Why Do I Miss My Ex Boyfriend So Much And How Do I Stop?
There’s no way around it – breakups are absolutely brutal. There literally feels like there’s a hole in your chest that only he can fill. You feel empty and lost. The world has suddenly lost its color and everything is gloomy and grey and you don’t think you’ll ever be able to see beyond the fog.
It feels like a death, and it kind of is. It’s the death of the potential of what could have been. And you mourn and you grieve and you cry and you try to just make it through the day.
As much as you want him back right now — and this is a possibility for sure, take it from the girl who married her ex! — that shouldn’t be your focus. Right now your focus should be on moving on and dealing with those intense feelings of missing him. And believe me, I know how intense they can be!
Right now you need time, space, clarity, and perspective. And that’s what I’m here for!
Here are 16 ways to stop missing your ex-boyfriend so you can free yourself and start moving on:
Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?
1. Do not contact him for at least 30 days
Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder so this will be really hard at first but it is crucial in the moving on process.
You must cut off contact and follow the no contact rule for at least 30 days. It doesn’t matter what your end goal is. Whether you want to move on or get him back, the advice is the same: follow the no contact rule.
The no contact rule is important for several reasons. It gives him the space to miss you, for one, and it also gives you space and time to clear your head, gain perspective, and get back to a healthier place.
2. Stop with the negative self-talk
After a breakup, it’s far too easy to get sucked into a whirlpool of negative thoughts, mostly about yourself.
You may ruminate on the fact that you’re not good enough … that maybe he never loved you … that you’ll never find anyone as exceptionally exceptional as him. Stop all of this as soon as possible.
These thoughts will only fuel your yearning for him because you think he’s the only one who can make it better. He’s the cure for this immeasurable pain. But really, it starts with you. You get to control how you feel about yourself. He’s not even in the picture anymore and you’re giving him full control, it’s pretty twisted when you think about it.
Don’t go down this road. You have more control over your mind than you think. When the negative thoughts come flooding in, just kindly ask them to leave you alone because you’re not interested in what they have to say.
3. Is it really him your missing?
When my college ex-boyfriend and I broke up, I missed him intensely. When I say intensely, I mean it felt like one of my vital organs had been removed and I wouldn’t be able to survive! But why? The relationship was horribly toxic and I was miserable with him, and yet, I was strangely more miserable without him.
In hindsight, it was more about my internal state. About me feeling not good enough because he’s the one that left me for someone else. Because he could never commit to me in a real way. Because I, for whatever reason, never felt worthy of him deep down and him leaving just confirmed that this was always the case (at least in my twisted mind!)
I ignored the fact that life was actually better without him and only focused on the fact that I needed him and if I didn’t get him back, I would never ever feel worthy again. Sometimes it’s not really the guy we’re missing, it’s what he came to represent for us. Or maybe the ache we feel is the throbbing of bruised ego that needs to heal. Or maybe it’s old childhood wounds that got activated and are releasing all that pain from the past as if it just happened.
The point is, it’s not always about him. A lot of the time it’s about us. (See this article on the real reasons it’s so hard to get over your ex for more.)
MORE: How to Make Him Miss You
4. Write letters you don’t send
It sounds cheesy, but it works! I discovered this at the height of my pain from the breakup described above. I just had so much that was left unsaid, or things I did say but wish I could have said differently, and it all cycled through my being on a torturous unrelenting loop.
All day and night, all I could hear was a soundtrack of what I could have and should have said. You need to release these thoughts or they will literally haunt you forever and I’ve found writing a letter (or multiple letters) to be the best way to get it all out.
Maybe you think you need closure, or you’re owed closure and want to talk to him about all this, but trust me, if you’re fresh out of a breakup that conversation will go nowhere and you’ll be just as unresolved. Now down the line, it’s possible, but we’re not there yet. The dust needs time to settle and you need time to get your thoughts and yourself in order,
Letters are also a great way for you to gain clarity on how you really feel about everything. You might be surprised by some of the stuff that comes out, some of the thoughts and feelings you didn’t even know where buried in there.
