There are a lot of emotions when people break up. There may be some anger, resentment, or even a nostalgic feeling that leaves us sad. Many times, jealousy creeps into the mix.
Yes, it is possible to be jealous of an ex. What is it to be jealous? It is envying or coveting. It may seem strange to have this feeling if you are the one who dumped the ex, but it can happen to both the dumper and the dumpee.
Feeling jealous typically happens when you see them move on. They could be in a new relationship, or get a new job, or have a great social life. This can bring on jealousy for several reasons. Maybe you haven’t moved on or don’t seem to have the success in career or socially they do. Generally, the feeling stems from the idea that you deserved better when you two broke it off. It implies that something was wrong with them. If you broke it off, you felt there was a reason and you would be better without them. If they broke it off with you, you may secretly hope they realize they can’t do better and end up alone for at least a while.
Yet, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Now, they have a new love and you don’t. They are going to parties while you sit at home. Maybe you end up at the same scene and you feel weird because they look great and you just don’t feel like you do. The thought comes across your mind that they didn’t need or, or grieve over you, as much as you thought they would.
The truth is this type of jealousy only hurts you because it prevents you from moving on. It prevents you from exploring all you can be and bettering yourself. It clogs your mind and presents a negative vibe around you that prevents you from finding someone better than your ex.
Here are four reasons why you may be stuck in the jealousy cycle:
You Are Operating in an Old Pattern
We all get used to different patterns to behave and cope, but sometimes those patterns are no longer use and don’t even exist in our lives anymore. Yet, we still are trying to stick with them.
One of those patterns is feeling love and care for someone. The relationship ended, but maybe you are still in love or at least in love with the loving feeling. They aren’t and have moved on, so you are jealous.
You Remain Attached
Feelings of jealously can happen because you remain spiritually and emotionally attached, even though the physical presence is gone. This is a big problem in the world today because of sex views. People rush into sex when they date and that creates an emotional and spiritual bond that is difficult to break even after the relationship end.
Most don’t realize that sex is a spiritual commitment, even when it is treated casually. It creates a bond that is meant only for marriage. Breaking off the physical still leaves emotional and spiritual bonds. Therefore, you will still feel attached.
Your Old Relationship Becomes Nostalgic
Some people start comparing all new relationships and their life after their ex to the past with their ex. This is a dangerous thing because it shows you truly aren’t over it. It also is a bad thing to do because the comparisons may not be equal and are based on false information.
For instance, your ex is with someone new, posts on social media about all their success, and is laughing at a party. You have no idea what is going on in their life. Yet, you think they have it so much better than you because you are stuck in a rut with no one. This can create jealousy.
Thinking this way will soon have you believing life was better with your ex because you are creating a nostalgia that is also false. You start to remember all the good but forget why you broke up with them or why they broke up with you.
Your Ego Is In the Way
Simply put, you want to prove you are better off without them. This is quite common in relationships, especially in a long-term relationship or when divorce is involved. One or both parties seem to have something to prove, that they were right and the other is the loser. So, they both try to be the first to land a new love, move on financially and in careers, or do better socially.
This is not only immature but stupid. If your ego is so fragile that you are upset that your ex found someone first, or got a promotion first, or did anything first, you are not ready for any kind of relationship. Life isn’t a competition. Let it go.
How Do You Stop Feeling Jealous?
There is some introspective needed. You first need to admit you have flaws and that the jealousy is, largely, because you aren’t happy with yourself or your life. That doesn’t make you a loser. An honest assessment of yourself makes you authentic.
Realize that this jealousy is going to affect your life. It is going to overshadow everything you do and prevent you from having opportunities that you truly deserve. It will prevent you from finding someone better for you too.
This feeling of jealousy gives power to your ex over you. You will find yourself doing things out of jealousy mode. Maybe you don’t go to a party because they might be there. Maybe you plunge into a bad relationship to prove something to your ex. Maybe you become over-competitive at work to achieve some invisible goal to prove your worth. All of it is dangerous.
There are four practical things you can do to control your feelings about your ex.
- Forgive them. You don’t have to tell them you forgive them. Just do it in your heart. Let all the negativity from that relationship go. It may be difficult and you may need to practice forgiveness before you feel it. Practicing forgiveness is kind of a “fake it until you make it” approach where you act as if you forgive them even if you are still working through it. It is scientifically proven that our emotions follow our actions, not the other way around.
- Capture every thought. What does this mean? It means when a jealous thought comes into your mind, you recognize it and immediately dismiss it. You decide you are not going to allow that thought to remain in you.
- Meditate or pray. Many people find this helpful as it clears their heads and puts things into perspective. You may get some answers to puzzling questions, wisdom, or guidance as you meditate or pray. It also helps relax you and can even help build your self-worth.
Exercising is a stress reliever and is directly related to hormonal releases that make you feel happy. Doing a lot of exercises as you work through this process will help you release the emotions you feel and keep you in shape so it is always a good thing. Exercising builds confidence too and gives you something to do besides dwell on your ex.
- Walk. Walking is awesome because it gets you out of the house and also gives you a chance to think. This isn’t power walking or exercise walking. This is casual walking where you participate in your surrounding environment. Look at what you are passing. Notice the little things. This is open up your world beyond your thoughts of your ex and give you a chance to relax both your body and mind.
You will find that time does heal all wounds and you will eventually move on if you choose to do so. How fast or easy that is depends on you.