Why Am I Thinking About My Ex?

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I can’t begin to tell you how I’ve suffered during my early twenties trying to figure out why am I thinking about my ex months after the breakup! It’s frustrating and makes you feel trapped in the past even though you desperately want to move on.

The hardest part about this issue is the painful emotions associated with these thoughts of an ex. Nobody wants to be reminded all the time of what they have lost.

But, I believe these problems we have are an opportunity to learn about ourselves as well as to grow into stronger individuals.

Therefore, in today’s article I am going to answer the following questions, why am I thinking about my ex?

More importantly, I am going to offer a few solutions on how to stop thinking about your ex and move on with your life through self development and growth.

The advice in this article will require some mental fortitude and courage which I am absolutely certain that you possess. If someone like me can get through my inability to be alone and I’ve managed to break free from codependency, I’m more than certain that you can do it too.

Here’s a quick look at all the possible reasons for why you are thinking about your ex.

  1. You are still in love with your ex.
  2. You have too many reminders of your ex.
  3. You’re trying too hard to forget your ex.
  4. You’re unhappy right now.
  5. You’re feeling lonely.
  6. You never got closure for why the relationship ended.

Let’s examine each of these reasons in more detail so that you can pinpoint which of them applies to you.

1. You are still in love with your ex

Whether the breakup took place a week ago or a year ago, there’s no accurate prediction for how long it will take you to stop being in love with your ex.

Even if your ex betrayed or hurt you deeply towards the end of your relationship, there’s a strong chance that you’ll still remain in love with them.

These are feelings which belong to you. It will take time and life experience for those feelings to fade and evolve into a different kind of love.

You can’t force yourself to feel any differently than you do.

The only thing in your control is how you spend your time and the way you choose to live your life.

By accepting your feelings and not remaining in constant conflict with your thoughts, you will gradually let go of them. 

I remember being in love with one of my exes for at least over a year after we broke up.

Whereas prior to that, I was completely over another ex within the space of 2-3 months.

Different factors will play a significant role in how long you remain in love with your ex.

Allow yourself the time required to move on in life.

Do not try to constantly invest in these feelings and thoughts of your ex as it will only create more pain and suffering right now.

I tend to remind myself that suffering is a result of wanting or expecting reality to be other than it is.

In saying that, accept your feelings and the breakup.

Allow yourself to mourn the death of your relationship instead of fighting these feelings you have.

At the same time, be comforted by the fact that life moves on and much like how you got over previous partners, this too shall pass.

Related post: What to do when you are still in love with your ex

2. You have too many reminders of your ex

What you see and focus on is what you will think about.

We are creatures of habit and in saying that, what we expose ourselves to becomes a part of us.

The only way to break a habit is to stop partaking in it. This will require us to eliminate any investment into the habit as well as separating ourselves from exposure to temptation.

Every time you look at pictures of your ex, scroll through their social media, use their gifts or send them texts, you are keeping yourself attached to them.

This will trigger those thoughts and memories of your ex that remain rampant in your mind.

Some people don’t have to eliminate all reminders or contact with their ex to gain control of themselves.

Others do.

You may likely fall into the category of people who need to completely eliminate any and all reminders of your ex until the attachment is broken.

There’s no set period for how long this may take.

For this reason, you may need to enter no contact for an indefinite period.

Furthermore, you may need to remove all physical reminders of your ex from your home.

Also, transferring all images and videos to a backup and deleting them off to our phone may be required of you.

Related post: Should I block my ex from social media?

3. You’re trying too hard to forget your ex

About a year ago, I was dealing with a medical condition called thyrotoxic. One of the symptoms of this was racing thoughts and anxiety.

Never in my life had I experienced anything like it.

Naturally, I have traits of obsessiveness and I can get worked up about stressful situations.

During this time, however, my thoughts were spiraling out of control.

And I had no idea why for months before actually being diagnosed.

In that time, I spent a significant amount of time trying to study as many things as I could on how to stop the mental chatter.

I needed to slow down because I had anxious and dark thoughts about myself playing on repeat all day.

What I learned was that the more I tried to focus on dispelling those thoughts or arguing with myself, the more I suffered.

These thoughts grew in severity and they played more and more.

A remedy to this issue comes in the form of letting go.

David R. Hawkins explains this eloquently in his book Letting Go. 

He suggests that it is our feelings that trigger these recurring thoughts. And if we are to break free from these thoughts, we are to first surrender to the feelings associated with them and let them go.

