it would be so soon: Your ex has a new partner.
Whether you’re prepared or not, it can be jarring to see your ex dating someone else.
You may be working through a mixture of emotions, and worried you’ll say or do the wrong thing.
Here are 6 tips for coping when your ex has a new partner:
Don’t Be Afraid of Your Emotions – in the Right Situations
It’s never easy to see the person you used to love with someone else, even if you really wanted out.
You can expect that your ex’s new relationship will bring up some mixed emotions.
Maybe you’ll find it funny because you know all your ex’s bad habits and personality flaws, but this new person has yet to learn them. Or you’ll be angry and hurt because you miss your old life. Perhaps you feel jealous because your ex moved on before you did.
Whatever you’re feeling, it’s OK.
It’s perfectly natural to feel emotions at a big change, and expressing those emotions is healthy. But just be sure that you’re expressing those emotions in the right situations.
If you feel the need to cry or vent, do so. But don’t do them in front of or at your ex.
Instead, find a trusted friend or therapist to help you work through your feelings. Getting your ex involved in your emotional life is not something you want to do.
It’s Not a Competition
Life isn’t a competition, and neither is seeing who gets back on the dating horse the fastest.
Sure, your ex may have found someone new and you may think it’s too soon, but they’re living their life and you’re living yours.
Don’t take this as an opportunity to go out and find a new partner just to shove it in your ex’s face. That could lead to greater heartbreak and more complications.
Take life at your own pace. If you want to begin dating again, wait until you’re truly ready.
You Don’t Have to Be Friends, but Be Civil
You are under absolutely no obligation to be friends – or even overtly friendly – with your ex’s new partner.
You do, however, have to be civil, especially if you have children with your ex.
It is completely within your rights to set up boundaries, such as you don’t want your ex’s new partner to show up at your child’s parent-teacher conference. However, be reasonable about these boundaries.
When you are in the same room together, be nice. You don’t have to seek them out to have a conversation, but if you do happen to talk, make polite small talk. No need to delve into personal details or talk about anything in-depth.
It can be tempting to compare yourself to your ex’s new partner in a variety of ways.
However, doing so may just make you angry, bitter, and jealous.
You are not them and they are not you. Focus on what makes you unique, fun, and an awesome person to be around.
Stop Social Media Spying
And, while we’re at it, avoid looking up your ex or their new partner on social media.
Even if you’re innocently checking in to see what your ex is up to, the chances are high that you’ll see something that you didn’t want to know. That may be a happy picture of the two of them, or a gushy post about how much your ex loves the new partner.
Social media spying may seem harmless, but it just leads to more hurt feelings and a greater opportunity for comparison.
Focus on You
Now that you’re single, think about all the things you wanted to do but couldn’t or didn’t when you were with your ex, or all the things you wanted to try.
Do you want to travel? Have you been hoping to get back to the gym but always put it off until “someday?” Do you want to go back to school and change careers?
It can be difficult, especially in the midst of a ton of change, but do something that’s truly just for you during this time.
You’ll keep your mind off your ex and their new partner, and you’ll be able to move on with your life.