When Your Ex Downgrades: Meaning & Feelings Explained

When Your Ex Downgrades Meaning

Have you bumped into your ex and noticed they’ve downgraded?

It can be a shock when you first realize your ex has downgraded, and it’s normal to feel a range of emotions from happy to confused, to offended.

Here’s a look at when it means when an ex ‘downgrades’, and how it typically makes people feel.

When Your Ex Downgrades Meaning & Feelings Explained

First of all, so we’re on the same page I will explain what it means when someone ‘downgrades’ in the dating sense:

Downgrading essentially means that your ex has started dating someone who you think is not as attractive, funny, wealthy, or better than you in any way.

It’s the same as saying, “Oh look, they can’t find anyone else as good as me now.”

It’s not a nice way of looking at things, and often it’s a sign that you’re upset or angry at your ex!

See an ex dating someone new and seeing that person as a downgrade on you will make you feel one or more of the following ways:

Related Here’s how to handle dating someone less attractive than you or seeing your ex doing so.


When you see that your ex has downgraded it can hurt because it feels like they might have thought the same about you.

You might also think to yourself, “They must be really desperate if they’re dating someone like that.”

It can also make you feel sad that they couldn’t find anyone as good as you.


In some cases, seeing your ex with someone who you think is a downgrade can actually make you happy.

You might think to yourself, “Well, good for them. They deserve someone like that.”

Or, “They’ll never find someone as good as me again, they should have appreciated me more.”

This is often the case if you were hurt by how things ended things with your ex.


It’s not always easy to understand why someone would downgrade and settle with someone you think they can do better than.

If you can’t figure out why they would do that it might make you feel uneasy and like you’re not sure about your own self-worth.


In some cases, seeing your ex with a downgrade can make you feel offended.

You might think, “How dare they! I’m so much better than that.”

Or, “They must have really low standards if they’re dating someone like that.”

This is often the case if you ended the relationship and thought you knew your ex a lot better than you’re now thinking you do.

Does It Mean Your Ex Is Rebounding if They Downgrade?

The natural assumption if you see your ex with someone you consider to be a downgrade is that they’re rebounding and rushing into things.

However, that’s not always the case.

Your ex might just genuinely like the person they’re dating and not see them as a downgrade at all!

It’s important to remember that we all have different standards and preferences.

Just because you think someone is a downgrade doesn’t mean your ex does too.

Before you jump to any conclusions it’s always best to get to know more about the two of them – you might be pleasantly surprised!

What if Your Ex Has Actually Upgraded?

I couldn’t talk about downgrading without throwing out the possibility of your ex upgrading!

It might not be what you want to see, but it can happen.

If you see your ex with someone who is clearly a step up from you in any way it can be even more hurtful.

You might think to yourself, “Was I not good enough?” or “Was it me who was out of their league in the relationship?”

However, it’s important to remember that just because they’re with someone you deem as an upgrade, it doesn’t mean they actually are.

It could just be a case of different standards and preferences again.

Plus, even if they have upgraded in some ways, it doesn’t mean they’re happier or better off than when they were with you!

What’s important is that you focus on finding your special someone, without focusing on the material or physical things and wondering what your ex would think!

Related Here is why you’re so clingy to your boyfriend!

Why Do People Flex on Their Ex?

Now that we’ve talked about downgrading and upgrading, it’s important to mention flexing.

Flexing is when someone posts pictures or talks about things they have or are doing in order to make their ex jealous.

It might be a new car, a new job, a new relationship, etc.

People do this for different reasons.

Some people do it because they want to show their ex that they’re doing better without them.

Others might do it because they’re still feeling hurt and want revenge.

And some people might do it because they want to get back together with their ex and think this is the way to do it!

Whatever the reason, flexing comes under the banner of toxic behaviors as it’s a deliberate act of provoking an ex.

Personally, I don’t recommend you engage in flexing and don’t react to an ex if this is clearly what they’re doing.

The takeaway from me here is that downgrade, upgrade, something in the middle; let your ex live their best life and you focus on living yours!

Image credits – Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash

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