By Chris Seiter

Updated on May 4th, 2021

Today I’m gonna let you in on the one singular truth, the one singular reason why your ex moves on so quickly after your breakup (and what you can do about it).

But before I get to the nitty gritty, my best recommendation for anyone who is interested in getting an ex back is to take my Ex Recovery Chances quiz.

This is a quiz designed to tell you if you are wasting your time trying to get your ex back.

Taking the quiz is super-simple and free, and it will give you an approximate idea (as a percentage) what your chances are of getting an ex back.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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But enough of that.

Let’s get down to the details so we can tackle one of the most difficult questions.

Why Does Your Ex Move On So Quickly?

The answer to this question is actually pretty easy.

But to understand this truth, we first need to understand the idea of

fight or flight

When confronted with a traumatic experience, human beings tend to react with fight or flight mechanisms. We either stand up and fight the experience, or we ‘flight’ or run away to try to escape it.

Make no mistake about it, most breakups tend to be a traumatic experience to a certain extent.

Depending on how your relationship was going before the breakup and how the breakup itself went down (and any nastiness afterwards), there will be some neutral feelings at best and downright negative at worst – anger, sadness, pain, shame, guilt…on both sides.

You can look at your ex’s behaviour and quite easily determine how they are reacting to this ‘traumatic’ experience.

You can do that by looking at their fight responses and their flight responses.

Let’s Tackle “Fight” Responses First

There are three main ‘fight’ responses that your ex may enact after a breakup

They Will Get Angry And Say Mean Things To You

  • They’ll insist on taking back things you shared e.g. DVDs, household goods, books.
  • They’ll bring up arguments from way back to justify the break-up.
  • They’ll say extreme things like “I never want to see you again” or “I never loved you.”
  • They will tell you to never speak to them again.
  • They may even get friends or family to say mean things.
  • They’ll make things up and accuse you of cheating, lying and so on.

They Will Do Things To Try To Make You Jealous

  • They’ll look like they’re having the most fun ever on their social media feeds.
  • They’ll go places and do things that you discussed doing together.
  • They’ll hint that they are dating other people.
  • They will get other people to tell you how well they are looking.

They Will Date Someone New And Rub It In Your Face

  • They’ll seem to be super happy with this new person very quickly.
  • You’ll see them all over social media.
  • They’ll post more than usual, and things they wouldn’t have before e.g. couple pictures.
  • They’ll be officially In A Relationship on Facebook after a few weeks of dating.
  • They’ll go on trips and holidays with them.
  • They’ll treat them the way you wanted to be treated.

What’s the common theme with all three of these responses? The common theme is that they are trying to find ways to hurt you, or fight you.

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After all, you are the source of their pain. They are hurting because of the breakup with you. So they will say mean things to you to try to hurt your feelings, try to show you that they are really enjoying their life, and sometimes even date someone new in a further attempt to make you jealous.

But ultimately the common theme with these three responses is

it’s all about you and making you feel bad.

And it will make you feel bad. The person who used to care the most about your happiness is now actively trying to upset you.

This is so that you can share the pain that they too are actually feeling, even as they try to distract themselves with someone new or new experiences.

Try to remember that these are all emotional responses. They are often knee-jerk, heat of the moment reactions to the pain of the breakup.

Your ex has most likely not sat down and thought, right, how can I hurt her/him the most? (And if they have…they probably aren’t someone you want to waste time getting back together with.)

They are simply dealing with the breakup. Remember that fight or flight is all about instincts, and rarely about rational thinking.

Now Lets Look At The Flight Responses

There are three main ‘flight’ responses that you need to keep an eye out for.

  1. Your ex can ghost you,
  2. They can date someone new and never talk to you again,
  3. Or they can talk to everyone about the break-up except you

Where the fight response was all about making you hurt,

the flight response is all about making sure they aren’t hurt.

Most of the time that’s by doing things to push you away, by ghosting you for example.

A ghoster walks away from the relationship with no need to explain themselves, discuss painful issues, deal with your emotions or their own. They may or may not feel any guilt over this.

