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How To Not Be Jealous When Your Ex Moves On (9 Tips That Work)

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Few of us can say we’ve been elated to see an ex of ours move on, especially if they instigated the breakup instead of us.

Studies have shown that around 70-80% of people experience jealousy when their ex-partner starts a new relationship.

If you fall within this category, it’s absolutely understandable, and likely a part of your healing process.

But if you want to get over it, here are 9 tips that can help you stop being jealous about your ex moving on:

Speak to a certified relationship counselor about this issue. Why? Because they have the training and experience to help you stop feeling jealous because your ex has moved on. You may want to try speaking to someone via for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

1. Make a list of all their negative traits.

This person is your ex for a reason, right?

If the two of you actually got along well, it’s likely you’d still be together.

If you find you’re feeling jealous about your ex’s new partner, remind yourself of all the reasons why the two of you broke up.

It’s very easy to dismiss a person’s negative aspects once you’re no longer near them. This is one of the reasons people often get back together with abusive partners.

In retrospect, they try to convince themselves that things “weren’t so bad”, and choose to hone in on pleasant experiences rather than the numerous red flags and awful behaviors.

Did they snore like a jackhammer? Or like to clip their toenails at the kitchen table? Did they pay you backhanded insults? Forget to pay bills on time so you had to take care of them? Or were they so inept in the kitchen that you regularly got food poisoning?

Write out all their terrible, maddening traits on a large piece of paper and stick it up somewhere prominent.

Any time you start to feel jealous or get nostalgic about what the two of you had together, read it again to remind yourself why they’re your ex and be grateful that someone else is dealing with all of that instead of you.

2. Reduce or eliminate contact with them.

This one may seem self-explanatory, but if you don’t have any contact with your ex, it’s far less likely that you’ll be hit with jealousy pangs.

Sure, you may think about them now and then and wonder what they’re up to, but this is very much an “out of sight, out of mind” situation.

It’s even more important to reduce contact with them if you feel they’re being antagonistic towards you.

Depending on the breakup (and the dynamic you had beforehand), they may try to shove images or details of their “amazing new life with this new perfect person” at you in an attempt to inspire jealousy.

It’s a childish power game and you would do best not to give it any of your time.

3. Don’t compare yourself to the new partner.

It’s natural and instinctive for us to compare ourselves to others to see how we measure up against them, but this can be immensely harmful on countless levels.

Generally, when we compare ourselves to other people, we place a great deal of importance on their physical appearance or personal achievements.

He’s taller and more built, she’s prettier and thinner, they have a glamorous job, and so on.

These attributes may be a couple of facets of the new partner in question, but they don’t encompass them in their entirety, nor do they necessarily counterbalance their less-than-savory traits.

Sure, this person might be supermodel gorgeous, but they might also be a controlling or self-obsessed nightmare.

Once their looks fade or they change jobs, what do they have left? Their (possibly awful) personality. Physical traits are fleeting, but who we are at the core lasts until our dying day.

Try not to compare yourself to this new partner’s temporary, superficial attributes.

Nobody on this planet is a superior human to anyone else—we’re just different.

4. Recognize that you don’t know all the details of their new relationship.

Anyone who’s spent any time looking at social media comments knows that many people create assumed narratives based on an image or a phrase and then react to those assumptions.

They don’t actually know the reality of what’s going on, so their imagination fills in the blanks, which they then get worked up about.

You might see your ex at the store with their new partner, or come across an image of the two of them together online, and feel immense jealousy because they seem so happy together.

That doesn’t mean this new partner is the most perfect person in the world, or that their new relationship is idyllic. Anything you see online has been carefully curated, depicting things as perfectly as possible.

Reality is always a different story.

This new pairing may be full of drama, tension, arguments, and other clashes—none of which you’ll hear about from others or see on social media.

5. Focus on personal growth.

If you find that you’re dealing with a lot of intrusive, jealous thoughts about your ex and their new relationship, it’s a solid sign to redirect your focus towards yourself.

Ask yourself whether fixating on your ex’s new lover is a form of self-sabotage or procrastination about your own life.

If you’re feeling directionless, focusing on someone else’s life might be easier than the difficult task of sorting out what you want to do with your own life.

If you feel (however grudgingly) that this is the case, it’s an added incentive to make yourself a priority right now.

