How To Handle It When Your Ex Starts Dating
It never matters who breaks up with who. When an ex moves on and starts dating it really stings. Here are some tips on dealing with it.
While you may be relieved to be officially divorced, a gamut of emotions can erupt when you hear tales of your former spouse freely moving on with his life. Lee Block, founder of The Post Divorce Chronicles and the recently launched Post-Divorce Dating Club -- as well as a twice-divorced mom of two -- shares her tips for dealing with your dating ex.
Ignorance really can be bliss. If you aren't hearing gossip about your ex and his post-divorce dating life, then don't seek it out, Block says. Don't ask your mutual friends about what he's doing or drop hints that you're interested in his personal affairs. Some things are better left in the dark, especially if you're still raw and hurting from the divorce.
Don't Get Even
You shouldn't get out there and date just because your ex is, says Block. If your ex is already dating, then chances are he won't be hurt by the fact that you are too. Plus, if you aren't actually ready to date, then you're setting yourself up for possible disappointment and disaster.
Focus On You
This is a time for you to take care of yourself. According to Block, you shouldn't be concerned with what your ex is doing unless it affects your children. His business is his business; your business is yours. If you take the time to love yourself again, then you will reach a time when you no longer care about what your ex is doing.
Find An Outlet
Block recommends having an outlet for your feelings if you can't seem to move forward after finding out your ex has moved on. Join a gym, take a walk, do some yoga or meditate, she says. The important thing is finding an activity that will help you clear your mind every single day and allow you to decompress.
If you run into your ex and his new girlfriend, then stay calm, Block advises. Don't run away and hide. Walk up with a smile, say hello. When you get home, you can throw things or curl into a ball and cry, but there is no reason to make a scene in public.
If you have children who are going to be spending time with the new woman in your ex's life, then it is wise to get to know her. Ask your ex if you can meet. Getting along with the person your ex is dating makes life so much easier for the kids, your ex and, in the long run, even you.
Talk To Your Kids
Children tend to report to their parents about what the other one is up to. They don't mean to pass along information, says Block, but they can't help acting like small sponges. Gently tell your children that what Daddy does is not something that needs to be shared, and what Mommy does is not something that needs to be shared either.
After a while, your friends will get tired of hearing you complain about your ex or asking them what they think he's up to, says Block. But when you find out that he's dating and you want to confide in someone, or simply vent, make sure you're not doing so in front of your children. This puts them in the middle, and that's not a good place for children to be.
Fake It, For Now
If all else fails and you can't get past the fact that your ex is dating, then fake it till you make it. There's no set time that it takes to get over a marriage so, until you feel better, just paste a smile on your face when you're around your ex (or people who feel the need to tell you the hair color of his latest date). One day, you will feel better.