As if breakups weren’t already hard enough, moving on is even harder when you ex moves on before you do. And even though dating again doesn’t necessarily mean they’re over you, it def isn’t fun to see your ex with someone new. If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram and thought, “My ex seems so happy with his rebound,” then you know how heartbreaking it can be — but remember: just because someone looks happy doesn’t mean they actually are, especially when it comes to their social media presence. Appearances are deceiving, y’all.
If you find yourself asking, “Why is my ex posting so much on social media?,” then it’s possible they’re trying to get your attention, especially if they’re posting tons of pics with their rebound. Maybe your ex is trying to show you just how A-OK they’re doing without you in their life... and unfortunately, it’s easy to fall for it, even if it isn’t true. You can’t know for sure if your ex is happy in their new relationship or if they’re playing it up on IG to make a point, but if those pics of them and their new boo are bugging you, then here’s how you can deal with it.
You Don’t Have To Follow Your Ex
Even if you feel awkward pressing that unfollow button (as it’s possible your ex will notice), sometimes it’s better not to have your ex all over your newsfeed. “It's important to not see everything your ex is doing because it is very likely only going to prolong your pain and suffering,” prominent couples' therapist Dr. Gary Brown previously told Elite Daily. “Being constantly exposed to them on social media is likely to be extremely hurtful to you — and especially if they are now hooking up with, dating, or now living with someone else.” According to Dr. Brown, if seeing all those pics of your ex looking loved-up with someone new is painful for you, then you owe it to yourself to simply stop looking.
You Don’t Actually Know Whether Your Ex Is Happy
Despite all those smiley, happy pics they’re posting with their new boo, you can’t actually know the answer to, “Is my ex happy in his new relationship?” And since you can’t assume they’re miserable, it’s probably better not to assume anything about their new relationship at all. As Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, previously pointed out, "Seeing your ex with someone does not mean you understand the story behind what you see. Your brain will begin to draw up a storyline. Tell it to stop. Remind yourself that you don’t know how they feel, the status of their relationship (if there is one), if they are happy or sad beyond what you see."
You Broke Up For A Reason
When you see your ex with someone else, it’s easy to start reminiscing and wishing you were still the one by their side. But as painful as it is to see your ex move on, it’s important to remember that you’re not with them anymore for a reason. "It can feel really deflating to see them with another person, particularly if they broke up with you," Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, previously told Elite Daily. "But remember, you broke up for a reason and even if you don't know why, if someone is meant to be in your life, they will be."
You’re Not “Losing” Because You Haven’t Moved On
Just because your ex might have found someone new doesn’t mean you have to immediately find your own new boo. It’s possible you’re just not ready for that, and that’s totally OK. According to relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter, channeling enough emotional generosity to embrace an ex's happiness isn’t easy, but rather than hitting the dating scene, it can help to reflect on what you’ve taken away from your relationship. “The trick to letting go with genuine warmth is to find your win,” she said, and that “win” can be anything positive you learned or gained throughout the relationship before it ended.
You Won’t Feel This Way Forever
Everything is fleeting, and just as your ex’s new relationship may not last, your hurt feelings will eventually pass, too. Even if that rebound ends up becoming something more, there will hopefully come a day when seeing that person with your ex no longer hurts — or, at least, hurts a little bit less. As Fran Greene, a licensed clinical social worker, breakup therapist, and author of Dating Again with Courage and Confidence, previously told Elite Daily, “[The pain] will dissipate as time goes on. Know that the best revenge is being happy and enjoying your life.”
Seeing an ex move on is rarely easy, but the best thing you can do is be kind to yourself and move on yourself when you’re able. Oh, and click that unfollow button — you can thank me later.
Dr. Gary Brown, couples' therapist
Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show
Susan Winter, relationship expert and love coach
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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