5. Look back objectively
Instead of focusing on the missing and the wanting and the yearning, focus on what you learned from the experience. Look at it from a more positive angle because there is always a lesson to learn, especially from the most painful experience.
What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about relationships? What did you learn about what you will and won’t accept from a relationship? What did you learn in this relationship that can help you be better in your next relationship? What did you do in this relationship that you’ll never do again in a relationship? Try to extract something positive from the experience and use it to become even better.
6. Remember the bad
Okay, so I know I just said be positive, but at the same time, remember why he wasn’t the right guy for you. So be positive in every area of your life except him. When it comes to him, try to remember the negatives!
The fact is, you broke up for a reason. Probably several reasons. Breakups don’t usually happen one day out of the blue (and if they do, it’s because he was never ever on the same page as you so it’s a good thing you know now and things didn’t drag on for longer).
In most cases, a breakup follows a gradual breakdown of the relationship. And oftentimes, that happens because it just isn’t a match. Maybe both people don’t fulfill each other’s needs, maybe they want different things, maybe they don’t communicate effectively. Whatever the case, there were problems. If there weren’t any issues, you wouldn’t have broken up.
Instead of idealizing all the good, focus on what was bad and what was missing. And contrast that with the kind of relationship you would like to be in. Maybe part of the problem is he just wasn’t the kind of guy you needed him to be and you tried desperately to turn him into that guy. How does the right guy look to you? What’s he like? How do you relate to one another? Focus on those things.
7. Stay busy
This is so, so important. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings. The more empty space there is, the more you’ll fill it with endless obsessing and re-playing of every detail. You need to fill up the space he once occupied or you’ll fall into the obsession zone.
Staying busy does not mean scrolling on Instagram for hours on end. Stay busy doing important, useful things. By important I don’t mean to try and cure cancer. I mean things that fuel you and fulfill you. Maybe it’s going out with your friends, trying a new exercise class, getting into meditation, joining a book club, doing some charity work, stuff to just fill your days and keep your mind focused on other things. Things that aren’t him.
8. Focus on yourself
Stop focusing on him and his needs and his wants and why you weren’t good enough for him. Focus on you. What are your needs? What do you want?
Focus on being your best self. Do you regret the way you were in the relationship? Don’t torture yourself over it and instead, find ways to be better. Look deep within yourself to discover why you acted that way. What was the underlying fear or insecurity that caused you to do something that you know isn’t true to who you are?
Set new goals for yourself, pursue passion projects, do the things you’ve always been wanting and meaning to do. Spend this time bettering yourself in every way.
9. Give it time
It feels like the end of the world right now, and maybe it feels like you’ll be this miserable forever, but negtive emotions just have a way of warping our sense of reality. It won’t last forever. You will come out of this. Maybe you’ll even get back together with him (hey, I got back together with my high-school ex 11 years after we broke up and now we’re married, life works in crazy ways!). But nothing is going to happen today.
The fact is, you broke up for a reason. And that reason probably still exists right now. You can’t get back together because you miss each other. That’s just a recipe for another breakup and a toxic on-again off-again relationship cycle. If it’s going to work then things need to change. And change takes time. It doesn’t come with an epiphany or a snap of a finger.
Time does heal, but it’s not a passive process. You need to take an active role in moving forward and fixing whatever was broken.
10. Find an amazing therapist
There is only so much we can do on our own. Some wounds run very deep and require a skilled therapist to really dig in there and clean out the toxicity buried deep.
There is no shame in seeking professional help. I am a big proponent of it and can attest that seeing an amazing therapist made a dramatic impact on my life and without it, I don’t know if I would have been capable of being in a healthy, loving relationship.
