After the breakup, we sometimes begin to think about our ex even more than before the relationship.
We may get nostalgic about how happy we were together, or even despair about how we might never experience that kind of happiness again.
It’s simply because our brains, which are really programmed to survive, don’t want us to give up on a relationship that is important to us.
But, it’s also so much more than that.
Here are 10 reasons why you’re starting to think about your ex again:
1) You still haven’t moved on
How can you stop thinking about your ex if you still haven’t moved on from them?
While it’s true they may still be in your dreams or thoughts, they are no longer a part of your reality.
Just like you can’t continue to live in the same house you grew up in forever, so you can’t keep living in the past where you had a relationship.
Now that the relationship has ended, it’s time to move on.
You’ve spent enough time with your ex and thinking about them.
All that pain is energy that can be used to create other energy.
It’s time to let go!
You can move on by getting together with new people and starting a new kind of relationship.
This will help you feel free and happy again, because you’re no longer tied down to unhappy or unwanted emotions related to your ex.
And you’ll start to notice yourself thinking about your ex less and less.
2) You’re still emotionally attached to your ex
When we fall in love, there are a lot of chemicals in our brains: dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin.
These chemicals create an incredible feeling of well-being and euphoria that makes us believe the other person is “the one”.
Of course, these chemicals are released when you’re attracted to someone to begin with.
But, they also have an interesting effect: they attach us to the person we’re with.
Perhaps, you and your ex had a really powerful and intense emotional connection.
You felt as if you had no control over it, and it was as if you were being carried away on a torrential river of feeling.
It probably made you feel extremely alive.
When this kind of chemistry is gone, and when what’s left between you is perhaps only friendship or companionship, it’s extremely obvious that something has gone wrong.
And so you start to think about that time with your ex when everything was warm, electric and exhilarating, even months or years after the break-up.
3) You’re addicted to the idea of love
Our brains aren’t 100% completely rational creatures.
They’re more like little children who can’t do anything without wanting to do it: they don’t even like the way they feel when they don’t want to do something.
We’re looking for that feeling of euphoria and well-being, and of course, love can give it to us.
The idea of being in love with someone is so attractive that it’s almost impossible to think about how we’d feel if the “love” disappeared.
So even if the relationship wasn’t perfect or “the one”, we still need to look for that feeling again.
And that brings you to reminisce about the feelings you experienced when you were with your ex.
Remember the time when you felt like you were made for each other?
Remember the time when you both said to each other “I love you”, every day, multiple times a day, as if it were your favorite food?
Remember how it felt to be so intensely drawn to them that it just wasn’t bearable?
These feelings give you some hope that things will be better next time, if only you can meet someone who will share your interests, experiences and values.
It helps you to feel as if you have a purpose, a role and a meaning in your lives.
4) You’re suffering from lack of closure
Do you feel you and your ex didn’t really solve any of the problems in your relationship?
Well, of course not.
You didn’t have time to work them through; it just ended too soon.
Which means there are still some things that are unresolved.
When we don’t have closure in an experience, it’s the same as if we never experienced it at all.
Which means you didn’t have the chance to get over your ex, or to finally feel that all your love and efforts were worthwhile.
You feel like there are still some things hanging in the air, and perhaps you even wonder if there’s something you could’ve done while you were together that might’ve made things a little bit better.
All of this causes you to think about that time when love was exciting and everything seemed new and possible.
You start to think about your ex because it’s the only way you feel as if you’ll be able to resolve all these issues.
You begin to obsess about the possible things you could have done in your relationship that may have made it better.
The lack of closure can also make it hard for you to accept that the relationship is over, which I’ll explain in my next point.
5) You’re in denial about your break-up
The feelings, the thoughts, the emotions that come with a break-up are so difficult to handle that most people will try anything they can to avoid them.
Maybe even you.
We don’t like to admit that something didn’t work out as we’d hoped.
So, we might just delusionally accept that our relationship wasn’t a failure.
For example, if the breakup was your idea, you may want to think about how things were so great in the relationship that your ex just couldn’t handle it anymore.
You may also think about how maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
It’s easier than thinking “Well, that was just the best thing in my life and it didn’t work out, so I suppose I need to find another way to make it happen”.
You might also go further and ask yourself “Why did it end?”, “Did I do something wrong?” or “What can I change next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”.
You need to remember that asking yourself these kinds of questions is a form of denial.
