4 Signs You're Dating Someone To Make Your Ex Jealous, According To Experts
Let's face it: Wanting to make your ex jealous is a pretty natural human desire. When someone breaks your heart, it can feel like the best revenge is to simply move on and start dating someone new. But entering into a new relationship when you're still stuck on your ex isn't the best idea, especially if you're just dating someone to make your ex jealous, hoping they'll come back to you.
"Dating someone just to make your ex jealous is problematic because neither person is getting the honest part of you," bestselling author and professional life and love mentor Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "Your ex is a conquest for your ego and the chance to turn the tables back to your favor. Your current partner is a place card, to hold a spot for your ex’s return. Neither person is getting a fair share."
Not only is dating someone just to make your ex jealous unfair to your new partner, but it's also not the right way to handle your broken heart or get your ex back. And on top of that, it's also really not fair to yourself. It's OK to be alone and take time to grieve your relationship, and you deserve to give yourself the space you need to recover.
If you're not fully sure if you're in your new relationship just because you want to make your ex want you back, here are some signs to look out for.
1. You don't feel emotionally invested.
It may seem pretty obvious, but if you're aware of the fact that you're not totally invested in the new person you're seeing and still thinking about your ex all the time, that's a red flag.
"Your interest is halfhearted," Winter says. "Emotionally, you’re just treading water, and you know it."
Having doubts from time to time is normal, and so is missing an ex — you're human, and emotions can get weird sometimes. But if you're doubting why you're with this new person most of the time and wishing you were with your ex instead, that's not a good sign.
2. You're constantly posting about you two on social media.
Another sign that you're in your relationship just to make your ex jealous is if you can't stop posting selfies and photos of all the cool things you're doing with your new partner, knowing your ex still follows you.
"Each time you go out with your new partner, you can’t wait to post photos of the wildly fantastic time you’re having on social media," Winter says. "Of course, this is all in the hopes that your ex will be driven wild with jealousy."
If you're normally a person who posts a lot about your partner or shares a ton of selfies with them, that's one thing. But, if you think about your ex seeing your photos every time you post one, that's definitely a sign that you're in your relationship for the wrong reasons.
3. You're not into having sex with them.
If having sex with your partner feels like going through the motions and doesn't get you excited, that's another sign to look out for, Winter says.
"Though your current partner may be a perfectly adequate lover, you’re just not into it," she explains. "You don’t feel the ‘click’ the way you did with your ex. In fact, most times the sex makes you feel more depressed than before, as it provides a contrast to what you really want [versus] what you’re getting now."
And again, you're human and you might not feel up to sex with your partner all the time, and that's totally normal. Where things get problematic? When your lack of interest in sex is combined with the rest of these signs — especially if you find yourself constantly comparing sex with your new partner to your ex.
4. You keep avoiding talking about the future.
A major giveaway that you're not really into your new partner that much is if you find yourself unable to talk about any sort of future with them.
"You’re vague on future plans when pressed by your current partner," Winter says. "That’s because you’re hoping you won’t be involved with them, because your ex will be back on the scene shortly."
Being serious about your new partner means being able to see a future with them — or at the very least, being open to one and having a genuine interest in seeing where things go. If you hold back in conversations about the future with your partner because you're secretly still holding out for your ex, you're doing everyone a disservice.
As Winter points out, being in a new relationship might make you feel better than being alone does, but at the end of the day, you're just being cruel to your partner by stringing them along — and you're not treating yourself right, either. Instead, you should just focus on moving on and healing.
"The kindest thing you can do for yourself and all others concerned is to keep moving forward," Winter says.
And perhaps the most important thing to remember is that, while your breakup with your ex may have been painful, it by no means means that you're never going to find love again.
"If you found love once, you can find it again," Winter says. "Ground gained is ground kept. Partners may come and go on the road to your ultimate happiness, but as a seasoned veteran of love, you’re equipped to find love again."
The best thing you can do, Winter notes, is to keep the faith.
"Believing that life has your back is a powerful antidote to heartache, and the fuel you need to keep moving forward on the path to new love," she says.
And if you really feel the need to try to make your ex feel jealous (again, a natural human reaction!) that's fine — just don't use another person to do it.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!