Your Facebook feed is likely blowing up with engagement news right about now; we're in the midst of engagement season, after all. But few things can toy with your emotions quite like seeing that an ex just got engaged.
Jason Wahler and fiancée Ashley Slack (L), and Doug Reinhardt and fiancée Allie Lutz (R). Photos via Instagram.
Whether you're single, attached, or even happily married, it's a weird feeling when an ex proposes to someone else. It doesn't matter if you haven't spoken to him in ten years and never would've married him anyway. But if you dated him more recently and were starting to plan a future together, it hurts that much harder. Here, how to cope.
1. Hide the announcement.
Thanks to Facebook’s “weddings and celebrations” feature implemented last year, it’s practically impossible to miss any engagement news within your network. And the engagement announcement will stare you in the face until you either congratulate the couple or get rid of it (really, it’ll disappear on its own within a few days… but that can feel like an eternity). Immediately mouse over the announcement and click the "X" that appears on the right. Out of sight, (mostly) out of mind. Whatever you do, don't let yourself get sucked in the endless cycle of clicking through all of their photos together, reading all of their lovey-dovey comments to each other, and hate-reading all of the well wishes from their friends and family. No good can come from that.
Photo courtesy of Facebook
2. Adopt a "no comment" policy online.
When an ex gets engaged, you might feel pressured to show how totally over it you are (whether or not that’s true) by saying congrats on Facebook. But do you think Lauren Conrad is going to talk to the press about all of her soon-to-be-married exes? We don't see it happening. Follow her lead and keep any comments — yes, even positive ones — to yourself.
Here's why: It's hard to interpret a person’s true meaning over the Internet. Your innocent "congratulations, so happy for you!" could easily be misconstrued as a passive-aggressive remark. Unless you're close friends with the couple (both parties), it's probably in your best interest to keep quiet.
Rule of thumb: If you don't regularly post on his timeline (this doesn't mean once a year on his birthday), don't leave a comment. Don't "like" the relationship status change. Go look at these cute puppies instead. Or go write to the people at unbaby.me and tell them they need to work on unengage.me (kidding... kind of).
If you're on good terms with your ex and genuinely want to wish him well, shoot him a quick text or an email rather than posting on Facebook.
3. Don't bottle up your feelings.
Feel like crying, screaming, throwing things, venting to your best girlfriend? We're not going to stop you. Have your momentary freak-out — it's okay, and it's normal. But once you get it out of your system, let your more rational side take over, and move on to step four.
4. Remind yourself why you broke up.
Couples don't break up for no reason. Did you want different things out of life? Did he cheat on you? Or did you simply grow apart and out of love? It's easy to look back at a relationship through rose-colored glasses, but right now, take a cold, hard look at why it didn't work out for you two. Remind yourself of his most annoying traits and all of the ways he drove you crazy while you were together. Make a list. Ask your friends for help if you’re having trouble.
Plus, if you're reading Bridal Guide, you're probably engaged yourself (or getting close). Try to focus on the amazing life you're building with your current SO instead of dwelling on what could've been.
Tell us: Have you found yourself in this situation? How are you coping?
—Kristen O'Gorman Klein