Dating someone new and never talking to you again is further pushing you away, and dealing with the pain of losing you by replacing you with someone else.

Research has suggested that this can actually be one of the best ways to ‘get over’ a breakup, but even more interestingly, that these ‘rebound’ relationships almost never stand the test of time. This is because they are not started when your ex is in a good place to choose a suitable partner…he’s still hurting over you. It’s just a distraction, and not built on the solid foundation you two had.

Your ex may also be used to being part of a couple, and liked that partnership. But trying to replace you often backfires – because they got into the relationship so hastily it isn’t likely to work out.

Some exes will talk to everyone about the breakup except you. This is simple avoidance – they don’t want to have that awkward conversation. They want to avoid those raw feelings, avoid seeing you and stirring it all up again.

This is a crude way of dealing with the breakup by pushing you away.

Other Examples Of Pushing You Away:

  • Avoiding mutual hangouts.
  • Cancelling plans where they know you’ll be there.
  • Going to totally new places, especially with a new partner in tow.
  • Changing shifts at work to avoid you.
  • Refusing to talk about belongings, kids, etc.
  • Blocking or deleting you.

These examples of fight and flight responses may be very similar to some of the experiences that you are going through with your ex right now.

But we still haven’t really distilled it down to that universal truth that we need to learn to understand why they move on so quickly.

The ultimate truth that we’ve learned through years of research and study is that most of the time when an ex moves on extremely quickly, the reason they do so is that

they are terrified of dealing with the emotions associated with the breakup

Oftentimes they’ll look for someone or something else to distract them so they don’t have to be in as much pain throughout the breakup process.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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And that’s the why of why exes move on so fast – in reality, they’re just trying to force the process of moving on. But in the end, they will have to confront those feelings.

So you’ve looked at your ex’s post-breakup behavior and determined that they are hurting. You know that even though they’ve exhibited some of these typical fight or flight behaviours, this shows that they do still have feelings (positive and negative).

Your next question is:

What can I do about it?

Watching an ex apparently move on and disconnect from the relationship you two shared is painful, there’s no doubt about it.

The best way to get over this is to instantly implement a No Contact Rule.

You are effectively countering any ghosting behavior by ignoring it, and you are not reacting to any jealousy-inducing behaviour like them dating someone else. You are instead keeping your dignity, giving yourself and them time to recover, and working on getting your own life back.

No Contact means simply not contacting your ex – but so much more too. You don’t respond if they contact you. You also don’t look at their social media, talk about them with mutual friends or their family, or engineer bumping into them.

It’s just as important to work on yourself – the basics of eating and sleeping well, reconnecting with friends and family, working on your emotional health, and making the most of life. (All of this can of course be displayed on social media as well as in real life, so that your ex can see it.)

You keep your distance, and let them wonder how you are coping so well without them.

To learn more about the No Contact Rule, I have written a Definitive Guide. And for those of you who are super-serious about getting your ex back, there’s also the No Contact Rule Handbook, which tells you everything you could ever want to know

To learn about the full process of getting your ex back, check out Ex Boyfriend Pro, which takes you step by step through every part of the process, from No Contact through to messaging, phone calls, dates and getting back together. It covers every situation you can imagine (cheating, long distance relationships, rebound relationships etc.); it’s my flagship product and has helped thousands of people get their ex back.

If you haven’t done so already, head over to the Ex Recovery Chances Quiz. It’s free, and it only takes three minutes. You’ll get an approximate number for your chances of getting your ex back, and bonus info on what to do next.

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26 thoughts on “Why Do Exes Move On So Fast?”

  1. Caitlin

    September 7, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    This post resonated with me so well. We broke up memorial day weekend and according to his new gf, their relationship started June 1. The night before we broke up he was acting defensive and strange about something, so naturally I’m assuming he was talking to her while we were together. However, she surfaced on facebook just three days after him and I started no contact, so I wonder if that has anything to do with the no contact. From this post alone, it seems like he’s done both the flight and fight technique. He went around and told our mutual friends that I was stalking him. He told everyone about our problems, but he never wanted to discuss them with me. I asked him if we can talk about our break up, and he said no and “move on”. He moved on with someone else so quick. He was never really good at discussing his feeling when we were together. Hopefully karma will get him soon by having him deal with those feelings soon.

