When your girlfriend leaves you for someone else, don’t blame yourself or put yourself down. When your girlfriend leaves you for another guy, it’s often a reflection of her own needs, rather than a reflection of your own worth. I know how easy to feel guilty, and compare yourself to the new guy and wonder “What does he have that I don’t?”
How do I know? I’ve been in your shoes before.
The Story Of How She Left Me For Someone Else
The first time my girlfriend left me for someone else, I was at the top of my game. My confidence was unbreakable and my will was unstoppable. After falling short in several short relationships, I wrongly assumed I had become the best version of myself.
It was around this time that Lisa, an old friend of mine came back into my life.
Lisa was one of those women that you end up meeting only to wonder what the hell happened. From the moment I met her, it felt like she had been created specifically for me. It felt like she was the right person for me, the one I had been holding out hope for all my life.
Our relationship was easy from the moment we started dating onward. We were on the same page with almost everything. We always enjoyed the other’s company. It seemed like we were headed in the same direction in life. In all practical aspects of our life and our relationship, we wanted the same things.
But there was a two-fold fatal flaw in our relationship. From the very beginning, even though it felt like we wanted the same thing, cracks began to show. Neither of us was a great communicator, and for quite a while it felt like we avoided difficult discussions that we needed to have much sooner.
After about a year of dating, I also began to take her for granted. I had gotten a better job since we had first met, and I was working more hours than ever. I didn’t have the mental energy to focus on someone else. This went on for a few months. I figured that she would understand why I was doing it.
But of course, I was wrong.
I admit it didn’t come as much of a shock when she broke up with me. She told me something along the lines of “I don’t feel like we are growing together, and I need to focus on myself”. I understood. I hadn’t been able to give her the time she needed. It still hurt, though.
Until I Found Out My Ex Left Me For Someone Better (Or So I Thought)
What did come as a shock was when a new guy immediately entered the picture. Within about a week, she was in a new relationship with a hotshot Wall Street type.
When I got the bad news, it was one of the more painful experiences in my life.
Immediately I began to ask myself all kinds of questions.
Why was I not good enough? This guy was definitely working longer hours than I was. I was significantly taller, in better shape, and thought I was better looking too. Plus this guy was a complete stranger. Lisa and I had been friends for years before we had even started dating. How could she have picked him over me? Had our relationship meant nothing to her?
Part of me felt like I had gotten exactly what I deserved for putting work first. My self-esteem had taken a big hit.
So what did I do? I reached out to ask her what he had that I didn’t. She basically told me that the new guy was better than me in every way.
Looking back on it now, I can smile and laugh, but at the time it really crushed my self-esteem to hear that.
Fortunately, I was familiar with the no contact rule, and I immediately retreated to re-focus on myself, to try and take my mind off the failed relationship.
That was a good first step. But I knew I needed to take a second step if I was going to start feeling better.
The First Thing You Need To Do If Your Ex-Girlfriend Left You For Someone Else Is…
The most important thing you can do if your ex-girlfriend left you for someone else is to find it in your heart to forgive her.
I know, that may sound crazy, especially if you feel like she stabbed you in the back when she left you for someone else.
But hear me out here, because if you can find it in your heart to forgive her, it won’t be long until you can let go of what she did. Before long, she’ll be just another person from your past, instead of one whose actions define who you are as a person.
Moreover, when you can forgive her, it becomes a lot easier to forgive yourself which is even more important.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before you can forgive, you need to first understand. Otherwise, how else are you going to make your peace with the situation?
So let’s rewind time to understand how you ended up as her ex-boyfriend. Once it makes more sense, experience tells me that you will have an easier time with what I’m going to ask you to do.
By The Time Your Girlfriend Broke Up With You, Your Relationship Had Already Fizzeled Out
Whether you realize it or not, if your girlfriend left you for someone else, it means the quality of your relationship was lacking in one or more important areas, which contributed to the end of your relationship.
Read More: The 6 Key Reasons Why Women Leave You
Usually, one or more of these areas has been lacking for months, or even years. When you are in a long-term relationship with a woman who really loves you, she often will overlook some issues for a few months or a few years, especially if you are otherwise a good guy.
