As most of us probably know by now, relationships and dating can be tough. With all those feelings and emotions involved, navigating a partnership is difficult enough. Adding a breakup into the mix just confuses things even further. Unfortunately, breakups are just something everyone has to go through at some point or another, not that this fact makes anything any easier.
The thing that we so often tend to forget, however, is that our exes are indeed exes for a reason. Not every duo is compatible and if a relationship came to an end, it was probably for the best. Perhaps your S.O. wasn’t supportive of you, perhaps they were taking you for granted or were way too jealous — or maybe it’s just time you take some a moment to enjoy the single life.
No matter how far along you are with coming to terms with your recent trip to Splitville, your recovery comes to a screeching halt when you realize that your ex-boyfriend’s got a new girl. Most of us have definitely been there, and have probably done a variety of things that we aren’t proud of when we heard the news. It’s strange that even if we no longer want to be with that person, there is something about them moving on — both before you, and at all — that can send us into a spiral. Although these feelings may be valid, there is, in fact, a proper way to handle these situations. To help you keep yourself in line, we created a list of things you must not do when you find out your ex is dating someone new.
1. Reach out
Change their name to “DO NOT CALL” because we all know once you’ve had one too many then all bets are off. We’re not judging for wanting to reach out to your ex to sob about how things came to an end and how he’ll “never find another girl like you.” But somehow you’ve gotta resist the urge. You don’t want to be that girl who can’t let go and if you want to hold on to any chance of you two being friends in the future, you need to make it clear you are moving on and not trying to sabotage his new relaysh.
2. Internet stalk your ex-boyfriend
I know we all do it, but seriously, it’s not going to help you at all. In fact, you’ll wind up even more hurt than you were in the first place. The temptation to check the Facebook page or Snapchat stories of your ex is always there but he’s still in the “honeymoon phase” with his new GF so all you’re going to see is pics of your former boyfriend and his new flame having a great time together. Plus, no one is going to Snapchat the fight they’re having with their new S.O. so expecting to feel any relief after a FB stalk session is just unrealistic.
3. Internet stalking the new girl
The same rules apply here. Like, honestly, what are you hoping to see? Them looking miserable? You’re most likely going to see selfies she took with his little sister (who you thought might have some loyalty to you) and photos of her meal at the restaurant you two used to love going to. It’ll be a disaster. Trust.
4. Compare yourself to her
And when we Facebook stalk, we inevitably compare. This is something that can be very hard not to do. Most of us want to see the “new us,” the second we’ve found out our ex moved on. A) comparing yourself to her is totally not feminist. B) You just might end up being the one with the bruised ego. No matter how many times your friends say, “you’re so much prettier than her,” it won’t change the fact that she’s dating the dude you used to date and you’ll wind up second-guessing all the great attributes you have — even if you think she’s a downgrade.
5. Reach out to his family
Remember that sister she was taking selfies with? And how you used to be BFFs? Unfortunately, when you breakup with someone, you breakup with their family, too. No matter how much you still care about them — or how much they still care about you — maintaining a relationship will only lead to drama and they’re so not worth it.
6. Find yourself a random rebound
Even though it shouldn’t be a competition, many times a breakup can feel like one. So if your ex-boyfriend happens to start a new relationship before you do, it can feel you “lost” the split. But this doesn’t mean you need to run out and attach yourself to the first person that shows an interest in you. Your ex won’t care, you won’t be happy, and the poor dude you’re stringing along will feel majorly used. It’s a no-win situaiton.
7. Constantly talk about your ex-boyfriend
This one’s a tough one, because your friends and family are supposed to be there for you during all the terrible stages of a split and you’ll want to lean on them as much as possible. Unfortunately, though, when you keep replaying the same events in your head and dishing those deets to your gal pals, you prohibit yourself from moving on. Also, your friends will probably get sick of it.
8. Stay in and wallow
You’re allowed a few days of wallowing post-breakup and even post-hearing-your-boyfriend-is-dating-someone-new. But once the weekend rolls around, zip up your sexiest LBD, lace up your hottest over-the-knee boots and go get your flirt on. You don’t need to bed the first boy who gives you attention (unless you really want to!), but remembering that you’re still a hot commodity will help the burn of your ex rebounding hurt a little less. Plus, there’s nothing like a fun night out to get your mind off of stupid drama.
9. Try to make him jealous
When you’re going out to get your flirt on, don’t go to that one spot you know he’s always at on a Friday. Jealousy is definitely a valid feeling when it comes to seeing someone you once cared about with someone new, but you don’t want to become the green-eyed monster trying to inflict your pain on everyone else. Plus, you’ll never feel satisfied because it never goes the way you imagine it in your head. Don’t post that pic on Facebook where you’ve got an obvious hickey hoping he’ll see it and don’t have a photo on Snapchat of you making out with a rando at a bar — ultimately it’ll just make you feel worse.
10. Try to befriend her
I don’t care if your split was incredibly amicable and you two were still are going out for burritos on Wednesdays nights even after you cut each other loose. Going out of your way to befriend his new girl will probably just make you look disingenuine. If she sees through it, then she’ll confront her new BF about it and your guys’ friendship will be in serious jeopardy.
11. Pretend like it doesn’t bother you
Mostly because honesty is the best policy and stuffing your emotions inside will turn you into a ticking time bomb.
12. Beg for a reconciliation
Begging for anything, in general, is usually just a desperate attempt and if you only want someone back when they don’t want you anymore, then you need to do some deeper soul-searching to figure out what you need in life.
13. Show up at his house
Again with the “desperation” thing. This one just ends up seeming extreme and stalker-ish, even if it’s “just to talk.” Showing up to someone’s house uninvited is always a bad idea and if she’s there when you roll through, she’s gonna think some shady sh*t is going on. Which, to be fair, there is.
14. Hit the bottle too hard
Remember when we were talking about going out and having a good time? Well, yes, do that. Also it’s fully okay to overindulge in your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s or get that slice of pizza you try to avoid because it’s basiclly grease-piled bread. But over-indulging on the booze-front tends to just lead to mistakes being made or seriously dangerous situations. Have a couple drinks if you want, but keep to your normal Saturday night limits, whatever those may be.
15. Ask his friends/your friends questions about the new girl
A lot of times we become friends with our BF’s friends when we’re dating them and they become friends with yours. While the decision of how/whether you want to maintain that friendship is totally up to you both, it’s never a good idea to go to them to try and pluck out deets and secrets about your ex. At the best, they’ll tell you lots of information which will inadvertantly end up making you feel like crap. At the worst, they’ll know exactly what you’re doing and get pissed off and end the friendship you still have. Basically, even if your still friends with your ex’s friends — make your friendship with them different once you no longer have that common interest.
16. Be Too Hard on Yourself
It’s easy to judge yourself every step of the way of a breakup and even easier to do so when your ex moves on. In a lot of ways, it feels like rejection. Like, why aren’t they still hung up on you? Here’s the deal: your ex is crazy for not wanting you because you’re awesome. His new girlfriend doesn’t have a lot of the great qualities you’ve got and he still does miss you sometimes. That’s the way breakups work. When you eat an entire pizza in one sitting, that’s okay. And if you wind up hooking up with an ugly guy because you think it’ll make you feel better (it won’t), but that’s still okay! Basically, just allow yourself to feel, to make mistakes and to take your time. If you accidentally do one of the no-nos on this list, you’ll be okay. (But try to avoid them.)