  2. Liv

    June 23, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    My and ex and I have been broken up for almost 5 months now. I broke up with him in pushing him away when I felt to overwhelmed and couldn’t deal with my emotions. I obviously regret the decision but I’m not sure what to do. We don’t text or talk and when I do see him I’ll catch him looking at me but actively ignore me as well. We talked about getting back together but it never happened and I don’t agree with his reasoning on not wanting to re-establish our relationship and making it better. I know that I hurt him but I truly wasn’t trying to do that in what happened (no it wasn’t cheating). I know how he felt and seeing his tears and and how his eyes looked when we talked broke me. But I want nothing more then to fix us and to make us stronger. I don’t care how long that will take because I know I love him but I don’t know how to show him that we are meant to be together. He seemed to have moved on and told me the only way we can have a friendship (we still want that) is for me to get over him. I’m truly lost on how to feel. I see universal signs that something good could happen but it gets contradicted.

  3. Ann

    June 6, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    My relationship of 12 years broke down 5 weeks ago, he up and left went partying with friends and said something that should of been a few days has spiralled out of control, for the first two weeks he had contact with our kids we have 3 but since then hasn’t bothered to see them or check on them, he’s blocked me on everything said I am dead to him and last week told me he’s joined a dating site for sex, I haven’t heard anything from him since, I don’t understand how he can just walk out did he even have feelings? I’m struggling badly crying most days, constant thoughts of who he is with is he sleeping with someone? I can’t sleep or eat I feel emotionally ruined, how can I get past this. He left some belongings I asked him to take them he said to Chuck them so I said ok and then he said I’m cruel, I just don’t know what to do anymore

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 20, 2022 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Ann, it sounds more like he’s had a weekend of “freedom” we’ll call it and thought this is better than what I had, it will run dry, and he will regret this, it almost sounds as if it is possibly a midlife crisis? For now, take care of yourself FOR YOUR CHILDREN and yourself as you need to show him you are doing just great without him and that he has no power of your emotions, health or wellbeing! You are not cruel, if he needs to call you names to make himself feel better then you know that he truly knows he has done wrong but cannot accept blame as then he is the bad guy.

  4. Mycah Wilson

    December 19, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    It’s been 4 months and my ex is moving on with someone else. I just wonder should I just give up my feelings and if so should I just delete him all my social media it ain’t like he cares anyway

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 22, 2021 at 11:55 pm

      Hey Mycah, there are a number of people who meet others and still get their ex back. Look up the being there method before you reach out but your NC needs to be at least 45 days.

  5. Christina

    September 22, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Me and my ex broke up over a year ago, due to him emotionally cheating. He gaslit me for years and manipulated situation so that I would stay. We have a 6 year old daughter and I only contact him due to co-parent related issues. He got involved in a new relationship 8 months ago and moved her in 2 months ago. Everything is moving so fast. I seek therapy and been spiritually involved more, but every time I think I’ve gotten over him I’m suddenly sad and hurt by this whole situation. I honestly just want my family unit back and him to finally see my worth. Because I know I’m one of a kind.

  6. Arisha

    July 5, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    1 week ago we had a breakup , he cameup from his uncles wedding his cousin who really hates me alott always copies me i saw him stalking her i had a fight and i accused him he is now stubborn that he will do relation with her and would end up ge din changed his fb pw so his insta pw also din changed i can see his convo that girl insist him to get back into relation again but he says ge would die ge wont come back , he tag her in sex posts , clingy to her that girl is showing up interest but not getting into with him , i went alot to him apologize what do i do i want him back badly

  7. Naff

    July 1, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Im going on 6 months breakup and still have not gotten over my ex gf. She been moved on since the first 2 weeks we got separated, broke my hearth, she dating someone now and its posting everything on social media. i deleted all my memories on my socials and just been very quite since. it was almost 4 year relationship.. how do i move on?? ive try dating new girls but she’s still on my mind all the time so I cant even focus on new girls .

