Thinking about your ex is quite normal. Having flashbacks and slight thoughts related to your ex isn’t wrong.
It becomes a problem once you let these thoughts impact you negatively.
You might keep thinking about your ex every day because you haven’t let yourself process your feelings.
You’re not free from the chains of the breakup yet.
On the other hand, if these thoughts just pop into your head even after a few years, there’s nothing wrong with it.
You cannot stop thinking or feelings for your ex. You just need to learn to cooperate with your feelings.
Let yourself feel the numbness of the pain until it becomes one with you.
When you grieve, you can still feel and think about your ex, but your thoughts won’t be obsessive.
13 reasons why you keep thinking about your ex:
1. You were emotionally attached & attracted
Once you’re emotionally connected with your partner, they become part of your life.
You’re both used and addicted to one another to some extent. You share the same house, same bed, your thoughts, food, emotions, and love.
The moment this pattern is disrupted, it takes time to get used to it.
That’s why moving or accepting the end of the relationship is hard.
You will keep having sudden thoughts about your ex that would last for days.
Now, these thoughts will make you feel some type of way.
Hence, with time the intensity of these feelings will decrease.
2. You’re not happy with your current life
When the sadness hits you after the breakup, that’s why you keep thinking about your ex.
You keep thinking about this person because you need something to boost your confidence.
Immediately, you rely on them for your happiness.
You’re not over your ex yet: that’s because you still define that time as a joyous one.
Thus, you feel that you would be better or happier if you were together with your ex.
3. You have an anxious attachment style
This type of attachment is an indicator for making you think about your ex.
According to Freud, childhood experiences can indicate the style of attachment that now you have in the relationship.
The insecure attachment style makes you more dependent on your ex than usual.
You have all your worth put into a relationship, you’re dependent on your ex or on their opinion.
Because you have a hard time letting go, this pushes you more to think about your ex or fantasize about your future.
4. Your ex committed to another relationship
What keeps you thinking about your ex even after 10 years, is the fact that they moved on.
You might have not gone through the process of grieving properly.
Until you’re ready to accept this fact and let your ex go, you’ll constantly think about your ex.
Even if you were dumped or initiated the breakup, that doesn’t make the difference.
If an ex moves on, it would feel like nothing was real, neither the love nor the relationship.
It’s hard to accept this fact, but being clingy won’t get your ex back or help you move on.
5. The reason why you broke up is still unknown
The lack of closure is another reason why you keep thinking about your ex.
You still think about this person because you’re still looking for answers.
Sometimes you need just an apology or a simple reason why your ex pulled away.
Either one would help you to stop having intrusive thoughts.
If the breakup was messy and even if you broke up on good terms, that uncertain reason will keep you bugging.
The pain and lack of communication will keep you thinking if you mattered to your ex.
This type of confusion will trigger thoughts of your ex and prevent you from moving on.
6. You didn’t go through the process of grieving
How you manage to handle the breakup, all depends on your personality and on your feelings.
If you are the type that doesn’t let your feelings process then those feelings will make you think about your ex.
These suppressed feelings and emotions trigger subconsciousness.
You pushed your emotions to a limbo that now will remind you that you didn’t deal with it earlier on.
When you don’t grieve, you’ll feel shame, guilt, and sadness. All these will lead you to your ex and you’ll be stuck in this situation.
7. You haven’t forgiven yourself/your ex, yet!
Finding the courage to forgive yourself or your ex will be the neutralizer to stop thinking about your ex.
If you haven’t been able to forgive your ex yet, you’ll feel hatred, anger, a little bit of love, and uncertainty.
This situation will haunt you for months or even years.
You can’t get rid of these memories and feelings. That’s why you should go through the process of grieving and forgive yourself first.
Otherwise, you’ll keep thinking about your ex, until you do it!
8. You found yourself in a similar situation
Long-term relationships leave a mark on your life. Even the littlest things will remind you about your ex.
You’ll wonder why am I thinking about my ex from years ago or why am I thinking about my ex all of a sudden?
That’s pretty simple. The moment you find yourself in almost the same situations, you’ll feel the same vibe.
