8 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Over Your Ex and Can’t Move on

Breakups may be stressful and painful in any circumstance. Moving on from and healing the emotional wounds left by the termination of a romantic relationship should be simple and straightforward. Moving on from an ex, on the other hand, may be a difficult process, and the length of time it takes to get over a breakup varies depending on the person and the circumstances. If you’re stuck and can’t seem to break free from your emotional attachment to your ex, here are some of the most prevalent reasons why you can’t get over your ex and why moving on from certain relationships takes so long:


1. You can’t stop thinking about the good times.

It’s known as blissful recollection, according to Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., a human behavior specialist and author of Get Over Your Ex Now! It refers to recalling the positive features of previous events or people while ignoring or disregarding the negative aspects. “Despite its name, recall is really an instantaneous reliving and re-experiencing of the positive aspects, the joy of a previous event or person,” Wanis tells mbg.

According to Wanis, this exact behavior occurs in addiction and is linked to the brain’s pleasure or reward areas.

Euphoric recall, according to April Davis, owner and CEO of LUMA-Luxury Matchmaking, is kryptonite to moving on. If you just remember the good times you had together, it will be difficult to move forward. “It’s also necessary to remember that they’re an ex for a reason,” Davis continues, “and it’s also vital to remember the terrible times.”

2. You truly believe your ex is the best you’ve ever met.

One of the main reasons why some people find it difficult to move on from their past, according to psychologist Sheryl Paul, M.A., is idealization. You romanticize your ex, feeling that they were the “perfect” partner to whom no one else could possibly compare. However, the reality is that there are many people in the world with whom each person can get along. There are many different kinds of soul mates, and not all of them are meant to be in our lives forever.

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According to Cherlyn Chong, a transformational coach who specializes in breakup recovery, if you believe your ex was the best you could get and that you’ll never find someone better than them, you’ve adopted a fixed mindset rather than a development mindset. “This is when the relationship has become much more about you than anything else,” Chong says, adding that your self-esteem has grown reliant on your ex. According to this line of reasoning, “if the relationship fails, it’s because you weren’t good enough, and thus you’re not good enough for new relationships.”

Unfortunately, as Chong contends, that’s exactly what you’ll get in life if you keep holding this fated perspective. Nothing but your own self-defeating attitude prevents you from finding new, possibly better love.

3. You secretly believe that it is your responsibility to suffer.

Chong believes that if you have unresolved bad notions from your past, whether from emotionally immature parents or other ex-partners, you may be locked in the belief that you deserve to suffer, delaying your own post-breakup healing process.

“Suffering may become so familiar to you that you become addicted to it,” Chong told mbg. “Suffering may become so familiar to you that you become addicted to it, similar to how smoking becomes addictive.” And sometimes the only thing left from a relationship is sorrow, and you’re afraid that if you let go, you’ll be left with nothing.

To put it another way, being unhappy is pleasurable.

4. You’re still in touch with your ex or follow him or her on social media.

“Keeping in touch with your ex and/or following them on social media may serve as a daily reminder of what you’ve lost,” says Roxy Zarrabi, a trained clinical psychologist. “At the same time, [this] could generate expectations for future reconciliation.”

Keeping in touch, continuing in the same social circle, and/or stalking your ex on social media can all exacerbate your suffering and make it harder to move on. Following the no-contact rule is the greatest way to move on.

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5. You’re still perplexed as to what went wrong.

When you don’t know why you broke up, your mind goes into overdrive trying to figure out what happened, piece together the facts, and reflect on the breakup in general. It’s crucial to feel as if you understand what happened in order to get closure and go on.

However, Paul points out that people can come up with an excuse for the breakup and then become obsessed with it: “Because most people have a hard time accepting emotional pain, the ego steps in and leads to obsessing essentially, she says, “about why you broke up, either blaming your partner or you.” “Neither of these negative mental gymnastics will help you achieve the ultimate purpose of a breakup, which is to fully grieve the loss and learn everything you can about yourself.”

You’re equally at liberty if you have no idea why. It’s okay if people are driven by their feelings rather than any “logical” explanation. Not all breakups make sense, and it’s okay if people are driven by their feelings rather than anything rational. Take whatever lessons you can from it before you stop analyzing what happened. Accept that you can’t control what happened.

6. You lost sight of your own identity in the relationship.

In Zarrabi’s opinion, it’s extremely hard to move on if you lost your identity or support system when separating from your ex because you won’t be able to imagine your true identity without them. During the grieving process, focusing on restoring your sense of self and creating a new, strong support system that isn’t reliant on a romantic partner may help you move on from your ex and the horrible feelings that have plagued you since the breakup.

7. You aren’t grieving properly.

Zarrabi tells me that people tend to push away or avoid losses. However, this will ultimately prolong the healing process.

John Kahal, a psychiatrist and founder of Capo By the Sea Rehab in San Juan Capistrano (California), says that drowning out your emotions will only make it harder to heal from a breakup. He tells mbg that one of the most common ways to cope with a breakup is to drink alcohol or self-medicate in other ways. It can be a comfort way to avoid sadness and loneliness, while the pain of a breakup is still fresh.

Zarrabi and Kahal both stress the importance of dealing with post-breakup emotions and not trying to suppress them. Kahal suggests that you try to detox from alcohol and allow yourself to feel and process the emotions caused by the breakup. This can help you gain closure and a fresh perspective that will allow you to move on.

8. The breakup caused old trauma.

Emmy Crouter LSW, a therapist at Embolled Counseling in Denver, Colorado, points out that the breakdown process is greatly affected by one’s personal history.

Crouter tells me that if you have a history of abuse or abandonment in your childhood, it is possible to feel triggered by the end of a relationship. This can trigger old feelings about your most important attachment figures. Sometimes the breakup is not the problem. It’s often the meaning behind it and the associated early memories that are to be addressed.

Crouter suggests that therapy be used in this instance to examine one’s relationships with significant others and to discover how these relate to our earliest experiences and relationships.

Now what?

It is a significant first step to moving forward. Next, take action to regain control over your healing process.

You can address the reason you are missing your ex by implementing concrete strategies in your daily life. These include setting boundaries on social media and a daily meditation practice. Or, you can journal about your emotions. If you feel stuck or unable to let go of your ex, therapy or counseling can be very helpful.

These solutions will help you get the clarity and confidence you need to end your long-term anxiety about the breakup.

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