Missing an ex is only natural after a breakup.
In this article, we will talk about why we miss our exes after a breakup and what you can do to stop it.
Why do you miss your ex?
If you think about it, you will realize that it’s only natural to miss someone you were in a relationship with. You spent a lot of time with each other and your ex was a huge part of your life.
Now that you are broken up, that part of your life is suddenly removed. If you didn’t miss them, it would be weird.
But let’s break it down a bit more to understand why you miss your ex.
1. You Miss Your Ex Because of Your Dependency on Your Ex
You depended on your ex for a lot of things.
You depended on them to be there for you at the end of the day.
You depended on them to be there with you when no one else was there with you.
You depended on them to listen to you when you wanted to rant, to cuddle with you when you felt sad, to listen to you when you wanted to complain.
And now when you need someone to depend on, you are left with nothing but memories of your ex.
It hurts to know that your ex is no longer there for you anymore to depend on.
What should you do about it and how to stop missing your ex?
Your ex may not be a part of your life anymore but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your needs fulfilled.
The first thing you should do is to recognize in what way were you dependent on your ex.
Were they a good listener?
Were you dependent on them for emotional support?
Were you just dependent on them to cook delicious meals for you?
Were you dependent on them to make you feel secure in yourself?
Once you have recognized it, you need to find a way to replace your ex.
Find a friend who is a good listener and speak to them about your needs. Let them know that you are going through a hard time and you need them to listen to you for a while.
Learn how to be a great cook and make those delicious meals yourself.
If you were dependent on your ex to feel secure in yourself, get therapy or coaching to improve your self-esteem and learn how to take care of your emotional needs.
The idea is to understand your emotional needs and figure out a way to fulfill them without your ex.
Note that I am not advising you to just get into another relationship to fulfill those needs. Even though getting into a new relationship may seem like an easier way to fulfill those needs you were dependent on with your ex, it’s not the best way to stop missing your ex because of two very good reasons.
1. If you get in a new relationship without getting over your ex, it will most likely be a rebound and you may still continue missing your ex.
2. You may have some unhealthy co-dependency in your relationship with your ex that may be causing you to miss them. By using this time to understand yourself, to love yourself and learning to live without any romantic partner, you can get rid of these unhealthy co-dependent tendencies and make your next relationship a great one.
2. You Found Something that Reminds you of Your Ex Girlfriend Or Ex Boyfriend.
Eventually, you are going to come across something that reminds you of your ex and the time you spent together.
It may be something special that happened once like coming across a restaurant where you had a romantic dinner.
Or something that may remind you of the little things that your ex did for you, like coming across lilies that reminded you of all the times your ex brought you flowers for no reason. Or a hair clip that you found while cleaning the house.
In either case, your mind starts thinking about your ex and you start wondering if it’s okay to talk to them.
What to do if something reminded you of your ex and you miss them?
The best way to handle this emotion is to process it and appreciate it. Remember the good moments and if you truly feel good about them, cherish them. Give yourself some time to reminisce. And maybe relive the moment in your imagination.
But don’t let this emotional indulgence take control of you and make you contact your ex. You don’t want to start talking to them just because something reminded you of them.
Instead, once you are done reminiscing, remind yourself of the reasons you both broke up. Remind yourself of the reasons why you should stay broken up. If you are not sure of those reasons, read this article to figure out if you should stay broken up or try getting back together by contacting them.
Remember, you can cherish good memories, but you should not let those memories of the past cloud your judgement in the present and affect your decisions for the future. When you are making an important decision, you should make it when you are not emotionally overwhelmed by a good memory.
If need be, store all the things that remind you of them in a box and put it somewhere you won’t see. This way, you won’t get reminded of them all the time and you can focus on your own well-being and happiness.
3. You Miss Your Ex So Much It Hurts (And You Are Miserable Without Them)
There are often times when you miss your ex so much that it physically hurts. In short, you may actually be miserable without your ex.
This usually happens because you are going through breakup grief. A simple way to think about this is your mind and body is going through extreme anxiety and panic because you feel that you have lost an essential part of your life.
Your mind feels that you won’t be able to survive without your ex and it’s panicking to the point that it is hurting you quite literally.
What to do if you miss your ex so much that it hurts?
If you are panicking to the extent that you feel physical pain, then there is a good chance you want to end this pain as soon as possible by getting your ex back.
And there is a good chance that you have tried doing everything in your power to get them back. You have tried things like begging, pleading, texting them all the time, being a doormat, and tried convincing them that you will change.