There’s no time like the present to pursue things that have always been important to you—especially those you had to compromise on when you were with your ex.

Do you feel like going back to school to further your education? Or maybe you always wanted to start a business but your ex convinced you it was a bad idea?

Decide where you want to go from here and start taking steps in that direction.

Make your life and your goals a priority, and let your ex and their new partner get on with theirs.

6. Take up some new hobbies or pastimes.

One reason why you may be feeling jealous about your ex moving on is because you don’t have enough going on in your world.

This often happens when a couple does everything together, or if one partner takes on the other’s interests instead of pursuing their own.

If you aren’t partaking in the same hobbies or pursuits that you did when you were with your ex, this may be contributing to the jealous feelings you have about their new lover.

You may be thinking about how they now get to do all the fun things together that you used to.

Alternatively, you may not be able to enjoy the same pursuits you did with your ex because doing so makes you think of them.

This is a huge sign for you to take up a completely new hobby or pastime that has absolutely zero association with your ex.

If the two of you used to go biking together, take up running or yoga instead. Did you do puzzles on the weekends while listening to true crime podcasts? Try a solo craft while listening to a totally different genre. Or get involved with a social club that you do fun things with a couple of times a week.

Throw yourself into a pursuit you always wanted to do, and you’ll find that you think of your ex less and less over time, and lose the jealousy you may be feeling.

7. Try to avoid rebound relationships.

If your self-esteem has taken a hit because your ex has moved on and you haven’t, you may be inclined to make yourself feel better by throwing yourself into something new and exciting.

While this can be cathartic for some people, it can also cause a lot of damage.

First and foremost, rebound relationships tend to happen quickly—usually before you get to know the other person well enough.

You might hook up with someone hot that you met at a bar or online, only to find out that they have major issues you really don’t want to deal with. Now, however, they have your contact info, maybe your address, and you’ve been physically entwined with them.

Alternatively, you may meet someone amazing and have an instant connection with them, but you haven’t had enough time to heal from your last relationship.

As such, you may subconsciously sabotage this new pairing by constantly talking about your ex or by needing constant reassurance regarding your insecurities about their new partner.

This is why it’s so important to focus on yourself for a while so that you’re in a strong, healthy position to move on with the right person when they wander into your life.

8. Seek professional help if needed.

If you find that you can’t stop feeling jealous about your ex’s new relationship, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist about it.

They might be able to help you determine why you keep stumbling in this regard, by getting to the root of your jealousy rather than just trying to address the symptom.

Furthermore, if you feel that your jealousy is intruding upon your day-to-day life, they can help you to develop coping strategies so you can move past intrusive thoughts and feelings when they arise.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a certified relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

You may not even be aware of why you’re fixating on your ex’s new relationship rather than putting that attention towards your own life.

Do you miss some of the things you used to do together as lovers? Or maybe your self-esteem has taken a hit because you saw them as a “prize”, and now someone else has them instead of you?

It’s also possible that you’re struggling with life issues of your own and you’re choosing to ignore those problems by fixating on your ex instead.

Whatever the cause, talking to a professional can help you work through the difficult emotions you’re contending with, and get your own life back on track in a healthier, more self-confident direction.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

9. Wish them happiness.

This one may be difficult for you to do, especially if your breakup was recent, but it can be quite cathartic as far as eliminating jealousy and allowing you to move on as well.

Whenever you feel a pang of jealousy about your ex’s new partnership, take a deep breath, and say (either aloud, or to yourself, depending on where you are): “I wish you happiness”.

Although this may seem easier said than done, you might be amazed at how much lighter your heart feels after.

You once cared about your ex enough to be their lover, and as such there’s likely still some kind of bond between you, hence the jealousy.

If you still care about them, even a little bit, then aim to wish them joy as they move on with their life instead of dwelling on bitterness, resentment, or envy.

Your relationship didn’t work out, and that’s okay: it wasn’t a failure, it just came to its natural end. As such, this is a great opportunity for both of you to change direction and cultivate relationships with people you resonate more deeply with.

Their new partner may be a better match for them than you, and that’s ok. The way that your next partner may be a perfect match for you.

Rather than jealousy, aim for gratitude and grace: remember the good times you had, let them go, and wish them well on their journey.

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About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.