10 Ways To Cope When Your Ex Moves On (And You Haven’t!)

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Going through a breakup is never easy, whether it’s you that chose to end things or them.

You might feel like you will never get over your ex, or that you will never be happy again.

This is totally normal, but you need to remember that things will get better.

If you’re worried about your ex moving on while you’re still stuck in the ‘grieving’ period, here are some ways to cope…

1. Maybe they’re faking it.

Consider why you think they’ve moved on.

Photos on Instagram, someone mentioning they saw your ex with a new person, them popping up on a friend’s Tinder?

Regardless of how things look in your ex’s life, you’ll never know how they truly feel about the breakup.

And that’s okay.

It can be really hard to lose someone in your life and suddenly not know how they feel or what they’re doing.

We get so used to knowing pretty much everything about the person we’re with that half the pain of breaking up is not having that knowledge!

It’s okay to feel angry or upset if they seem to have moved on before you have, but they will be dealing with their own thoughts and feelings, just like you are.

They might seem to have it all together and to have moved on, but remember that you don’t know what’s really going on with them!

Whether they’re faking it or not, try to forget about your ex and focus on yourself and moving on with your own life. 

2. It doesn’t invalidate what you had together.

One of the worst things about an ex moving on before you do is wondering if they ever really cared about you, right?

You see that they’re going out and having fun, or your friend mentions that they changed their Facebook relationship status, and you start to question if they ever loved you!

This is totally normal, but try to take a step back from this kind of thinking.

We all move on from relationships in our own ways and at our own pace. That doesn’t mean that the person we were with didn’t matter to us at the time.

Think about the last job you left – yes, you left and you’re happy in your new job, but you took that old job because you wanted it at the time, and you stayed because you enjoyed it.

The fact that you’re now in a new job doesn’t mean that the old job didn’t matter to you; you’ve just moved on because it wasn’t working anymore.

Try to see your relationship in this way.

Yes, they may have moved on, but what you had together was still special and it’s okay that it’s over now.

You both still have great memories together and it still meant something to you both. 

3. Time heals all wounds.

This saying is a cliché for good reason.

Right now, you might feel like you’ll never find anyone else attractive, that you’ll never wake up and feel good again, or that you’ll never be happy again.

This is okay to feel, for a short period of time… but it will pass.

You don’t need to make a goal or have a plan in place – things will just get easier on their own, in their own time.

Give yourself a little while to cry and mourn the relationship, but don’t wallow in this feeling.

Be patient and be kind to yourself and, before you know it, each day will get a little bit easier and you’ll feel more and more like yourself again.

Until, one day, you’ll feel ready to start dating again. Or you’ll realize that you’re happier on your own for now, and you just spend your time having fun and looking after number one! 

4. Stay busy and sociable.

So, if you want to speed things up a bit and get out of that horrible wallowing phase as soon as possible, stay busy!

It can feel almost impossible to do anything but cry and mope sometimes, like you’re paralyzed with heartbreak, but you need to try to do things.

We would tell you to stick to some kind of routine, but we know this isn’t realistic for most people in the early stages of a breakup!

Instead, do things that make you happy and do your best to keep yourself distracted.

Be sociable. It’s so easy to hide away from family and friends during a breakup – especially if your ex has moved on before you and you feel rejected and upset – but this is when you need people around you more than ever.

Spend time with loved ones, keep your mind off feeling upset, and you’ll naturally start to move on as well.

If you shared a lot of friends with your ex, set some boundaries – hang out with them, but make it clear you don’t want to hear about your ex from them!

It’s so tempting to ask how they’re doing or if they’ve gotten a new partner already, but you’ll just be torturing yourself and you’ll never get the exact answer you want.

Instead, continue to hang out with them, but make it an ex-free zone! 

5. Delete them from your life.

This might sound harsh, but it will help.

We all hate the thought of never ever seeing our partner again once we’ve broken up!

It’s horrible – you’ve spent all this time together and shared so much, and now it’s just… over?!

The way to move on from this is to get on with your own life, on your own.

It might feel scary and upsetting, but it’s for the best.

Delete your message history with them on your phone, unfollow them on social media, and stop yourself from going to the bar you know they’re always at!

If your ex has moved on before you, you need some time to yourself to move on too.

Stop checking in on them or stalking their Instagram and get used to your life without them.

It may take a while, but going cold turkey will really speed things up when you’re moving on from your ex. 

6. Get rid of reminders.

We’ve all got something that reminds us of our ex – their hoodie, a card they gave us, or their toothbrush in our bathroom.

Whatever it is, it needs to go!

These items mean a lot, but they also remind us of our relationship and will only ever make you feel sad.

This tip really is that simple – out of sight, out of mind, after all.

7. Make a vow – to yourself.

Tell yourself that you won’t reach out to them.

It sounds basic, but it’s effective.

Delete their number so that you can’t call them when you’re out and drunk and feeling sad.

Tell yourself that you won’t message them or stalk their Instagram profile and stick to it.

Write it down in the notes section on your phone if you need to – this is something to read back next time you’re feeling upset and tempted to message them!

Again – it’s simple, but it works. 

8. Don’t ‘accidentally’ bump into them.

If you’re missing your ex and feel like they’ve moved on already, it can be so tempting to stage a little run-in.

You know which bar they’ll be at on a Friday night, you know which restaurant they go to on Sundays, and you know their schedule off by heart.

Resist the temptation to be where they’ll be.

This saves you a lot of dignity and will help you learn how to live without them. It might seem impossible at the moment, but you’ll get there!

By steering clear of any staged run-ins, you’ll be really helping your future-self out, trust us. 

9. Remember the science.

If you feel like this is impossible right now, remember that it will pass.

Your brain is having a chemical reaction at the moment, which is why you feel so upset and overwhelmed – and why you’re struggling to get over them.

Knowing this can be quite soothing, as you realize you just need to ride out that chemical imbalance for a little while.

Our minds get addicted to how good it feels to be happy, and when the source of that happiness goes, our brains experience a sudden drop in those happy feelings (namely, dopamine).

You just need to get through that short period of time where you’re readjusting.

Knowing that heartbreak will end soon is quite a comfort, really! 

10. Be realistic.

If you’re finding it hard to get over an ex and they’ve already moved on, maybe you need to be more honest with yourself.

It’s so easy to put on the rose-tinted spectacles and only remember the good bits of your relationship, but you might need to think about the bad stuff to move on too.

We’re not saying to suddenly invalidate your relationship and act like it was all horrible, but be honest with yourself.

You can still have happy memories of them, but remind yourself of the things that you’ve doubted along the way, or the fact that you’ve maybe thought about other people while you’ve been together. 

Bonus tip – meet someone else.

This is a bonus tip because it’s not necessarily something that will work for everyone!

Depending on your personality type, you might need to be with someone else in order to really get over an ex.

Some people will find that processing their feelings and taking the above steps to move on from a breakup will help a lot…

…but other people might find it really helpful to be with someone else in order to get over an ex.

Make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re doing and have thought about it first – don’t go for a drunken one-night stand as this may create more drama!

Be safe, think about what you’re doing, and go from there.

So, now that you’ve read through this list, you should realize that there is hope!

You will get over your ex and it really doesn’t matter if they’ve moved on before you.

We all work in different ways, so do what feels good and don’t rush the process.

Things do take time, but you will feel better and happy again soon.

Feeling sad is normal, but it won’t last forever. Focus on yourself and do what works for you.

Still not sure how to cope with your ex moving on before you have? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.