What to Do When You Miss Your Ex?

Does everything around you remind you of your ex?

Are you still missing your ex so much that your heart drops every time you think of them?

Does it feel impossible for you to move on because you’re still stuck with the idea of getting back together?

This is totally understandable.

It’s hard to miss someone when this person isn’t by your side. 

Especially when you and your ex have chosen to separate ways and now you’re hanging in there, still stuck on them intensely missing them.

It’s normal and a natural tendency for humans to miss someone who has played a significant role in your life. 

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We tend to overthink the beautiful moments and the impact that the relationship made on our lives. 

In this article we will dive deeper into why you miss your ex so much and also a few suggestions for what you can do when you miss your ex.

But Why do you miss my ex so much?

Interestingly, in this study, it was found that when people who had experienced a recent breakup recalled positive memories of the relationship, they became distressed.

The more we tend to marinate in the pictures and the stories about our ex and our past, the deeper the hurt that is coming to the surface and as seen in the study, it might throw you out of balance.

What is most important to answer is: “What are you hoping to get from your ex?” and is this something that can be found somewhere else? Within yourself possibly?

If you’re desperately looking for love because your ex adored you, validated you or made you feel safe, is this something that you can give yourself?

And if you feel satisfied by how you treat yourself, are there other people in your life that have the capacity to fill this need that you have? 

This is the first step into helping you overcome the gap that you feel from missing your ex. 

Here’s What to Do When You Miss Your Ex:

1. Make a list of all the negative parts of the relationship

First of all, It’s totally normal to miss someone you have spent time with. You are literally grieving a person that is still alive but not with you anymore and that can be super hard.

What I see happening a lot, with my clients but also with me in my past, is that when we separate from our partner, we only tend to focus on the loss.

We only see what we have “lost”. At the same time we miss out on all the reasons that the relationship wasn’t totally aligned anymore.

For example, you might not get too much attention from your partner, you had a lot of fights together, you didn’t feel seen, there was no romance or intimacy and so on.

I used to write down all the reasons why it was a good idea to break up and kept adding new lines for when I felt vulnerable and missed my ex.

I re-read it everytime when I felt my mind wandered away and this kept my mind strong in times of missing them. It reminded me of the reasons why.

So, spend time making a list of all the negative aspects of your past relationship with your ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend.

2. Remove all memories and reminders of your ex

You can’t expect to stop missing your ex when you’re constantly surrounded by all the memories and reminders of your ex. It’s impossible.

Especially when you try to move in it’s impossible to keep all this stuff. One of the most important things that I tell my clients is to remove it ALL.

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And when I say “remove it all” I mean, remove it ALL. You shouldn’t be surrounded by anything that reminds you of your ex at all.

This will accelerate your healing process and you’re able to move on quicker. Wether that is photos together, notes together, their whatsapp messages, their instagram, name it.

You need to remove it all.

3. Pack away items that trigger memories of your ex

Store all the stuff that you still have of them. You can either box it in a box and put it away and in the best situation you can also send it back when it belongs to them.

You shouldn’t hold onto the things that still belong to someone else. When you’re holding on to the stuff of them it’s almost as if you say to yourself “They will come back”.

When in reality, they are moving on. That’s why you should be strong, cry if you need to, but make it a priority to move everything that reminds you of them.

There is no need to hold on and these items only will make you miss them more.

So do yourself a favor by throwing away the things that remind you of your ex if you want to stop missing your ex and release negative emotions.

4. Give voice to your heartaches through writing them in a journal

Buy a journal and start to write it all down. Every pain, every emotion, every overwhelming inch of energy inside your body, write it down. It will help you to ease your mind.

This study clearly states that writing about emotions may ease stress and trauma. Sometimes it can feel like “a lot” to write down but you feel much lighter when you start to get into the habit.

You’ll eventually feel more free, more clear, more open. It might even help you to release and feel feelings that were still lingering inside your heart.

It is also a great tool to help you clear the fog inside your mind when you’re overwhelmed with thoughts. 

Writing for me has been a savor. It has been a powerful tool that I discovered when I was walking in very dark times. It has also helped me to stop missing my ex. That’s why I would encourage you to pick your pen and a journal.

Start writing imperfectly but truthfully. You won’t regret this. Spend time journaling whenever possible.

5. Adjust your daily routine to minimize triggering memories

If for example, you had a routine together where you walked around a certain spot and sat at a certain bench, talking about the day, maybe it’s a good thing to shake this up and do it differently.

At least, for the beginning. When you have built a habit together and you’re now doing all of these things alone, this can reinforce the feeling of missing really deeply.

By shifting it and shaking things up, making new connections in your brain with fresh new habits that are separated from your ex-lover, this might help you to move on quicker and miss them less.

Think about some of the habits or routines that remind you of him and see how you can make some adjustments in it accordingly for your own mental health.

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6. Engage with Close Friends & Family Members for support and distraction

Your social circle can be a really strong source of support and distraction when you miss your ex a lot. They can help you laugh. Think about other things and distract you for a while.

