• The lights and shadows of (trying) to flirt at age 37
  • The Almudena Cid case or the reasons why it hurts to know that your ex-partner is getting married or is going to have a child

The first edition of 'Operación Triunfo' made me see for the first time what it means to have been with a partner in the most arduous moments of their career so that when they achieve success, they move away from you. Then I thought that the ex-partner of David Bisbal, who was with the singer in his orchestra bowling, was an isolated case, but in reality it is something quite common that is not only limited to the workplace, but also to a much more superficial one. Yes: I mean those who when leaving a relationship make the gym their new therapy and leave their ex-partner speechless when, after a while, they appear converted into authentic Adonis.

There is talk of 'revenge body', an expression that usually comes into play when talking about women (do I need to point out again that this is a clear macho sign?) and that in reality, forgets a reality: that before a breakup, it does not matter what the other thinks, because our well-being comes first. Okay: meeting your ex when your body has muscles that until now you did not know is an undeniable joy, but even more satisfying is to look in the mirror and like yourself after having gone through a painful duel without shortcuts.

"The syndrome of the ex-partner of OT contestant" is, therefore, the one suffered by those who verify that their ex-partners, after breaking up, become an improved version of themselves. You lived his moments of suffering and helped him to lay the foundations of a building that is now not only beautiful and safe, but is prepared to be inhabited by another person... After this metaphor of coffee with milk, a clarification that you may not need: the name of the syndrome is the result of my head, but what it contains, no. It means having spent a lot of time, even years, supporting the couple in endless work sessions, having been alone on countless occasions because the other person was immersed in the work universe and at the moment of collecting (finally!) the fruits of the effort, is no longer with you or even in an even more painful turn, He is with another person, who enjoys the results of the ordeal that you lived.

Beware of the story you tell yourself

It is complicated, then, not to feel like a repair shop of the couple, which after having polished, the dating market welcomes with open arms. "To avoid feeling this way, it's important to take care of how we talk to each other and the way we reinterpret history. The way we feel has a lot to do with how we tell ourselves things. If I tell myself that my relationship has been to polish my ex-partner and that she returns to the market, I will most likely feel cheated, frustrated, sad and angry. We each have our own times of grief and make decisions based on countless factors. Perhaps what for another is logical and obvious, for me is unthinkable, "says María Ros, author of 'Embrace your broken parts'. "It is very important to remind ourselves that what the other does says nothing about us, but about him. That is, that my ex-partner returns to the dating market practically as soon as we break our relationship does not say anything about me, since the decision is his, not mine. We must remember that self-dialogue is one of the bases of self-esteem. Talking nice to each other makes us feel a little better," he adds.

For her part, Dr. Cristina Martínez, author of "Being happy is urgent", says that to avoid feeling bad when our ex-partner brings out the best in himself and triumphs after the breakup, it is important to focus on our own growth and happiness. "Instead of comparing ourselves with the ex-partner, we must focus on our personal goals and achievements and never forget what we lacked in that relationship to avoid falling into idealizing a past history that objectively, had nothing ideal. It is also important to practice gratitude for what we have and surround ourselves with people who provide us with emotional support, which will undoubtedly help us improve our self-esteem and overcome negative feelings," he says.

It is not strange that these dynamics happen to celebrities whose beginnings were not always easy and who when they achieve success and fame, let themselves be trapped by a new and glamorous life to leave behind who was by their side in difficult moments. However, this also happens to the rest of mortals, and as we pointed out at the beginning, it happens on a much more banal plane when the ex-couple radically changes their physique and lifestyle after the breakup.

Sport as a refuge

The important thing then is to understand that it is not uncommon for couples to relax their way of life when they are immersed in a relationship and to resume physical activity in the face of singleness, but not as revenge or as a formula to find another person, but as an operation with which to overcome pain and recover from loss. "There are times when sport becomes a great escape route for emotional problems and in the way we find, take care of ourselves and look better. The mere fact of sweating the shirt allows us to release tension, let off steam and get tired. This helps us to release the emotional burden with which we arrived at the gym. In addition, this favors, for example, sleep, not ruminating on problems, keeping us more "here and now" ... which has a direct effect on the management of emotions and complicated moments. In turn, by exercising, we take care of our body and try to get it in shape. This, many of the times, makes us look stronger, more capable and more secure, which has a direct effect on self-esteem, "says to 'Yo Dona' María Ros San Juan, director of MR Psychology, who recalls how much ruptures can destabilize our self-esteem and confidence, then sport becomes a strategy that allows us to feel better and that will be a great ally in overcoming grief.

Diana G., head of communication at a marketing agency, shares her case. "I spent three years with a man who was trying to set up his own business, linked to the leisure and music sector. Anxiety attacks, arguments, economic hardship... I remember that period with a lot of pain, but he kept telling me how happy we were going to be when everything settled down and I could start the business. Shortly before he started, he left me claiming to need time for himself. Now he manages the business with his new girlfriend and I feel a lot of anger and helplessness, because she is with a cheerful and successful man, but I was with someone self-conscious and depressed, "he confesses.

We asked Diana if on any occasion, her ex-partner has thanked her for the support she gave her. "We haven't spoken in a long time, but when we were together, he never thanked me. In fact, it once made me feel that my obligation was to be there, weathering the storm," she replies, tired of the downpours.

Have we helped? That which we take away

Finally, Dr. Cristina Martínez invites us to feel, if we have contributed positively to the life of our ex-partner, that this has been an enriching experience and learn from her. "We should not feel 'used', because in a relationship both members grow and evolve side by side. That is why it is crucial to also focus on the growth that one has experienced next to that person and to be grateful for what has been learned and lived," he says.

I know: this is easier said than done, but isn't it okay that, sometimes, life puts some stone in our way? I add that if in addition to stones he puts a gift, we are not going to say no.

  • Couple relationships