You just broke up with your ex and now you’re heartbroken from the experience.
All you can think about is them all day long.
- What are they doing?
- Are they still thinking of you?
- Do they miss you?
It’s normal to feel this way. I speak to many people who come to me with massive heartbreaks, stuck in their mind on the life that they have had together with their ex.
The only thing that they can think of is them and the beauty of their lives together. It’s almost as if a part of them has taken a backseat, unable to let go.
If this sounds like you, this isn’t weird. You’re not weird for feeling this. Actually it’s very common and very normal to feel this way.
No matter the experience with your ex, you have had a certain amount of time together in your life.
Whether it felt disempowering or empowering, good or bad, they were part of your life. At one moment in time, you cared. You loved them and I assume, they loved you, too.
Separating or breaking up is the same as grieving. The only difference is that with losing someone to death, they are physically gone forever.
With a breakup, they are still alive, which can make it sometimes even harder knowing that they’re not with you anymore.
Why Do I miss my ex so badly?
So what actually happens when you miss your ex so badly?
Kashish explains a common behavior we are all prone to, “When we start dating someone, we eventually try to fill the gaps within us through them. This happens quite unknowingly but our partners can never fill any void for us. It is not their responsibility or prerogative. We have to do our own emotional work. This is important to remember when you’re in a relationship, and when you’ve broken up as well. Perhaps you’re still trying to accomplish the same with an ex.
I still remember I was with my first ex that I truly fell in love with. When she broke up from me, it truly felt like I lost a piece of myself and left it with her.
This was so painful that I never experienced such a deep hole in my life after that breakup. I was devastated. My mind was all the time with her. My heart was all the time with her.
This was because she made me feel things I didn’t yet discover in myself. I had her to fill the void, to fill the emptiness, while this was an inside job. This was something I had to do.
When you are unhealthily attached to someone you love and you aren’t able to detach in a healthy way, because you have high expectations of your partner, you’ll get hurt more.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go all in for love, but being too much involved with your partner while ignoring and neglecting your own self on the way, will hurt you more.
- Shared social circles
When you have shared social circles and your whole life is builded around each other, it’s much harder to disconnect and “not miss” your ex when you’re constantly confronted with each other.
Your ex might show up everywhere that you go and having the mutual friends will confront you with the loss that you’re going through.
- Fear of being alone or starting over
This is a real fear that keeps many people that I coach in relationships that aren’t serving them.
They keep loving someone who is clearly not right for them, just because they have fear of being alone. Just because they think that they need them to do life.
Living like you “need” someone for you to be successful, for you to be worthy, for you to be able to do things in life, is a false belief and it isn’t serving you well.
- Idealising the past
Sometimes we can make the picture inside our mind’s eye much more beautiful than it was on paper. We might idealise our ex while in reality our needs didn’t get met.
In reality they weren’t as invested in us as we were in them, they didn’t put in so much effort or you yourself didn’t feel the spark so deeply anymore, to name some examples.
When we lose something it’s easier to want to go back to what we “think” is good for us, what is familiar, what is safe, instead of stepping into the unknown.
- “I won’t give up nah-nah-nah, let me love you” (Hope of reconciliation).
It’s important that the last reason that you might miss your ex, is because you have a deep hope of reconciliation. You hope to get back together with them one day.
The only important thing about this is that you should be sure that your feelings are based on reality and not just in your head.
It might happen that your ex has already fully moved on while you’re still in the backseat of their lives. It’s important that you challenge your thoughts and beliefs to know what is true.
Where Does the Feeling of Missing Your Ex Come From?
So how is it possible that we can miss someone so deeply when they aren’t with us anymore?
As Max Jancar explained, “they usually take a part of us with them, that is, a part of our identity. This act of unconscious and unavoidable thievery is also the catalyst for our emotional turmoil.”
The deeper we go, the deeper we connect, the more painful the downfall becomes. Shortly stated, the more we fuse with another being, the more our identities become one, the harder it is to release this part that has become as “home” to us.
This is where the missing kicks in.
How to Stop Missing Your Ex?
1. Allow Yourself to Grieve
One of the first steps in a breakup is to allow yourself to grieve the loss of your relationship. You need to be able to say to yourself “I’m hurt and I’m allowing myself to feel this right now.”
This doesn’t mean that you have to wallow in your sadness, but it does mean that you need to give yourself time to process your emotions.
When you feel that you need to cry, you cry. When you feel anger, you let it out in healthy ways and you allow yourself to miss your ex.
One of the most damaging things you can do is to not feel your emotions and to bottle them up.
This is destructive for your health because they will come out sooner or later in unhealthy ways.
The easier you can be with allowing the waves of life to pass through you, the easier you will become in navigating through the storms of missing your ex.
2. Build and engage in a support system
When you’re missing someone and you’re all alone with yourself all day, it’s great to have a support system next to you. Especially one thing that you feel you can count on.
In this way having a pet might help you to carry the load of missing your ex and to feel the warmth of something being there next to you.
This study even covers the fact that having a dog can improve depression and self-esteem, which clearly shows that also for you, this can have tremendous effects on your health.
3. Resist the Urge to contact your Ex
Staying in contact with your ex won’t give you time to process your feelings. It’s only a distraction from feeling the feelings of letting go. You need to spend time with yourself to truly move on.
