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If your ex moved on quickly after your breakup, perhaps even started dating someone else shortly after, understand that there’s a good chance they’ve been plotting and thinking about breaking up with you for weeks or months before they actually pulled the plug.
And it’s throughout this “mulling period” that they got over you. After all, they had plenty of time during it to mourn your relationship and relinquish any intense emotional attachment for you.
To wrench the knife even deeper, your ex likely hinted that they’re disengaging from you or that you’re doing something that keeps turning them off. Perhaps they even outright told you these things and tried to help you turn your relationship around.
After five years of helping people going through breakups, I’ve seen this pattern unfold time and time again.
Your ex never moves on quickly. It only feels as though they do because they kicked off the process while you were still together and while you still had intense feelings for them — feelings so intoxicating they blinded you from your ex’s hints, aid, and, gradual decline in attraction. That is, until it was already too late.
Read on and learn how to avoid repeating the same mistake in your next relationship — be it with your ex or someone else.
Why Has Your Ex Moved On Quickly
The four biggest influences on the rate at which your ex moves on are their attachment style, their level of emotional intelligence, your level of neediness, and the state of your relationship. Let’s unpack each one.
1. Your Ex’s Attachment Style
One can embody one of four attachment styles: anxious, avoidant, disorganized, and secure. For relevancy’s sake, I’ll focus exclusively on the first two since they’re most common. For a deep dive into all four, however, refer to my article on attachment styles.
The anxious is someone who can’t help but seek validation and approval from others and tries to control everything and everyone. Whereas the avoidant is someone afraid of intimacy and emotional closeness and has a high need for independence and solitude.
If your ex has an anxious attachment style, they likely moved on slower than an average person. Whereas if they have an avoidant one, they likely moved on faster than an average person.
2. Your Ex’s Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is made up of five key elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills.
- Self-awareness: the ability to understand yourself and your behavior on three levels: 1) what you’re doing, 2) how you feel about it, and 3) knowing your emotional patterns.
- Self-regulation: the ability to control and redirect disruptive emotions and impulses and adapt to life’s changing circumstances.
- Empathy: the ability to consider and understand other people’s emotions and share yours freely.
- Motivation: the ability to be aware of what motivates and drives you and to motivate and drive yourself toward your goals.
- Social Skills: the ability to connect with people emotionally, and form and sustain healthy relationships.
The higher your ex’s emotional intelligence, the quicker they moved on. The lower your ex’s emotional intelligence, the slower they moved on. It’s that simple.
3. Your Neediness Level
Neediness is a measurement of how you prioritize your self-perception compared to your ex’s perception of you. The more you prioritize how your ex perceives you, the needier you are. The more you prioritize how you perceive yourself, the non-needier you are.
Refer to this article for a deep dive into neediness and how to overcome it. But for now, know that the higher your neediness level, the faster your ex moved on and the easier it’ll be for them to not give you another chance.
How do you measure neediness? By observing your behavior. Are you spamming your ex’s phone, chasing after them, trying to get confirmation that they still love you, attempting to impress them, or feeling you’re nothing without them? These behaviors are all solid indicators of neediness.
4. The State Of Your Relationship
Was your relationship toxic? You know, cheating, lying, codependency, emotional or physical abuse… those kinds of things.
Was your relationship boring? Were you and your ex more like roommates than an actual couple? Have you rarely dated, courted, and fucked each other?
Was your relationship long-distance? Meaning, were you unable to see each other more than, roughly speaking, once a month?
These things determine the state of your relationship. So if yours was toxic, boring, long-distance, or a combination of any of the three, there’s a good chance it helped your ex move on faster than they would if you had a healthy, exciting, and non-long-distance relationship.
Hints Your Ex Gave You Before They Moved On Quickly
As I eluded at the begging of this article, your ex probably gave you plenty of hints that their attraction was declining before the breakup. Here are some of the most common ones to pay better attention to next time. Think back on your relationship and try to discern some of them.
- The frequency of their texts and calls tapered off.
