Dating

Dating Someone New … But Leaving the Door Open for an Ex

Scheana Shay and Rob Valletta may not be over just yet. 

When Vanderpump RulesScheana Shay said on this past season’s reunion show that her ex, Rob Valletta, “genuinely broke me,” it was heartbreaking for Pump fans everywhere. But the two may not be totally over just yet.

Rob recently confirmed to Us Weekly that the two have remained friends since they broke up last year, and isn’t ruling out reuniting with Scheana in the future, either.

"The way we broke up, it wasn’t a bad breakup," he said. "If there is the right time, we’ll find the right time.”

But he is seeing someone new.

“Well, I am dating someone. I am dating someone as of a week and a half ago, so we will see what happens,” he said. “She’s a pretty awesome person. But yeah, we’ll see.” 

So, what’s his new girl supposed to think about that? It’s nice to be friendly with an ex, but to say it may not totally be over? A new relationship is more likely to fall apart with an ex lingering in the background.

Lauren Eavarone, who offers sex therapy and relationship counseling in New York City, says, it’s not easy getting over an ex and it’s not normal to completely forget them after you break up.

“You have shared a portion of your life with that person (even if for a short period of time) and therefore have created memories and meaning together,” Eavarone says. “It’s idealistic to expect all feelings to dissipate immediately after a break up. It’s how we interpret those feelings that determine its influence in relationships going forward.”

Where it gets tricky is if you interpret lingering feelings as meaning that you should still be with your ex.

“That will likely promote doubt of any current partner and longing for the past,” she says. “Accepting that it’s OK to have feelings for someone you once cared about, but who may have not been right for you, without jumping to conclusions and magnifying those feelings as ‘the one who got away,’ is more congruent to the human experience of love and loss.”

Something else to be aware of is if you’re completely heartbroken and dating someone new to fill the void.

“Not only is it not fair to this new partner, but you’re likely doing yourself an injustice by not allowing the process of experienced loss to occur,” Eavarone says. “Are you scared of being alone? If you are, consider how increasing your tolerance for loneliness actually benefit your relationships in the long run. Valuing and maintaining ones autonomy while establishing closeness with a romantic partner promotes healthy boundaries.”

Dr. Liz Lasky, therapist and life coach, says while everyone’s personal breakup process is different, you have to be aware of what you are feeling.

“Some people take time off to regroup and feel more grounded before dating someone new. Others may jump into a new relationships right away and hope that a new relationship will help them get over their ex,” Lasky says. “There is no hard and fast rule about whether we should immediately start dating after a breakup.”

Sometimes we carry previous relationships with us, and that’s OK.

“Many people have warm feelings towards an old high school or college flame or even a previous marriage,” Lasky says. “The important think is to be aware of your feelings. I encourage my clients to ask themselves if dating a new person is masking lingering feelings.”

If they are?
“I believe honesty is always the best policy in relationships. If, after a while, someone is still having feelings for another person, it's important to bring it up. Then, it's up to the couple to figure out together if they want to call it quits or work through it.”

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