And since you are reading this article, I’d wager that none of those things work.
The best way to quiet down your panicked mind and stop missing your ex so terribly, is by giving yourself a sense of direction.
And the best way to do that is read this article that has been read by millions of people going through a breakup who want their ex back. Click the link below to read it. This article is free and it gives you a detailed step by step plan to get your ex back.
In short, if you are missing your ex so much that it hurts you, read this article above. It’s going to give you a sense of direction and you will immediately feel a lot better about your situation.
4. You Miss Your Ex Because You are Lonely (and You Want a Relationship)
It is one of our basic need to have a romantic partner. Being in a healthy romantic relationship has been proven to not only be healthy for your mind, but also for your body.
If you were in a relationship with your ex for a long time, you probably got used to having a romantic partner and a sexual partner. You got used to having sex regularly. You got used to having someone say to you that they love you. And now that your ex is gone, you miss all those benefits of being in a relationship.
What to do if you are lonely and you miss your ex because you want to be in a relationship?
It’s important to understand that being in a relationship does not always mean being in a healthy fulfilling relationship. If you and your ex broke up, there was obviously something wrong with the relationship.
There could be many reasons for the breakup. But the bottom line is, the relationship wasn’t healthy or fulfilling to either one or both of you.
And if it wasn’t healthy or fulfilling, then breaking up is the best decision for you so you can move on and find a relationship that you truly deserve.
Yes, you will have to learn to be single and do without all the benefits of being in a relationship for a while. But it’s a small price to pay for all the amazing benefits you will get when you actually find an amazing romantic partner in the future.
For the time being, just remind yourself that you will eventually find a great relationship and that you will love again. But before you do that, you need to learn to be single and take care of your own needs for a while.
5. You Miss Your Ex Even if Your Relationship Was Toxic
Even if you were in an extremely unhealthy or toxic relationship, you may find yourself missing your ex terribly after the breakup.
You will find yourself thinking about all the good qualities in your ex even if he or she was abusive towards you and made your life miserable. You finally found the courage to leave a horrible relationship only to find yourself thinking about your ex all the time.
Why does it happen? Why would you miss someone who was a terrible partner?
This usually happens because an abusive or toxic relationship takes a huge toll on an individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. The longer you stay in such a relationship, the lower your self-esteem becomes.
Such relationships have a way of making you forget about your identity and make you feel like you are nothing without your partner. This is especially true if your ex-partner had narcissistic tendencies and they constantly gaslighted and manipulated you.
In addition, these toxic and abusive relationships are extremely intense, involve a lot of drama and last for a very long time. As a result, your mind gets so used to the toxic environment that you find yourself missing your ex even though you know that they are not the right person for you.
What to do if you still miss your toxic ex?
Remind yourself that it’s completely normal to miss an ex even though they were toxic. Be mindful of your thoughts as they are likely to focus only on the positive aspects of the relationship and ignore or diminish the negative aspects of the relationship.
You may have intense moments of missing your ex and a strong desire to try to get them back. Be patient because it will pass. Don’t act on your desire to try to get them back.
Instead, focus all your energy into rebuilding your self-esteem and your self-worth again. Focus your energy into rebuilding your life again.
If the desire to try to get them back is too strong, make a deal with yourself. Tell yourself that you will only try to get them back once you have healed from the breakup and rebuilt yourself into someone you can be proud of. Make a deal with yourself that you will only get back in a relationship with your ex if you are sure it can be a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
6. You miss your ex even if they have moved on to a new relationship
You find yourself missing your ex when you find out they have moved on to a new girlfriend or boyfriend. Your mind suddenly starts thinking about all the great qualities your ex has.
You start thinking all the things loved about them, all the things that their new boyfriend or girlfriend will have, and you won’t.
When your ex starts dating someone new, it feels like the final nail in the coffin for your previous relationship. It feels like you have finally lost them for good. And even though you felt like you had accepted the breakup and moved on, the breakup suddenly starts feeling fresh all over again.
Missing your ex when you find out they have moved on to a new relationship is very normal. Our brains are kind of weird this way. They don’t really accept the reality of losing your loved one until they see your loved one love someone else.
But it doesn’t mean you should try to get your ex back or even grieve all over again.
The good news is, even if you miss your ex and you feel the pain of the breakup all over again, it’s going to much easier this time. If you have healed from the breakup and worked on your growth, then this is only a temporary setback.
What to do to stop missing your ex after they have moved on?
