…they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) in your life anymore and therefore not your concern (RIGHT?); but it is hard, because you’d have to be well into the healing process for it not to sting even just a little bit, so I’ll entertain this topic as best as I can.
…I don’t have any exes where it would ‘bother’ me if I saw them with a new partner be it on social media (you can have a look at an instance HERE though when I really, bloody well was bothered) or with them in person and that’s because I’ve sorted my thought process out which takes work and soul searching. I wouldn’t have any problem in shaking an ex’s partner’s hand and saying ‘hello’ and being civil and in some instances god forbid friendly. That is apart from my most recent ex. Now, if you haven’t read my last post (which I linked at the beginning of this post), I’ll clarify that this ex was a keeper and he really has been the catalyst of this blog because I felt there was no support out there online to help me through that breakup that I could trust.
Now, if I saw this last ex out with a new partner it would put a Debbie Downer on my day. So I’ve considered this and I’m ready for it. The chances of me bumping into him are extremely remote, so unless I conspire to put myself in his path (which I would NOT ever contemplate doing) this would not happen, but I’m still ready for it just in case remote becomes reality and if remote did become reality I would also in the moment have to deal with ‘intense shock’ which is yet another difficult emotion to process; but even so I know I still handle the situation in a healthy way.
Basically, my latest ex dumped me out of the blue, over the telephone and I accepted his decision and I politely got off the phone quick as. No one got angry, no one got crazy, no one got blocked and no one is torturing the other by remaining in contact – it’s all good, it’s all healthy, just how we want it (RIGHT?). I even consulted my coach of preference ‘Dating Guy’ (I’ve linked him at the end of this post so you aren’t distracted!) for absolute reassurance that I’d done things right. So if I saw this ex (who I still have strong feelings for) with his new partner I would take a deep breath and I would not go over to them and I would not leave until I was ready to leave (translates as ‘I would not change my plans for another person who is no longer in my life owing to a decision they made’).
I would sit, stand or lean where I felt most naturally inclined to sit, stand or lean; but obviously not in his peripheral vision – let’s use some sense. Now if we happened to catch each other’s eye which I would not be going out of my way to do, I would acknowledge him (smile, mouth ‘are you alright?’ or something short that he could nod a ‘yes’ to) and then I would go back to my drink or my conversation or my meal or whatever I was doing – I wouldn’t want him to feel compelled to come over and I wouldn’t really expect him to as from his perspective he doesn’t know how I’m going to react to this situation which he is now quite likely going to be feeling quite uneasy about.
I also would refrain from telling the person I was with that the ex is in the building until after we left because that would lead to rubber necking and awkwardness if he did indeed come over. If he did come over I would be polite and upbeat and if he came over with the new lady in his life I would extend being polite and upbeat to her too and if introduced I would offer her my hand to shake. In my head I’d want to chuck red wine all over her, but it’s never worth wasting a glass of alcohol and even if he’s pulled Margot Robbie – she can afford her own red wine, and she’d definitely wear it over her head looking better than I could ever look wearing it as an accessory, right where it should be, in a glass, in my hand.
I promise you now that this is what I would do. No word of a lie. And you’re probably not going to believe me because of how I lost my shit over an almost relationship’s crappy FB photograph [LINK HERE FOR THAT DRAMA]…if you’ve read that you’re going to be thinking ‘nah, this poor dude would have a steak knife in one eye, a stiletto in the other and his latest Mrs would need new hair extensions at best’. You’re anticipating that my inner crazy would rear its head and that I’d go all Salma Hayek in Dusk til Dawn. Well, this image of Salma Hayek is also going to be in the mind of all dumpers when they come face-to-face with a dumpee in this situation, because they can’t rule out out-of-control behaviour given the current mange et tois situation that has presented itself; so I will explain why my inner-Dusk til Dawn Salma Hayek is not coming out if I see my ex with a new lady.
This ex and I had a ‘healthy’ time together and I have tremendous respect for him which I believe is reciprocated. I don’t want him to be unhappy and if I make him unhappy then he should not be with me. FACT. Maybe there will be a reconciliation at some point, maybe there won’t, BUT, I can safely say that if I did bump into him with a new partner I would have no chance of getting him back if I acted up; and if I were out with a new partner and he acted up, as much as I like him, he would have no chance of getting me back if he ever wanted to do so. NO CHANCE. DO NOT ENTERTAIN DRAMA IN YOUR LIFE. If you act up in front of somebody’s latest partner what you’re doing is you are giving THEM another chance to bond with the new person and a further chance to disconnect from you. Your ex has probably mentioned you in detail or in passing. The latest partner will probably know a bit about the breakup if it’s fairly new. So they will both be expecting a certain version of you – so show them both the absolute best version of you that you can in this given situation.