It makes you feel powerless, and it makes you avoid the truth which is that your ex broke up with you.
Most importantly, all this denial doesn’t help you to be happy or to move on: in fact, it’s a perfect recipe for depression.
6) Your relationship was toxic
Remember how you felt when you were in love with your ex?
You were so in love that you couldn’t stand the idea of being separated from them.
Well, guess what?
That’s what toxic relationships do to us.
A toxic relationship can actually cause extreme feelings of attachment that are similar to the feelings we get with addiction.
This means there’s a very real chemical reaction happening in our brains when we’re involved in a toxic relationship.
In the same way that there’s addictive behavior in drug addicts, so there’s addictive behavior in toxic relationships.
When people are in a toxic relationship, their brains produce a chemical called dopamine.
This dopamine makes us feel more reckless and impulsive than usual.
It also lowers our natural ability to be rational and critical.
And because our brains associate toxic relationships with happiness and pleasure, we’re more likely to go back to them than if they’d been a bad experience.
It’s a vicious cycle that can lead us to believe we’ll never be happy without our ex.
If you are having this, you need to consider getting to the root of the issue.
The truth is most of our flaws in love stem from our own complicated inner relationship with ourselves.
So, how can you fix the external without first looking at the internal?
I learned this from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, in his incredible free video on Love and Intimacy.
The key to solving the underlying issues you have in your previous relationship is to improve the relationship you have with yourself.
In this powerful video, you’ll find the practical solutions you need to have the relationship that you deserve in the future.
7) You’re not happy with yourself
If your happiness depends on someone else, then you’re not happy.
That’s a fact.
You see, we can’t be happy if our happiness depends on other people or things which are outside of our control.
To be happy with life means being in control of your thoughts and feelings and having the ability to change them at any time.
You can come up with all kinds of reasons why your ex is still in your mind, like:
“I still miss him”
“He said he would call me again.”
“I’m sure he’s thinking about me.”
The truth is – none of those statements are true.
You might still miss him because he was once a very important part of your life, and you lost your connection with him.
In fact, it’s not about him at all.
It’s about you and how you feel about yourself – and the fact that he was the one who hurt you is just a small part of the big picture.
The best thing you can do is pick yourself up and start moving forward.
Finding the right partner is also key to being content.
You need to be with someone who makes you feel loved and happy, instead of having feelings of depression and sadness over the loss of an ex.
8) You’re not happy with your new relationship
Ok, maybe you’ve moved on.
But, why are you still not happy?
Let me tell you why.
You’re dating the WRONG person.
A person who doesn’t give you what you desire.
That’s why you’re still thinking about your ex.
Why would you spend time with someone who’s not good for you or make you feel bad about yourself?
Love is about making other people happy, and if you spend time with someone who does the opposite of it then you should think twice about your relationship.
Your ex probably did this too, so it’s easy for us to believe it can happen again with someone new.
You need to be very clear on what you want from your new relationship.
If this isn’t clear, your new relationship will fail, and so will you.
9) You’re jealous of them
You SHOULD be, but really, you shouldn’t be.
While it’s normal to be jealous of your ex’s new relationship, jealousy is also a selfish emotion which can make you feel bad about yourself.
Unless you stop hating their happiness, you’ll never be able to stop thinking about them.
Yes, it’s painful to see your ex moving on with someone else.
But, continuing to hate their relationship is going to do any good.
You need to let them be happy and stop thinking that if you’re not happy with your ex, then they can’t be either.
You’ve got to find a way to learn how to love yourself without your ex, and not think badly of them because they are someone else’s problem now.
So, stop worrying or thinking that they will never be happy.
They already are!
10) You’re still angry at them
You’re still angry at your ex because you feel like they left you in the dark, lied to you and generally hurt you.
You might have been confused and didn’t know what to do at that time.
That’s why you still can’t get them out of your mind.
Anger is not the best emotion for creating any kind of life for yourself.
It’s pretty much a waste of your energy and time.
You need to find a way to let go of this feeling, and direct it in a more positive way.
You can only stop thinking about your ex when you give up the anger or resentment towards them.
Our mind works in its own way.
You can’t stop your mind from thinking about anything, really.
Sure, the reasons above could be why you’re still thinking about your ex.
But honestly, you could be all moved on and happy, and your ex could still show up in your thoughts.
All you can do is to just let it be and keep moving forward.