We’ve all been there. A relationship goes south, and it must end. It’s even worse when you’ve been dumped by someone whom you loved, and you didn’t realize there were problems. No matter how it happened, you now have an ex. And most of us have a few. And it’s normal for you to think the thought “I miss my ex” – or even exes – from time to time. We hope our words of advice can help you deal with those feelings.
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DON’T FEEL BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR EX
For starters, don’t make yourself feel worse than you already do when you miss someone, even if you’re better off without him or if you were the one who ended things. After spending time close to someone, it’s completely normal to miss them.
There are also some reasons you could be missing him. For example, something could have jogged your memory, such as his favorite movie or band or someone who looked like him. Even if you haven’t thought of your ex for some time, you could randomly begin missing him again. And you might not even realize that something has jogged your memory if it’s subtle.
It’s also common for you to pine over past loves if you’re experiencing frustration in your current life and relationships. You might be wondering whether the grass really was greener, and you may even be focusing on the positive and forcing all the negatives out of your head. Again, this is normal, but it may not be helpful or healthful.
MISSING YOUR EX? REMEMBER THIS
You’ve given yourself permission to miss him a little bit. After all, you’re only human. But once you’re ready to move past those feelings, how do you get moving? Remind yourself of the less-than-pleasant memories, the reason you broke up and how awesome you’re doing now.
Perhaps you miss him, but he was quite insecure or jealous (more on that here). You may have fought all the time. Even if he was good looking or the sex was amazing, that’s not enough for true emotional intimacy. Read more about that. When you’re feeling nostalgic, you tend to gloss over those details.
It doesn’t mean that he was a horrible person. You just may have been a poor fit. Together, you didn’t have the necessary foundation for happily ever after – or even just happy for now.
This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to miss him. There must have been something that drew the two of you together, but it wasn’t enough to keep you there. You grew apart, and now you’re no longer together.
DO YOU REALLY MISS YOUR EX?
When all you can think about is how much you miss him, remember that it’s okay to have fond memories, but also ask yourself, “Will your differences still be there if you reach out to him now?” Will you feel better by talking to him? Are you doing more damage by convincing yourself that you should still be back together or that you can get back together? Answer these questions truthfully.
Another question to ask yourself is “Why do I miss my ex?” Are you simply afraid of living on your own, having to meet someone new or otherwise dealing with the world on your own? Perhaps you don’t really miss him, but he’s just reassuring. Of course, that’s no reason to get back with an ex who is bad for you.
It might be difficult to imagine yourself meeting a great guy after your ex, but you can’t know the future. Anything can happen.
If you’re focusing on his potential or the potential that your relationship never met, you might miss the idea of your ex more than you actually miss your ex.
As you answer these questions – and more – you’ll be able to deal with some of the reasons that you’re missing your ex. You can deal with your fear of dating, the future or being alone, none of which really have to do with missing your ex.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU MISS YOUR EX
1. Talk to someone. Find someone who cares enough to let you vent or cry if need be but who won’t let you go running back into your ex’s arms. If your friends and family found it difficult to support your relationship and were glad when it ended, it may be difficult to find the right confidante. Furthermore, you don’t want to talk to everyone. Just have a girls’ night in with your bestie or sister, and let her know what’s on your mind.
In some cases, professional therapy may help. It may not be easy to say “I miss my ex,” but there’s no use in denying it.
2. Cry it out. Grab a box of tissues and put in your favorite chick flick. Or you can read Little Women. Whatever it is that lets you live vicariously through the characters and express emotion is just what the doctor ordered. Then, when the credits roll or the book is over, wipe up those tears and get back to your life.
3. Be healthy. Take care of yourself physically. Get rest. Eat well. Exercise. These things all boost your mood.
But don’t forget about your mental health, either. Don’t stalk him on Facebook or, even worse, in real life! Leave his friends and family alone. Don’t sleep with his photo or old t-shirt. Any behavior that’s obsessive or otherwise unhealthy needs to be kicked to the curb for your own benefit.
Furthermore, don’t use anger or denial as a way to stop missing your ex because it doesn’t really help in the long run.
4. Eliminate Reminders. One of the first things we recommend doing after a break up is getting rid of his stuff and reminders of him. Give him back clothes and other possessions. Remove photos of him or the two of you. You don’t need to get rid of them, but you should remove them from sight.
You might invest the help of a friend to keep these things that you may be able to look back on at some point in the future with fondness. But as long as you miss your ex now, you’ll want to remove those mementos from your life.
5. Keep busy. It’s easier to forget how much you miss someone when you’re busy. Take on a project at work or school. Try your hand at DIY around the house. Go out with friends. Date if you feel comfortable. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. You’ll meet some amazing new people – perhaps someone with whom you’ll feel a spark – do some good in the world and keep your mind occupied.
6. Think positively. Your life certainly changed when you broke up with your ex, but there has to be some positive around that. Maybe you reconnected with old friends or picked up a new hobby. You may have more confidence. Perhaps your breakup forced you to finally deal with your anxiety, and you’re better for it.
Sure, endings are scary, but they usher in new beginnings. Don’t forget to be grateful for those!
7. Know that you’re not alone. The quotes about breaking up and songs about heartbreak prove that there is perhaps nothing more universal. Yet, we get over it. We pick up the pieces and move on, usually the better for it. You might feel alone because you miss your ex, but you’re not really.
There’s also a great chance that your ex misses you, even if he was the one who ended things. It’s impossible to leave a relationship and not miss something about it occasionally. But like we’ve pointed out, simply missing someone isn’t necessarily a good enough reason to go back to them.
8. Get under someone else. There’s a saying about how you need to get under someone else to get over someone. While this isn’t the right move for everyone, it can help some women who miss their exes to find someone new. It may be for casual sex, a rebound relationship or something more serious. There’s no time to be missing your ex when you’re flirting or falling in love with someone else.
If you think you’re the only person who ever said “I miss my ex,” then you’re wrong! