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His Take: “My Ex is Gloating about His New Girlfriend on Facebook”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), or submit a question for advice.

I broke up with my boyfriend in June after five years, and now he has a new girlfriend. I felt we lost the flame and things weren’t what they used to be and i was no longer happy so I ended it but now he frequently posts on Facebook about how you know when you meet the right person and how happy he is and life is just total bliss, and I think it strange that he’d do that at thirty. He never in five years ever told me that kind of thing and I wonder if he’s just trying to make me jealous or if he’s trying to forget me by quickly jumping into another relationship. We go to church together so I see him twice a week but the girlfriend lives elsewhere so is this all for the wrong reason, or is he really in it for the right reasons? No one gets over five years that soon, do they? — Bitter Heart

DREW: The fact that your main concern is “if he’s in it for the right reasons” leads me to believe you spend a lot of time watching “The Bachelor.” They’re always accusing each other of “not being in it for the right reasons.” Don’t be like the people on “The Bachelor.” They’re idiots.

Your ex-boyfriend is in it for reasons of his own. Granted, the Facebook posts are obnoxious. Is he writing them because he’s in love and must tell the whole world? Maybe. Is he writing them just to make you jealous? Perhaps. Has he made up a fake Facebook girlfriend who “lives elsewhere”? Probably. Who knows? Who cares?
You had your reasons for breaking up with him and they sounded like good ones. So here is my advice:

A) Stop worrying about your ex-boyfriend because he’s not your problem anymore.
B) Quit looking at Facebook and start enjoying your newfound freedom.
C) Whatever you do, don’t watch “Bachelor Pad.” It’s even worse than “The Bachelor.” And each episode is two hours long! TWO HOURS! Unreasonable.

DENNIS: The answer is: I don’t know. But then, I have a question for you: What does it matter to you?

Sure, it could be possible that you were the love of his life and utterly destroyed him when you broke up with him, and he simply latched on to the next girl who came along and is now clinging on for the rebound rollercoaster of his miserable existence. Sure, it could be possible that he found in this girl everything that was missing in you and is now breathing a huge sigh of relief that he can finally bathe in the glowing shower of rainbows and lollipops that true eternal love offers. Or, more likely, it’s somewhere between the two.

Unfortunately, there’s no way for you to know at this point (if ever), and it’s not your place to question what he’s doing. You have no vested interest in his life anymore, and I think it’s pretty obvious you’re asking these questions not to help him make the right decision, but to feed your own ego. Well, guess what? You’re the one who broke up with him, so just do him a favor and let him live his life without you questioning it.

ERIK: My favorite part of any relationship is the beginning, when everything is new and thrilling and a world of possibilities is open before you. It’s exhilarating! For that reason, I don’t think your ex is necessarily over you – I don’t think anyone ever really gets over a five-year relationship — but he’s so caught up in this excitement that he’s too distracted to mope. I know this is hard for you to watch, especially if you’re still struggling with it, but it’s important to remember that this is just novelty. He might feel like he’s found someone perfect for him, but it’s really too soon for him to possibly know that, whether it’s true or not.

It’s been five years since he’s had a new relationship, so he probably doesn’t remember how to handle this situation. I don’t think he’s just trying to make you jealous or that he’s in it for the wrong reasons. I think he’s just reuniting with a really great experience that he is no longer familiar with and doesn’t quite remember how to handle it. It’s easy to forget social graces in the moment. I think you’ll find yourself in a similar situation soon enough…though hopefully with fewer ridiculous Facebook posts.

BITTER GAY MARK: This is a tale as old as time. You know how in the end you just weren’t that into him? Well, Bitter Heart, it appears that feeling was more than mutual. I know, I know: it is all so very tempting to make all these nauseatingly gushy Facebook status updates all about you…but unless you seriously are his ONLY friend on there that seems more than unlikely. Look, I know you so don’t want to hear this right now, but maybe, just maybe, he truly IS deeply in love. Maybe after those dreary last remaining months of your flameless relationship, his new romance seems to burn especially hot and bright. Or maybe it’s all just the glorious highs of a rebound? In the end, it simply doesn’t matter — because now is the moment to stop wasting so much time wondering which it is. You ended this relationship, remember? You wanted to move on…I suggest you do just that.

* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Nick September 6, 2011, 12:19 pm

Sounds like heated agreement from the Gents.

avatar Amber September 6, 2011, 12:25 pm

He’s your EX, and YOU ended it. Who cares whether he is with his new girlfriend for the right reasons. Stop creeping his facebook and go find something to do.

