You’re scrolling down your Facebook feed (looking for cute puppy videos) when you see it (even though you have unfollowed and unfriended everyone relating to your ex): an album of photos that one of your friends – from a freshman year group project who probably doesn’t even know your name anymore – liked of some blonde bimbo. And next to that bimbo, is the one that used to be yours. Unfortunately, too many girls can relate to these feelings if their ex’s have moved on.
1. You can quite describe how you feel.
It’s some combination of wanting to throw up, sob hysterically, or scream into your pillow. There’s the moment when you see his hand around her waist when your stomach literally drops and you have to look down to make sure your heart hasn’t fallen to the floor. You start comparing yourself to her, thinking that maybe he prefers her because she is skinnier, prettier, likes the same things he does…and is just, not you. You go into full-on stalker mode, and track her social media movements back to high school. Even though it physically hurts to see them together, you can’t look away, you need to constantly check to see if she posted something new of the two of them.
2. You think about all the special moments you shared together, and how he’ll be spending them with her now.
When you see her posts about the Valentine’s Day flower bouquet he got her, you think about all the times he brought you flowers for no reason. You smile at the memories, and then picture him cuddling with someone who is not you, and you feel as thought your head is going to explode. You wonder if he compares every milestone with her to those he shared with you. You ask yourself if he even thinks about you at all, or if you’re the only one who can’t move on.
3. You can’t stop picturing them together.
You remember all the intimate moments you shared, and you’re terrorized by the idea of him sharing those moments with her. “Has he told her about me?” you think, “What did he say?” You can’t help but picture him being intimate with someone who isn’t you, and your stomach churns and you get get the thought out of your head fast enough.
4. You go through phases of emotional responses.
You may want to scream about how you were too good for him and you broke up with him for a reason and damnit why does he get to be happy?! Why is he happy without me?! You try to reassure yourself with all the things that were wrong about your relationship and that you really don’t want to get back together with him especially if he’s been with another girl. You get angry with the male species in general for being so disgusting and willing to move on to the next set of skinny legs that walk by and move on from you like you were nothing. Then you go back to picturing him with someone else and the whole stomach churning cycle starts all over again.
5. You feel betrayed.
There is a great amount of truth to that 5 Seconds of Summer song, Amnesia. “If what we had was real, how could you be fine?” Does this mean he doesn’t love you anymore? Are you really truly over? How could you ever move past him being with someone else? How did Ross and Rachel do it? Most of all, you feel hurt. You are hurt. It’s almost as if you’re heart is breaking all over again but with a different slow sting that wasn’t there when you broke up. Maybe it is the loss of hope that you’ll ever get back together, regret for not making the most of the relationship, condemning yourself for letting someone you are trying so hard to move on from have such power over you, maybe all of the above.
The hurt of being forgotten, of having someone else chosen to replace you, is different than any stab in the back or break of the heart. It’s almost an embarrassing hurt, because of he betrayal of the “How could he?” “Why not me?” “Why can’t I move on and be happy?” The truth is, no one knows when that will happen, but all we can do is hope, that one day we will find the one that makes us realize those can came before him didn’t work out for a reason.