Why You Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Ex and 11 Things To Do About It

There is nothing quite like the agony of being unable to stop thinking about your ex. 

It's like a never-ending loop of pain you can't shake. 

You might try to distract yourself with other things, but no matter what you do, you just can't seem to get them out of your head.

There are a few possible reasons why you continue thinking about your ex. 

Maybe you miss how they made you feel, or you're just nostalgic for the good times you shared. 

Perhaps you still have feelings for them, and you’re just curious about what they're up to.

So what do you do when you can't stop thinking about your ex?

How do you get over them and move on with your life?

Let’s find out.

Is It Normal to Think about Your Ex Constantly?

You just broke up with your ex a few weeks (or even months) ago, but every day, you find yourself thinking about them all the time. Is this normal?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

It's perfectly normal to think about your ex after a breakup. In fact, it's actually quite common.

When you're first getting over a breakup, your mind is still trying to process what happened and what the future holds.

During this time, it's normal to think about your ex often and compare them to other people in your life.

As you heal from the breakup and move on with your life, you'll start thinking about your ex less and less.

However, it's not normal to constantly think about this person years after the breakup or to the point where it's impacting your daily life.

If you notice that you can't focus on anything else and you're constantly obsessing over your ex, it might be time to talk to a therapist or counselor about your thoughts and feelings.

Why Can't I Stop Thinking About My Ex? 

Why can't you seem to get them off your mind, and what does this mean? There are a few different reasons why this might be happening. These include:

  • You still have feelings for them: Is it possible that you're not ready to let go of the relationship and hoping for a reconciliation? If you still have strong feelings for your ex, it will be challenging to stop thinking about them. And the fact that you broke up might fuel your obsession.
  • You're scared of being single: After being in a relationship for a while, it's normal to feel anxious about returning to single life. It can especially be true if you didn't want the relationship to end. If you're scared of being single, you might find yourself reminiscing about your ex often to fill the void in your life.
  • You're feeling nostalgic: It's common to look back on past relationships with rose-colored glasses, remembering only the good times and forgetting the bad. If you're feeling nostalgic about your relationship with your ex, it's natural to think about them often.
  • You miss how they made you feel: When you're in a relationship, you share your life with someone and your feelings and emotions. After a breakup, it's normal to miss the emotional connection that you once shared with your ex.
  • You share a trauma bond: A trauma bond is when two people share a traumatic experience, such as an abusive relationship. This can create a strong emotional connection between the two people and make it difficult to move on after the relationship ends.

How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex: 11 Actions to Stop It

Is your ex always on your mind?

Whether it's wondering what they're doing, if they've moved on, or just general obsessive and intrusive thoughts, it can be very tough to stop thinking about them.

But don't worry; we've got you covered. Check out these 11 actions to help you stop thinking about your ex all the time!

1. Take Time to Grieve

The loss of a relationship can be challenging to process. Losing something in which you have invested your emotional, physical, financial, and even spiritual energy can take its toll on you. It's okay to allow yourself to grieve the end of the relationship and give yourself time to heal.

Take a few days off work; if you can, spend some time alone, crying, journaling, or talking to a friend. Allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling without judging it or trying to push it away. Don't try to hide your pain; it will only come back as unresolved issues later.

2. Delete and Unfollow Them on Social Media

Out of sight, out of mind, right? So if you're constantly checking your ex's social media pages or stalking their photos to find out what they're up to, it might be time to hit the unfollow button and do a social media detox.

This means unfollowing, deleting, and even blocking them from your social media accounts.

You should also block and delete their number from your phone to avoid the temptation of checking out their WhatsApp, texting them, or calling them late at night. You want to do everything possible to avoid any contact with your ex.

3. Get Rid of Their Stuff

Are you still hanging on to souvenirs from your relationship? That teddy bear they got you for your birthday or the pair of earrings they gave you on Valentine's Day? If so, it might be time to say goodbye to these material possessions.

It can be really tough to let go of these things. However, holding onto them will only make it harder for you to move on. So either give them away, donate them, or just throw them out. And if you're really struggling to let go, try burning them!

