15 Reasons Why You Can't Get Over You Ex And Move On

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Has the question “why can’t I get over my ex?” been tormenting you? Then this post is for you. Heartbreak is like a storm that never stops rumbling. After a breakup, it is not unusual to look at the world through emotionally tinted glasses. When a romantic relationship falls apart, we refuse to believe that this cloud of darkness could ever lift. Although it is a pain that most of us have felt, it is surprising that we know very little about heartbreaks. If you think you are doomed to spend the rest of your life in grief, agony, and loss, scroll down to find the solution.

15 Reasons ‘Why I Can’t Get Over My Ex’

Getting over your ex can be highly taxing, both mentally and emotionally. If you’re wondering ‘why I can’t get over my ex’, we’ll help you with the reasons.

1. You cling to warm memories

One of the primary reasons you can’t get over your ex is that a part of you associates certain places, times, and events with your ex. Everything you see and hear for the first few months after a breakup will remind you of your ex, whether it’s a place, a movie, or a song. Then, when you recall the beautiful times you had together, warm memories flood you, making it tough to move on post-breakup.

2. You idealize your ex

Idealization is a major reason why you may find it difficult to let go of your ex. You romanticize and extol your ex, convincing yourself that your ex is the ‘ideal’ mate for you, better than anybody else. When you adulate your ex, you are more likely to become fixated on the desirable qualities of your ex you once adored, making it far more difficult to move on.

3. You go on the guilt trip

When positive memories begin to flood your mind, a mysterious inner voice in your head may begin to question whether the breakup was the right decision. Guilt is the overpowering emotion you experience after breaking up with someone. You might desire your ex to return because you believe your life would be better with your ex. You might be feeling remorse for how you handled the breakup, squandering months or years in the process.

4. You stalk your ex on social media

You’re still stalking your ex on social media. You haven’t deleted your ex from your Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites, nor have you deleted previous photographs of you as a couple. This might serve as a continual reminder of what you lost, exacerbating your grief and impeding your ability to move on.

5. You lost your identity

When a relationship ends, you lose a part of yourself in the process. When you were in a romantic relationship, you formed a distinct identity as a couple, both in your mind and in the minds of your friends and family. Now that your relationship has ended and you have lost your identity and support system, it might be very tough to move on since you may not know who you are without your ex or who you thought you would be.

6. You have not grieved enough

One of the reasons you can’t get over your ex is that you don’t give yourself enough time to grieve. While time heals all wounds, there is no such thing as a timeline for grieving. So, you feel a strong sense of loss and want to push away painful emotions, but doing so tends to prolong the healing process. You’re either hiding your emotions or refusing to let it all out. When grief is cut short, it remains in your head, making you feel even worse.

7. You blame yourself

Because you are distraught about the breakup, you may try to assign blame, either to your ex or to yourself. ‘If only I could… If only I had given her or him another chance.’ The nagging, self-loathing ‘if only’ phase of a breakup can limit you and keep you stuck in the past. Blaming yourself or your ex will only keep you from making new decisions that will propel you forward and help you achieve the life you deserve.

8. You didn’t have closure

You may hold out hope that one day you’ll wake up next to your ex, and everything will be fine. Unfortunately, you can’t get over your ex because you expect closure and reasons that your ex never provided. Closure implies that you both acknowledged the truth that it was over and chose to part ways. However, if your relationship ends without closure, it can be tough for you to move on.

9. You dislike the single status

Another reason why you can’t get over your ex is you most likely despise your single status. You’d rather be in a horrible relationship than go out on your own. You may dread finding event dates, making weekend plans, or answering intrusive questions from family and friends. When you’re lonely for a long period, you keep reliving your memories. With each past recollection that is deeply etched in your mind, you become more enmeshed in loneliness.

10. You suffer from low-esteem

Shame from a breakup forces you to withdraw into a shell, which can harm your self-esteem and cause you to feel bad about yourself. When a relationship ends, you may see it as a sign that you are no longer desirable. You feel trapped in your suffering as if life will never be the same again. You don’t know how to deal with the deep chasm that has been left in your life, and you begin to miss your ex while struggling to accept reality.

11. You are used to the idea of your ex

You’ve grown used to the idea that your ex is always there for you through thick and thin. As a result, your ex is always on your mind, and you’re finding it tough to move on. You consider reconciling with your ex or seeking to reestablish the relationship, and you may even be jealous that your ex has moved on.

12. You suppress your negative emotions

More often than not, the grief or resentment felt at the end of a relationship stems from a bruised ego. Because you have a hard time absorbing emotional sorrow, your ego takes over and begins ruminating over why the breakup happened. You try to suppress your negative emotions because you don’t want to feel weaker and rejected, yet you are haunted by memories deep down.

13. You revisit childhood hurt

If you’re frustrated and wondering, ‘Why can’t I get over my ex?’, it could be due to something else you’ve been through in the past. For example, if you experienced childhood neglect and abuse, the breakup of a relationship might resurrect old memories that can drag you further into an abyss.  When you remember childhood traumas, you tend to forget about the unpleasant and ugly things that occurred during the relationship, holding you back from moving on.

14. You are scared of a new relationship

Some people who underwent a breakup are hesitant to enter into a new relationship because of the emotional baggage they carry from their previous relationship. The multitude of wounds and scars from the relationship can easily obstruct a healthy new connection. You believe you are not ready to be in another relationship since you still have feelings for your ex and are working through some unsolved issues from the past relationship.

15. You cling to gifts

You still have images of your ex on your phone or in photo albums at your apartment, and you cherish the gifts you received from your ex during your courtship. This is because you have an emotional attachment to these gifts and regard them as lovely reminiscences of your ex. Because you shared an emotional connection with them, you do not trash them and continue to ruminate on the memories associated with the gifts and other items.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get over an ex I still love?

To get over an ex you still love, you may

  • Accept that they are not a part of your life anymore
  • Focus on other meaningful things in your life
  • Reduce communication with their family and friends
  • Give yourself some time to adjust to the new reality
  • Find a new passion

2. How long does it take to get over an ex I still love?

The time taken to get over an ex may differ from person to person. While some people get over their feelings quickly, others are more sensitive and take time to come to terms with reality. Moreover, getting over a relationship also depends on the amount of commitment you had and the reason for your breakup.

Going through a breakup can be one of the most emotionally agonizing experiences because you’re used to having your ex around all the time. It might be extremely difficult to let go of your ex or the emotions of anger, remorse, or despair caused by the breakup. However, the period after a breakup may be an excellent opportunity to strengthen bonds with family and friends, now that you understand ‘why I can’t get over my ex’.

Key Pointers

  • If you just had a breakup, you may struggle to get over your ex because you are clinging to the memories.
  • Blaming yourself, not grieving enough, and idealizing them could make moving on tough for you.
  • However, accepting the reality and seeking support from friends and family could help.

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Siddharth Kesiraju

Siddharth holds a certification in Relationship Coaching and a masters degree in communication and journalism from the University of Hyderabad. He has around six years of experience in various fields of writing and editing. As an associate editor at MomJunction, Siddharth writes on Relationship and edits the writers' articles to meet the website's editorial standards. Previously, he worked in the... more

Dee Gill

Dee Gill is a Registered Clinical Counselor and a Canadian Certified Counsellor with over 30+ years of clinical experience in public and private practice. She has done her MA in Counseling Psychology from Adler University in Vancouver (Canada), BA from the University of Victoria (Canada), and Coaching Training from the Institute for Life Coach Training and Therapist University. She has... more