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Jealousy is something most people who want their ex back feel. It’s an unconscious reaction and fear of loss, borne out of insecurity and neediness and triggered by the idea that your ex is seeing someone else — or is at least able to do so. And it’s a pretty valid feeling to have.
Your ex is free to do whatever they want with whoever they want. Not only that, they likely want to experience all kinds of sexual endeavors now that they have a chance. And they probably will. I know it doesn’t feel good to hear this, but it’s the reality. You can ignore it, but you can’t ignore its consequences.
So now that I’ve dumped ice water all over your unquenchable reconciliation aspirations, here are a few tips to overcome jealousy after a breakup and avoid buttfucking your chances of getting your ex back away.
1. Understand What Jealousy Really Is
For one, jealousy is a normal and healthy human emotion. Just because it feels bad doesn’t mean it is bad or that you’re bad for feeling it. Everyone feels jealousy to a degree.
The next thing to understand about it is that it’s always about loss. You get jealous because you don’t possess something that you, at a fundamental level, feel you should. In your case, your ex. In a way, it’s a subtle form of entitlement.
And finally, jealousy is also a pretty unfounded emotion, even irrational at times. For example, you may think your ex is getting their cheeks clapped by someone and that they never think about you anymore, but the reality is probably different.
Your mind simply leaps to worst-case scenarios because that’s how it’s programmed. But those scenarios are not always a reflection of reality. Keep note of this.
2. Validate Your Jealousy
Acknowledge that you feel it and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel it — however heartbreaking or uncomfortable. Otherwise, you’ll only feel worse and sabotage yourself.
For example, instead of validating your jealousy, you judge yourself for it, only to start feeling more jealous as a result. And after sulking for hours, you even develop anger and anxiety on top of your jealousy.
So you start lashing out at people and get so insecure that you show up at your ex’s doorstep unannounced one night, begging them to give you another shot. As you’d expect, things don’t go well.
Think of validating jealousy as a pressure release valve. When you feel it, simply acknowledging it and reminding yourself it’s okay to feel it takes enormous emotional pressure off you and makes it easier not to respond in an unattractive and toxic manner.
Which brings us to…
3. Don’t Respond Badly To Jealousy
For most of us, acting jealous is our immediate response when we feel jealous. For example, Jealous Joe sees that his ex-girlfriend is going to a local concert, and so he buys a ticket to attend himself, even though he doesn’t like the band playing. The only reason he’s going is so he can make sure his ex isn’t hooking up with anyone else there.
This is where jealousy — which, as we said, is inherently neutral in terms of good and bad — becomes bad. And it’s your response to it that makes it so. Therefore, one of the best ways to overcome jealousy is by responding to it better.
An emotion itself is not a choice. But your response is.
In Jealous Joe’s case, instead of stalking his ex, he should go to a therapist or call up a family member or a friend who could ground him in reality. Or, in other words, tell him what an idiot he is and how he needs to go and touch some grass.
4. Avoid Fusing With Jealousy
To borrow from Zen Buddhism, instead of saying, “I am jealous,” when the emotion arises, say, “I feel jealousy.” You can do the same with other emotions. Instead of saying, “I am insecure,” say to yourself, “I feel insecure.”
It may seem like a subtle difference but try it. Think of a time recently when you felt a negative emotion about your ex. Now, instead of thinking, “I was pissed off at them,” or “I was afraid I’ll never get back with them,” say “I felt anger toward my ex,” or “I felt fear of loss around my ex.”
You had anger, you had fear, but you weren’t controlled by those emotions. As I’ve said in the last point, emotions aren’t a choice. But your response to them always is.
5. Date Other People
There’s almost nothing as potent for overcoming jealousy — even fear, insecurity, and neediness — than getting some sexual experience under your belt. Interestingly, it’s the people with the least sexual experience that have the harshest issues with jealousy.
If you’re capable of seeing 1-3 potential mates in one week, every week, you’ll be amazed how less jealous you’ll feel. On top of that, since you’ll be less jealous, you’ll also be less desperate and needy, thus, more attractive — to your ex and everyone.
That said, don’t jump headfirst into the dating pool fresh out of a breakup. As I always advise, start dating only when it begins to feel fun and exciting. The last thing you’d want to do is date only to prove something to yourself or your ex. That’s a one-way ticket to eventual misery.
6. Develop Beliefs To Fight Jealousy
A few examples:
Beliefs #1: Feeling jealous is frivolous. If you’re reading this site, you’re likely less than 30. So you still have a lot ahead of you, and it’s just unproductive to worry about if your ex is getting pounded by someone or if they’re pounding someone. Live life, for god’s sake. Go bungee jumping, learn to code, travel around the world, start a business, go snort cocaine off a hooker’s tit or something.
Beliefs #2: If your ex dumped you, it’s for the better. It’s a glaring sign that you were incompatible and your relationship wasn’t enjoyable for them. Thus, why even bother getting them back? Odds are, the things that made you break up initially will still be there if you ever get back together.
Beliefs #3: If your ex got serious with someone else after your breakup (be it a rebound or not), it means that that person is doing something right — perhaps even something incredible — and you can learn from them to better your future love life. Consider meeting this person when you feel like you can stomach it.
7. Find Values To Fight Jealousy
Another way to overcome jealousy is to put healthy values on top of it and then act on them. When your values are clearly defined and present in your mind, they exert a motivating pull on your behavior which helps you steer clear of impulsive and self-sabotaging behavior.
For example, if you’d get jealous and wanted to reach out to your ex at 3 am, yet you’ve adopted a value of “No drama allowed,” you’d instead do something else because you know that reaching out at that time and during your current emotional state would only lead to drama.
The problem with values is that most people don’t know them or how to find new ones or replace the old. If this is you, check out this article. It goes in-depth into value clarification and replacement.
8. Raise Your Self-Esteem And Self-Worth
Whenever we’re talking about anything insecurity and neediness related, like jealousy, we should weave self-improvement into the discussion. In fact, self-improvement should be the cornerstone topic.
Go easy on yourself, cultivate self-compassion and acceptance, commit to goals for no one else but yourself and accomplish them, take responsibility for everything that happens in your life, seek out activities and actions based on your passion for them and not for approval or validation from your ex and others.
The Uncomfortable Reality
Re-attraction — that is, the process of rekindling a romantic relationship — is not easy or quick, nor is it what you think it is.
The Guide To Setting Healthy Boundaries With Your Ex
Getting your ex back and keeping them gets so much easier if you just learn how to set and keep proper and healthy personal boundaries.
Look At What Your Ex Does (Not What They Say Or Mean)
Stop paying attention to what your ex says and means. Instead, focus on what they do to accurately gauge their attraction.
A few tips for developing self-awareness. The better you become at the skill, the likelier your ex will perceive you as more attractive.
Your Ex Is Not Special (No One Is)
Your ex is not special. The faster you get that drilled into your mind, the easier it will be to let them go, rebuild your life, and move on.