How to Man­age Your Ex!

We know how she han­dles her exes. What about you? We can’t all get over our exes by writ­ing hit songs like Tay Tay. Here’s how to cope with the resid­ual emo­tions that don’t go away just be­cause you’ve changed your re­la­tion­ship sta­tus on Face­book.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - LOVE & LUST - By Jes­sica Knoll

“My ex and I dated for a year, and in that time, we were pretty much to­gether 24/7,” says Kanika S, 25. “Af­ter we broke up, I found out that he had been cheat­ing on me with a slew of other girls the en­tire time. It has re­ally af­fected me and made me anx­ious around guys. I feel like I can’t trust any­one.” One way to re­store your faith in men and trust the next guy you date is to find ex­am­ples of re­ally strong, es­tab­lished cou­ples. “Look at your par­ents, if they’re still mar­ried, or the par­ents of a friend whose re­la­tion­ship you ad­mire,” sug­gests Suzanne Lach­mann, PsyD, au­thor of the Me Be­fore We blog on psy­chol­o­gy­to­ “It’s a re­minder that healthy re­la­tion­ships do ex­ist, not all men cheat, and you need to have faith that fidelity is pos­si­ble in a long-term re­la­tion­ship.” You also need to do what your ex couldn’t: be hon­est with your­self. “A lot of times we project onto peo­ple what we want them to be,” says Melissa Rich­man, PsyD, a re­la­tion­ship ther­a­pist in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia. “Rather than group all men to­gether as cheaters, dig deep and ex­plore if maybe he wasn’t the per­son you told your­self he was and if there were red flags you chose to ig­nore.” “I found out that my ex, who I’d dated for years, now has a boyfriend,” says Sara K, 22. “I was su­per of­fended he didn’t tell me him­self. I thought we were closer than that.” You are en­ti­tled to feel an­gry or like you were used, but you’re bet­ter off not try­ing to get him to ex­plain him­self to you. “He was prob­a­bly con­fused when he was dat­ing you, and he’s not go­ing to pro­vide you with any an­swers that are go­ing to clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion since he is work­ing that out for him­self,” says Ber­man. “I dumped a re­ally nice guy,” says Alia B, 26. “He hasn’t moved on.” On some level, you recog­nise that the guy didn’t de­serve to be strung along, and check­ing in on him is a way to al­le­vi­ate your guilt—but there might be a deeper is­sue at play. You may be feel­ing down on your­self, and keep­ing in con­tact with a guy who liked you more than you liked him is an easy way to get an ego boost. You’re too good a per­son to keep him hang­ing while you work out your is­sues, so cut the cord. “My ex broke up with me with this spiel about how he was too young to be in a re­la­tion­ship this se­ri­ous,” says Alisha T, 28. “A year later, he was mar­ried! I was crushed— it was like, clearly, you just didn’t want to get se­ri­ous with me.” Sure, this feels like a punch in the gut, but think of it this way: “Com­pat­i­bil­ity has noth­ing to do with whether or not you’re wor­thy; it’s about be­ing a good match,” says Jenn Ber­man, PsyD, host of The Love and Sex Show With Dr. Jenn on Cosmo Ra­dio US. “That guy wasn’t right for you, and you can’t let him be the ar­biter of your worth.” And hey, at least you’re in good com­pany— the ‘ wife fluffers club’ in­cludes all the mod­els who the for­merly mar­riage- averse singer Adam Levine dated be­fore propos­ing to his lat­est Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret an­gel. Another thing: if you hear about the en­gage­ment from your ex, re­act grace­fully. You may be tempted to make him ex­plain why he wasn’t ready for com­mit­ment with you, but don’t! His an­swer won’t change the out­come. It’ll just make you look needy—and you’re so much cooler than that. Just wish him the best, then call a friend who will con­firm that, yes, you’re way pret­tier and fun­nier than his new fi­ancée.

“My ex was in the same col­lege as me, so my girl­friends and I would hang out there all the time,” says Ekta R, 19. “We broke up on re­ally bad terms, but I didn’t want peo­ple to think I was an­ti­so­cial, so I con­tin­ued to hang out at his friend’s place with the rest of my friends, even though I hated see­ing him.” There is a tonne of pres­sure to act like you’re okay. Not only do you not want to dis­rupt the so­cial dy­nam­ics of your group, but you may even feel like you have to stay friends with this guy in or­der to prove how awe­some you are and what a mis­take he made by break­ing up with you. “You’re in­val­i­dat­ing the fact that you’re pissed off as hell or you’re sad and heart­bro­ken,” says Belisa Vranich, PsyD, co- au­thor of He’s Got Po­ten­tial. “Right af­ter a re­la­tion­ship ends, you will very likely need to cry and punch things and get ev­ery­thing out, not to pre­tend ev­ery­thing is okay to save face.” Tell your friends you need to take a time out from any events where your ex will be present, and hang out with strictly your peo­ple for a while. Also, be wary of a spe­cific sub­set of this cat­e­gory: the ex who can’t quit you. “This is the guy who touches base ev­ery once in a while to make sure you’re still reeled in, but it’s never a qual­ity in­ter­ac­tion,” says Vranich. “He just wants to know you still want him or are still think­ing about him, and ev­ery time you re­spond to his texts or e- mails, you get your hopes up only to have them crushed when it doesn’t go any­where.” Don’t take the bait— you are fully within your ex rights to ig­nore his texts and not feel a shred of guilt about it. “I thought I was go­ing to be with my ex for­ever,” says Heena K, 27. “So when he left, it messed up my vi­sion of my life.” Here’s the thing: what you are en­am­oured with is a fan­tasy. “There is no way of know­ing if you would have lived hap­pily ever af­ter with this guy, be­cause in real life, you can’t con­trol ev­ery fac­tor,” says Vranich. You also need to get over the fear that you’ll never find any­one else who gets you the way your ex did. “I rec­om­mend my pa­tients ask an ex like this to cof­fee. Time can make a saint of some­one who isn’t all that amaz­ing, and when you ac­tu­ally hang out with the per­son, the re­al­ity of who he is will likely shat­ter your per­fect fan­tasy of him.” This sug­ges­tion comes with some caveats: that the guy is not some kind of sadis­tic bas­tard who will toy with your heart and that it’s been more than a year since you broke up. Maybe you’re hung up on him be­cause in your mind, you had th­ese deep, in­tense dis­cus­sions, but when you meet him again, he’s dis­tracted and noth­ing like the soul mate you re­mem­ber. Even if Chan­ning freaking Ta­tum walks through the door, know that this is not the one who got away, be­cause the right guy for you will also want to be with you.

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