After a break up it isn’t uncommon for people to still have feelings for their exes. Now, these feelings can become intensified by the thoughts of their ex-boyfriends or girlfriends being romantically and/or sexually involved with someone else (sometimes this is all in their imagination and their ex is still single!). Once you have spent so much time with one person and have had an extremely close and intimate relationship with them, it can feel absolutely awful to see them developing that connection with another woman. For some folks, this scenario can absolutely become an unbearable reality from which that have a difficult time letting go and moving on from. How can one accept their ex-boyfriend sleeping with someone new and move forward with their life?
Jealousy and Ego
Sexual jealousy and emotional turmoil is pretty interesting when we think about an ex. Like, when the two of you met, your ex-boyfriend probably wasn’t a virgin (maybe he was) but we tend not to have the same negative obsessiveness about the people that he had sex with before you. It really doesn’t cross our radars as much because he is, after all with you now. The people in the past, prior to your relationship, really aren’t that big of a deal.
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When the breakup takes place and he starts to sleep with other women, why does it suddenly bother you more? Him having sex with someone new doesn’t diminish you as a woman. It doesn’t negate the previous relationship that you had with him, as it’s already taken place in the past and played out fully. In reality, what is there to be bothered about? Much of this problem occurs when comparison between yourself and the new women come about. Once you start to think of yourself in competition with someone else, how are you ever going to let go of these intense emotions?
There is also this extreme sense of ownership that one tends to get with an ex-boyfriend. This faulty notion of him, ‘being mine’, which is completely false. People are not possessions. They are independent beings, who may choose to become involved in a mutually beneficial relationship, with another person. There was a time after all, before the two of you had ever met, and he was seeing other women. Would you care about it then? No. Why? He was just some random guy and not something that was ‘yours’…you didn’t have the illusion of possession.
Get to the Core
One way to deal with and get past the emotional jealousy that one can feel when thinking about an ex-boyfriend sleeping with another woman is to reduce it to its base. Utilize the reductionist mode of thinking to break these thoughts down into clinical terms. What is actually occurring? A man sticks his penis inside a vagina, where is skin comes into contact with her. Friction occurs from thrusting in and out until finally there is an intense spasming and some goo shoots out. That’s it. That’s what we get so many bad feelings about.
Is it really all that upsetting that he is doing that with someone else?
Once you have taken the thought of the act itself down to the base, begin to do the same with the emotions. How is this sexual act by two people (who aren’t you) harming me? Does him having sex, reduce your value as a woman? Does this negate your previous relationship? Does your ex-boyfriend having a new lover somehow stop you from finding another romance for yourself? Will you even care about this in six months? A year? Ten years?
The pain and anguish in the short-term occurs because of the attachment we’ve grown towards that person plus the narrative in our minds about them and the previous relationship. All these thoughts and memories play back on a constant loop and stir up emotions that we’ve have attached to them. This has a snowball effect, the more we think about it and attach emotions to them, the stronger these memories and feelings become. We completely buy into whatever story our minds have created about a situation whether it has any actual basis in reality or not.
What this Boils Down to
The key is not to just grit it out or cope with these feelings. The key is to become aware of them as they bubble up and not let them take control of yourself. Recognize the anger or other feeling when it arises. Observe it. Are you that anger? Do you have to let it ‘become’ who you are? Can you observe this feeling, recognize where it is coming from, feel it, and then let it go? Don’t become a victim in your own mind, even if it’s justified, as it will only serve to create another story in your head which will loop continuously and drag you down with it. It is easier to get angry or depressed about these things but letting them go is a much more effective way to deal with them.
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