After a break-up, it’s difficult to find a good way to treat your ex. Whether you’re completely moving on with your life or calling to beg for forgiveness, everything we do affects our ex. How you treat your ex also says more about you than you might even realize. The way someone treats the person they like least (or who has hurt them) speaks volumes — and it could even affect your ability to date moving forward.
- Do you have a “crazy” ex? If you don’t want to talk about your “crazy” ex, that may be because you’re still hurting from it. Even worse, it might mean that you don’t have any valid explanation for why they’re “crazy” after all. The best thing to do in this situation, especially when speaking to new partners, is to focus on what first attracted you to your ex. By placing less emphasis on the crazy and focusing more on the positive, you’ll be able to express what you value in a partner. Otherwise, this new partner might just fear they’ll become your next crazy ex.
- Do you not talk about your ex, ever? If you don’t want to talk about your ex at all, things are a bit better than the “crazy” ex scenario. Wanting to avoid discussions of the past could mean that you’re mature enough to not label your ex as crazy or that you take some responsibility for the relationship as well. Maybe you’re shy, embarrassed, or just really hoping for a fresh start. This is also totally understandable — some break-ups can be so difficult that it takes time for us to begin trusting others again. Be careful though! While this vulnerable state is understandable, if you’re never willing to discuss your ex with a new partner, it might send the message that you’re not their ideal emotional connection or are still uncomfortable trusting them.
- Do you find someone new right away? Rebounding from one relationship to another seems like it makes sense, as you’re just trying to replace whatever it is you’ve lost. But the truth is, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. By trying to fill the void, you’re moving on to someone for who you want them to be, not who they are. Rebounding could also be a sign that you’re trying to get your ex back, or that you’re trying to prove you’ve gotten over things, even if you haven’t. This sort of behavior can be self-destructive. If you want to get back together, rebounding to inspire jealousy is the wrong way to treat your ex. And if you just want to prove that you’ve “won” the break-up by moving on quickly, it isn’t fair to the new person. This sort of behavior doesn’t free you from the bad relationship, but binds you to it. You’re only behaving this way because of your ex.
- Do you keep talking about it? You’re probably not over it. It’s as simple as that. There are still many things for you to work through, even if you claim you’re over it. This is totally normal, and hopefully you have a great support system to work you through this. Speak with them about whatever emotions you’re feeling as you work through the break-up. But keep in mind, this might not be the best time to start dating again. Wait until you’re fully ready, and until you’re able to converse about things other than the break-up and your ex, before putting yourself back out there again.