Skyblossom Skyblossom September 6, 2011, 12:26 pm

I think the relevant question is why are you spending this much time focusing on the guy you left? He’s the past so keep him in the past. Quit checking up on him on Facebook, you can easily block his messages so they don’t show. MOA.

katie katie September 6, 2011, 8:57 pm

and i would highly suggest blocking his posts- i had to eventually do that to my ex, and his new girlfriend, and my life is so much better that i dont have to see all their pictures, and the posts, just everything. it just lets you become able to let it go.

avatar Bethany September 6, 2011, 12:28 pm

The guys are all right– It doesn’t matter why he’s posting this stuff. You broke up with him, it’s OVER.
You should really block him or delete him as your FB friend.

avatar kare September 6, 2011, 6:34 pm

Or at least hide his posts on her news feed.

landygirl Landygirl September 6, 2011, 12:28 pm

All very good answers. I will follow Drew’s advice to never watch The Bachelor or any of it’s spinoffs.

bittergaymark bittergaymark September 6, 2011, 5:31 pm

If there ever was a show that makes women look like desperate, pathetic idiots — it’s The Bachelor. Seriously. The fact that it remains such a relentless hit has me constantly questioning the sanity of many….

avatar MJ September 6, 2011, 12:29 pm

Hide his Facebook posts from your feed. I have no idea why more people don’t do this. And if you can’t help yourself and MUST look, you can unfriend him. Seriously. He might not even notice.

I totally get where you’re coming from…even though you ended things, it still is kind of ego-bruising to see that this guy has moved on and doesn’t need you as much as you thought he did. So take him out of your Facebook world and you will feel much, much better.

avatar ktfran September 6, 2011, 1:41 pm

This. This. This.

I was still friends with an ex on FB for a while. I had do unfriend him because it bothered me to see what he was up to. It was the healthiest thing I did post break up.

Fast forward a year later. We’re friends again, because we were pretty good friends before we started dating. We occasionally e-mail and text and see what one another is up to. He friend requested me on FB again. I won’t accept. It’s better for me to only talk to him once in a while. Do what works for you.

avatar oldie September 6, 2011, 12:33 pm

Can’t rouse any sympathy for the drama queen LW. She was the one that dumped him. From her own account, he didn’t do anything in the way of mistreating her, cheating on her, or misbehaving in any way. After 5 years, she simply decided that the spark was gone.

Now, for some reason her ego and self-esteem are all tied up in his not hurting enough after she dumped him. How desirable a gf can she be if he gets over her that quickly? How can he possibly find someone whom he is happier with than her, and do it so quickly? She may not be the super-special person that she’s always known herself to be.

If has been said on this forum many times, but the new-relationship high and oxytocin-fest doesn’t extend beyond a couple of years. Then, relaitonships drift toward loving and very comfortable, rather than the emotional peaks of the early years. Is LW into permanent relationships? Perhaps hers did just die a natural death and she was the partner with the least inertia, who made the initial move to call it quits. In that case, you now have what you want, move on with your life, let your ex move on with his.

It does seem strange that LW makes no mention of talking with ex, when he was her bf partner of 5 years, about her dissatisfaction or what they might attempt to move things in a direction more to her liking. Just boom, I’m gone. So, why can’t LW really be gone? Why spy on ex through Facebook?

I think LW’s ex is very lucky to be her ex.

avatar Susan September 6, 2011, 12:50 pm

“He never in five years ever told me that kind of thing”, this is what is pissing her off the most, and lets be honest, she is pissed about it.

bittergaymark bittergaymark September 6, 2011, 5:34 pm

Maybe she simply just wasn’t that great. Seriously. She paints herself as a dreary drama queen, perhaps that’s merely exactly what she is… Or maybe he just wasn’t that into her. It’s all very Harry Met Sally… “All this time he said he didn’t want to get married, but he in the end he just didn’t want to get married to ME!!”

avatar pho_sho September 6, 2011, 5:18 pm

Do you even know the LW? You sound like somebody who carries a lot of resentment around.

avatar lets_be_honest September 6, 2011, 5:20 pm

Know the LW? You do?!?!

avatar Susan September 6, 2011, 6:54 pm

Huh? No I do not know the letter writer, but I know girls just like her. I hold onto nothing, carrying resentment is not worth it. Every relationship, good or bad, made me who I am, warts and all. This includied my ex – who was a cheater and an abuser (physically and emotionally).

avatar pho_sho September 6, 2011, 7:23 pm

Oh no, that wasn’t in response to you. I agree that the LW is probably upset about the fact that all the things she wanted to hear from her ex is being said about another girl. The person who made the original post, however, sounds like they are projecting their own baggage onto the LW.

avatar Susan September 6, 2011, 7:42 pm

Got ya.

avatar El September 6, 2011, 12:44 pm

What is it about Facebook that makes adults act like whiny, pathetic children? Seriously.