But the longer you continue to fall short, the more she will begin to doubt if you are the right fit for her.
Most women (and men too) want to feel like their partner and their relationship is right for them.
When your relationship’s perceived quality remains stable over time, it increases her commitment to the relationship and to you as well as creates a sense that your relationship will be successful in the future.
But, when she starts to doubt you and your relationship, that’s when things go downhill. Greater variability in relationship quality over time is associated with less commitment and a greater chance of a breakup.
The key word here is over time. It’s how she perceives your relationship quality isn’t something that changes in one or two weeks. This process takes place over months or even years at a time.
As I’ve discussed before, your girlfriend didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to leave you. She made the decision to leave you after months or years of decreasing relationship satisfaction. I’ve actually written an entire article on this topic, which you definitely should read before continuing here as it will give you a lot of important context for what I’m about to tell you.
With that in mind, it’s one thing for your girlfriend to leave and move on quickly. It’s another thing for her to leave you AND move on with another guy without breaking a sweat.
More Than Likely, Your Relationship Wasn’t Meeting Her Needs
While a decline in relationship quality is what likely leads to your girlfriend thinking about leaving you, it’s often an unmet need that causes her to leave you for someone else.
Some scientific literature suggests that relationships are more central to women’s lives than men. Women tend to engage in more relationship maintenance and tend to identify themselves in the context of their relationships.
Moreover, relationship quality is more strongly associated with her self-esteem, physical health, happiness, and life satisfaction than it is with yours.
In other words – it’s important to her that her relationship feels right. If something isn’t working, she’ll know. Generally, when a woman leaves you for another man it’s because of contrast. The man she left you for, at least temporarily, made her feel a way you didn’t.
Generally, this falls into 1 of 4 categories. I’ve also included several examples from real women I’ve poached from Reddit to illustrate my point.
If you want to read the thread in r/askwomen, you can do so here.
1: Your Relationship Didn’t Meet Her Desire For Kindness & Compassion
I had been with my ex for 3.5 yrs. It was my first real relationship. My family hated him and that should have been a sign, but I was young and dumb. He was horrible to me. Verbally abusive, rarely wanted to hangout, terrible sex. We had broken up twice before.Reddit User, sayreto
My ex had borderline personality disorder and would go berserk when ever I wanted to break up with him— threatening to commit suicide, telling me I was a whore just like my mother (my parents we’re going through a divorce at the time because my mom had an affair with her boss), etc. to the point where I would be in tears. Then he’d say something like “oh geez crying again?? Really?!”.Reddit User, HashbrownTownxxx
It’s been said before that the secret to love is kindness. While I’m not one to say that there’s a “secret” to love, kindness was ranked as the top priority in a long-term partner on a 2019 study of over 2,700 college students over traits like physical attractiveness, and financial prospects.
If you were a dick to her during the relationship, you shouldn’t be too surprised if she left your ass for a “nice guy”. Your girlfriend is a human being, and if you treated her with a lack of kindness, then I’m not at all surprised she left you for the other guy.
I hope this wasn’t you, because if it was? Good luck. Having a healthy relationship is impossible if you lack the ability to be kind. Stick to one-night stands instead.
I’m willing to bet that this wasn’t you, but if it was – you need to get a handle on why you felt the need to treat someone you supposedly loved that way. It’s the only way you are going to have successful relationships with other women in the future.
2: Your Relationship Lost The Romance & Emotional Intimacy
I was with my ex for 4.5 years, married a little over 2 years. Both of us were 25.
Honestly, we had a great relationship, but it was not satisfying in a romantic sense. Our support for one another was incredible, and we were both great spouses in the traditional sense. Friendship goes a long way in a relationship, but that romantic connection has got to be there. Our friends regularly commented that hanging out with us was different because we were just like friends. I found myself needing more affection, true affection. I realized that while I would have a good life with my ex-husband, it was not going to be fulfilling.Reddit User, BeerForMyDear
If kindness is the secret to love, romance is its blindingly obvious cousin. When the sense of adventure, intimacy, laughter, respect, and appreciation dies, you go from being her partner to being her friend.
