Breakups are a lot like mono. They can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months. Although the disease goes away on its own over time, lots of rest and good self-care can help you feel better.
Once you are over the disease, the symptoms go away for good, but you will always carry the virus that caused it. Once you are over a breakup, you will always carry the person you once dated with you, even if it is a distant memory and thinking about them no longer causes you pain.
When relationships end, no matter what the reason, there is always a need to heal. Whether you are happy about the relationship ending or it is eating you up inside, you will need a certain amount of time before you can begin a new one, just like you need time to cure an illness.
One person may leave the relationship needing less time, and when they are ready to begin again, they are filled with excitement at the possibility of something new and better.
They no longer feel sick, and they want to jump back into the game, happier and healthier than ever. If you are one of these people, it is important to remember, that although you are excited about the start of something new, you left someone behind who may still be feeling sick.
It is important to be sensitive to the fact that your ex may not be so thrilled at the idea of you starting a new relationship. To be in a new relationship is exciting and you will want to show it off to the world. You will want to try new things, go on fun dates, and snap cute Instagram pics with the hashtags "#bae" and "#truelove."
But the person you left behind thought that the love between the two of you was true, and they may look at that thinking that you did not value the relationship.
If you care at all about your exes feelings, here are some steps to being more sensitive when you get into a new relationship:
Step 1: Don't bring your new SO to old places.
Going to places you used to go with your ex is like dating one of his friends. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and there are plenty of other things to do with your new SO.
Do not suggest going to a place you have gone with your ex because you may risk an accidental encounter and cause unnecessary pain. Try not going to areas around where your ex lives with your new guy, or places your knew that you and your ex loved. You may be trying to make new, better memories, but for your ex, who doesn't have anybody new, those are still his and your places and maybe he wants to keep it that way.
Even if you think it is silly to avoid places you used to like to visit, it's not worth opening a wound that needs to be stitched shut for good. I can almost guarantee you will find a place that has the same things to offer, or better, just like you found a new man.
Step 2: If you got it, don't flaunt it.
You can brag to your girlfriends about the new relationship, or tell the people who you see on a daily basis, but you do not have to brag to the world.
If you are happy with your new relationship, you won't need to parade around with your new SO as arm candy and snap pictures for Facebook every time you get together. Take pictures for the memories, not for the recognition, and remember that it is still new. You can post an album of all your "firsts" down the road, when you have reached an actual milestone in your relationship, but don't flaunt something that you aren't even sure if it will last. The pain you cause your ex may not go away as quickly as your new boo will.
Step 3: Do not patronize your ex.
They are not in a relationship, but that is their prerogative. It would be highly insensitive to tell them how happy you are with your new relationship, just because you want the satisfaction that you are now in one and they are not. Do not text, call or Facebook message them saying, "How has your love life been?"
Even if they do not admit to not being over you, they clearly haven't moved on for a reason. Do not kick them right where it hurts.
Step 4: Do not tell any of your exes friends.
Even if you thought you got along with your ex's friends really well when you guys dated, they are his friends, not yours. You may have an urge to see how one of his close friends are doing, and it slips out that you are seeing a new guy. Maybe they will reach out to you and ask if you have been seeing anybody new. Don't fall for it. It's a trap.
Your ex's friends are going to be looking out for your ex, and will tell him even though it causes him pain. It is better to just keep this information out of their hands.
Step 5: If things become serious, it isn't your responsibility to please your ex anymore.
If you have done everything you can to avoid seeing your ex, telling people in his circle and throwing it in his face via social media, then you are being as considerate as you can be. The relationship will eventually turn from a "new relationship" to just a relationship, and hopefully by that time, your ex can find ways to heal.
The fact of the matter is, your ex is not going to like your new relationship until they move on. Be sensitive to that, but throw your all into the new relationship if it truly makes you happy. If things are getting serious and feel right in your new relationship, your responsibility is now to make yourself happy, and make your new SO happy.
It is insensitive if you make your new relationship all about getting back at your ex or being in one just to spite him, so don't be in one for those reasons. It is insensitive if it is more important to you to show off, than to consider those around you. But if you know that this new relationships is good for you, you do not have to defend it to anybody. Just move forward and hopefully your ex can be happy for you down the road.