Going through a breakup can be extremely distressing; it can fill you with self-doubt, anger, sorrow, and in some cases even remorse. The emotional upheaval can cause innumerable questions to raise their heads long after you’ve moved into a better relationship than the last one. If you often find yourself stuck with the million-dollar question, “Why do I still think about my ex?”, then you’re not alone.
Thinking about your ex, again and again, is not unusual since it is human nature to compare the past with the present. You might have found yourself in a quandary, wondering, “Why do I still think about my ex when I have someone new?” Letting go of a past relationship is never as easily done as it is said. Let us put our heads together to ponder over the probable reasons you keep on going back to your ex (thankfully, only in your mind!).
9 Probable Reasons You Still Think About Your Ex
Being stuck in a timeless loop of the good ol’ days, reminiscing about your ex, can get really annoying to the point of you exasperatingly asking yourself, “What are these long-lost memories popping into my head? Why do I still think about my ex after 10 years?” (yes, an ex can continue to haunt you even after 10 years!) Your feelings for your ex can linger on longer than you would have ever thought, for a thousand reasons you would have never imagined. Let us get to the heart of the matter to help you comprehend, “Why do I still think about my ex?”
Related Reading: Being Friends With An Ex You Still Love – 8 Things That Can Happen
1. The X-factor in your ex
One of the most undeniable reasons for thinking about your ex again could be little things that you enjoyed the most in your previous relationship but are missing in your present one. It could be compatibility, comfort, passion, chemistry in your relationship, or anything else! Because you’ve experienced that fiery relationship before, you continue to long for it.
One of my dearest friends, Liz, has been in an incredible relationship for the last 2 years. While she is grateful for everything that she has found being in love with Sam, she keeps on returning to what she once had. During one of our night outs, she confessed, “I still think about my ex but I have a boyfriend. I miss the camaraderie we had, I miss how we got along like a house on fire.” You see my point here? You might have everything that you ever wished for in your relationship, but there would still be that one thing that may keep you longing for more (and that is invariably the thing that was the best part about your failed relationship with your ex).
2. You are still following them
When we say you are following them, we don’t mean to say that you are stalking them physically (or maybe we are). Following them on social media platforms to keep tabs on them will eventually lead you to think of them in innumerable ways. If you are someone who questions, “Why do I still think about my ex after 10 years?”, the answer lies in your Instagram. You have not removed them from your life completely. You are still a witness to their existence, their life experiences, and unwittingly inviting them into your thoughts as well.
Keeping a regular check on your ex can actually do you more harm than good. It can make you sulk thinking about your ex again, especially when you see them moving on after the breakup. Couples who part ways following a bad tiff are more likely to feel distressed and even jealous on seeing their ex getting hitched. Either way, keeping your old connection with them intact via social media can be one of the strong reasons you are allowing your ex room in your thoughts.
Related Reading: Should You Delete Pictures Of Your Ex From Your Instagram?
3. You miss the person you used to be in your ex’s company
Do you often wonder: why do I still think about my ex? Let me tell you, it is not your ex that you are missing; you are missing the person that you were in your past relationship. It is an undeniable fact that every relationship and partner is different; likewise, we become a different version of ourselves in the company of different people. You miss your “self” from the past relationship more than your previous partner.
You might have been more carefree and spunky in your previous relationship, while now you might have become a more accommodating and understanding partner. A colleague of mine, Jane, found herself in a similar situation and she was cautious enough to identify the root cause. When she couldn’t help but return to the thoughts of her old flame every now and then, she deduced, “I still think about my ex when I have someone new, because I miss who I used to be with him. I was so much more comfortable in my skin than I am now. Even though her present relationship is going steady, she hasn’t cut the mental cord with her last one.”
4. You did not get closure after the breakup
“My sudden breakup struck me hard like a bolt from the blue. He did not bother to explain what went wrong… we could have worked on it together,” rues my neighbor, Ruth. The lingering feeling of loss, pain, and angst is evident in her tone. “And now…,” she continued, “I still think about my ex but I have a boyfriend.” This is what lack of closure does to you. Your brain is traumatized by the sudden emotional turmoil and it seeks an explanation for your breakup by taking you back to the old memories. You are thinking about your ex again because your brain is burdened with this sudden ghosting.
If you haven’t had closure after a breakup, you will find the process of letting go very cumbersome. The transition might seem unacceptable without any finality even after 10 years down the lane. And, once again you might find yourself in a conundrum: why do I still think about my ex after 10 years? It is the absent closure, my friend, that doesn’t let you get over your ex.
