It’s 10 PM on a Sunday night. You have finished all the housework and finally have some free time for yourself.
You decide to go on Facebook and go through the feeds to see what’s up with the virtual world.
Some of your friends are engaged. Some just entered a new relationship. Some are traveling to exotic places. And some just had a baby.
After a series of clicking on various profiles, you somehow ended up on your ex’s Facebook.
And there he is smiling happily with his new girlfriend.
From apathy, your emotions quickly switched to the following: shocked, puzzled, upset, and, yes, jealous.
That was me after Mr. FAF and I came back from his graduation ceremony in the city where we used to go to school.
We both have a lot of memories in that city after living there for years.
I even got some updates from Mr. FAF and his friends about how some of his previous crushes were doing.
I wasn’t jealous and actually enjoyed the news. After all, it was all in the past.
We even found out one of his exes now works at Google.
I felt a tint of envy and quickly brushed that aside. I have long accepted the fact that I’m not that smart. There’s no point in lamenting about the fact that my brain is not so adept at digesting hard sciences.
This is to show that Mr. FAF and I feel completely comfortable updating each other on how our previous crushes are doing as long as we didn’t get the information directly from them (if you know what I mean).
Mr. FAF’s reaction
When I found out that a guy I dated before (and who broke up with me) has a new woman in his life, I shouted out to Mr. FAF, who was in the next room, to come check the news.
His response (referring to the girl) was “Not bad.” And I had to agree with him.
After that guy and I parted ways, I deleted his phone number and defriended him on Facebook, so I had no idea who that girl was (although I was curious).
Below is the conversation between Mr. FAF and me following that discovery:
Me : Hubby, you need to take revenge for me.
Mr. FAF: Huh? Why?
Me: You know why.
Mr. FAF: Oh him? But how?
Me: I don’t know. We need to have seven figures or be more successful or something. I don’t know.
Mr. FAF just laughed it off.
My next moves
After having that random conversation, we went to bed. But my mind refused to go into rest mode. I was bitter, mostly because he broke up with me. I’m sure he had his reason, but it doesn’t change the fact that I was dumped. And I was pissed.
Now as a mature 30-year-old woman, I should have been thinking this “I’m happy for him. I hope he will be happy forever.” Instead, I was thinking this “He has a girlfriend? What?! How did that happen?!” I am not proud of my reaction. But it happened, and I learned valuable lessons from it.
Thanks to LinkedIn and Glassdoor, I found out that he makes much less than Mr. FAF. At first, I felt relieved, but that relief didn’t last long. After all, I didn’t date either that guy or Mr. FAF because of their earning potential.
I just couldn’t explain why, but that discovery made me feel uncomfortable. In fact, it made me feel a bit sad.
All the memories (mostly positive ones) came flooding back like everything just happened recently although it’s been years since we parted ways. Just to give you an idea, it’s been much longer than 5 years.
Then I started asking myself why. Why didn’t it work out? Why did it have to end like that? And why was I even thinking about it? I am happily married to the best man I have ever met in my life. Yet, deep down, I was saddened that something just didn’t work out in the past.
I was also confused as to why I even felt that way. I tried to forget about it, but I couldn’t. Such mixed feelings lasted for almost two weeks and finally fizzled out.
In the end, I finally learned the following:
1. When I was dating that guy, I felt miserable most of the time. When I’m with Mr. FAF, I’m happy most of the time. It’s clear who I should be with. There’s no point in doubting something that never worked out in the first place.
2. In a moment of anger, I wanted to add him back on Facebook to ask him why he broke up with me. At least, I needed to hear the truth. But then I decided not to.
What would that do? If I knew the answer, how would that help me at the moment? If anything, he and his new woman might be laughing at me for sounding desperate and for stalking them. There’s no use in trying to contact the ex. I don’t want him back, so what’s the point?
3. The best way to take revenge on an ex (if you ever want to) is to be at peace with yourself and/or live happily with your current partner, which is exactly what I’m doing.
4. It’s easy to slip into reminiscing about the good old time. But it is important to stay objective and take into account the negative experiences that happened. After all, if something breaks, it’s obviously not functioning properly.
(One thing I know for sure I didn’t like about the guy was his obsessive jealousy, which I felt suffocating at times. Mr. FAF, on the other hand, is probably one of the least jealous husbands you can find on earth. I can count on my fingers how many times he has shown or admitted that he was jealous over our four years of marriage. He usually laughed it off or made a joke about it.)
5. It’s important to focus on the present and the future which involve my hubby, Mr. FAF, and me. No other man or woman (besides our parents) should get involved in our plans without our permission.
We are building wealth and financial security for ourselves and our children. It’s the long-term goal that helps us stay together and overcome any challenges that we face.
I think one big reason why the discovery bothered me for almost two weeks has to do with my pride and insecurity. “I was dumped, and someone got picked instead? I lost? She won?” Those are the questions that occupied my mind for days.
I am by nature a very competitive person. Over the years, my competitiveness has been toned down quiet a bit due to a series of failures I’ve had in my life. I’ve long accepted that I don’t need to be the smartest, the prettiest, the tallest, or the richest to be happy in life.
I sure learned a lot about what I wanted in my future partner through that failed dating experience. And that’s what I will keep with me because it can help me in the future instead of holding me back in the past.