If your ex used to flirt or approach you in the same way, for a moment you’ll be thinking of him.
It just pops up in your head because it feels like you’re relieving some of the moments you lived with your ex.
9. You still keep your ex’s gifts
Everyone wants to keep their best memories in a box.
Yet, if these memories had already an ending that will remind you of what went wrong.
If you wonder: Why do I think about my ex so much? You think about your ex so much because you’re exposed to their presence in a form.
Maybe you don’t feel the same about your ex anymore, but the moment you keep their things, you’ll think about them.
10. You still think your ex is perfect
Your ex might have impacted you in different ways, whether for good or bad.
It’s quite understandable that after the breakup to feel that maybe you’ll never find love again.
This feeling leads you to think that your ex was the perfect candidate. Being hung up on this idea will keep you thinking about your ex.
You might compare it with your current partner, and you might do it subconsciously.
Your opinion of perfection will change with time. When you take a step back from that relationship, you reflect on it.
11. You’re feeling nostalgic
Nostalgia is a crucial factor in triggering old memories and feelings.
You experience a wave of nostalgia when you start to fall in love with someone else or you have some other life transition.
As you feel that you’re falling again in love, you might feel scared that the same is going to happen in this relationship too.
You keep thinking about your ex or even miss them because you would like to experience this with them.
Now, experiencing this feeling of happiness, you trigger the feeling of sorrow and loss.
12. You’re bored
You’re like: Why is my ex suddenly on my mind? An alternative answer can be because you’re bored.
If you’re not in any relationship, that’s what triggers old memories.
There is no one in sight and you need someone to accompany you.
You might not feel the same for your ex, but there’s a void that you need to fill.
You feel lonely and bored and you need to fill the void.
You might not feel the same about your ex and they might not come back, but you still keep doing it.
You keep thinking about your ex every day, just to make yourself feel good again.
13. Your ego triggers your thoughts/feelings
Ego makes you think about your ex suddenly or even after 10 years.
You have that ultimate urge to show your ex that you’ve changed or that you’re doing better without them.
You can’t stop thinking about your ex because you’re constantly thinking about what you could have done differently.
The ego is always telling you to show yourself and prove them wrong.
This situation leads you to have obsessive thoughts.
You need to cooperate with these feelings. Take lessons from this experience and use them in the future.
Unless you do it, you’ll continue having these thoughts constantly.
Why do I still think about my ex when I have someone new?
You are still about your ex when you have someone new because you’re not able to overcome your feelings.
At this point, it’s hard for you to accept reality. You might claim that you’ve already faced it but feelings, thoughts, and actions claim the contrary.
There are different factors that prevent you from moving on and feeling at ease in a new relationship.
1. You were a part of a toxic relationship. If you are in a toxic relationship then for some time you’ll go through the narcissistic impact.
The narcissistic injury lasts almost forever. You’ll have bits of flashbacks from your ex’s behavior.
In this case, the pain and fear intrigue you to think about your ex every day or even suddenly.
2. You’ve not processed your feelings yet.
If you haven’t acknowledged your feelings yet and worked on them then you’ll not have room for new feelings.
If you didn’t learn to be on your own and you’re still heartbroken you’ll keep thinking about your ex.
The process of grieving is depended on two factors:
- How long you’ve been together;
- The reason or the way you broke up;
3. You still have feelings for your ex.
You might have not gotten over that break up yet. For some people, it takes a longer time to move on or forget an ex.
Feelings can’t fade in a blink of an eye.
Yet, after the breakup, you’re still processing feelings and you’re not sure what you’re feeling.
You keep having these feelings for the rest of your life, but the intensity of them will change.
4. You jumped into this new relationship too soon.
It’s like replacing a new doll with a new one.
You love the new one but yet you have a lot of memories and want to play with the old one.
It means that you’ve made a decision out of excitement to get out of that anguish. Hence, your feelings were definite.
If you immediately considered this new relationship as a happy one then you immediately made a comparison.
You’re comparing your ex with the new partner that you thought is the perfect candidate.
5. You want what you don’t have or can’t have again.
This is all related to the ego as I mentioned earlier on.