LW: Turn off the damn computer and get a hobby. Problem solved. Your ex has moved on…time for you to do the same.

avatar honeybeenicki September 6, 2011, 1:21 pm

Facebook scares me like that. Its like everyone reverts back to being in middle or high school again. It is being cited in so many divorce cases too. I mean, come on people! My sister’s marriage just fell apart after only 3 months and facebook played a huge role in that. Insanity!

avatar El September 6, 2011, 1:35 pm

Exactly! A girl I went to school with is on her honeymoon this week, and has been updating her Facebook as if it’s a normal work week for her. I mean, WTF? A gorgeous Hawaiian vacation with your new husband isn’t enough to keep you from Facebook stalking for a week?

avatar honeybeenicki September 6, 2011, 1:47 pm

I got a lot of flack from friends and family that I wasn’t updating my FB while I was on vacation. I went to the Pacific northwest (Seattle mostly, but some roadtrips) for the first time ever to hang out with one of my favorite people from high school, so the last thing on my mind was making sure I updated FB. I even had one person who sent me 3 or 4 messages/posts on my FB over the week asking if I was ok because she hadn’t seen me on facebook all week.

Caris Caris September 6, 2011, 3:42 pm

wow O.o

avatar MJ September 6, 2011, 1:29 pm

People who are whiny and pathetic will be that way with or without Facebook. I get tired of social media being blamed for all problems. If you use it well, FB is a way to stay connected and share things with people. I enjoy seeing my friends’ photos and keeping up with what they’re doing. I make use of the “hide” feature liberally, and I don’t friend everyone I’ve ever met in my life.

If you use it well, Facebook can enhance your life. If you don’t, or if you have insecurities or relationship problems, it’s going to be an issue you’re going to have to deal with.

avatar honeybeenicki September 6, 2011, 1:45 pm

I’ve seen people who normally aren’t so whiny and pathetic get that way on FB, but you’re right – if they are inherently going to be that way, FB is just another way for them to do it. I also really enjoy the hide feature. I use it to keep in touch with friends, now that we are all getting older and having kids and moving to different parts of the world it is a good way to make sure we keep up to date and see pictures. I also do it to keep in touch with a lot of my family. There are so damn many of us that it would take the time of a full time job to call everyone I want to talk to every week (although its not my exclusive point of contact for people – I have friends that don’t want to talk on the phone because its easier to message of FB).

avatar Shelley-Ann March 19, 2014, 3:58 am

I have a friend who says that facebook “brings out the douche” in people, and he’s right. I lost a friendship because of some of the nasty/insensitive things my friend said on facebook chat (in person, he was a much nicer guy). And I’ve heard of numerous other cases the same. It’s not simply that facebook brings out qualities that are already there– the medium of facebook itself exacerbates these tendencies.

avatar El September 6, 2011, 1:55 pm

There’s a great Mark Twain quote that sums it up for me.

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

That’s pretty much how I feel about Facebook. I’m constantly astounded by the personal/inappropriate/inflammatory shit that people feel necessary to post. I feel like I’m blocking people on a weekly basis at this point.

avatar Susan September 6, 2011, 12:48 pm

“I felt we lost the flame and things weren’t what they used”, bet he felt the same way. Rarely is one person completely miserable and the other blissfully happy.

You dumped him, move on. Your ego is hurt, because he talks about his new relationship in a way that he never talked about yours, even in the beginning. You set him free, he found someone else and maybe just maybe he is blissfully happy with the right person.

avatar joy September 6, 2011, 12:49 pm

Delete him and block him from your FB page. There, done, you don’t have to read his updates anymore. Move on!

avatar rob ottapocalypse September 6, 2011, 4:37 pm

Except she won’t delete him, and he’s the one who needs to block her craziness from seeing his page.

avatar amber September 6, 2011, 12:58 pm

I think an interesting thing about breakups is that the person doing the breaking up sometimes feels like they won’t be bothered/upset after the relationship has ended. And then you hear about your ex dating again….and guess what it still sucks.

