During your twenties, there are many things that are just unavoidable; from bills, to career pressures, to not being able to handle hangovers as well as you used to, and a big one unfortunately, discovering an ex has moved on. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, brace yourself as it may hit you like a ton of bricks, but perhaps not in the way you expect.
You may be coming to the realisation that a few (or all) of you ex’s are getting into relationships or even tying the knot, meanwhile you’re still single. So how are you supposed to feel? Regret? Pressure? Everyone will handle it in his or her own way. Personally, I felt nothing and that’s ok – in fact, I found it to be a good thing. For me, it has shown that I’ve completely moved on with my life and found happiness in other things. It did however make me feel like I’m getting older (the discovery of my first grey hair didn’t help either), but it’s ok, I’m using these precious years to work on myself and create amazing memories, you don’t need to be in a relationship to feel accomplished.
If you’re not handling it quite as well, don’t worry. One thing you mustn’t do is compare your current love life to your ex’s. Don’t feel pressured that you need to get into a relationship too, and definitely do not feel regret. There’s no reason for you to feel like you’ve missed out or they’re “the one that got away” – if you truly wanted to be with them you would have made it work at the time. Initially, you may feel confused about your emotions towards this potentially unexpected news and that’s perfectly normal. The right person is yet to enter your life, so remain optimistic.
Being single but having the experience of a past relationship should be seen as a good thing, as you know where you perhaps went wrong or made mistakes (nobody’s perfect). Take this time to find yourself, there are so many other important focuses in life other than being in a relationship; work hard on your career – your twenties are the ideal years for this while you have little responsibilities and commitments; travel and experience different cultures; focus on your fitness; and be determined to become the best version of you for your next love interest. Make the best of a not-so-ideal situation.
An exciting prospect is being re-introduced into the dating world. It may seem scary at first, but see it as practice and you’ll soon notice your confidence build. The three things I would advise are; give people a chance (don’t be put off by little quirks, they could be the ‘one’), take your time getting to know someone (there’s absolutely no rush), and have fun (get your flirt on)!
To conclude, you really have nothing to be concerned or feel upset about, wish your ex well and be happy for them. Be patient, your time will come too and it may be sooner than you anticipate.