Not all therapists are created equal. Don’t use the fact that you had a bad experience in the past as a deterrent. Do your research and find someone great who really connects with you.
11. Hide all mementos
How will you ever get over him if you have a framed photo of the two of you looking happy and in love on your nightstand? Or if you refuse to take off the necklace he got for your birthday? You won’t. They will serve as painful reminders, jabbing you between the ribs on the daily.
I’m not saying throw these things away, well not yet anyway. But put them somewhere you can’t see them- somewhere inconvenient and inaccessible. Take all gifts, souvenirs, cards, notes, photos, and pictures and put them in a box and put it on a very high shelf way in the back. What about online photos? If you can’t help but re-live happier times on your social media accounts, then you’ll have to delete those photos for now. Why put yourself through the emotional torture? If you just can’t bear the never see those images again, save them and transfer them onto an external hard drive and all that to the rest of the pile for your inaccessible box.
12. Spend a lot of time with friends
While it may feel like this pain is yours and yours alone and no one else can possibly understand how much it hurts, this just isn’t so. Your friends most likely get it and most likely have been through the same thing.
When we lose someone significant, there is a big gaping hole that they used to fill. This is where a lot of the feelings of missing and longing come from. But he isn’t the only one who can plug it up. You need people who care about you and friends and family fit the bill.
13. But while you’re with your friends…
Try not to talk about him. Obviously, you’ll fill them in on what happened and how you’re feeling, but don’t let this be the only thing you talk about anymore. You need to have limits.
The more you talk about him, the more you’ll think about him and the more you’ll miss him. Yes, sometimes talking it out is therapeutic. But talking about it ad nauseam is just masochism. Give yourself a few days to get it all out and talk to all your friends. After that, try to keep talk of your ex minimal and do not go over the same subject for the thousandth time. Fine, maybe he has commitment issues or his ex-girlfriend ruined him for life but you don’t need to discuss this for the 500th time.
14. Get those endorphins pumping
Working out is just a cure for everything. Stress, anxiety, low energy, insomnia, and heartbreak!
Working out will help you feel better and look better, so there is no downside here. There is something empowering about challenging yourself in new ways. Now I get that some people despise going to the gym, but that’s not the only way to work up a sweat. There are tons of fun classes you could try and one of them is bound to be your cup of tea- Zumba, pilates, spinning, barre, SLT, salsa, pole dancing, the list goes on and on. Find something you love and do it a lot!
There is something incredibly therapeutic about getting away, being somewhere exotic or somewhere with a totally different energy … somewhere with zero chance that you’ll run into him.
Getting out of town can be invigorating and help you get back to a good place. You’ll recharge and gain new perspectives and really there’s no downside! Going somewhere far for a while is ideal but that’s not always realistic. If you have more constraints, even a quick weekend getaway with some friends will get the job done.
16. Get back together
It’s absolutely possible to get back together, and that’s definitely a cure for missing him— but has to be done for the right reasons. If you’ve followed the other steps in this article, then you will be in a much better place internally and the chances of getting back together with your ex and making it work will be much higher.
I hope this article gave you helpful tips to stop missing your ex and move on. If you’ve followed the advice in this article, but still strongly believe he’s the guy for you and you want to get him back then I have good news. It is possible to get your ex back, but it won’t happen because you want it to. You can get him back, but you need to know a few things. Do you know what makes your ex desperately miss you and realize you were the “one”? If not, you need to read this article next: Do You Want Your Ex Boyfriend Back? Use This to Get Him Back...
Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?
In summary …
How to Stop Missing Your Ex:
- Do not contact him for at least 30 days
- Stop with the negative self-talk
- Is it really him your missing?
- Write letters you don’t send
- Look back objectively
- Remember the bad
- Stay busy
- Focus on yourself
- Give it time
- Find an amazing therapist
- Hide all mementos
- Spend a lot of time with friends
- Don’t talk about him constantly with your friends
- Get those endorphins pumping
- Get back together