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I can't stop thinking about my ex. What should I do?

86 Answers
Last Updated: 06/26/2018 at 2:35am
I can't stop thinking about my ex. What should I do?
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Maria Wasielewski, Master of Arts in Counseling, University of Arizona

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am inspired when working with clients, who are facing challenging life experiences, to be able to help them to develop the needed skills to live their best possible life!

Top Rated Answers
February 17th, 2016 7:03pm
It's hard to stop thinking about an ex. Personally I think it's best to stop trying to stop thinking about them but embrace it. Spend a portion of time thinking about it, allocate it and then have other activities planned for the rest of the day. I talked to friends about how I was feeling and they helped with the process. Each day became easier to deal with; when I stopped trying to get rid of the thoughts but embraced it for what it was at the time it became more manageable. Whilst I'm saying this I'm not going to say it was easier. There were lots of areas I struggled with but with the help of friends and external people to talk to in confidence it was easier. I soon realized that it was an opportunity to relearn more about myself and what I really wanted out of relationships and life. It's a very difficult time after a break up for generally both parties but allowing yourself the ability to grieve about a relationship, I found, was key to acceptance and growth. Everyone is different and people can take longer in this process than others, just give yourself time.
February 18th, 2016 11:45pm
Usually when this happens, it's because we've put too much of ourselves into a relationship and become enmeshed. Detaching is difficult because our personal identity has become confused with our identity specific to that relationship. In cases like this it is most helpful to spend time reflecting on who YOU are, independent of any relationship with anyone else. What are your goals, dreams, sources of happiness? If this is difficult, time spent on grounding and other self-care exercises - being outside in nature, exercising, meditating, deep breathing, journaling, singing, dancing - will be helpful and should be your main focus for awhile. You'll most likely find it easier to answer those questions after re-centering and grounding. Creating a vision board of your future goals and dreams is a great activity that will provide you a visual reminder of the direction in which you wish to head. When you are passionately in love with you and your own life, the past that you shared with your ex will fade rapidly. You'll also be in a better position to welcome someone equally as whole into your world when the time is right. Good luck!
March 6th, 2016 8:35am
This is a hard situation. Sometimes it's hard to get over your ex. Whether it's because you keep thinking about how wonderful they were or how horrible they were to you. Try the following techniques to stop thinking about them. Try focusing your attention on yourself. Think about your needs and wants rather than your ex. Recognize when you're thinking about your ex and consciously stop yourself. I have found using a distraction as a very useful technique as well. Try going out with friends and doing something fun. If friends aren't available do something you love like reading a book, going for a walk, singing to your favorite music, cooking, watching a movie, etc. Over time you will think about your ex less and less. Remember that there is a reason you broke up and your past is not your future. Don't dwell on the past focus on your bright future. What you can do for yourself to make your life even better then it was previously?
February 5th, 2016 8:27am
The best way is to open yourself to the future ; body and mind. Try to engage in new creative activities that will make you feel recharged and fresh. Accept the idea that the relation you had made you wiser and stronger. Finally forgive your ex and yourself to be able to feel free and happy.
February 21st, 2016 12:33pm
Keep yourself busy with work, hobbies. Spending time with friends and family helps. Keep living your life, do more of what makes you happy. If you don't have many hobbies then try new things and see what suits you. Remember who you are, always be yourself. Never regret anything, there's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every horrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. Respect yourself and know your worth. The people who belong in your life will come along and make the effort to stay there. Just keep doing your thing x
January 24th, 2016 8:49pm
I think you should try and refrain from texting, calling, or looking at their online profiles. Ask someone to remind you not to and stop you from doing so. Over time you will eventually forget about them and move on.
January 14th, 2016 1:38am
Your ex is your ex for a reason and always remember that reason and know where you stand in your ex life. Try doing things differently for yourself and meet people broaden you mind and grow and all in time you will get over your ex.
January 21st, 2016 8:12am
You should distract yourself from him such as hang out with friends or go on a walk or talk a shower
January 29th, 2016 5:48pm
I have the same problem. Its not easy to move on like that especially if you both dated for a while, it will take time and it wont be easy to move in but you have to try and be happy for yourself.
May 6th, 2016 2:49pm
There are seven billion people in the world. You deserve better than the one who has needed five chances to show you they are willing to do what it takes to build a relationship with you. Never accept anything less.
January 16th, 2016 10:56pm
Love is a great feeling! And I understand how it feels to be strangers with someone whom you loved. But also, Don't you feel life is all about moving on? All we need is a company to move out of the feelings once we had with them. That company is none other than your own company.