You don’t really need to do anything. Just continue focusing on yourself and moving forward with life. Think of this as a temporary setback. You may feel down for a couple of days, but you will be back to yourself in no time.
If the thought of wanting your ex back seems to be taking over you, read
And if you come to the decision that you want to try getting back with them, check out the following resources.
7. You miss your ex even after you have moved on to a new relationship
The other side of the coin is when you have moved on to a new relationship, but you still miss your ex a lot and can’t stop thinking about them.
You keep comparing your new boyfriend or girlfriend to your ex. You start thinking about your ex when you are alone. You keep wondering what they are doing. And you try your best to keep this information from your new partner.
The reason you miss your ex even after moving on to a new relationship is because you had a strong connection with your ex and it’s not completely forgotten.
Now that you are in a new relationship, your mind cannot help but remember the things you lost when your previous relationship ended. It can’t help but compare that to this new relationship.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have not moved on. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in a rebound relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your new relationship will not last.
What to do if you miss your ex even after starting a new relationship?
Ask yourself if you are just missing your ex and thinking about the memories or are you obsessing over your ex all the time?
Ask yourself if this new relationship is a healthy decision for you or are you in this relationship just to avoid the pain of the breakup?
Ask yourself if you spent enough time after the breakup accepting it, healing from it and growing as a person?
Ask yourself if you started this new relationship for the right reasons and not just because you think it will help you get over your ex?
If you are in this new relationship for the right reasons, you should not worry about missing your ex occasionally. As you develop a strong connection with your new partner, those memories will slowly fade away as you build new memories.
As your relationship grows stronger, the past will only be a distant memory and it won’t affect you as much as it is affecting you now.
But if you feel you are not in this relationship for the right reasons, you need to reconsider your choices. If you feel like you are using this relationship because you hope that it will help you forget about your ex or ease the breakup pain, then you are probably in a rebound relationship. To understand more about rebound relationships, I recommend you read this article.
In essence, a rebound relationship is not really the best way to move on from a breakup. In most cases, it actually stops you from truly processing your feelings and get over your ex.
If you realize that you are in a rebound relationship, I recommend you consider breaking up with your partner and focus some time on healing from the breakup and growing from it.
8. You miss your ex even though it has been a long time since the breakup.
In some cases, you may find yourself missing your ex even though it has been years since the breakup. You may still be thinking about getting them back or at least somehow talking to them.
We conducted a study on people who wanted their ex back and found that a small percentage of people still want their ex back even after nine months of the breakup. You can read the study by clicking the link below.
In essence, we found that most people who are not over their ex and still miss them or obsess over them after years usually believe that their ex is the “only one” for them. In other words, they feel that no one else can make them feel the same way their ex did. No one else can be their soul mate.
The idea is kind of hard to challenge. If you still feel this way even after years, then you have an uphill battle with the most fearless and brutal opponent of all time. Your stubborn heart.
If you have made no effort to move on from the breakup and/or date other people since the breakup, then the first thing you need to do is try that. Focus on your own growth and be open to date other people. You may meet someone who may change your mind about this whole soul mate thing.
But even if you have tried dating other people and you still miss your ex and feel like they are the only one for you, then consider the following options.
1. Try getting them back: Your ex may actually be special and both of you may have had a special bond. If you truly believe they are worth it, try reaching out to them and see how things go. Here are a few resources to help you with that.
2. Make significant changes in your life: Since you have already tried moving on from your ex and it didn’t work, you need to try something different this time. Something you haven’t tried before. And the thing that really works well for most people is self-improvement and growth.
So, the next few weeks, focus on yourself and figure out how you can become a better person.
What are the things you want to get better at and how you can get better at them?
What are the things that have been holding you back and how you can overcome those things?
Do whatever you need to do get over those obstacles and move forward in your life. Your stale love life is most likely a side effect of you being stuck in every other area of your life. So, unstuck yourself and try to move forward.
If that means getting therapy to finally address those childhood issues, so be it.
If it means hiring a life coach or a business coach to help you make important life or career decisions, do it.
If it means, saying yes to the opportunity that you were always afraid of saying to, say yes to it.
If you keep doing the same old things, you will keep getting the same old results. Your love life is usually influenced by other areas of your life. If you want a different outcome for your love life, you need to try something different in other areas of your life.
People miss their exes for different reasons and different situations. In this article, we covered a lot of different reasons for missing an ex and we talked about what you can do to stop missing them.
If your situation is not covered in this article, feel free to drop a comment and we will try to include it here as well.
Moving forward, you may be interested in one of the following articles about exes and breakups.