So your ex is having a baby. You used to share everything — your hopes and dreams for the future, your Netflix password and even your bodies — but it's over now and you just found out they're having a baby with someone else. Maybe you are still friends and they tell you themselves. Perhaps mutual friends let you in on the news or, well, maybe you've spent some time staking their social media accounts. However you receive the news and however you feel about said ex, when you find out your ex is having a baby with someone else, there are some feelings that are totally normal and healthy to feel.
In our switched-on, digital societies the intimate details of everyone's lives are on full display, and it would be quite difficult to avoid the notices, profile updates and photos that signal a new life. Whether you're completely moved on, have a family of your own, are happily single, or still a little heartbroken, it's easy to take a look into the life of "somebody that you used to know." I was with my ex-boyfriend for three years before leaving him for my now husband. We were apart for over five years when he announced he was becoming a father, and even though all that time had passed and despite my happiness with my new husband, the news still conjured up a lot of conflicting emotions.
When your former flame is expecting a baby with someone else, don't try to bury your head in the sand and hide from all the details. Instead, accept and welcome all the complex feels you're sure to have. Feeling "odd" doesn't mean you're not happy or that you "want them back" or that you don't wish them well. Feeling happy for your ex doesn't mean you're hiding something or lying. There's no reason to feel ashamed about the following because, well, you're a human being:
"How Come It Wasn’t With Me?"
It doesn't matter how many years it might have been, or whether you are happily shacked up with someone new, when you first hear your ex is about to become a parent you are bound to have some feelings about what might have been.
Even though I was married to someone else when my ex announced he was becoming a father, I still wondered why it had never happened with us. You can even be forgiven for doing a mental mash up fantasizing about what your kids might have looked like. (Just resist the urge to send any drunk texts about this in the middle of the night.)
"I'm So Glad It Wasn't With Me"
Of course, reality usually gives you the perspective you need to realize that there's a reason why you two didn't work out and why you two aren't going to soon be a family. You don't have to go through a bad break up or think your ex is horrible, to be thankful that the two of you went in different directions and have separate lives, now.
If my ex wasn't my ex, I wouldn't have met my husband and we wouldn't have our son. Everything happens for a reason, as clichéd as that statement is, and sometimes the news that your ex is expecting is a great reminder of that.
"Damn, That Baby Is Going To Be Super Cute"
For one jealous little moment you might actually hope the baby is hideous, but come on. Who are you kidding, right? All babies are adorable, although come on, who are you kidding, all babies are kinda adorable, and you won't have to wait for your ex to post pictures to realize that his or her baby is going to be really cute, too
"That's Why I Used To Love You"
Watching your former love prepare for their new role as a parent, might make you feel a little misty eyed.
Even if your relationship ended badly, there were reasons you were attracted to each other in the first place, and part of that may well have been their potential as family material. When you watch them prepare to be a father or a mother, and you see how excited they are and how caring they are, you can't help but remember that they aren't inherently bad. You guys just weren't meant to be.
"They're Going To Be An Amazing Parent"
If your only view of your former partner's new life is through the eye of social media, it may be a little skewed and romanticized. Still, I think most of us would have to admit that when we watch our exes prepare for parenthood, we realized they're going to do a great job.
"They Look So Happy"
That someone that you used to love still holds a special place in your heart. You've moved on and abandoned all those feelings you used to hold for them, but you still wish them well and want them to have a good life. To watch your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend look so damn happy is, well, a pretty great feeling.
For me, the new baby was a final closure, he had his family and I had mine and we could both look forward to the future.
"I Know Exactly What They're Going Through"
I was the one to call off my relationship with my ex, so for a while I hadn't given him or his new partner a second thought. I am not one of those super evolved people that can be friends with an ex and their new partner, so to be honest I had not really thought too much about either of their feelings.
But once they were in the newborn fog, I could empathize with what they were going through and felt a connection to that someone with whom I share a history by association.
"It's Strange, But I Feel Closer To Them Somehow"
Even if you haven't seen each other in years and hold nothing but kind (or not-so-kind) memories for one another, once your ex has a child of their own you can't help but feel connected somehow. After all, now you're both members of the crazy, sleep-deprived group called "parents."
You know the feelings your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend and their partner will probably have over the next year or so, because you have been there before and can commiserate with the lows you know they will experience (and the highs they are so lucky to enjoy.)
"It Really Is Over"
You might have long abandoned any hopes of getting back together with your ex, or may have wished them good riddance as soon as they walked out of the door, or, like me, you might have been the one to call it off and are happy with a new love. Either way, a baby really puts the final nail in the coffin of your otherwise already dead relationship.
Your former love is now connected to a new partner in a way they never were with you. It's the perfect time to wish them well and say a final goodbye, even if it's a silent one.