No matter how necessary your divorce, you’re bound to feel at least a twinge of jealousy when your ex hits the dating market. After years, even decades together, you feel a certain sense of possessiveness. Follow these steps to process your jealousy and move on with your life:
Acknowledge That Your Feelings Are Valid
Just as bad as feeling jealous of your ex: feeling guilty that you feel jealous. Your response is perfectly normal. You invested a lot of time and effort into your relationship. This person played a huge role in your life. Allow yourself to feel sad for a few days; repressing your feelings won’t help.
Remember Why You Separated
It’s only natural to romanticize your relationship upon learning of your ex’s new dating adventures. Resist the urge to view your dating history with rose-colored glasses. Yes, you shared many wonderful experiences. Ultimately, however, you separated or divorced for a reason. Draft a detailed list of reasons underlying your split, and refer to it whenever you feel overcome with jealousy.
Avoid Social Media
The last thing you need right now is to see sappy status updates or PDA-filled photos of your ex and his or her new partner. These pictures will only trigger resentment. Cut ties online, and consider taking a full hiatus from social media.
Don’t Harass Your Ex’s New Romantic Interest
Your ex’s new partner does not deserve stalking or cruel treatment from a vindictive former spouse. Keep your distance if possible. If shared children force you to interact, remain cordial. Remember, while your children may gain a new stepparent, you cannot be replaced.
Begin Your Own Dating Adventure
The best way to forget an ex-spouse? Move on. Instead of begrudging your ex his or her new romantic interest, begin the search for somebody new and exciting. Caught up in the thrill of a fresh romance, you just might forget why you were so concerned with your ex in the first place.
Not ready to date just yet? Pursue a new hobby, plan a trip, or throw yourself into some other adventure that occupies your time and thoughts. You’ll feel less resentful if you live each day to the fullest.