Related Reading: The Difficulty Of Moving On Without Closure
5. You have some great memories to go back to
We understand that your previous relationship wasn’t a bed of roses or it wouldn’t have reached a dead end. Equally understandable is the fact that you two have made some great memories together, memories that remain close to your heart, enveloping you in their warmth, giving you butterflies in your stomach. It is because of these special moments spent together that you keep revisiting your past, and then, ask yourself, “Why do I still think about my ex?”
It could be the little milestones achieved together, the celebratory occasions, the sweet stages of the relationship, the small obstacles faced together, or any other special memories that keep your ex fresh and alive in your mind. When you find yourself thinking about your ex, you need to remind yourself, “It’s because of the memories that I still think about my ex when I have someone new.” Having said that, it is also significant to comprehend that it is absolutely normal to relive those special moments; pleasant memories are meant to be cherished forever and your ex can be a healthy part of your reminiscences.
Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You Love Deeply – 9 Steps To Follow
6. Underestimating yourself and thinking about your ex again
You continuously undermine your self-worth, wallowing in self-doubt. You seek refuge in the familiar territory and go back to the good times you have spent in your relationship. “I still think about my ex but I have a boyfriend”, says Tania. She admits how she struggled with low self-esteem following her breakup, considering herself to be the reason behind it. Wary of getting into a new relationship, lest she might end up feeling like a loser, she kept on holding on to the time spent with her ex.
Plagued by past experiences, your confidence caves in and you think of patching up with your ex. You think you had the best partner one can ever have, and the onus of losing them is on you, so you try to mend the ways and fix the relationship. As these thoughts of self-doubt make their way in, you get further embroiled in the thoughts of your ex, setting off the whole why-do-i-still-think-about-my-ex confusion.
Related Reading: 18 Proven Ways To Get Over Your Ex-Boyfriend And Find Happiness
7. You keep on comparing the present with the past
Wondering, “Why do I still think about my ex when I have someone new?” One of the reasons could be that you are holding your ex as a yardstick to measure your present partner against. Even though you have moved on after your breakup, you never really got over them. You still look at them through the rose-tinted glasses, secretly wishing your partner to match up to the standards set by your ex. The comparison becomes even more pronounced when you disapprove of something in your current partner.
Your partner cracks a joke which you don’t find funny and you are instantly reminded of your ex whose sense of humor resonated closely with yours. The answer to your question, “Why do I still think about my ex?”, lies in your expectations from your partner being defined by your experience in your past relationship. In cases of rebound relationships, the previous standards are more often revisited, making you think about your ex over and over again.
8. You are yet to accept the harsh reality
Breakups are difficult to accept, let alone get over. Coming to terms with the fact that it is all over is indeed distressing and painful but that doesn’t make it any less of a reality. One of the reasons you’re not able to get your ex off your mind could be that you are yet to accept the fact that there is nothing left to be done with this relationship. Your innocent heart strings strum to sing a melodious song out of the raucous clash. You are not ready to acknowledge the end of the relationship and are still trying to give it a last try. A sudden breakup is like a bitter pill: you don’t know how bitter it is unless you taste it, and once you do, it seems impossible to swallow.
Living in denial offers you no solution and you only end up being in a muddle of thinking about your ex again. You need to accept the fact and try to move on, lest you find yourself ruing, “I still think about my ex when I have someone new.”
Related Reading: 18 Subtle Signs Your Long-Term Relationship Is Over
9. Your breakup has been a huge turning point
Your breakup has led to an important turn of events that left a lasting impression on you. It is no less than a watershed moment for you. Your life is never going to be the same again. No mushy talks, no late-night conversations, no date nights, and certainly no one to call a partner. But as they say, old habits die hard. It is next to impossible for you to imagine your life without the routine surrounding your relationship.
Even as you try to settle into a new relationship, the set old patterns tend to haunt you. You involuntarily pick up the patterns determined by your previous relationship and once again you are left to ponder over the rhetorical question, “Why do I still think about my ex when I have someone new?” However, it needs to be acknowledged that all this is natural; it is natural for the human mind to seek solace in the familiar and comfortable.
Now that you have the answer to your question, “Why do I still think about my ex?”, you must have perceived the workings of your mind and heart in a different light. Which one of the above reasons is it that forces you into thinking about your ex again? Although it could be anything that triggers past memories, what is worth noticing here is its impact on you and your present relationship.
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“I still think about my ex but I have a boyfriend” – this statement holds no meaning if you are true to your present love. It is not unusual for people to compare their partners with everyone, including their ex. You might be thinking about your ex again, but you know whatever happened, happened for the good. Your past relationship has come to an end because the two of you mutually decided on this.
Yes, it is absolutely normal, and as we said, it is in human nature to compare the past with the present. I still think about my ex but I have a boyfriend and it is totally acceptable. There is nothing wrong with thinking about your ex again as long as it doesn’t hamper your present relationship.