Why Does It Hurt To See Your Ex Move On, Even If You Have To?

by Laurie Berzack

The bottom line is that, even if you have moved on, you may still be grieving a relationship that you were once attached to. In the case of a long-term relationship or marriage, you probably had a lot of hopes and dreams attached to that relationship. Whether it was your choice to move on or your ex’s, there’s still going to be disappointment that your life plan didn’t roll out like you thought it would.

Does it always mean that you’re still in love with your ex?

If it hurts to see your ex moving on, it doesn’t always mean that you’re still in love with them. Sometimes the grief has more to do with the idea of your perfect life not working out than it has to do with the actual person. It’s less a fixation on the person and more about the dissolution of a dream you once had. 

As a matchmaker, I’ve seen plenty of people whose marriages ended because one person was unfaithful. If they have a hard time with their ex moving on, it’s not that they want to go back to someone who is unfaithful. It’s that they want to be with the person they thought they were married to. 

Lots of times people have feelings about their exes that have nothing to do with their current relationship. Just because you moved on, doesn’t mean the remorse or grief over the dissolved relationship totally disappears.

What can you do to overcome these feelings?

The best way to overcome these feelings is to give yourself a grieving period. The best clients I’ve had in my matchmaking work are the ones who gave themselves a year after a divorce and worked on themselves so they could become the best version of themselves and accept a higher level of love. The more you work to clean up the remorse, anger and sadness after a relationship ends, the healthier your next relationship will be.

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