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Your Ex Has a New GF: How to Deal

So this is it – it’s finally happened. You were innocently scrolling down your news feed during a The Bachelor commercial break when suddenly, you see everything: the new profile picture, the changed relationship status and the dozens of annoying, congratulatory comments from all your mutual friends. Your ex-boyfriend has a new girlfriend.

As much as you don’t want to admit it, you had a sneaking suspicion that this was coming. You remember seeing the new girl (what was her name again? Split-End Sarah? Yeah, let’s go with that) on his Insta feed two months ago, but you brushed it off like it was nothing. I mean, he couldn’t possibly be moving on already, right? Well uh, apparently he did. Whatever, you totally called this. You saw it coming. For a few, short seconds, you’re okay with it. Even though this is so wrong, you were right. So, point you.

Once you get over the initial shock and your thirty seconds of glory wear off, the texting starts. You text your Big, your Little, your best guy friend whom you tell everything to, your best friend from high school and maybe even your mom. Being the good wing women (and men) that they are, they immediately sympathize and reassure you that you’re prettier… not that you were fishing for that, anyway. The friends that live close offer to have an ice cream/Netflix binge sesh with you, and you’re totally down. Again, you start to feel a little better. Everybody is coddling you, you’re up to your eyeballs in Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked, and the number of heart-filled emoji texts you’re getting is off the charts.

All of this attention is great, but eventually, you’re going to have to face the music. Split-End Sarah is actually a lot prettier than you gave her credit for, and at some point, you’re going to have to drop the nickname and stop pretending you don’t know her real name is Danielle. She’s Facebook friends with your ex’s mom, and she volunteers at the animal shelter on weekends. Contrary to your clever nickname, she doesn’t actually have any split ends. In fact, her hair is actually pretty gorgeous. She, as much as you don’t want to believe it, actually seems pretty cool. You might’ve even been friends under different circumstances, but obviously you’re still a little upset and don’t want to seem like a psycho for trying to befriend her right after she and your ex made things FBO.

So, now what?

First things first: let yourself bottom out if you need to. Not everybody needs to go through this step, but if you want to have a pity party, then you do you, girl. Drown your sorrows in ice cream and Friends reruns (it’s on Netflix now, in case you didn’t already know). Depending on what kind of relationship you had with your ex, bottoming out can take as little as a few hours or as long as a few days. But no matter how great things were between you two, don’t let it last longer than a week. Bottoming out lets you hit rock bottom so you can bounce back – not so you can stay there.

After you’re down wallowing, or rather, deciding that you don’t need to wallow, it’s time to really start getting over him. This is tricky, because the process looks different for everybody. The best piece of advice I can give you is to know yourself, know what it’s going to take to get over him and don’t be ashamed to do it.

If you need to unsubscribe from his posts on Facebook or stop following him on Insta, then go for it. Who cares if somebody thinks it’s petty? You don’t need to see pictures of him and his new girl every day if you don’t want to. You set your own social media rules, and that’s all that matters. Whatever you do though, don’t subtweet or post not-so-vague statuses about your ex and his new girlfriend. You’re not as vague and clever as you think you are, and in three months you’re going to wish you never said anything at all.

While you’re busy changing your social media preferences, you might also be tempted to text your ex. (Whether or not you’re 100% sober is irrelevant…) Regardless of how important or witty you think your text might be, hold off. Wait for half an hour and chances are, you won’t still want to send it. Delete his number from your phone, change his contact name to “DON’T TEXT ME” – whatever it takes to avoid making things more awkward than they have to be.

Last but definitely not least, accept the fact that you might occasionally see your ex and his new girlfriend. Your gut instinct might be to avoid them at all costs, but in the end, it’s your life and you shouldn’t have to go out of your way so you won’t run into them. It might be awkward, and you might be mortified the first time you see them, but it’s inevitable if you go to the same school or live in the same town. Even if it’s your first time trying to avoid an awkward situation with an ex, I can assure you, it won’t be your last. Hold your head high, be civil, and know that you’re taking the high road.

And remember, you really are prettier. 

Nikki is a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where her parents think she's on track to graduate early with degrees in both Finance and French. She is -- kind of -- but she currently functions under the delusion that graduation, much like the limit, does not actually exist. In wake of this recent quarter-life crisis, Nikki plans to live out her final days as an undergrad nursing her giant ego, making Mean Girls references, and advocating for the continued use of the Oxford comma. She prefers her dog and s'mores Poptarts over most things, and survives on a delicate combination of iced coffee and cookie dough. In her free time, Nikki enjoys binge watching Modern Family, embarrassing herself in front of cute boys, and making empty promises to go to the gym. Hate mail and Mindy Kaling gifs can be tweeted to her anytime at @nikkikontiki.
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