We’ve all been there: you’re fresh out of a relationship, in the midst of a breakup, and despite your best efforts, you can’t stop thinking about your ex. Maybe they shattered your heart or mistreated you, and you’re wondering why you’re recreating every scene from Splitsville. Perhaps it’s been months, if not years, since you’ve spoken to your ex, and the rose-tinted memories are playing in your head.
You are not alone in your situation. Many people find themselves wondering why their “ship” went down—all it’s part of the breakup process. Because your ex was most likely the last person with whom you were truly open, honest, and vulnerable, it’s reasonable that they would have a hold on you and your emotions. Even so, it’s critical to understand why you could be “obsessed” with your ex and what that means for your mental health. Scroll through it to learn how to get through it and emerge happier, healthier, and who knows, maybe even in a new relationship.
Why Do I Still Think About My Ex
One of the first things we do in therapy or coaching with breakup and divorce recovery clients is to help them make sense of their feelings so that they can learn and grow from them. We also need to normalize what is going on: It is highly typical to have lingering feelings for an ex, and there are many complex reasons for this.
People can’t always get over a breakup because they have unresolved emotional business from the past. They are stuck in the past because of persistent feelings of guilt, rage, regret, or suffering. Furthermore, they may never have received closure on the demise of their relationship. They must first complete the job of maturing and healing before moving on.
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Because of persistent fears or subconscious comparisons, people may continue to think about their ex for months or even years after the relationship has ended. This is especially true when your ex has moved on before you. The road to recovery here is to concentrate on increasing your confidence and feeling like you’re making progress toward your goals.
Perhaps the most pernicious type of ex-attachment is biological: When you don’t understand how your attachment to your Ex is maintained on a neurological level, you can become stuck for years – even if you urgently want to move on.
Why Do I Still Think About My Ex When I have Someone New?
According to Laurel House, a dating and breakup counselor, you are not ready to think about dating again until you have gone at least one day without thinking about your ex and feel comfortable being alone. Her tip? Think about how you feel in situations of emotional weakness, loneliness, or late at night: Do you still think about your ex?
Even if you say no, these sentiments can continue to arise – even if you start dating again. House describes how missing your ex can creep up on you even when you’re already dating someone else.
In either case, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume that thinking about your ex inherently means you want to rekindle your relationship. But not so fast, adds Manhattan Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy director Dr. Paul Greene, Ph.D. Though wondering “why do I still think about my ex when I have someone new?” can occasionally indicate that you still have feelings for your ex-significant other, you could simply be working through some unresolved issues about the relationship.
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“Relationship memories stick with us for a long time, so waiting until they’re fully forgotten before moving on isn’t good,” he tells Bustle. “Rather, concentrate on how well you connect with your new partner—that is more essential.” If the question “why do I keep thinking about my ex?” has become your new mantra and you can’t seem to get your ex out of your head, it’s time to undertake some real soul-searching. Relationship gurus offer tips on what to do while you still think about your ex.
#1. Happy memories don’t mean you want to get back together
The first thing you should keep in mind? Greene believes that going down memory lane does not necessarily imply that you are pining for your ex. “Thoughts and memories aren’t’ signs’ that you’re not ready [to move on],” he explains to Bustle. “They’re just recollections and thoughts.” Consider them to be just that, and try to avoid any mental leaps to conclusions.
#2. Determine your emotional state
Having said that, it’s critical to understand how you feel about your ex. That’s not to suggest you don’t want to reconcile—there could be a variety of reasons they’re still on your mind. Are you still thinking about them because you miss your relationship? Were you just so close that thinking about them became a habit? Or are you still displeased with how the relationship ended? There are numerous reasons why they may be bouncing around upstairs, so take some time to figure out where those thoughts are coming from so you can address them and move on, advises House.
#3. Determine whether you are truly ready to be in a relationship.
If you’re dating someone new, you should consider whether you’re ready to commit to this person. That will depend on how you feel about your ex and the previous relationship, as well as how your current partner feels about this. It’s one thing to think you’re ready to move on, but it takes two to tango – and your partner may disagree.
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#4. Once you’ve figured out your feelings, talk to your partner.
Once you’ve decided how you feel about your ex, you should talk to your partner about it. You don’t want to start a major discussion if you’re not clear where you stand, but once you are, it’s only fair to bring it up and discuss it.
#5. Avoid making comparisons
Greene believes that comparing your current relationship to previous ones is unavoidable. After all, your ex-partners are your source of relationship knowledge. However, it is like comparing apples to oranges. “Keep in mind that it’s not fair to compare a new relationship to one that may have lasted considerably longer,” he advises. “Patience.”
#6. Concentrate on your new relationship
Why ruminate on the past when you can live in the present? Greene believes that the adage holds in relationships. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. To assist, he suggests carefully considering what you like about your current partnership. Understanding why you are happy with your current spouse can help you feel more present in the relationship without continuously referring back to your ex.