An easy way to tell if your relationship lost the romance is to ask yourself: were you doing the same things at the end of the relationship as you were at the beginning? All your mutual love means jack shit if you don’t show her your side of it. It’s not just telling her.
It’s showing her. Have you shown her recently? Have you made her feel important, in her love languages? For example, if one of her love languages is time spent together, did you go out of your way to make time for her?
There’s another side to this – if you just let the romance slip, it’s possible she wasn’t compatible with you. When you’re dating a woman with who you don’t feel compatible, the desire to go out of your way to maintain the romance can be lacking. Don’t mistake love for compatibility – they are not the same.
Read More: Why Love Is Not Enough
The death of romance can also go hand in hand with the death of emotional intimacy. As you become more like friends and less like lovers, the sense of closeness, trust, communication, and security can also dissolve. I can tell you from experience, having been in a prior relationship where this situation went unaddressed.
If you haven’t experienced it, I can promise you – you feel isolated, sometimes unloveable. If you don’t have the self-awareness to recognize the origin of these feelings (which most guys do not, in my experience), it becomes easy to point the finger at yourself. When someone finally gives you the love and attention you so desperately crave, it becomes easy to start something with someone else, because it feels like you are emotionally already single.
3: A Lack Of Other Relationships To Compare Against
I was with someone for 3 years. It was my first proper relationship, but it had fizzled out and we weren’t in love anymore. I’d tried to break up with him numerous times but he would always make me feel incredibly guilty for it saying I was the only good thing in his life, minor threats of hurting himself if i left. My lack of experience in ending a relationship and not having the balls to do it left me pretty unhappy and I didnt like the person he made me.Reddit User, Tabby_Road
How is she supposed to know if you’re the right person or the wrong person if you’re the only person she’s ever dated?
I won’t say this is an unmet need so much as a desire. Novelty is an important part of our lives, and without it, there’s always the question of “what if?”.
Usually, first relationship syndrome is combined with love burnout or other relationship problems.
4: Her Needs Changed
I was super into my ex, but started uni in a different city. Had every intention of making long distance work and it went really well for the first year. Then this dude started showing up everywhere. There was something there and at some point, I realized I was falling for him. We kissed, but didn’t have sex until after I’d traveled 500 miles to break up with my ex in person. We’d been together for over two years and I owed him a good end and an explanation.
I hated breaking up with him. He’d done nothing wrong and I knew how much he loved me. I hated breaking his heart. I think I cried more than he did. I hated letting our many mutual friends “down”. They took it almost as badly as he did. We were really good together. But I was in love with someone else.Reddit User, Hatcheling
Just like the seasons, we change as people, and when we change as people our needs change. The woman above is a great example of entering into a long-distance relationship with the best of intentions. Yet, she quickly found out that she needed something that her boyfriend could no longer offer.
Sometimes, you can do everything right, and the relationship still doesn’t work anyway. Just as you will become a new person in time, so will she.
Attachment Anxiety May Also Be Involved
Several studies have shown that those who are anxiously attached enter tend to enter into new relationships faster than those who have a secure attachment style.
Moreover, people with high levels of anxious attachment are always looking for threats to their relationship, sometimes even seeing them where they don’t exist. This can lead to extreme emotional responses designed to protect those with anxious attachment, including jumping into new relationships with little delay.
Usually, I see this go hand-in-hand with a lack of romance. If your girlfriend was anxiously attached and you weren’t giving her enough reassurance and affection, she may look for it elsewhere. We’ll revisit this in just a minute, so hold on to that thought.
The New Guy Didn’t Appear Out Of Nowhere
As I mentioned earlier, your ex-girlfriend didn’t wake up one morning and then decide to break up with you. Her new boyfriend didn’t magically appear one day, either.
While it’s impossible for me to say for sure without knowing your individual situation, it’s likely that her feelings for him developed over time, at the same time that her feelings towards you were declining.
More likely than not, her new boyfriend falls into one of the following categories:
- They were close friends, and he likely was harboring feelings for her;
- He was someone in her orbit, like a co-worker, a bar patron, etc;
- Someone she had a crush on from before that was never explored;
- One of her ex-boyfriends / hookups / affairs / past relationships;
Either way, she didn’t just meet him. Depending on how long your relationship was going south, he may have been
I know it’s tempting to want to get mad at him for hanging around, but it’s not his fault. Regardless of how you feel about him, or about her, you can only control your own world. Lashing out in anger at her, or the other person she is involved with will only intensify your anger – which means it will take longer to move on.
