When Your Ex Gets Engaged First

How to handle it

Dear Monica, I just found out that my ex-boyfriend got engaged. I am beside myself. I am not dating anyone and I am having trouble coming to terms with this. — J. P., Willow Grove

When any relationship breaks up it is only normal to want to be the one that moves on first. I think you are feeling like  “If I don’t want him, nobody else should have him (at least not until I am happy and have moved on).” The most important word to remember is “ex.” Yes, it is traumatic to watch someone you thought was the one turn into another’s Prince Charming, but let’s be real. The relationship ended, so he should move on.

Here are some thoughts to consider while trying to cope with the reality that the two of you were never meant to be.

  • There was a reason—or a laundry list of reasons—he was not the right one for you or you would still be with him.
  • Stick to your convictions. Wishy-washy decisions usually do not work out for the best. Try to remember why you did not want him.
  • You knew in your heart that it wasn’t right, and you had the confidence to move on then. Now you need to really move on. Be a big person and wish him well. He should do the same for you.
  • Strong women take charge of their relationships and decide what is right. Don’t let self-doubt or ego stand in your way.
  • You are probably feeling blue because you are thinking of his impending nuptials and the fantasy that goes along with wedding planning. Fantasy will quickly turn into reality.
  • It is totally high school to worry about who moves on first. What is important is that both of you end up happy. It is not a race to the finish line.
  • Stay away from Facebook and Twitter so you don’t see the constant congratulatory postings.
  • Don’t ask your girlfriends a word about his bride-to-be, her engagement ring, the honeymoon or any other details. Ignorance is bliss.
  • Hard as it is to admit, your ex deserves the same happiness that you do. Is your expectation that he stays home and stares at a wall while you go on and have a life?
  • If you had moved on first, what would you think if he was troubled by this? I would think he was not over you if he cared that much.

Take a deep breath and remember that good things come to those who wait. Don’t delay too long though, and don’t focus on the past. Somewhere out there, the man of your dreams is waiting to meet you. When you find your real true love you will never think twice about your ex.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: [email protected]