Finding out that an ex has moved on can lead to some very complicated emotions. Whether it's been two weeks, two months, or even two years since your breakup, coping with an ex who's made it clear through their words or actions that they've fully moved past your relationship can be a tough pill to swallow. But, instead of letting any bad feelings get the best of you, knowing how to be happy for your ex when they've moved on can make a huge difference.
Even if you've long given up on the hope that you and your ex will cross romantic paths again in the future, realizing that they've completely moved on can still be upsetting. However, it's totally possible to be sad about the personal implications of the situation, while also being happy that your ex is doing well — but it's not always easy. "Being happy for your ex finding new love is a far easier task if your breakup was amicable," NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "That means there was enough friendship underlying the sexual aspect of your relationship to allow for this attitude (rather than jealousy)."
All things considered, if knowing your ex is in a relationship with someone else makes you feel overcome with jealousy, that's also understandable. According to Winter, channeling enough emotional generosity to embrace an ex's new relationship positively is also more likely if the breakup was a mutual decision. "When the spark of love dies for both partners, moving on and moving forward [can] feel effortless," explains Winter. But, even if you thought you'd moved on, the sting of knowing they're out there having a grand old time with someone else can still feel weird. If this is the case, Winter recommends trying to think of the situation from a different angle.
"Breakups register emotionally as a loss," explains Winter. "The trick to letting go with genuine warmth is to find your win." In order to do this, Winter recommends analyzing the positive aspects of the relationship and realizing that all of these are "wins" that you don't have to let go of just because things didn't work out in the end. "What do you get to keep long after the relationship has ended? Did he or she encourage you to develop a part of yourself you'd wanted to express? Did you discover a new musical genre you like, new authors, sports, or interests you wouldn't have known about before? If so, you had a 'win'."
If you genuinely feel like nothing positive came from the relationship, then moving past the pain can be much more difficult. "If you can't find your 'win' out of the relationship, of course you'll feel upset," says Winter. "[When] you feel cheated, your ego gets ruffled. No one wants to feel they got the short end of the stick."
For anyone who still can't shake negative emotions or lingering attachments to an ex, it's also important to realize that relationship "failures" are just a part of finding a partner in today's dating climate. "Dating nowadays requires resilience," explains Winter. "[Most of us are] far from a small village with 100 people and limited romantic prospects — greater choice creates greater confusion. Romantic partnerships formed nowadays require deeper levels of connection between the individuals to sustain their alliance. Letting go of lesser connections to allow for the greater to occur is a philosophical stance that will aid in accepting that the relationship has come to an end."
Sadly, there's no quick fix for getting over lost love. And although this can be a really agonizing process to undergo, taking time to reflect can be very healing. Even if your past relationship wasn't the best, there are almost always valuable takeaways to be gleaned. You just have to find them.