Getting over a relationship can take a lot of time. You've got to process the break up, heal, and reconsider your future — which can be really daunting, even if the break up is for the best. Unfortunately, even after we've mourned a relationship, we're susceptible to being affected by it for a second round of emotional torture. We're officially at that age where our exes are getting married and moving on in new relationships that have outlasted our own.
Even if you think you're completely over your ex, upon learning that they've moved on, you might notice some confusing feelings surfacing. All of a sudden you're thinking about them again. Suddenly the chapter of your life is torn back open, and you're right in the middle of it.
You can't put your finger on the feeling exactly, but "joyful" is not it. You might not even miss your ex, you might have even forgotten about this person, but knowing that they've chosen a forever partner and it wasn't you will rub you in a weird way. If it's taking you a hot minute to find it in you to be happy for your ex, you'll probably recognize these emotional stages of realization:
At first, you won't be able to comprehend the news. You'll try to find evidence of it being untrue. It will not make sense to you that this person that you loved so dearly could possibly love someone else enough to marry them, leaving you behind forever.
This Is Not Happening
Then you'll assume that it's a fluke. They'll call it off. They'll never make it to the altar. There's no way that their love is the real deal. You refuse to believe that, because the alternative makes you feel like your love was second rate.
Once it starts to sink in that this wedding is actually happening, you'll start obsessing over their partner. You'll start scrutinizing them, comparing yourself to them, thinking about all the ways you are different and the same. You see this person with horns coming out of their head, like their sole purpose in life was to ruin yours.
How Could They Just Move On?
Then the heartache starts to kick in. You start to ask yourself questions that you haven't thought about since your break up. You really thought you were over them, but now that they're permanently unavailable, you start to find yourself with old feelings. It feels like a personal insult that they've moved on. It fees like something they're doing to you, even though you know, rationally, it has nothing to do with you.
They Have To Deal With Your Ex Forever
Then you start thinking about the break up. You start to remember some of the things you hated about this person. All of their faults come into play. Their dirty habits, their ticks, their moods. Suddenly you're flying high, wishing their partner the best of luck in dealing with their ways for the rest of their lives.
That Should Be Me
But then when you actually start to see wedding pictures float online, a pang of hurt will return. You thought about that very moment, and it's happening with someone else. You feel flat-out jealous. You wish it was you, and this thought embarrasses and depresses you.
I'm Going To Die Alone
Depression kicks in. You feel hopeless. Their happiness seems to be draining your own. The happier they look together, the harder it is for you to lift yourself out of your funk. Being happy for them is not something that's in the immediate cards. You start to think it will never happen for you, that you'll never find someone who wants to stick around for the long run.
It's All For The Best
You convince yourself that it's all good. You're OK with it, you're happy for them, they're old news. You go on with your life, but you're still curious. You're still looking at pictures from their honeymoon and trying to read comments from their friends to get an idea of what their relationship and life is like. Who are you kidding — your words don't sync up with your feelings.
It's Actually All For The Best
After some time goes by, you'll start to see them as a figment of your past. Their relationship will outgrow the bounds of your past relationship. You'll start to actually believe that you're happy for them and that their lives have no bearing on your own. You're able to get back in touch with your own optimism and happiness. Your relationship wasn't meant to be — it really is all for the best.