6 Reasons You Still Aren’t Over Your Ex, Even Though You’ve Been Broken Up For A Long Time

A girl who still isn't over her ex
Unsplash / Taylor Harding

Believe it or not, the process of getting over your ex has very little to do with your ex. Where it all went wrong acts like a firecracker, kicking up sparks of emotion and feelings of failure and hopelessness. But it’s not as hard as you think to move on… if you know the REAL reasons why you’re stuck.

1. You can’t believe it yet.

In Psychology they use a term called ‘Cognitive Dissonance’. This term defines a track of thought and belief in something that you’re so entrenched in, (for example, your beliefs around the solidity of your relationship) that when the relationship ends, it’s a conflicting track of thought and belief.

It kicks up raw emotion, anger, doubt, fear and you clutching on so hard to the ‘I’m in a relationships’ paradigm that you hold onto it tighter… thus making it harder to move to the ‘I’m single’ paradigm.

Think about flowing traffic down a freeway. Everyone’s going in the same direction and then from out of nowhere, some idiot comes crashing through the middle of everyone in the wrong direction.

This is what’s happening in your brain. It can’t cope with the belief that you were in a ‘together forever’ type situation and now you’re not. So see yourself as a single person now. Get used to the idea and wear it around for a while — eventually you’ll start to feel comfortable again.

2. You feel like you’ve failed and can’t let go because it means you have.

First of all, you haven’t. Let’s be clear about that.

People break up all the time… and for many different reasons. Admitting that you’ve failed undoes the feelings of failure. Now I don’t know the extent of what happened in your break up, but ‘failure’ is such a dirty word and it doesn’t have to be.

Owning it like a grown-up can be very cathartic in that once you’ve admitted you failed, you can move on. Failure is feedback. The value of the lessons you get from a break up, what you learn about yourself and how well you bounce back is massive.

It makes you stronger, more powerful and in a great space to never do a relationship like that again.

3. You miss the intimacy and connection.

Of course there’s that element of missing the actual person. Obviously! But what I’ve found with working with so many people and studying myself is that missing that person is a tiny part. Most of the work to be done around your healing is self-worth. Which brings me to…

4. You need to work on your self-worth.

This is a biggie! Most of my work is with the people who had the least power in the relationship, i.e. they were cheated on, victimized, abandoned or neglected. Reason being that these things happen because of a low self-worth. This gives me a massive springboard to build their sense of self-worth and help them bounce back 10 times faster.

So if you’ve come out of a relationship where you were on the back foot for most of the time, then THIS is the main reason.

5. It was a part of your identity and now it’s gone.

This runs along similar lines to Cognitive Dissonance. When you met your ex, you ascribed this union in your mind. It was huge attachment and you made ‘you and them as a couple’ a part of your identity.

Everything you did in life revolved around considering this person’s thoughts, feelings and actions… and now suddenly you’re on your own with no need to do that anymore. So it’s disconcerting. It’s like a big chunk of you has been stripped away and you’re left bare and vulnerable.

6. You’re still holding onto your need of validation from them.

Closure. That freakin’ word. Most people won’t let go until they get closure (or the validation that closure brings). But waiting for closure won’t make it come any faster… and quite often, when you let go of that person completely, you get closure anyway.

So that’s all well and good Ainsley, what do I do now?

The key thing here is understanding that how you feel about your break up, you can control 95% of what you’re going through. Accepting that it’s done, releasing their spirit from your hold and creating a new, exciting life will be instrumental in you moving on faster than you can imagine.

You just have to be open to it. TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog