If You’re Not “Happy” for Your Ex, Have You Truly Moved On?

chris pratt anna faris happy for your ex man repeller

When Chris Pratt took to Instagram yesterday morning to announce his engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger, the media frenzy that followed did not directly pertain to their forthcoming nuptials. Nay, the real news story of the day was about a comment underneath Pratt’s Instagram — from his former wife, Anna Faris, congratulating him on his romantic milestone and expressing her feelings of happiness in response to it:

Given how quickly Faris’s comment became more sensational fodder than the announcement itself (sparking headlines such as “Anna Faris Responds to Chris Pratt’s Engagement in the Best Way Possible” and “Anna Faris Reacts to Chris Pratt’s Engagement With Nothing But Love“), I started considering what it actually means to “move on” after the end of a relationship. Is no longer feeling sad when thinking about said relationship sufficient? Or is feeling legitimate, altruistic happiness for your ex and his or her hypothetical new partner the true gold standard?

My personal experience grappling with these questions is limited, but during the four years when my current boyfriend and I were broken up, I remember swallowing jealousy the size of a softball at the mere thought of him being with someone else, much less posting about it on Instagram. Then again, I never seriously dated anyone else in that interim period, nor did I (at the time) achieve the worthy goal of learning how to be truly content on my own. The fact that Faris is reportedly involved with a new partner already herself sparks an additional question: How much easier is it to be legitimately, altruistically happy for an ex and his or her new partner if you’ve acquired a new partner yourself?

Regardless of the answer, in the context of our unprecedented ability to keep tabs on exes (and interact with them) via social media, her display of goodwill under Pratt’s post offers an interesting perspective on the distinction between simply “moving on” from a relationship and moving so far past it that you are happy for whoever took your place. Is the latter 100% necessary? I’m curious to hear what you think.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive