Breaking up is hard. Moving on is hard. But, meeting your ex's new partner is the icing on top of the wedding cake you thought would be yours.
So many thoughts run through your head. Is she prettier than me? Does he take her to the same places we went? Do they have what we had? The answers to these questions could be devastating, but what happens when you meet the new you, and you actually like this person?
Well, I'm here to tell you that there is a blessing in this meeting, and that blessing is the moment you realize you and your ex were not meant to be.
Here are the four stages of realizing you just weren't meant to be with your ex:
1. Completely Freak Out
I remember the first time I met my ex's new girlfriend, and she was the opposite of everything I ever was (at least based on my first impression). I didn't really go out of my way to get to know her. This made me question my entire existence, literally. It ate away at me, so I ate away at ice cream, and the confidence in the relationship we used to have diminished.
I started to be filled with self-doubt and questioned why I wasn't good enough. It was destructive and led me down a dark path to a vision of my future self who was old, alone and living with 97 cats. I couldn't believe he had moved on and found someone else so effortlessly.
2. Recall Every Minute Of The Relationship
Once you've collected yourself and regained a bit of dignity, that's when you really start to reflect on what you once had with you ex. Were you really that good together? Did you ever have a chance at happiness?
The relationship I had with my ex was rocky, unstable and unpredictable. You didn't need to put it under a magnifying glass to see that. Our personalities fell on opposite ends of the spectrum. While that led to a lot of excitement and adrenaline for what would come next for us, it also created a lot of turmoil. Even when we forgave each other for something, it would somehow resurface in fights later on down the road.
The unhealthy environment we created for ourselves was obsolete within his new relationship. They were calm water; we were a hurricane. Together, they were safe. What they had was predictable, and that seemed to be working for them.
3. The Realization
This is when everything you've ever known about the relationship comes full circle. Time, as it always does, gives you a clear perspective. It helped me reach the conclusion that there was nothing we could have done to make ourselves more compatible for each other.
Now, it may take you a while to get to this point, but the important thing is you get there. It comes down to the simple fact that if you were meant to be together, you would be. As humans with complicated minds, we love to remember the good times that overshadow all of the negative ones. When you finally stop doing that, you can accept that this person is your ex for a reason. That is what we call moving on, and that is what we call closure.
So, you've now realized you and your ex were not meant to be, and he is happily riding off into the sunset with his beloved. So, what's next for you? Dating can be a tricky game of cat and mouse, especially in the generation of countless dating apps and the “Netflix and chill” phenomenon. But, don't let it discourage you.
Don't feel rushed to get into a relationship just because your ex has found someone new. Take that failed relationship and turn it into a life lesson. You now know what you like and what you'd rather avoid in a person. So, take that knowledge with you and figure out where you want to be, who you want to be and whom you want to do all of those things with. You are free to do anything.