This is my ultimate guide on why ex boyfriends move on so fast.
And I want to be clear about something:
This is not your average “why is he moving on so fast” post. Nope, today we’re going to be taking a deep look at,
- Why your ex boyfriend moved on so fast
- Attachment style considerations to them moving on so quickly
- What it means when they move on fast
- And so much more
So, let’s just jump right in and get started.
Exactly Why Your Ex Boyfriend Moved On So Fast
It’s always incredibly hurtful to be in a situation where your ex boyfriend moves on quickly after your breakup. It can make you feel as if your relationship meant nothing to them. In fact, it may be tempting to sit there and think that they moved on so quickly because they weren’t invested in your relationship.
I wish it were that simple.
The truth is far more complicated.
In my humble opinion there are three core reasons for why an ex will want to move on so quickly after a breakup with you.
- Their Timeline Is Advanced (Grieving Already Done)
- They Need To Play The Victim (Even When They’re Not)
Let’s take a harder look at these three concepts.
Your Ex Boyfriend Needs A Distraction
What I’ve always found interesting about “rebounds” is the negative stigma they get. Science tells us a different story. Last year I happened to stumble across some interesting research that suggests rebounds can,
- Give you a boost of confidence
- Help you cope with the breakup
So if you operate with that framework it can help you look at rebounds in a new light. Now imagine your ex boyfriend for a moment going through this breakup with you. If the only way he’s ever learned to cope with a breakup is in the arms of someone else then of course he’s going to do that.
Perhaps the most troubling part is that using the other person as a distraction is effective at pushing grief away (for a little bit.)
It’s easy to take this as a slight to your own relationship with him but I would encourage you not to do so. I’ll get into why later. For now let’s just move on and take a look at the next core reason your ex boyfriend moved on so fast.
His Timeline Is A Bit More Advanced Than Yours
Making a decision to break up with someone usually has some thought behind it. In other words, it doesn’t happen overnight and it usually doesn’t happen suddenly even if it feels like it does.
I’ll use myself as an example to help you hone in on the thought process of a man as they go through a breakup. When I was 23 years old I went through a breakup with this girl who at one point I really liked. The big problem was that I found it incredibly difficult to have the breakup talk so I kept putting it off.
She could sense something was wrong of course and constantly probed me,
“Chris is something wrong?”
“No, I’m fine.”
This went on for weeks. Of course, for weeks I operated as if we had already broken up. In this odd way I was going through this mini grieving process while I was with her. Eventually when I worked up the courage I broke up with her.
Sounds like a typical breakup, right?
Well, it definitely is with one exception. All that time I spent during the relationship considering us broken up was time I used grieving us. So, by the time we were actually broken up I was halfway done with the grieving process.
One consideration you might want to think about is that your ex boyfriend is moving on from you so quickly because he’s already gone through the grieving process while he was with you.
They Need To Play The Victim (Even If You Are The Real Victim)
This one is an odd one but it makes sense if you consider human nature.
No one ever wants to be the bad guy. We see this often during police interviews with folks who are guilty. They still lie because sometimes admitting the truth out loud makes it too real for their ego to handle.
Carl Jung is one of my favorite people to study because he talks a lot about “the facade” and “the shadow” which I think can help shine a light on this concept. In case you were wondering here’s a quick primer on Carl Jung and “the shadow.”
Essentially your shadow is like the darkest aspects of your personality. Any time you’ve felt hatred, anger, rage, selfishness, greed, envy, etc you’re touching a part of the shadow. Now, what’s interesting about the shadow as a concept is that as we grow up we come up with these ways to repress it.
So, let’s say your ex boyfriend has a huge hero complex. This means he derives a lot of confidence from his ability to “save others.” At its core someone with a hero complex has an insecurity about the way they view themselves. If their whole identity is wrapped around being a savior or having a “messiah” complex then you better believe this part of them is a little bit of their shadow peeking out from their repression.
Of course, when this person goes through a breakup and you point out how they have wronged you their ego can’t handle that. Why? Because you’re pointing out a quality that they are capable of, their ability to hurt others emotionally.
They spend all their time repressing this portion of their shadow so they do the only thing they can think of.
They go find someone else who they can misinterpret the events of your relationship with to make themselves look like a good guy. Better yet, they want to make themselves look like the victim. It’s literally a way of repressing their shadow.
