Question: My ex and I broke up almost 4 months ago. Well, I broke up with him first because he just wasn’t there for me and despite all my complaints he made no effort to spend time with me and treat me the way a man is supposed to treat his woman. He begged me to come back, said he gets it and promised he was going to change. I stupidly took him back. Two weeks after we got back together he broke up with me saying it was a mistake for us to get back together. I was hurt like I’ve never been hurt before. In short, it was a very messy breakup.
Recently I found out he’s seeing a woman I know and since we live close to each other, I see him with her and it drives me crazy that he treats her so much better than he ever treated me. Sometimes I think he’s intentionally doing this to hurt me because we don’t like each other at all. I have nobody right now, but I also don’t want to jump into a relationship in order to fill up my lonely nights so I sit and feel sorry for myself. My question is: why am I jealous of my ex’s new girlfriend even when I don’t want my ex back? Why am I having a hard time accepting that he’s moved on?
The Love Doctor’s Answer: I think your feelings are a natural response to someone new coming into the picture. There may be several things going on here:
1) Feeling lonely can make most of us feel unwanted and in my experience, usually the last of the two to get into a new relationship after a breakup feels like the loser.
2) You may be struggling with feeling that the person who doesn’t deserve it has been rewarded with a new relationship while the person who deserves it (you) has nothing.
3) Even if you don’t like him at all, knowing that you’ve been officially “replaced” can trigger all kinds of emotions.
4) It’s also possible that you may be feeling like you’ve been cheated because the new woman is getting what you always wanted but never got.
It helps to accept that your ex is his own person, not an extension of you. He can do whatever he wants, it has nothing to do with you. If you really look at it with different eyes, how much more can he “hurt” you more than he already has? You only hurt as much as you allow yourself to be hurt.
I know this might sound “uncaring” but you probably are in a better position than he is — though it doesn’t feel that way right now. The reality is that if your ex hasn’t worked on his issues, it’ll only be a matter of time before he and the new woman have the same problems the two of you had.
Last but not least, it takes two to have a relationship. Focusing on your ex takes away from the time and energy you should be using to make sure your next relationship will be that relationship you’ve always wanted. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or trying to “move on” as most people do, only to end up stuck and bitter, use that energy and time to become a better happier fufilled partner.
Do many of the things you’ve always wanted to do but never came around to because you were in “a relationship.” That includes going out, meeting new people and really learning more about yourself. The more you “know” about yourself, the more self-assured and confident you become and the more more self-assured and confident you are, the less likely it is that you’ll repeat your mistakes. And when it comes to nurturing a self-assured and confident “Self”, nothing beats trying new things and putting yourself out there.
So, get off the couch or bed, and go share you loveliness!