By: Natasha Archary
Breakups are tough. Whether you’re ending a long-term relationship, marriage or a casual “situationship” it still hurts. More often than not it pushes you to react in a way that’s out of character, somewhat petty and immature.
On Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo this Monday comparing yourself to your ex’s new person is the topic of contention.
Women are more likely than men to compare themselves to their ex’s new partner. It has a lot to do with our obsession with their physical attributes as opposed to men who don’t have that issue.
Both Sizwe and Sandile can’t relate to the need to compare themselves to their ex’s new partners.
“Who did he replace me with?”
“Are they prettier than me?”
Sound familiar? Understand that physical features are only a small part of the equation. After a relationship ends, the damage and/or pain one experiences is mostly self-inflicted.
Whether you’re stalking new bae’s social media or stage an innocent run-in with their new flame, you must become aware that you are the creator of what you think and feel.
Why compare in the first place?
According to Dr Cristy Lopez, psychologist, coach, consultant, and public speaker, “People in general do have this thing about social comparison. It’s part of human nature and unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people try to get or manipulate their self-esteem, by comparing themselves to others and that can work in very bad ways.”
Living in a world that is driven heavily by social media and impossible beauty standards, means comparisons are expected.
A Western University study, 88% of 18 to 35-year-olds have stalked their exes social media pages and 80% have stalked their ex’s new partners.
The report reveals that a majority of women resort to comparisons, giving into insecurities.
Human behaviour expert and life coach Patrick Wanis claims that “women are always in competition with their own sex.”
Even Beyoncé succumbed to her insecurities and her lyrics “He only want me when I’m not there. He better call Becky with the good hair,” speaks to how their partner moving on or cheating affects their self-esteem.
Comparing yourself to your ex’s new person is only going to prolong your healing process and it might be time to stop.
The comparisons stop now
Ultimately the reason women compare themselves to their ex’s new partner is out of loneliness, self-esteem and anger. If left unchecked, it can lead to mental torture and depression so it’s not something that should be taken lightly.
Some of the symptoms of obsessiveness over your ex’s new partner are:
- Obsessive thinking, such as repeating the past scenarios and changing outcomes
- Endless comparisons (positives and negatives)
- Feelings of uncontrollable jealousy with what one had/could have
- Extreme possessiveness (thoughts, words, actions)
- Loss of belief in one’s abilities, self-esteem, confidence
- Demeaning, hurtful, as well as self-harming intentions
Ways to stop comparing yourself
- Apply the strictest no-contact rule – this includes blocking your ex and their partner on social media
- Keep busy
- Keep a journal with affirmations to remind yourself about your strengths
- Break the pattern
- Stop asking around about her
- Accept that just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not
- Stop blaming yourself