  8. Darci

    March 8, 2021 at 3:03 am

    I dated my boyfriend for 3 years. He would not commit to marriage so I broke up with him. He begged me to stay. He even tried to speak with each of my family members for help. Two weeks after we stopped talking, he slept with a girl from the internet. without knowing, I grew desperate to get him back. He immediately took me back but told me about the girl. We were married 1 year later and have been married 11 years now. Why can I not get over this “Ross and Rachel breakup”? Why does this make me feel I was never good enough for him to keep his dick in his pants?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 3, 2021 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Darci, as awful as it sounds he was single so he could do as he pleased. It’s upsetting its hard to deal with but he wanted you back, he also married you. I would suggest that you seek a therapist to help you move on from this.

  9. Andy

    November 28, 2020 at 1:15 am

    It’s been 3 months I still unable to heal and move on while my ex gf of 2 years plus got a new boyfriend.

  10. Lean

    October 13, 2020 at 4:27 am

    So me and my ex have been together for almost 2 years. 1 year long distance and then 8 months together physically. We broke up for about 3 months and got back together for only 1 week and broke up again. I miss him but I think I only miss him because I’m insecure and unhappy with myself. He was a good guy but we weren’t compatible. He didn’t show emotions, he didn’t really want marriage because he was in 1 at a young age and he’s in his mid 30s vs I’m 28. I invited him to dinner even after we broke up because well I miss him and he canceled on me. Now I see him flirting with another woman and she wants a marriage and travel etc and he likes the idea with her but with me he didn’t want to. Idk what to do. Should I just remain ghosted and completely move on. I miss him and still love him but I know we just aren’t compatible.

  11. Dani

    July 31, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Hi my ex and I have been separated for the last three months. We wer together for four years engaged with two kids. It ended sues I cheated and I regret the whole thing. I asked him back and told him it was a mistake. He’s not meeting another women and tells me it’s not serious but I’m afraid incase it is. She has three kids. I’m afraid he’s gone forever. Please help me I don’t know what do to

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 31, 2020 at 10:41 am

      Hi Dani, when you end because of cheating there is a broken trust which you are also going to have to work on to fix. This can take time, and with him getting involved with another woman too, you are going to have to learn about the being there method too. Start with a limited no contact where you only speak with him about the children you share along with any shared bills etc. You need to work on your Holy Trinity and UG to show your ex that you are the better woman of you and the new one. But you can not flirt or show any interest in other men for now, especially the one you cheated with. If he has moved on quickly it is likely a rebound but you need to understand that because of the hurt he needs some time away from you

  12. Alexia

    March 16, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    My ex and I was unable to get along, yet we loved each other very much.I would think of fun things for us to do her turn them down. He never wanted to do anything worth remembering in our relationship. Yet he has a way of making me seem horrible to his older brother he speaks with regularly. We broke up right before Christmas. He told me he missed me, but wasn’t willing g to work on our relationship. Now I’m blocked on everything. I used a friend fb and see he’s in a relationship. I was deeply hurt. I just want to move on. Why do I continue to love him. This has been on n off since 2014.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 18, 2020 at 2:41 am

      Hi Alexia, so I would suggest that you take some time for yourself. Focusing on getting over what has been going on between you both. Moving past this is going to help you in the future especially if you are wanting to get them back in the long run. Read the ungettable posts and make sure that you work on yourself to show that you are bettering yourself