Why Do I Still Think About My Ex Everyday
You still think about your ex every day because you haven’t processed and let go of your relationship with him/her. Furthermore, you haven’t created a life for yourself that includes fresh experiences and goals that will help you progress. You will remain locked in the past as long as you continue to prevent yourself from experiencing new things. When you’re feeling trapped in life, it can be difficult to stop thinking about an ex.
I’m a sentimental person, and I remember thinking about my ex for months after we broke up. I couldn’t figure out why I still thought about my ex every day at the time. Fortunately, I was in the middle of pursuing a new academic path, which forced me to venture outside of my comfort zone and into a new atmosphere.
I met a lot of new individuals at this time and was compelled to adapt to a new schedule in my life. By the time I was knee-deep in this new habit, I had begun to think about things other than my ex. This modest academic shift acted as a trigger for transformation in my romantic life. This led me to feel that it is critical to welcome change after a split, or you will struggle to move on from an ex.
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There are two immediate changes you may make to assist you in avoiding thinking about your ex in the future. These two modifications are as follows:
To stop thinking about your ex, you must create as much physical and digital distance between yourself and them as possible.
Why Do I Still Think About My Ex Years Later?
Before we get into everything you can do to quit thinking about your ex, let’s look at why you still do.
Reasons for continuing to think about an ex after years
#1. You’re still fixated on them.
There is no defined time limit for how long it takes to stop caring for or loving someone. Anyone who claims to be able to help you get over or over an ex in 30 or 90 days is lying.
#2. You have not deleted them from your social media accounts.
You are stopping yourself from cutting ties by maintaining your ex on your social media sites and apps. This implies that learning about their lives and receiving updates will only increase your feelings and involvement in them.
#3. Memories of them still surround you.
Photos, movies, notes, gifts, and other items that remind you of an ex will undoubtedly play a factor in why you think about them daily. Normally, I tell people to put certain items away until they are strong enough to cope with them.
#4. Your life hasn’t changed much.
Think this: if the only thing that has changed in your life is your relationship status, wouldn’t you concentrate on that single new development? Because everything else is the same, it’s predictable. You wouldn’t have to think about it because you’re so used to your current routine.
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#5. There hasn’t been enough time since the split.
A breakup that occurred within the last three months is considered fresh and recent. It’s perfectly normal to think about your ex every day throughout this period. Granted, if you only dated someone for a brief period, it could seem strange if you’re still fixated on them after months.
How to stop thinking about your ex every day
#1. Experiment with new things regularly.
The great thing about accepting change is that it forces you to grow as a person. You will grow as a person and make new memories as a result of doing new things, which will allow you to focus on something other than your ex.
#2. Modify your regimen
At this time, it may not be practicable or logistically feasible to change everything in your life or do exciting new things, so I recommend changing your routine.
#3. Spend more time with your friends and family.
Given that you can’t direct your love and affection toward your ex, have you considered diverting it toward friends and family? These folks will always love and support you no matter what.
#4. Allow yourself the necessary time to recuperate.
Getting through adversity is one of the most effective methods to overcome it. In other words, instead of running from the pain, feel it. To be honest, I would relate it to working out. Working out is difficult and uncomfortable, yet it produces tremendous results in your life.
#5. Make new friends
I’m not referring to dating; rather, I’m referring to putting yourself in society to create new business and social contacts. It’s in our nature to associate with others. Yes, you need time to yourself, but at some point, being with other people is essential to your happiness and growth.
#6. Unfollow them on social media.
You have no control over what your ex posts on social media, which means that having them around might cause many problems. Seeing your ex flirt with someone else or start a new relationship will set you back and distress you.
Moving on from your ex may take some time, but I promise you that the advice in this article will help speed up the process. Don’t be too hard on yourself right now. Most people experience this sorrowful symptom following the termination of a relationship. Give it some time, and stay away from your ex. This will help you move on and stop thinking about your ex every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I ever stop thinking about my ex?
However, whether they are frequent or transient, thoughts of an ex might linger for a long time. “There is no set time limit for ceasing to think about, or more precisely, ceasing to feel about, an ex.”
How do you know if your ex still thinks about you?
If your ex tries to contact you or even speaks to you at odd hours, it could be an indication that they still care about you. Another significant indicator is social media. If they didn’t get rid of you, either by an unfriend or a direct block, it might suggest they miss you.
Why do I still think about my ex after 10 years?
Because of persistent fears or subconscious comparisons, people may continue to think about their ex for months or even years after the relationship has ended. This is especially true when your ex has moved on before you.
Why do I miss my ex so much?
Some folks simply miss spending time with someone. You could simply be lonely, which is a natural reaction to a split. Do you ever wish you had someone to show you physical affection or take you out to dinner?