My most recent ex loved me to death during our relationship. Here was a woman who would surprise me with cute things like Moonpig postcards, or Halloween themed "50 reasons we're a great couple" cards. She'd message me constantly, and never for a second did I not think that I was centre of her world.
Following our separation, she acts like a completely different person. She never attempts to message (despite claiming she wants to maintain a friendship) and when I do message her, the replies I get are often curt. In person, she doesn't speak and leaves an air of awkwardness hanging that it's hard to get around.
Between the two, something major transformed in my ex's mind. This deep love she once felt has eroded away. I think slowly, and in small steps - because it's taken 4 months to get to this point. Initially, she would contact me - and that contact was OK. So I think the process takes several stages:
Where me ex begins the process of coming to terms with the break-up. In this stage, it's not uncommon for either party in the relationship to sometimes still think as though they are part of a couple. Silly things like "I should buy that type of Ketchup - Toby likes that best". That sort of thing. You have to keep reminding yourself of your new single status.
This is therefore the stage where it's still possible for a reconciliation - because, if you haven't both moved on, you may decide 'screw it, worth another shot'. (I was stuck in this mode for a long time).
The ex has now come to terms with the fact it's over. If you push him/her to get back together with you, they'll say a polite no - even if a few lingering doubts remain. If you continue to push them, you'll only piss them off!
Here, their behaviour begins to change, as they readjust their lives back to where they need to be - either to find a new mate, or to correct any wrongs that they see in themselves post-break up. This may come as a shock to you when you contact them, especially if some time has passed since the last time.
By this point, your ex is a new person. They have healed some wounds created by the relationship, and have started a new life without you. This is sometimes the point where you look at them and suddenly get jealous - wishing you had this new improved them in your life.
This transformation can come in lots of different ways. They may look physically different. They might have moved away, or got a new job. The most shocking step in the process is when they meet somebody new - and you have to watch from afar as they suddenly have what you had, but with a complete stranger. It'll kill you inside.
By this point, your ex will act one of two ways. If you're extremely lucky, when you talk to them they will smile, be polite, and generally be OK with you. There won't be anything more, but at least your ex is mature enough to 'give you a pass'. However if you're less lucky you'll have an ex who decides "what do I care? He/She isn't in my life anymore" and will just act out when you're around. All that pain and sorrow brought upon them during the break-up will be returned to you, in double the amount, horribly by your ex. And there isn't anything you can do about it.
As I've alluded to, I think some of this transformation happens because it has to. Our brains understand that we new to chase something new, and move on from the past.
You will always hold a special place in your ex's heart - but make no mistake, that is a completely different area to that of his/her current love. They get given the Royal box (i.e. the best seat in the house). You're still allowed inside to watch the show, but from the top, very back row; and one that's partially obscured from seeing the full stage down below. Although this seat still has some value to the theatre owner, it's slight - and sometimes, one that management will have no trouble refunding!
"My ex isn't treating me very nice"
"Why is he/she cold towards me now?"
"I think my ex hates me"
All nonsense. They don't hate you.
Where does it all just go, I asked. I'm none the wiser, but do know they've moved on. It's time to let them go, by stop thinking about and chasing them.
In doing so... you might surprise yourself by what comes along your way.