  13. Anne

    March 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I broke up with my ex last April after constantly feeling like I couldn’t trust him after he cheated 2 years previously. We were together for 8 years. He cheated because I was constantly working to save for a mortgage and thought that I was not giving him enough attention. Fast forward to April I ended up breaking up with him. He was so low and upset, and we lived together so it was hard at first. Then we started to laugh again, go on dates and it reminded me of why I loved him, I however said I wanted to ensure I was happy in myself before getting back into a relationship. He fought for me, always telling me he would always loved me and then asked for us to go away for the weekend however I couldn’t book time off work. He ended up going with what I believed was himself. This was 3 months after we broke and had started dating again. For the remainder of the last year things were good, he was making an effort again and I completely fell in love again, sleeping together, things were back to as he would say normality, cooking dinner, running bath for when I got in. I also said for him to spend time with family as I didn’t want him to lose touch with them just because he was concentrating on us. He did and then started not to text back at all, stay overnight there. New Years he text me saying cannot wait to see you. Then I noticed on another girls Instagram who I had asked him about before, a photo of him and her at a wedding and how she couldn’t wait to spend this year with him. I confronted him and he told me that he had been going to hers, seeing her when he was meant to be at his dads and leading two lives. He even took her on the holiday two weeks after asking me to go. I kicked him out immediately and told him he had to tell her. She ended up messaging me for the truth. I told her everything, screenshots etc. She stated she would not go anywhere near him as she was scared how much he had lied! Two months on he has seen me numerous times, flirty, ended up engaging in sexual acts and constant communication every day. Our Facebook still has us as in a relationship and our photos all over his Instagram. Yet he is still seeing her once a week? I’m so confused at where his head is at? How can he beg and fight for me and then two weeks later go on holiday with her, but still come home at night to me for over a year with everything perfect again and now we’re apart, being flirty, engaging in sexual acts and then still be in contact with her and ignore me when he is with her.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 7, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Hi Anne, this is a man who has his cake and is eating it too… You are not willing to walk away, she is not willing to walk away… So he gets to have both of you. It is that simple. He can talk you around to being with him again and he knows he can do the same with the other woman. One of you has to be willing to walk away but that doesn’t mean he is going to stop cheating. He clearly enjoys what he is doing as he keeps doing it and is also getting away with it!

  14. Arya

    January 27, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    How do I deal with my ex getting engaged, 3 months after he broke up with me . We were in a 2 year relationship. He was playing all these games with me trying to test me post break up . And now he’s getting engaged!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 27, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      Hey Arya, if this is a new person who he has not long met then I would say that the engagement / marriage is not going to last as they have only been together what we can assume is 3 months. In the mean time you can work on becoming Ungettable and focusing on yourself so that you can become the best version of yourself.

  15. Bob

    November 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    My ex and i broke up 1month and 7days ago from today because he told me that he lost his feelings towards me. Then yesterday i heard that he’s in a relationship with his female bestfriend. I was hurt all over again, all those heart aches came back and i just felt very bad. I can’t even explain how i felt. Idk how to react or what to do, i just hope this pain doesn’t last long for me.

  16. INGABIRE Janvière

    October 2, 2019 at 3:31 am

    We break up because of me. After 2 month I asked him to forgive me and he accept but he don’t need me to come back together,but he told me that he will not get anyone that make him happy us i did,anyone who loved him as i did. We makes sex after that conversation of asking forgiveness. But as day passed he got a new girlfriend and he invited me to visit him also we had sex and I give him a gift he was happy,but when he go out I took his phone and see the picture of them together out.I asked him about her. He told me she is his girlfriend.
    I get home with broken heart, in the morning i asked him if he still love me a little but he answered”to forget him without considering if he love me or not”.
    Next day,i called him and he was blocked me and also he blocked me on whatsapp.
    But why he has not delete our photo on instagram and facebook.
    His best friend told me that they have the strong project together(marriage).
    Help if possible because I love him and i know he still love me too

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Ingabire, the best thing to do now is to focus on being the best version of yourself and post that to social media so he can see how great you’re doing in your life and then if you want him back and hes still in a relationship to do the being there method

  17. Baby

    September 27, 2019 at 1:04 am

    I have 7month long distance bf, our relationship is good, suddenly like he change he never call or message me for 3 days, and the 4days he message me that he said our relationship is not working. So I shocked I never asked why or what happen. I just reply to respect he’s decision. So after that we never call or message at all. Do I have a change to take back my long distance bf?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Baby, yes you do have a chance of getting your ex back, you need to familiarise yourself with the program, and learn how to deal with your situation specifically, the response about respecting his decision and not begging him to give you another chance is great work.