Does anyone get over 5 years that quick? Well it sounded like at the end maybe things weren’t great for either of you. Were either of you as emotionally invested in the relationship at that point? Also everyone deals with break ups/moves on at different speeds. Are you ready to date? Maybe not. Maybe he is. And maybe he’s totally in love with her or maybe he’s trying to rub it in. Either way it has nothing to do with you. Delete him from facebook and get on with your life. Dwelling on whether or not he’s happy or in love with someone new is not going to do anything to help you move on.

avatar beans629 September 6, 2011, 1:20 pm

Since no one else mentioned it… you should probably also find another church to attend. I know it sucks big time having to start over at a new church but the alternative is that your ex may show up with his new girlfriend and then you will seriously be pissed at him for desecrating sacred ground (Lol, I now a little dramatic but hey bringing your new SO to the church where your ex attends can be serious).

It’s just easier to find a new church (maybe try a few until you find the right one)at your discretion instead of having to find one when his new girlfriend (or girlfriends) becomes a regular visitor.

avatar lk September 6, 2011, 1:41 pm

I think the opposite, actually.

I think that when LW sees him at church, it would be a great opportunity – when in a meditative, disciplined, loving frame of mind (I think; I don’t “go” to “church,” but I pray…) – to imagine that her ex brings his perfect wonderful snowflake of a new girlfriend there, & then try to share in that joy. It would eliminate jealous/anger feelings & prepare her for anything. Plus it would just be healing for everyone involved.

@2x/week, would not be easy to re-invent her spiritual wheel, I suspect.

avatar RoyalEagle0408 September 7, 2011, 10:41 am

Finding a new church isn’t always that simple. Depending on your specific religion and what you want to get out of the experience, it can be hard to find one that “fits”.

avatar ReginaRey September 6, 2011, 1:25 pm

I’m with the crowd on this one – The fact that you’re spending this much time asking questions and wondering and obsessing over why and what he’s doing is unhealthy! You need to stop worrying about his life and spend the time you’re currently using to stalk him on Facebook learning to enjoy your newfound single lifestyle. You broke up with your boyfriend for solid reasons, and I hope you aren’t questioning your decision now that you see him with someone else. You made an informed decision. Stick with it, and stop letting your compulsion to Facebook stalk mess with the decision you made.

I don’t blame you for being annoyed that he moved on (rebounded, that is) so quickly, and that he’s now so rudely flaunting that all over Facebook as if he were 15. But honestly, if that behavior in no way reflects the person you knew, aren’t you glad you ended things?? Clearly he’s not who you thought he was, and you should feel even STRONGER about your validity in dumping him. He’s no longer your responsibility, so who cares what idiotic mistakes he makes in the throes of new love or rebound?

Delete him, or even better, deactive your Facebook altogether so you have NO temptations. Give him one last good eye-roll, then get up from the computer and start filling your life with more worthwhile activities. You’ll be a lot more successful at enjoying your new single life and moving on fully if you detach yourself completely from whatever he’s doing. Do it now!

avatar Susan September 6, 2011, 1:30 pm

But is he actively flaunting or just posting things? Is she over reacting. From her letter, she does sound a bit like a drama queen, so even saying, “so and so and I went here or did this or checked in here, could be flaunting in her mind. But agreed she needs to remove his from her feed and stop this obsessing.

avatar ReginaRey September 6, 2011, 1:35 pm

Well in her mind he’s “flaunting” it, and that’s what I was really addressing. We’ll never know if he’s flaunting or not. Though in my opinion, any 30-year-old who’s actively posting statuses about how blissful and happy and amazing it is to find the right person for you yadda yadda yadda probably needs to get a life. It’s wonderful if you feel that way, but can’t ANYTHING be kept private these days?? Major over-share, IMO.

avatar honeybeenicki September 6, 2011, 1:49 pm

Pretty much everyone overshares on FB. I see things I never wanted to know about people. And some things (posts AND pictures AND videos) just can’t be unseen. Brain-bleach anyone?

landygirl Landygirl September 6, 2011, 2:47 pm

I don’t, I save my awkward moments for real life.

avatar honeybeenicki September 6, 2011, 2:58 pm

I generally try really hard not to. especially since I’m looking for a new job and I’m not stupid enough to believe that my privacy settings are going to stop someone from seeing it if they really want to.

avatar ReginaRey September 6, 2011, 1:33 pm

Also, to specifically address the real reason the LW can’t stop stalking: ” I think it strange that he’d do that at thirty. He never in five years ever told me that kind of thing.”