It might be helpful to be more outside of your house and explore other people more. When you’re a lot alone it’s more easy to think the same patterns of thoughts.

To get triggered in the same way as before when you were still with your ex. Being with your friends and your social circle can influence you positively.

It might even help you to meet new people who can spark new emotions and feelings in you and get your mind distracted from your ex.

Create new positive memories to your mind and stop missing your ex all the time.

Side note: Tell your mutual friends to not talk about ex partner.

7. Practice self care activities to nurture yourself

It sounds cliché, to “focus on yourself” but it’s the truth. When we tend to focus too much on someone else, we are closing our hearts from ourselves.

You, yourself are your first and latest lover. It all starts with you. When you’re radiating, when you’re glowing, because you have been filling your cup, the whole world can feel this.

When you focus on nurturing yourself, your cup will get fuller and fuller. You will feel more strong, you will feel more nurtured, you will feel more in your power.

Do any physical activity: Go into nature, go into that bath with himalayan salt, go to that sauna, do that massage, read that book, write your feelings down, do a yoga or dance class, and express your emotions.

All of this (and more) can be so helpful for your self esteem!

Remember, self improvement and self compassion is the healthiest things you can do. Not to mention, it will also help you realise what you want in a new relationship.

Focusing on self improvement is the key to stop missing your ex.

8. Maintain the No Contact rule to set healthy boundaries

It’s important that you should have a no contact rule to protect your own energy. 

If you keep trying to be in contact with them, texting them, looking at their social media or the latest when they are online, you’re still training your mind to be busy with them.

What you want is to completely disconnect yourself from them and establish healthy boundaries, so that you can start to move on from missing to healing and re-focusing.

I highly recommend to implement no contact strategy to stop missing your ex. It will help you move on faster.

9. Shift your perspective to appreciate the positive aspects of being single

If you’re missing your ex then instead of thinking how bad it is to be single and how sad you are that you don’t have your lover beside you anymore, shift your perspective towards appreciation of the positive aspects of being single.

Now is your time to re-discover yourself without someone next to your side. Now you have the time to really build your own life even deeper.

Especially if you’re someone who is a people pleaser or who is a full blown giver, you now have the opportunity to give to yourself.

You can now design a life that feels truthful to you before someone enters into your life and decides to stay. It’s a blessing and an opportunity, so see the beauty of that!

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10. Seek professional help and support

If you’re missing your ex and nothing is helping then consider talking to a therapise. There is no shame in asking for counseling, therapy, relationship coaching or any professional guidance and support to get over this intense feeling missing your ex.

Those professionals are able to help you see things that you don’t see yourself. They might even help you to gain clarity and work on themes and patterns in your life.

This is a lifelong investment of personal development that is a true present to give yourself. If you need help go out and ask for it. There is no shame or harm in that.

Should You Get Back To Your Ex?

Every situation is unique and not everyone should rekindle back with their ex again. What is especially important is the way the two of you decided to end the relationship.

An ending because of a long distance relationship or because of harmful and violent fights, is a completely different situation.

This study shows that “typically partners experience lingering feelings after a relationship ends and 40-50% of people are estimated to get back together with an ex at some point. However, what is interesting is that the relationships that get repeated tend to experience less fulfillment, satisfaction and love than they did the first time around.”

What they also mention is that repeated relationships are more likely to succeed when they occur because of insight and growth, rather than a desire to reduce loneliness, be with someone familiar or make an old partner feel better.

Besides this, you should recognize if your partner is a kind and truthful human being or that they have potentially very harmful words and actions before you go back to your ex.

Also, the consequences of poor timing to get back together can influence your decision. 

The last thing to consider is that there is a really beautiful opportunity in solitude and there lies immense power in embracing it. 

That’s why before you decide to go back to your ex, ask yourself the following question: “What is there to learn for me right now, by spending and enjoying my time alone?

Navigating Forward (Summary)

I truly believe that when things are truly meant for us, they’ll find a way back to us, sooner or later.

In my life I missed someone often, at that moment I really thought I should be with them, however, if I look back right now, I see that I was better off without them.

In that moment your mind can be so strong and make you believe that the missing means that you should return back to them.

In my experience I have come to understand that missing someone doesn’t always mean that we need to return back to them.

It can also mean that you grieve the beauty of the time that the two of you had together and that you’re now opening yourself up to deeper parts in yourself.

Take the invitation for a deeper jump inside yourself and see where you end up.

Never forget that what is truly meant for you, will never miss out on you.


Should I Get Back With My Ex

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Joanna Pleun
About Joanna Pleun

Joanna is a globe-trotting writer and liberation coach, helping people transform their lives, especially post-break ups. She excels in identifying the root causes of self-sabotage and fostering personal empowerment. Through her writings, workshops, and group sessions, Joanna guides individuals to reconnect with their bodies and hearts, encouraging them to create magical life experiences. Her ultimate goal is to assist people in fostering a fulfilling relationship with themselves.

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