Call your friends over, have a bonfire in your backyard, and watch as their stuff goes up in flames. There is just something magical and cathartic about burning your ex's stuff that will help you release any residual feelings you have towards them.

4. Avoid Their Friends and Family

Do you still keep in touch with your ex's friends and family? Do they still call you when they can't get a hold of him or when they need help? If so, it might be time to cut off communication with them as well.

It can be challenging to do this, especially if you're still close to them. However, remember that they are your ex's friends and family, not yours.

Their loyalty lies with him, not with you. So by continuing to communicate with them, you're only prolonging the pain and making it harder for yourself to move on.

So politely decline any invitations they might send your way, and don't pick up the phone when they call. This way, you can avoid any temptation to follow up on your ex.

5. Make a List of Their Flaws

What did you hate the most about your ex? Did they always leave the cap off the toothpaste? Or they always forgot to put their dishes in the dishwasher?

After a breakup, it's easy to remember all their positive qualities, especially if you still love them. But remembering the bad stuff, too, can be quite helpful if you want to overcome your obsessive thoughts about them.

Make a list of all their flaws and annoying behaviors, and keep it with you at all times. Whenever you think about them too much, take out the list and remind yourself why they're not right for you and why you're better off without them.

6. Exercise Regularly

Exercise can be a great way to take your mind off things and focus on something else for a while. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel good and help you stay focused on the present moment.

So try to get into a routine of exercising at least 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes or more. It could be anything from running, swimming, or going for a long walk. It doesn't matter what kind of exercise you do; just keep it consistent and get your body moving!

7. Create a “No Contact” Rule

Creating a “no contact” rule means you intentionally avoid all communication with your ex for a set period. This means no texts, emails, phone calls, or even messages on social media.

It also means no “accidental” run-ins, such as going to the same places you know your ex will be.

Creating this rule helps create a physical and mental distance between the two of you so that you can move on.

How long this should last depends on your situation and how badly you struggle with thoughts of your ex, but a good rule of thumb is 30 days.

During this period, your main goal should be to take time to process your emotions without any external influences.

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8. Take up a New Hobby or Activity

Is there something you always wanted to do but never had the time for? Now is the perfect opportunity to do it. Is there a sport you've wanted to learn or an instrument you want to pick up?

How about finally joining that cooking class or taking the dance lessons you've been thinking about for some time?

Taking up a new activity can be a great distraction from the thoughts of your ex while also boosting your self-confidence. Plus, you might even make some new friends in the process!

9. Talk to Someone About How You Feel

Breakups can be really tough, and it's okay to talk about how you feel. Talking to someone—a friend, family member, or even a therapist—can help you healthily process your emotions and make it easier for you to move on.

This is also an excellent opportunity to get feedback from someone else and gain perspective on the situation.

Remember, you're losing a valuable part of your life, and it's okay to grieve the loss. So don't be afraid to express your feelings and allow yourself the space to process them.

10. Learn to Differentiate Between Obsession and Intuition

Constantly thinking about your ex doesn't mean the universe is trying to bring you back together. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of obsessive thinking. How can you tell the difference?

Obsessive thoughts are driven by fear, anxiety, and insecurity. They can be cyclical and leave you feeling anxious or depressed. Intuition, however, feels like a gentle whisper in your heart rather than an intrusive thought that won’t go away.

How do you know if it's just obsessive thinking? Pay attention to how your body feels after you think about them. Obsessive thoughts will leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed, while intuition can give you a sense of peace.

11. Focus on You

Put yourself first. It might seem selfish, but it's the best thing you can do for yourself and your mental health. Remember, you are all that matters —not your ex. It can be hard to let go, but the only way to move on is to focus on yourself and what makes you happy. 

Take time for self-care, do things that make you feel good about yourself, and surround yourself with people who love and care about you.

Over time, these activities will help take your mind off your ex, and you will feel more confident and self-assured. 

Final Thoughts

It's normal to think about an ex you still love, but it doesn't have to be a daily occurrence. By following the tips above, you can make sure that your thoughts about them don’t take over your life, and you can move on with your life.

And with a little bit of effort and some self-care, you’ll eventually be able to break free from the thoughts of your ex. Good luck!