LW – He could be saying that to make you jealous. Or he could totally mean what he says. Or he could be high off the thrill of rebound. You’ll never, ever know the real answer to that question. But what you should know – regardless of the answer, he’s not right for you. If he never said those things about you, then he wasn’t right for you in the first place. Don’t keep taking it as some blow to your ego. Take it as enlightening – YOU figured out that he wasn’t right for you, and now he’s figured out that you weren’t right for him. The way he’s choosing to express it may have everything or nothing to do with you, but it sends a message nonetheless. Instead of being insulted by it, be relieved that you’re now single and can find the person who IS right for you.

avatar jessielyn September 6, 2011, 1:51 pm

Totally agree with the fellas. LW, you think it is strange he is doing this at thirty. I think it is strange that you are obsessively watching his facebook posts at thirty. (Guess I am assuming that you are at least somewhat the same age as he is)

Take the time you spend on facebook and take up a new hobby. Go running, or take a class, or join a club. Volunteer for the less fortunate. I think you will find it much more rewarding.

bittergaymark bittergaymark September 6, 2011, 6:05 pm

Hah! I totally had a paragraph saying the exact same thing about thinking it was equally strange (if not more so) that she was obsessing over his posts at thirty, but my piece was running a tad long, so I cut it. But yeah, I so, so agree!!

Budj Budjer September 6, 2011, 2:01 pm

I think based on the fact that all of the potential answers to your concerns are negative and (now that you are broken up) equally unimportant…unfriend or block his posts and move on.

Kate Kate September 6, 2011, 2:11 pm

Listen, it is totally normal and fine to feel icky when confronted with your ex’s dating other people after you break up. Yes, you can have broken up with someone for all the right reasons, ended a relationship that was truly dead and had no future, but still feel like crap when you hear he’s with someone else.

And no, someone does not “get over 5 years just like that.” Guys try to move on really fast and get with someone new as soon as they can. If you broke up not even 3 months ago and he already has another girlfriend, it is way too new of a relationship for anyone to know if it has long-term potential or not. No one is truly in love this soon or knows if their relationship is for real. It could crash and burn next week, who knows, who cares.

I do think it’s weird for someone to be posting all over FB how blissfully happy they are with someone they just started dating. Sounds like he’s trying to prove something, to himself if not to other people.

De-friend him, or at least block his status updates, so you don’t have to see that crap. And as soon as you meet someone you like and start going on some good dates, you’re not going to care about this anyway.

avatar Britannia September 6, 2011, 2:26 pm

It’s probably more that he is enthralled with the feeling of new romance than that he is over flaunting his new relationship to get to you. After 5 years in a relationship, a new relationship will bring up fluttering feelings that he hasn’t experienced in a long time and he’s reveling in all the oxytocin flooding through his brain right now. You can’t blame the guy, you even say yourself that intense feelings weren’t there. It’s understandable that he is now very enthusiastic about finding such romance with someone… You will probably be just as happy about your own new crush, once you find him.

Also, another reason I don’t think that he is deliberately trying to get under your skin is that you don’t mention him bragging about his new relationship when he sees you at church. I imagine that if he was really just doing this to annoy you, he would also be doing his flaunting at church.

It’s rough when you see someone you used to love fall in love with someone else, but that’s just part of life. Go out and live your own life, and use this as a way to learn how to handle such experiences like an adult. Learning how to peaceably break up with and get over someone is just as valuable a lesson as how to have a successful relationship with someone!

avatar CMonster September 6, 2011, 7:10 pm

I have to say I have some sympathy for you here. Facebook is kinda awful in that someone’s life is just there to be examined. It hurts to see that he’s with someone else. I’ve have the tendency to be a super jealous person, and a terrible fb stalker, and the combo is always a recipe for disaster.

However it also helps to remember that the root of ex jealousy is usually just ‘I want him to love me, even if I don’t love him back, because that’ll make me feel good’. And really, that’s not fair on him. You can’t expect someone to pine away after you if you left, or never love anyone else. And yeah, it sucks that he’s saying stuff about that he never said to you, but every relationship is different. Don’t bother comparing your relationship, it’s a waste of energy. Just move on. Block him off your newsfeed, at the very least – or defriend him. You’ll love the feeling of freedom. Trust me. And then get off your computer and go out and have fun. The more fun you’re having, the less you’re thinking about him, and hell, you might meet someone yourself!

avatar Rachelgrace53 September 6, 2011, 7:55 pm

Drew, you’re awesome. And all the guys are right.
That’s all.

Drew Andrew September 7, 2011, 7:07 am

Thanks!

fast eddie fast eddie September 6, 2011, 8:28 pm

I got over several long term relationship in less then an hour and the first marriage took less then 10 seconds. The fact of the matter is that the relationships ended long before the breakup, that’s why we breakup. Get over yourself and pick up someone else.