Why do I still care about someone who hurt me?

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Psychologist
Updated On: May 3, 2024
Why Do I Still Care About Someone Who Hurts Me

My boyfriend and I broke up a while ago. It’s been months, why can’t I get over him? He was a terrible boyfriend and when we were together, he kept hurting me emotionally. I used to be sad and crying all the time during our relationship. Why do I still care about someone who hurt me? It’s like I know logically I should move on and that this is good for me but I just can’t. I didn’t think it would be this hard. It is like my love for him is unconditional and I can’t stop thinking about him. How can I let go of someone that hurt me? Please help.


It is difficult to straight away stop caring about someone, even after they hurt you. It is not unnatural for you to still care for that person. Above all, practice holding some grace for yourself and practice being kind to yourself. Here are a few reasons you still care for this person, even after they hurt you.

Related Reading: What To Say To Someone Who Hurt You Emotionally

1. Attachment.

Over time, with care our attachment to a person grows. This attachment signifies that this person is now an important part of your life, that you enjoy being around this person and that they mean something to you. Sometimes, due to this attachment, we tend to brush off the flaws of those we are attached to. Either, choosing to completely ignore them, minimize them or to deny addressing them as flaws entirely.

This attachment also triggers the reward pathway in your brain – causing a release of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin when you are around this person. This makes their presence pleasurable and addictive.

Related Reading: Do I have attachment issues? Quiz

2. Being afraid to let go.

If you have been with someone for a very long time, you have gotten used to them being in your life. You may have come to depend on them and you may even be spending a certain specific time of your day with them. Being so involved with someone for a long time often leads us to lose sight of who we are without them. It can be daunting, then, to picture life without this person next to you. So, you choose to stay and care, thinking it to be the lesser of two evils.

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3. Not valuing yourself.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky.
Maybe due to past experiences, you have learned to place your self-worth, respect and your needs on a lower pedestal than other people. While it is difficult to admit, many people spend their entire lives not loving themselves the way they should and instead look to be loved by others. This means that you will be more likely to tolerate disrespect and being hurt by your loved ones simply for the opportunity to be loved by them, even if that love is less than the bare minimum.

Related Reading: 13 Ways To Make Him Realize Your Worth

4. A result of being manipulated.

If this person was emotionally abusive and manipulative, it becomes harder to cut cords and move on. Targets of emotional manipulation begin to question their own experience and lose faith in their own judgment. Many times, they are also isolated from their support system or hesitate to bring up issues that really bother them and thus don’t receive the help they need. Emotional manipulation also targets a person’s self-esteem and makes them severely doubt their ability to be independent.


1.  Can I forgive them and still care about them?

Yes, you can forgive someone and still care for them. However, you can still not want this person back in your life simply from the standpoint of wanting to protect yourself. There would be nothing wrong with that.

 2. Is it okay to cut contact with him?

If you feel that staying in contact with this person is detrimental to your mental and emotional health, you can cut off contact with them. You do not owe anyone your time, efforts and love if they cannot respect you and continue to hurt you. If cutting contact means protecting yourself, by all means, cut off contact

3. How do I stop constantly thinking about him?

Distract yourself, as often as that works. Continue to look after yourself and pour into your own cup by doing more of what nourishes you. You will still think about them from time to time, it is only natural. But remind yourself that your life still has worth without them. Surround yourself with people you love and you look out for you. Build new memories, and live your life as fully and intentionally as you can. With time, it will get easier.

4. It’s been months, why can’t I get over him?

Ask yourself what it meant for you to have him around. What need of yours was being met which isn’t being met anymore? Is it truly him you cannot get over, or the potential of who he could be? Is there something or someone around you that constantly reminds you of him?

 5. When should I seek professional help?

While there is no set limit of pain for seeking professional help, if you experience any of the following, reach out to a professional:
1. If you have been having trouble sleeping or eating due to overthinking.
2. If it is hindering significantly with your life
3. If it has been a long time and you can’t move on
4. If you have no one else to share this pain with

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