Now, if you act up, make one little dig, make one little mistake or worse your ex and their partner will have something to talk about, something to laugh about (i.e. YOU), they will be on the same side, the same page, ‘oh my god, yeah, I see what you mean, you’re right, s/he’s crazy’ blah, blah, blah and then they’ll laugh some more together and your ex will share even more stories of you acting up and then move on to talking about other mad exes; in doing this your ex is validating his/her decision and feeling validation from his/her new partner that s/he ‘done good getting rid of yo’ ass’. If the new partner acts up or looks jel (but you’ve been polite, smiley and upbeat and you’ve let any snarky looks/comments fly over your head) then your ex is going to get it in the neck at some point later that night (his bad for not choosing more wisely) and that makes the new partner look mentally unstable because all you did was smile and be polite and upbeat and even ignored some uncalled for snarky comment or dirty look, so you get to look classy, and against their unhinged reaction your class is going to be heightened tenfold.
So your ex is thinking, ‘shit, I dumped a classy one and now look what I’m lumbered with’. And wait for it when the inevitable break-up comes! Now, if everybody is civil and polite and upbeat then ok, but if there is ever a chance again in the future for you and your ex to reconcile, at every stage from the breakup exchange onward you have to behave with dignity and respect of your ex’s choice (which they are entitled to make remember) which at this point in their life is not to be with you.
In terms of social media, all I know is that my latest ex is on at least one of them and I know this because he told me so. I didn’t seek him out on social media when we were happy together and I’m not going to seek him out now that he’s chosen not to be in my life anymore. I don’t want what he is doing to cause me anguish – I want him to be happy but I don’t necessarily want to have it pushed in my face on a day-to-day basis and I don’t want to misinterpret or read too much into what he is doing or who he is talking to because this is just a small snap of his otherwise busy life. I’ve learnt my lesson re: social media stalking the hard way you see and I choose to take it with a pinch of salt; as should you. You should not be searching for exes that you still have feelings for because you are prolonging the agony and delaying the moving on with your own life process. Stop obsessing over their lives and start making a better one for yourself.
If you are FB fwends with an ex that you still have feelings for just ‘unfollow’ them but if you’ve got no self-control and you think you will reach out you’ll have to delete or block them and that isn’t ideal because again it indicates that you are still bothered (angry, sad whatever, indicates ‘bothered’) which you don’t want them to know because it’s not attractive to your ex. Unfriending/blocking is a bit more attractive than reaching out to the person who dumped you and is now with somebody else, so ‘delete’/’block’ it is, IF you can’t handle your crazy…
Remember this too…
Photographs capture a fleeting moment, what they do not capture is the reality of the situation as a whole.
So what I’m saying here is this. You should expect and therefore be ready for your ex to meet somebody new and be ready to deal with it in a healthy way by inwardly processing it and then flat out ignoring it. Your ex is entitled to move on as quickly as s/he so wishes. Your ex is entitled to meet other people, date other people and form new relationships WITH OTHER PEOPLE. AS. ARE. YOU. And you should meet/date/form new relationships in your own time and at a pace that suits you regardless of the pace your ex is setting in his/her own dating life. In giving your ex the space to meet other people, perhaps s/he will realise that you actually are the one for him/her after all and if s/he as the dumper does feel that they made a mistake, then let them reach out to you and then act ‘accordingly’ (article on ‘acting accordingly’ to follow at some point) depending on if you want them back or if you’ve moved on.
For now at least, your ex has decided there are other options out there for him/her to explore – there’s one on his/her arm right now as you’ve just encountered! Don’t hang around waiting for your ex – you should be seeking out those better matches for yourself just as soon as you’ve worked on any issues that have surfaced during and in the immediate aftermath of the breakup. Don’t stalk, don’t obsess, don’t deliberately try to manufacture bumping into your ex, but if you do bump into them with their new partner in tow you have to be the most genuine, loveliest, strongest and kick-ass version of yourself you can be, and if you pull that off authentically and not in a contrived, false way, it will reflect positively on you and even your ex will have to agree that in THAT situation you have the ‘IT’ factor and that’s a good thing – it’ll get him/her thinking. And that’s because you’ve stood out once again in a unique way and for all the right reasons! You can deal with your shit, a new partner in your ex’s life does not phase you, so you’ve demonstrated again to your ex, in the present of a witness (their new partner) that you are a one off and therefore a high value person. Most importantly, you have proven to your own self just how strong you really are when the odds were stacked against you keeping your dignity in check.
What are your experiences of seeing your ex’s new playmate? How did you react? Were you as crazy as me? Let me know in the comments below, if you like…
[LINK HERE] to ‘Dating Guy’ who is getting credit for keeping me sane!
TOUGH LOVE EVERY.STEP.OF.THE.WAY.