Why would you better sympathize with your ex’s new girlfriend?

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber were snapped together at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures gala last Saturday. It is the thawing of tensions in Hollywood and a peace finally won between two factions that we thought were forever opposed. And it’s time for us to take the seed.

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber appeared more accomplices than ever

Cold speculation between the two has swelled on the internet for ages. Selena Gomez dated Justin Bieber for almost eight years, a romance punctuated by breakups, before the couple separated for good in May 2018. Two months later, he became engaged to Hailey (née Baldwin) . Since then, the fervent defenders of Jelena (the couple formed by Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez ) lead a fierce fight in support of the neglected singer.

Last week, Hailey Bieber denied the rumor that their two love stories would have overlapped in an episode of the podcast Call Her Daddy : “When we started dating, he was not in a relationship with anyone. . Never. It’s not my style to break up the relationship between two people, I would never do that.” Tyrell Hampton , the photographer who immortalized the rapprochement between Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieberduring the gala, added as a caption of the publication not without irony: “plot twist” (reversal of the situation). And here we are, dazzled by these two radiant women who support each other, and rise above the limbo of the Internet, refusing the feminine rivalry that society loves to maintain.

Get out of the unhealthy pattern of rivalry 

From my own experience, I can assure you that there is nothing more liberating than becoming friends with your ex’s new conquest. The fascination exerted by this dynamic is partly due to the fact that we are all aware of the emotions involved. But too often, the new partner becomes the outlet for the discomfort that persists in the couple of the past. It’s unfair to the new person and a surefire way to keep everyone locked into an unhealthy pattern of constantly scratching at the scabs of wounds that should be healed long ago.

I stayed for ten years with the one who is now my ex. The separation was difficult, as was seeing him move on with his life, but we had a close-knit group of mutual friends and I knew a clean, abrupt breakup was not an option. We would get together at birthdays, weddings, christenings, etc., so we did our best to accommodate everyone.

The first times I saw him with his new girlfriend, I was uncomfortable and I tried to hide it behind a lot of kindness and humor. One time in particular, six years ago, I remember getting tired of my own jokes.

But from the beginning, they showed kindness and sympathy towards me and that was a great help to me. In exchange, I, too, tried to be nice without overdoing it (even in the best-case scenario, you don’t have to text your ex’s new girlfriend every day) and build a relationship outside of the “ex” diagram. And it worked! A few years later, we are part of our respective lives, we like to find each other, I respect her and I admire their relationship and I am happy that they are happy.

A difficult but useful challenge to move forward

Horrible, right? Do we do more high-sounding than a breakup without overflowing? Obviously, this wasn’t a Gwyneth Paltrow. I was single for two years when they were together, and at times I felt crummy in comparison. I was a failure, caught in a hellish cycle of Tinder dates and roommates in East London, as they bought a house and built a life together.

We all compare ourselves to others, and in the particular case of exes, the perspective “through the looking glass” is all the more unsettling: you find yourself facing someone who has the life you could have had. But what became crystal clear to me was that if I wasn’t feeling well, it wasn’t anyone else’s fault. It was the reflection of my own anxieties that I projected onto others. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes people can make when hating their partner’s ex or their ex’s new partner: it involves blaming them for your happiness or unhappiness. In reality, even though they’ve been mean to you, hating them keeps you from moving forward and keeps you in that same unhealthy pattern.

I know full well that in the scheme of things, my situation was not complicated. My ex and I parted ways on good terms and I had little reason to be bitter and resentful. It’s hard for me to imagine another scenario: how tolerant would I have been if I hadn’t been treated well? Would I really have been able to rise above this? I’m not sure.

The need to get rid of a weight

In these cases, one school of thought argues that women are held to unrealistic standards, that they are expected to “rise above” the pain or they will come across as crazy or hysterical. The aesthetic of the “messy” woman, like Cassie letting her emotions gush all over the place in Euphoria , seems like an interesting remedy to the approach of the stepford wife taking it upon herself. Because it’s true: we’re not robots, so why should we pretend to be fine when we’re not?

But honestly, who wakes up the next day, not cleansed and reeking of vomit, happy to have lost their temper in front of their ex (or in front of the new half of their ex)? Nobody. Nobody feels good after acting like that, once sober.

In the end, harboring anger or resentment toward someone you barely know takes a lot of effort. I was lucky things worked out for me, but even if you can’t become friends, it’s so much easier (and so much more chic) ​​to hold each other in check. The only person who can be reduced to resentment is you. Or, in the case of Selena Gomez vs Hailey Bieber , your legions of followers online.

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