January 17th, 2016 7:20pm
Its hard to let go of someone especially if it is someone you really care about. The memories you shared together will always be there and will never go away. If you find yourself falling down on the thought of that person, remember the good times you shared together. Eventually, when you can, think of what you learned from the relationship. There is always something to learn from the people around us. In time, the thoughts of that person will fade and you will move on.
January 20th, 2016 12:54am
Remove items that will remind you of your ex . Spend time doing activities and mostly get out of bed or the house
January 27th, 2016 11:56am
just think about why you both are not ,and cannot be together.... and believe that you made the right decision. and distract your mind.. do something fun with friends...
February 19th, 2016 12:29am
Getting over someone that has made a strong impact on your life can be extremely difficult. Letting go of what used to be can feel like losing a limb but letting go is what you need to do. Being trapped in the past is poisonous because you can't bring it back, you can try and recreate it but it'll never be the same. One thing that may help is every time you think of them, firmly say "No" to yourself, cast away any thoughts of them straight away and find a distraction to occupy your mind. You're starting a chapter in your life full of opportunities, embrace it.
February 21st, 2016 2:14am
Always the person you loved the most, to whom you showed your full dedication towards them when left us, means a great loss. I'm waiting for the day for another girl to get into my life until then its always like round and round coming to the same point thinking she left. One strong and possible solution which I thought was keep calm and say to yourself she missed you and get yourself good in your profession.
February 17th, 2016 10:17pm
You should calm down and breathe. After that maybe you could go talk to her and make things clear. :
May 2nd, 2017 6:37pm
I think it's difficult for us to force ourselves to just "get over" or "move on" from an ex. Once we connect feelings and emotions to something, whether that's a person, place, or object, that something will always have a connection to us. I do think some ways to help cope with these thoughts while we transition from dating to single life are to keep yourself busy with friends, work, family, project, trip, etc. I believe that it's ok to reflect on your past relationship, not to analyze what went wrong, but to take a look at the parts of it you liked, and the parts that you didn't like to know what you want out of the next relationship. As time goes on and if you throw yourself into some healthy hobbies or activities, those hobbies and activities no longer become distraction tools but actually part of your routine/life. And as always, when you find it too difficult to handle, find a friend to talk to about it! There's always a listener here ready to help :]
December 11th, 2017 3:14pm
It is natural to think about your ex. Don't punish yourself for that, but distance yourself from what makes you think of them, whether that be a song, or their social media. Something helpful for you may be to repeat "It doesn't matter" three times, because it reiterates to you that you are more important to your mind than your ex is.
February 5th, 2018 6:05pm
It's natural to remember people who made a huge impact on your life good or bad. We aren't built to forget such strong emotions. So you shouldn't try to forget them. By accepting that what happened did indeed happen, you can make peace with the past rather than having it take a negative toll on you.
January 23rd, 2016 6:07pm
Stay positive and remember your life must go on. There are more fish in the sea. You can rxclude them from your thoughts by replacing their precense with much happier thoughts!
February 14th, 2016 4:12am
Try doing something to get your mind of them. Listen to some good music, watch something funny or hang out with friends.
March 19th, 2016 4:08pm
Focus your energy and your mind on yourself for a bit. Do something only for you whether it be going to a movie or getting an ice cream cone. Taking care of yourself will help with the feelings that you are yearning for
February 19th, 2016 5:34pm
It depends on if he/she has a girlfriend. If they do, leave it alone. I've seen love die way too many times when it deserves to be left alone. If they are single, try to make time and hint if they feel the same way.
February 24th, 2016 5:15pm
Usually ex's are an ex for a reason. So think about the reason you broke up then think about the reason they're on your mind. From experience I've found that we miss the feeling of being with some not the person.
January 23rd, 2016 3:54pm
You can't stop thinking about your ex. Relationships are often a complicated thing. Have you tried to communicate with them so maybe you could know if they are in the same situation as you?
January 28th, 2016 6:14am
Keep yourself from visiting social media of his/hers and try to keep yourself away from things that may trigger you to remember him/her.
February 2nd, 2016 1:59pm
Focus on yourself, find a hobby, hang out with your friends, pamper yourself. try to explore yourself more there's a lot more to life than a significant other
February 14th, 2016 2:43am
Try putting your mind on other things, go out with friends, maybe even try getting back out there and looking for some one new for your love life
February 28th, 2016 6:10am
You should stop trying to not think about your ex. Go ahead. Think about them. Think about your entire relationship. Talk to someone about it. Find a friend who has free time and just tell them to listen to everything you have to say and tell them every single detail about the relationship and tell them every single thing you've ever wanted to say to your ex. That gets all of it out of your system. Listen to music that empowers you. Sing along and dance to it. Just let yourself go in the music. Over time, you might even find someone else after you feel like it.