You’ll watch your ex grow from far away and think that’s not fair towards you.
You’ll think about why your relationship didn’t work that way.
It doesn’t mean that you still have strong emotions for your ex anymore or you don’t feel anything for your new partner.
It means that you want that type of relationship you couldn’t have.
You still haven’t detached completely from the idea of what could have been.
Why do I wake up thinking about my ex?
Waking up thinking about your ex means that you’re still processing your feelings after the breakup.
~ You’re still in pain and devastated that this relationship ended.
Sometimes it takes time to get used to change.
The pain and being hopeless indicate you want to wake up and think about your ex.
Waking up and not having them in your life, triggers the void that you feel inside.
The trauma bond holds you back and prevents you from moving on.
~ You can’t let go of your ex yet.
You might have thought that your ex is the one and that your relationship will last forever.
It didn’t turn that way and you’re still clung to that.
You still have mixed feelings, in reality, you don’t know what you’re feeling. That’s quite normal to feel being out of a relationship.
The only thing that comes to your mind as soon as you start daily activities, is your ex.
~ You have an unresolved issue in this past relationship.
You’re caught up in a vicious circle and you can’t get out.
What makes you think about your ex in the middle of the night and in the morning is unfinished things.
You might regret your decision to break up and maybe you never told your ex about it.
On the other hand, you might have never had closure from your ex. This might haunt you day and night too.
~ You were extremely close. Your ex was a daily habit of yours.
During the night the brain functions differently: It selects memories that you should keep and which not.
If these memories impact you a lot and your brain keeps them, you’ll wake up thinking about your ex.
The brain can’t forget a habit easily. If your daily activities included your ex before, you’ll wake up thinking about your ex and missing them.
How do I stop thinking about my ex?
If you still think about your ex the best remedy to let your thoughts and ex go is to accept reality.
You can accept reality by following these steps:
- Don’t force yourself to move on.
- Understanding what you’re feeling is quite normal.
- Let yourself feel the pain and express your feelings. You can cry, shout, write down everything.
- Remind yourself why the breakup happened.
- Keep replaying in your mind the negative parts of your relationship. This method is not to indulge hate.
Reminding yourself of bad times helps in reflecting on your relationship.
- Treat yourself. Focus on yourself more and do whatever you always wanted to do. Be careful to not use this technique to restrain healing.
You can treat yourself so you can find your potential in life.
- Use the No Contact Rule. This rule won’t stop your thinking. It will help you shift your mindset.
You’ll go from thinking about your ex to thinking about yourself and life.
Despite this, every personal experience is different. You might choose any advice that is suitable for your situation!
FAQ: I keep thinking about my ex….
1. Why do I still think about my ex from years ago?
Even after a hundred years, you’ll be able to think about your ex. There are different circumstances and elements that trigger this memory once in a while.
It must be nostalgia, you’re reliving almost the same things, or you’re afraid to fall in love again.
Keep in mind that until you live your ex will pop into your mind occasionally.
There’s nothing to worry about. It’s the same as when you miss another friend and occasionally you’ll remember them.
2. When does thinking about your ex become obsessive? When do you need the help of a therapist or a counselor?
Thinking about your ex becomes obsessive the moment that impacts you negatively and it doesn’t stop.
You’ll have these types of intrusive thoughts during a day, night, let’s extend it to days or maybe even years.
If you’re still in love with an ex after 10 years then you should take a step back and reflect.
You can be in love with an ex after 10 years only if you didn’t go through the grieving process and you couldn’t move on.
You can still love and miss an ex even after 10 years but the intensity of feelings can change.
If you’re going through these experiences, talk to a therapist and get to know your feelings.
Then you’ll know your next move, whether you’ll talk to your ex or you’ll move on forever.
Final statement: What does it mean when you think about your ex?
That means that you haven’t overcome your feelings yet, you’re having a deja vu, or a bad experience is holding you back.
It’s normal to think or miss your ex at some point in your life.
Sometimes, even little daily activities might make you think about your ex.
Yet, the most important thing is to learn to balance these thoughts and feelings.
Don’t rush into moving on or force it, embrace your feelings!
You got this!