Avoidant Attachment Style Considerations
We know from extensive research that most of our clients exhibit anxious attachment styles while most of their exes have avoidant ones.
Proof of our “extensive research?”
Look no further than our private facebook support group.
I basically polled them one day and asked our clients point blank what their ex boyfriends attachment style was.
In all 372 votes were cast among six distinct categories.
- Avoidant (62%)
- Fearful (19%)
- Secure (7%)
- Anxious (5%)
- Fearful Avoidant (5%)
- Dismissive Avoidant (2%)
If you want to get really technical you can kind of include “fearful avoidant” and “dismissive avoidant” in the avoidant category which will balloon its support up to around 70%. Needless to say we’re pretty confident that most of the women reading this website will have ex boyfriends that are highly avoidant.
So, if that’s the case why would an avoidant, someone who is supposed to shy away from connection with others when confronted with intimacy, move on immediately to someone else.
We believe it has something to do with the avoidant self fulfilling cycle.
The Avoidant And Anxious Cycles
Take a look at this graphic I put together as it explains the avoidant cycle perfectly.
Basically there are seven stages to this avoidant self fulfillment cycle.
- Why can’t I ever find someone perfect for me?
- Oh, I think I found someone
- This is great. She could be the one
- This new person is so anxious. Maybe they aren’t so perfect
- I’m thinking of breaking up with her
- I’m so glad I broke up with her
- Why can’t I ever find someone perfect for me?
This cycle perfectly describes the issue with an avoidant attachment style and an anxious attachment style being together. The worst aspects of both styles begin to wear on each other. It’s actually really interesting if you can look at it from an outside perspective because even the anxious attachment style has their own self fulfilling cycle.
And the crazy part is that the anxious and avoidant self fulfilling cycles mirror each other in this strange way.
So, here’s the anxious self fulfillment cycle.
- Why can’t I ever find someone for me?
- I think I have found someone
- Things are going great. I don’t want to jinx it
- This person seems to be pulling away
- They broke up with me
- I need to fix this immediately
- Why can’t I ever find someone that loves me for me?
People with anxious and avoidant attachment styles ultimately want the same thing. They want a loving relationship. This is often what leads them to finding each other and things are great at first. However, as the relationship wears on and things become more intimate both physically and emotionally the avoidant begins to pull away and the anxious person senses it which causes them to chase even more which causes the avoidant to pull further away and around and around it goes.
Contrast that with someone who has a secure attachment style and you’ll see that they are excellent at letting the avoidant have their space during those “pull away” moments.
So, how does any of this relate to your ex boyfriend moving on so fast.
After one full revolution of the self fulfillment cycle the avoidant ends up exactly where they began.
Alone and craving a connection. Except there is one brand new element not being talked about here, grief.
There’s nothing an avoidant hates more than dealing with grief. This is often why they have their walls up so high. So, you’ll certainly see some men react this way after a breakup. They’ll put their walls up high so as not to let anyone in. Of course, some men have the opposite reaction. They’ll jump into a new relationship to avoid dealing with the grief at all. The most interesting part is that it fits with that cycle.
They’ll try to convince themselves that this new person is the one that will break the wheel.
But they probably won’t and it’s just the latest iteration of the cycle.
This is why I think it’s important to consider the past history of relationships.
Looking At Your Ex Boyfriends Past History
Are you familiar with the greek mythology story of Sisyphus?
It’s about this great king who continuously tricked the gods with his wit alone. The gods at the time weren’t too keen on this so when he finally died they damned him an eternity of pushing a rock up the hill but upon reaching the precipice of that hill the rock was doomed to fall back down.
And so again and again he’ll repeat the same pattern to infinity and beyond.
Looking at your ex boyfriends past relationships (if you know a lot about them) can give you a lot of insight into your place in their history. We all like to consider ourselves special. We like to think our connection with our ex was the best he ever experienced.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if, after looking at his past history honestly you were just one in a long line of rebounds?
It’s scary to think about, isn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insinuating your ex boyfriend can’t change his mind or his ways but what I am insinuating is that it’s incredibly rare.
So, if you look at your exes past relationships and find out that you fit the pattern of all his previous relationships your next steps need to revolve around how to handle the breakup in a way unique to anyone he’s ever dated.
How do you accomplish that?
Honestly, my best piece of advice is to start here.