What It Really Means When Your Ex Moves On Quickly

Here’s a question for you: Is moving on quickly a sign that they’re over it, or is it an attempt to get over it?

If we want to reconcile, much of our breakup anxiety will revolve around internally debating our ex’s intent. At the best of times, due to the emotions involved, this can be confusing. Now add a sprinkling of breakup insecurity on top and it becomes a nightmare of over-analysis and nail-biting tension.

Fortunately for us, there are ways we can take an educated guess. And, if we are inclined to seek the truth at any cost, ways of forcing clarity for ourselves.

Signs It’s About Getting Over You


Until you get comfortable with being alone, you’ll never know if you’re choosing someone out of love or loneliness.


Mandy Hale

The first of many possibilities is the infamous rebound relationship. An ex who moves on just a little too quickly is likely to be compensating for something. But what?

The bad news for those that hope to reconcile is that it may or may not be you that they are missing. It may just be an attempt to fill the void left by the destruction of the relationship structure. In other words, it is the loss of their routine and comfort zones rather than the person that is causing them to find solace in a rebound.

The Rebound Relationship

  • Relationships that begin passionately without your typical vetting process.
  • Relationships that end quickly because they fail to transition to attachment (around 3-6 months in).
  • Frequent hot and cold behavior as the rebounding party works their way through the minefield of their past.
  • Lack of communication as most of the relationship problems lie outside of the present relationship and in the past of the rebounding party.

Rebound relationships typically end in tears for all involved once core issues that predated the relationship emerge.

A warning, however: This doesn’t mean your ex is going to come knocking once they realize the futility of trying to resurrect the past. It just means they will finally take the time to assess their emotions objectively.

This is when they might reach out and seek either reconciliation or closure. But by then, it might be too late.

A Case Of GIGS?


But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.


Joanna Franklin Bell

I mention the grass is greener syndrome (GIGS) only because it seems to get a lot of air time in relationship communities. Some people swear by it.

The basic premise is that at some point in what might have been a perfectly functional relationship, the ex in question is impulsively drawn to the mirage of someone else’s “greener fields”.

The claim is that this is all a mistake. The byproduct of cold feet, immaturity, and inexperience. And that any day now they will quit their rebound and come knocking.

Yikes. Call me a pessimist, but this kind of thinking sounds delusional.

Rather than accept what is evidently a failed relationship, it seems more likely to be an attempt to scapegoat responsibility and deflect the pain of healing.

That’s my take anyway.

In any case, even if true, I’d argue we’re better off taking the breakup at face value no matter what “syndrome” our ex is afflicted with. It’s hard enough being my own doctor!

They’re Playing Mind Games


Somewhere between love and hate lies confusion, misunderstanding and desperate hope.


Shannon L. Alder

A third possibility is an old classic. They’re playing games with you.

Sometimes moving on quickly is an act of war. A way to cause pain by instilling jealousy and exacerbating insecurity.

The aim is to destabilize our healing and make us crave what is no longer “ours”. Supply and demand.

The likelihood this is the case will depend on what your ex is like. Do they have a history of manipulation? Is emotional tug of war their sport of choice? If so don’t expect that to change, particularly in the wake of a breakup. If anything the reverse is true: It’s likely to get worse.

Signs They Are Over You

Of course, sometimes they really are moving on. But it gets worse. Most of the time we only think they’re doing so “quickly” because we weren’t aware the process had started.

The Affair


Don’t leave a piece of jewelry at his house so you can go back and get it later; he may be with his real girlfriend


Amy Sedaris

Seeking the truth means posing painful questions. In some cases we may come to realize that what initially seemed like an impulsive breakup began a long time ago.

  • Our exes may have given up communicating with us because they no longer cared about fixing things.
  • They may have started an affair (and are now safely transitioning into it).
  • They may have tested the waters of their new relationship progressively. First from the standpoint of friendship and now from a romantic one.

The bottom-line is that just because we were unaware of their new relationship doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there in some shape or form.

I’m aware how painful of a pang this can cause, but I feel it needs to be tackled head-on.

The path to accepting any and every resolution requires acceptance of what is. If there are signs that our trust was betrayed, we need to confront them or the resulting trauma will bleed into our future relationships.

Having said this, not all exes who move on quickly knew their new partners beforehand or engaged with them behind our backs.

As with the other points made in this article, it is ultimately up to you to piece the puzzle pieces together. Nobody knows the context of your own, unique relationship better than you do.

You Messed Up


He offered her the world. She said she had her own.


Monique Duval

Moving on quickly is usually the result of an objective decision rather than an emotive one.

This means that while they may outwardly give the appearance of being completely over it, chances are they took a logical step, determined to grind out the pain.

Unlike the premise behind concepts such as mind games or GIGS, this logic-first approach is a real attempt to move on by forcing it.

Perhaps you may have made one too many mistakes or maybe they were unhappy through no real fault of your own. Either way, the games are up, and running for the hills is their way of coping with the breakup.

Forcing Clarity

At this point, you may rightly feel more confusion than clarity. My apologies. And yes, most of these points are easily confused with the others. That’s exactly why at some point you will tire of the over-analysis and force clarity, because otherwise second guessing their intentions will lead you to madness.

Forcing clarity is a way of forcing answers. It isn’t elegant. It isn’t particularly gentle. It’s also pretty selfish. But it will set us free. Forcing clarity means:

  • Discarding crumbs and mixed messages. A.K.A Limited Contact.
  • Discarding open ended statements. Talking for the sake of talking serves nobody’s interests in a breakup scenario. It only leads to resentment.
  • Embracing direct questions.

Realize that we have to tools to get the answers we need, right now. Assuming we are sufficiently emotionally prepared and strong enough to stomach the answers (and yes, silence is also an answer).

Whether we like the answers or not is irrelevant because those realities already exist, all we are doing is uncovering the inevitable. And somehow, no matter what ends up coming up, it’s never as dire as we fear, because the anxiety borne of not knowing where we stand dissipates and clears our road ahead.