Dating is not always about sweets and chocolates. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will end up going your separate ways.
Of course, some breakups don’t leave deep emotional scars and you might just feel relieved and refreshed as if you finally remove a tight noose around your neck. But obviously, these are breakups where no emotional investment was made.
However, things are different when you know you gave the relationship your all. The most difficult of breakups can leave you emotionally, mentally, and physically broken in more ways than one. And more often than not, this kind of breakups are when you still think of your ex even after your relationship has long came to an end
What does it really mean when you can’t seem to stop thinking about your ex no matter how hard you try?
Here are some of the most common reasons why your ex still occupies your mind after all this time?
You Miss the “You” When You Were in the Relationship
One reason why you find someone attractive is because they have the qualities and traits you want and hope to see in yourself.
If you always think about your ex and you always recall all the happy moments that you shared together, there is a chance that what you are craving for is the way you felt when you were still together. if it is the case, you probably forgot that you still got the traits your ex brought out in you when the two of you were in a relationship.
Maybe you became more organized because of your ex. You were probably able to decide to quit your horrible job or kick your smoking habit because of your ex. If you long for these things, don’t worry because these didn’t happen because of them. Your ex just mirrored the things you couldn’t see in yourself. Everything was in you all this time and it still is.
You Grieve for the Attachment
The word grief might be a little too much to use when your ex is still alive but this is the exact feeling that you have. It is grief, the raw and real kind of grief. Your ex didn’t die but you are no longer together. Even if they might still be a part of your life in some way, there is a significant change in their role this time.
They are gone and they will never come back to you. This is unlike actual death where you can say goodbye and get over things. The grief after a breakup is not validated and many people fail to give their feelings real space so they end up pondering in shame.
The way you grieve a relationship has something to do with your attachment style that was established during infancy. This then tells so much about yourself and how you navigate and handle relationships. It is not really about your ex per se but more about what the person represents to you who think about them.
For example, if your ex has been a reliable and protective person in your life, it might feel unbearable and massive to lose that relationship. This will leave you feeling like a helpless young child.
If you have a fearful and anxious attachment while growing up, you might often think of your ex, sometimes in an obsessive way since you had something that served as an anchor and gave meaning to your life.
But even if your attachment style is a normal one, breaking up from such an intense relationship is going to be painful. This is inevitable. This is all part of the process of bonding and unbonding. Grieving following a breakup is not only normal. It is all part of being human.
The loss was probably much harder than what you realized if you don’t miss someone who once had a special place in your life. Not missing your ex might indicate that you have a deficit of connection and attachment. It might mean that you removed the entire relationship from your conscious awareness since managing the loss was impossible for you. It is almost like a kind of defense of attachment.
You Need to Validate That You are Better Off Without Your Ex
Deep down inside, you know that things didn’t work out with your ex for one reason or another. It could be because your life values were incompatible, your personal development paths were unequal, or your attachment styles were different. The truth is that they don’t have a romantic role in your life because right at this moment, they are not meant to be there.
You probably cannot stop thinking of your ex because you remember and wonder about what ifs. What if you just held out longer or tried a bit harder? What if you did this or that? All of these are comparisons of the unknown and the present moment.
Fate is not the one that confirms that things unfold exactly as how they should. You cannot find the answers in the stars. You are the only one who can reassure yourself no matter where you might be at this moment. For all you know, you might have never become what you are now if the relationship didn’t end. Learn to love your now and value the journey and how you’ve come so far.
You Want to Remind Yourself of the Lesson You Learned Thanks to Your Ex
Every person you meet on this planet leaves a mark on you one way or another. It could be the stranger who picked up your phone when it fell off your hands or the kid who offered her ice cream to you when you were feeling down. Similarly, you also learned an indelible lesson because of your ex. It can be something new you learned about yourself or things you learned about them.
The relationship and your ex might no longer be there but these lessons remain. While you cannot undo these lessons, you can continue to learn new ones on your own. And probably the first lesson you should learn is that it might be time for you to stop thinking about your ex.