Breakups happen — and as if they don’t suck badly enough, you’ll eventually have to deal with being replaced. If the breakup was your idea, contending with your ex’s new chick won’t be quite as tricky. If you were dumped, though, the new girl’s presence can start to feel like a real-life haunting. Here are a few tips to help you cope.
Try feeling sorry for her.
This can take practice, but try focusing on your ex’s negative traits and relishing that she now has to deal with them. Remember how he snored like a locomotive? Or the disgusting mess when he made his precious nachos? How about those beer-fueled, woefully inappropriate comments in mixed company? Hang onto these things and smile smugly when you realize they are no longer your problems, but hers.
Nurture your own relationships.
This can be incredibly difficult, but force yourself to foster the relationships that may have taken a back seat to your former relationship. The next time your girlfriend wants to go shopping, go. When was the last time you took your daughter on a girl’s day? It’s probably been awhile since you invited the neighbor over for a glass of wine. Focusing your energy on other meaningful relationships will diminish the presence of someone else in your ex’s life. Sadly, couples come and go — but sisters, daughters, girlfriends, aunts and co-workers are usually happy to pick right up where you left off.
Go for revenge.
An isolated and non-violent act of revenge can feel satisfying, but be realistic: It’s fleeting. Still, when it comes to dealing with your ex’s new chick, you may need a “take that!” situation to help you heal and move on. Figure out where your ex and what’s-her-face are going Friday or Saturday night. Buy a new dress, and get your hair and nails done. Show up with a group of girls, and laugh and flirt with other guys like you’re having the time of your life, even if you are miserable. See if a gay friend will pretend to be your new flame for a night, or ask your brother’s friend. This is about giving the impression that you are living well, which we all know is the best revenge. Don’t go overboard, though: You’ll cross the line right into obvious, and your plan will backfire.
Start dating again.
Take your time with this one. The only thing that feels worse than being switched out for someone else is racking up a string of failed dating experiences. Once you have nurtured the relationships discussed above, try a dinner out once in awhile. You’ll start to see that your ex was a learning experience, and you’ll start to care less and less about him and her and what they’re doing. Don’t be surprised if the relationship between your ex and the new girl fails, simply because he went right from one relationship to another without taking time to breathe, heal and learn as you have.