- They began to cancel dates and/or make excuses for why they couldn’t show up.
- They started to ask fewer questions (and the ones they did ask became less personal).
- They gave out less and less information about themselves.
- They became less affectionate, intimate, and sexual.
- They seemed more on edge, bitchy, aggravated, and frustrated.
- They began having more and more moments of indifference.
Many people think their ex is a bitch or an asshole for simply not coming out and telling them, “Hey fuckface, you’re losing me. Step up to the plate and do something about it.” But here’s the reality… Either your ex already told you something like this, but you haven’t been paying attention, or they believed you just didn’t have what it takes to get yourself together and handle a call-out, so they remained quiet.
Note: one exception to the above are toxic exes. A toxic ex usually won’t directly call out your relationship problems or be too eager to help square them. Instead, they’ll opt for finding backups and, at worst, cheating.
Killer Behaviours To Avoid When Your Ex Moved On Quickly
Relationships manifest on a timeline between two gulfs. One is dotted with shit and misery. The other is a dotted with fun and fellatio. But between these two gulfs, there is an entire sea of normal, boring, and mundane.
Therefore, avoid revisiting your relationship’s negative or positive moments. Because none of them are an accurate reflection of reality. The truth about the state of your relationship is always buried somewhere between the two extremes.
Another thing to avoid when your ex moved on quickly is compulsively concluding that their new relationship — if they got into one, which they usually will — is a rebound. I get that it makes you feel better since you can always comfort yourself with the fact that rebounds are short-lasting and shallow affairs.
But let’s be honest: your ex could just as quickly get into a non-rebound. And hell, there’s always a chance that what once started as a rebound at some point turns into a non-rebound.
And one last thing: don’t pester your ex — don’t be a gnat. Go no contact, cut them out of your life, and move on after your breakup. It’s only extensive physical and emotional space and the passing of a long period of time that grants you a better than shitty shot at rekindling your relationship.
What To Do When Your Ex Moved On Quickly
For one, be grateful you even had a relationship in the first place. Not everyone is so lucky. Then start looking forward, thinking about how you can reinvent yourself and be happy again. A few ideas: reconnect with friends and family, work out, eat healthier, sleep well, get a better job, get some new hobbies, etc. Once you set some tangible goals around your recovery and growth, go out and start working toward them.
And since an average person isn’t able to move on from an ex often because they think there’s still a chance they can get them back, I want you to mentally obliterate yours. Act as if your ex is never coming back. Don’t blame them, don’t talk shit, don’t be an asshole. Just pretend your relationship won’t ever work out (which is closer to the truth than you’d think). Then carry on with life, alone.
If this all sounds a bit vague and abstract, it’s because it is. So here are some additional guides I wrote that will help you out:
- How To Get Over Your Ex And Move On With Your Life.
- The Ultimate Guide To The No Contact Rule.
- 25 Best Books To Read After A Breakup (And Some To Avoid).
- 16 Striking Signs Your Ex Is Never Coming Back.
- 7 Ways To Feel Happy After A Breakup.
Onward to some good news!
Your Ex Moving On Quickly Doesn’t Mean They Don’t Feel Anything For You
The odds of your ex coming back aren’t in your favor, but maybe — just maybe — they still feel something for you. And it would be a shame if you’d chase after them right now and try to force yourself back into their life. For this behavior will only turn them off further. Instead, let your ex get clarity if rekindling your relationship is a good/bad idea on their own. Yes, even if they’re dating someone new and you’re totally desperate to reach out.
Because who knows, maybe the sole reason they moved on quickly and onto someone else is because they need temporary relief, wish they could escape their pain, or want to show you that they’ve moved on, even though they clearly haven’t. These scenarios are, on average, implausible to come to fruition, but you never know. They are always a possibility.
So don’t obsess over your ex and what they’re doing. You don’t know what’s going on inside their head. They could just as well be regretting their decision to dump you. And if not, improve yourself to a point where one day, they might be.
The Ultimate Guide To The No Contact Rule
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