Once we overcome these feelings, the thoughts will fade away because they lose their hold over us.

If we are to apply this to the question of why am I thinking about my ex, we could say that it is the question itself that keeps us stuck in this pattern.

By trying so hard to forget your ex and not think of them, you are essentially thinking about them and remaining stuck.

Allow yourself the freedom to just be.

Don’t struggle with the fact that you’re thinking about your ex.

Let the feelings of pain, confusion, frustration, shame, guilt or anger dissipate and the thoughts will eventually fade too. 

Related post: How to forget someone and move on

4. You’re unhappy right now 

I’ve noticed that when I’m unhappy, I tend to look back at a time in my life when I was last happy.

This makes us nostalgic and sentimental.

We also have a habit of looking at the past through rose tinted glasses.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re thinking about your ex because your mind is thinking about a time when you were happy and in love.

It might be a good idea for you to examine how you feel about life.

Are you happy with your circumstances? Are you happy with who you are? Are you happy with the people in your life? Are you happy with your job?

Sometimes we seek out happiness from a romantic relationship to escape the unhappiness we feel within ourselves.

This is obviously an unhealthy reason to go back to an ex or to enter a romantic relationship.

It’s highly possible and probable that once you start focusing on creating a life and version of yourself that you’re happy with, you’ll stop thinking about your ex.

Here’s a fun activity for you: Make a list of 100 things to Do, Be or Become. 

Related post: How to be single and happy

5. You’re feeling lonely

Being single is amazing at times but it’s also lonely too.

You will find moments when you’re living life and things are going well but you feel lonely in not having someone special by your side to share your wins and losses with.

This is understandable because as people we crave connection. 

We want to be heard, understood, accompanied and loved.

Being lonely isn’t just a good enough reason to seek out an ex but it could explain why you’re thinking about your ex. 

If you have been single for a significant amount of time, perhaps you should consider dating new people.

You don’t even need to seek out a relationship. Just put yourself out there a little and make new connections.

Either you’ll meet someone who knocks your socks off, you’ll stop thinking about your ex because you’re too busy with new people or you’ll end up reconnecting with your ex.

But, don’t run from that feeling of loneliness all the time.

It may be an opportunity for you to cultivate a relationship with yourself.

Get comfortable with your own company and you might find love for yourself. 

Related post: Am I still in love with my ex or just lonely?

6. You never got closure for why the relationship ended

Not all relationships end with a neat bow on the top.

More often than not, they end with uncertainty, confusion and a lack of answers because a lot of people don’t know how to break up properly.

You don’t know who your partner really is until you’re parting ways.

That’s when you’ll get an idea of whether they’re respectful, avoidant, morally corrupt or genuinely caring. 

If you happen to be left with no answers or closure for why the relationship ended, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still thinking about your ex.

People who get dumped usually are blindsided and don’t see it coming. 

If they did, I’m pretty sure that they would have taken some actions to prepare for it but also salvage the relationship.

This is why so many people who are dumped chase, beg and plead.

They desperately want a chance to make an effort to do what they would have done had they been aware of what was going to happen.

I’ve come to realize that closure from an ex isn’t necessary for moving on. 

It’s nice and it can be helpful but true closure comes from within.

Being able to surrender to what has happened, accepting reality for what it is and resigning yourself to the idea that you can’t change things may be all that is required for closure.

Related post: 10 Reasons why relationships fail

In conclusion

Even though you’re struggling with thoughts of your ex right now, I promise you that a time will come when you don’t. It’s literally only a matter of time before you start moving on but there are steps you can take to make this period in your life easier.

More than anything, I want you to take care of yourself.

Breakups are not easy to deal with at all. Loving someone who hurt you can cause a great deal of pain that takes a while to recover from.

Just try to be more patient and caring towards yourself right now.

Channel some of that energy towards improving yourself. Not much is going to change if you remain stuck in the past without trying to move forward.

Step out of your comfort zone. Design a new routine for yourself. Go for therapy. Join the gym. Spend time with friends and family. Connect with new people. Get a hobby. Get a new job. Start a new side hustle.

Do things of importance to you and in time, you will find that these thoughts of your ex will fade into the background.

I also encourage you to read the book that I recommended above called Letting Go. It is phenomenal and a great deal of help to anyone dealing with racing thoughts or emotional trauma.

With that being said, I hope this article on why you are thinking about your ex has brought you some comfort and answers. If you would like for me to discuss a specific topic or to answer your questions, please head over to the comment section below and let me know.

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