The Old World and the New:
How to Navigate New Partnerships
When a new partner―whether yours or your ex’s―enters the picture during the separation process, it can create a lot of strong emotion and drama. It’s best to be prepared for this and approach the process of integrating new partners in a proactive and positive manner.
This may be easier said than done, however. If your ex finds a new partner, you may feel a strong and even irrational surge of jealousy, anger, fear, or judgment. If the new partner was present for your breakup, you may point to them as the only visible reason why your relationship didn’t work, and send arrows of grief, sadness, anger, and even hatred toward them.
If you find a new partner during your separation (or even after it’s over), the same may happen for your ex.
Also, when a new partner enters the picture, lines of responsibility and involvement tend to get blurred. Your new partner, desiring to support you, may want to become involved in your separation, even to the point of coming with you to mediation sessions or court hearings. Your ex’s new partner, desiring the same thing, may do likewise.
The Most Important Rule for New Partners In a Separation
The #1 rule around new partners in a separation is: your separation is between you and your ex-partner, no one else! Your separation is part of your past (even if it is taking up time and energy in your present), and your new partner is part of your future. Your new partner wasn’t part of your past relationship, and s/he does not need to become part of it now.
Even if you want your new partner by your side for support, resist the temptation to bridge these two worlds. To make the best choices in your separation, you need to be free of any outside influences, even loving and well-meaning ones. Also, if your new partner is pushing through his or her own personal agenda, and something goes wrong, it could sabotage your new relationship. This is why it’s always a good idea to keep the new world of your relationship away from the old world of your separation.
Of course, how your ex involves his or her new partner is beyond your ability to influence. However, if you can, ask your ex-partner (calmly and respectfully) to allow the separation process to be worked out by only the two of you, for the reasons stated above. Your request may or may not be honored, so don’t get attached to the results. Just keep your commitments to yourself, process your strong emotions, and act with integrity.
Golden Rules for Handling New Partnerships in Separation
Here are my Golden Rules for dealing with new partners during the separation process.
When your ex has a new partner:
Don’t take out your frustrations on your ex’s new partner. Remember, your ex’s actions, and those of his/her new partner, are outside of your sphere of influence.
Renew your commitment to disconnecting from your old life. Your ex is not sharing the road to your new, happy future; s/he is on his or her own road. (You can learn about my Disconnection process in this post.) Wish your ex-partner well, and let go. You are no longer part of their future, as they are no longer part of yours.
When you have a new partner:
Don't rush in. Sometimes, a wonderful new partner shows up out of the blue, as if by magic. If that has happened for you, that’s great―but remember that your separation is a time to rediscover yourself from the inside out, and get clear on what you really want from your future, including your future relationships. You don’t want to shortchange that by striving to meet the needs of a new relationship too soon. More, you don’t want to exhaust yourself handling two relationships―the old and the new―at the same time!
Don’t let your separation become the focus of your new relationship. Refrain from commiserating about past breakups, sharing “horror stories” about your exes, or complaining about your separation process. Instead, rely on your Winning Team members to help you through tough situations and listen to your stories about your ex.
Don’t let love create an “emotional blackout.” Falling in love with a new partner is a wonderful thing, but if it causes you to toss aside all of your unprocessed or hidden emotions around your past relationship and your separation, it’s not healthy. Sooner or later, those feelings will have to be dealt with―and if you don’t do it now, they may impact your new relationship later!
Enjoy your new partner to the fullest, but be discreet. A few months of being in love without the rest of the world offering its opinions is a great way to discover one another and decide if this truly is a love that will last. Once you do introduce your new love to the people in your life, give your ex-partner and any children involved a chance to get used to the changed situation.
Deal with your emotions on your own. Of course, you should talk to your new partner―but don’t ask him/her to help you process your past with your ex. Take responsibility for your own healing process.
Continue working on yourself. Don’t stop creating healthy habits and patterns in your life just because you found a new partner―and don’t stop clearing out all the old patterns that no longer work for you. After all, you’re still creating your future!
Choose a Star Action as a
Gift to Yourself Today!
The Star Actions are part of my Positive Separation Method and give you a positive boost in the direction of happiness. Here are some Star Actions you can do alone or with your new partner to help make your day―and your future―even brighter!Learn more about Star Actions in this post.
Your Heart on An Outing: This weekend, go out alone for a few hours to a quiet and inspiring place in nature―like the woods, the seashore, a river, or the mountains. Although it might be tempting to bring your new partner or your family, don’t. Just bring you, your heart, and a nice picnic lunch. Your heart needs some honest and loving attention from you so it can whisper those things you might have been hiding from yourself. Write down everything you learned in your notebook. When you’re done, close out the day with a dinner date with some positive, happy friends, family, or your new love.
Candle night: In your garden or another safe place, arrange 10-20 (or more) tea-candles in a nice shape or symbol. Light them, and as you watch them burn, write out 10 happy memories from the past 10 years of your life on a card, and place it near the candles. Reflect on your happy memories and how they shaped who you are. You can invite other people over to share these happy memories, or just sit with them yourself, but for tonight, don’t think or talk about your ex or any new partners.
Honoring dreams and qualities: Make a list of what you think are your 10 best qualities and another list of your top 5 biggest dreams. Then, make a list of what you think are your new partner’s 10 best qualities and top 5 dreams. (If you don’t have a new partner, do this for the person you want to attract into your life). If you do have a new partner, do this together. Then, share your lists with the other person. Be open and honest; don’t share what you think the other person wants to hear. Have an open conversation and get to know one another even better!
Eveline Jurry is the creator of the Positive Separation Method™ and the author of three books, including ‘Happy Again! The Art of Positive Separation’. From her home base in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, she teaches people how to create a happy future during and after divorce or separation.