I used to really suck at letting go.
My ex started to text me (because she felt lonely) and I allowed her in again. We went up and forth about life and talking together. My feelings for my ex started to increase again while she had been moving on with her life.
Allowing her in, eventually caused me more hurt than if I would have shown more courage to stay away from something I know wasn’t serving me anymore.
So, cut contact with your ex and spend your time doing something else.
4. Block or Stop Following your EX on Social Medias
Social media can be hard. Social media can be destructive. Social media can cause you anxiety and keep you stuck in a loop if you keep checking what your ex is doing.
If you keep going back to the iceberg, eventually your ship will crack and sink. You have to move away from the iceberg to recover and heal.
So, if you want to stop moving your ex then you’ve to stay focused on yourself. And, to do so, you should block your ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend on all social media platforms.
5. Consider Packing away any items reminiscent of your ex-partner
Keeping all of the stuff of your partner is only a way to hold on to what isn’t there anymore. To stop missing your ex, you need to get rid of the souvenirs.
For me it helped me a lot to leave everything that reminded me of my ex so that I truly felt I was releasing them.
I sent the engagement ring she gave me together in an envelope with a letter towards the mail delivery. I sent it to an unknown address as a symbol for letting go.
6. Challenge Your Distorted Thoughts About The Relationship
What you have to understand is that when you are in love and in heartbreak, you might not see things as clearly as you would when you aren’t in this phase of your life.
What I also see happening a lot with the people I’m coaching, is that they have very distorted thoughts about their relationship with their ex.
They don’t see clearly. They keep on focusing on the positive happy memories with your former partner.
After mirroring back to them everything that is happening, they suddenly get the clarity that they were missing on how they truly perceive their ex and if it’s all “true based”.
7. Practice Self Care & Self Improvement
One of the most powerful things you can do when you’re missing your ex or someone really deeply, is to regain your strength by focusing on yourself.
Self care and self love is the essence of good mental health. There is nothing more powerful than building the relationship with yourself. There are many ways to do this.
Think of any self improvement activity such as physical activity, starting a new class or even starting a yoga class.
Besides this, journaling as a way of finding expression of your heart, meditation to calm the overthinking, building a new routine that excites you and supports you.
Building on your self-love by going to dinners by yourself and setting new goals that are empowering and refreshing you from inside.
8. Move Forward and Open Yourself to New Possibilities
You probably feel that a part of you has been lost, that they are the one and love doesn’t exist outside the relationship of you two anymore.
I don’t believe this is true. I have had many times in my life that I thought “I would never be so in love anymore with anyone else” and then suddenly it happened.
Suddenly I did fall in love with someone I felt more attracted to than my ex girlfriend and it truly can get better if that’s where your mindset is.
If you believe it doesn’t get better, it won’t. If you believe it will get better, it will!
To stop thinking about your ex keep on putting conscious effort by affirming to yourself that everything will get better.
9. Partake in Novel Experiences
Doing new things and going on new adventures is very helpful to clear the fogginess that you might feel inside your mind right now. It opens new doors, you might meet new people ane make new friends.
You literally open yourself for life. When we experience life in a new daylight, it will be very helpful for us to feel more connected again to everything life has to offer.
This in comparison with being home all day, overthinking, stuck in your ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Learning a new skill, going to a place we’ve never been before or travelling to a new environment, this can all lighten us up, big time.
It will also be great for your overall emotional and mental health.
10. Reflect on The Past Critically
According to this study conducted on 72 participants, spending 20 minutes every day journaling about the breakup helped the participants feel less resentment for their ex, care less about them, feel less guilty about the breakup, and overall have less intrusive thoughts related to their ex.
By reflecting critically on the breakup, why you are separated now and what you’ve learned from it, you can understand better the reason for why it happens.
This will help you to maintain a positive outlook on the break-up and turn it into a source of power instead of destruction.
11. Know That You Have The Power to Heal
Even though it might feel as if you’re stuck forever, that you’re not able to move forward without your ex or that you will never “overcome this”.
Believe me if I say to you that this will happen. You will come out of this. You do have the power to heal from this. You have the power to turn this around.
By taking ownership of your emotions, by allowing yourself to grieve, by focusing on yourself and your longings, to dedicatedly come back to what matters most for you,
Next to all the tips outlined in this article together with time, you’re able to overcome this.
Missing someone you have loved for a period of time is never easy. No one said this was easy.
But does it mean that your life has to come to a standstill? I don’t believe so.
It will take a few months but you will stop missing your ex over time. The intensity will decrease.
Many times in my life I thought the world would stop by separating from a partner. Looking back on my life, I can see that every person I have encountered was there to hand me a gif.
I couldn’t see it back then but I do see now. Every person that I loved deeply, builded a relationship with and that I let go off, had something precious for me.
I couldn’t have that if I didn’t have the experience. I also couldn’t have all the other beautiful experiences if I left my heart on lock by the first person I loved.
My advice to you would be: feel it all and leave your heart open through it all. You will fall in love again. You will celebrate life again.
Your life doesn’t have to stop by one love story that ended.
Who knows what is at the end of the book, if you keep holding yourself stuck on the same page that you have been reading over and over? Thinking there is nothing else to read?
Who says you can’t write more stories?
Start here, start now.