To Let Go Of Her, You Must Forgive Her (And Whoever She’s Dating)
I know, forgiving her seems like the last thing you want to do right now. You might even think it will lead to more confusion.
Maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of “fuck this bitch”.
If you are, that’s unfortunate.
There are a lot of hurt voices out there crying out. Some of them whisper that if she left you for someone else, it must mean that she never loved you at all. Or that she was never the person you thought she was. But the truth is, that’s probably not what happened. You change during a long-term relationship, especially when you are young.
And sometimes, things like this happen. At the end of the day, not everyone is equipped with the emotional intelligence or the communication skills to voice their needs in a mature and respectful way, so sometimes it happens. It is unfortunate, and it’s painful when the relationship ends without you doing anything.
So please, don’t make it worse on yourself by holding on to anger.
Regardless of how mature she was, it’s time for you to have the humility to forgive her, the courage to forgive her new guy, and the compassion to forgive yourself.
The last thing you want to do is hold on to your anger at her, and have it follow you forward into future relationships.
Moreover, you deserve forgiveness too, my friend. You are allowed to make mistakes. It’s part of what will make you a better partner, and a better man.
But for now, it is enough to simply forgive yourself. The growth will come in time. After all, time heals (sometimes) it also changes us all.
And it may change your ex-girlfriend before long.
Even If She Left You For Someone Else, It’s Possible She’ll Come Back
While you shouldn’t hold on to hope that she’s going to come back, it’s completely possible your ex-girlfriend will return even if she left you for someone else.
My ex-girlfriend Lisa is a great example of this. She left me for someone else and then came back. After an 8 month no contact period, she dumped the other guy and tried to restart things with me. At first, I entertained the idea. But our relationship was never quite the same. We remained friends for a time, but even that didn’t feel right.
There was no way to patch things up and get back to the way things used to be.
During that 8 month no-contact period, I took a deep dive into our relationship and realize that our “harmonious” relationship was only as harmonious as it was because neither of us was really comfortable speaking up and speaking our heart.
In that way, the emotional intimacy we could have had was dead before it could even be born.
But perhaps you are different. For your sake, I hope you are.
Perhaps your ex-girlfriend will come knocking one day. And on that day, I hope you will have the courage to let her go, for good. Don’t agree to be her friend.
Read More: She Dumped Me But Wants To Be Friends
I know how hard it is to let go of someone you love and care about. When you’re a kind person with a caring, forgiving heart, your feelings aren’t going to go away just because she broke your trust. If anything, it’s a good thing that you still feel what you feel – because it speaks to the caliber of man you are.
You are the caliber of man who deserves better in his future relationships. You are the caliber of man who deserves better than to be forced to wait long after she told you she had enough. You deserve to move on.
But for now my friend, you must…
Learn To Focus On Yourself Once Again
I want you to ask yourself: did you give too much of yourself to your ex-girlfriend? Did your life revolve around her? Was she the highlight of your life?
While I urge you not to lose sight of the fact that you can have a wonderful relationship with a woman who cherishes you and returns your love in a way that you want, your woman should never be your focus in life.
Your masculine center and your purpose should always occupy the number 1 spot in your life. I realize that is easy for me to say, as I’m not in your shoes. Fair enough. For now, focus on finding forgiveness in your heart, and then on surviving the next few weeks. But as the storm clouds begin to clear, ask yourself “what do I create, and how does this impact the world?”
One of the pillars of long-term, masculine happiness that I teach here is to align your life with your purpose. Your purpose will serve as your guiding light, even as the seasons and the people around you change. With your north star in place, it becomes easier to accept life’s many road bumps with humility.
All in good time, my friend. For now though, if this is your first time visiting Men’s Breakup, I want to welcome you here.
I’ve put together a list of all my best free resources on one page, which you can read below.
They will help you survive the next few weeks, and I hope to see you stick around.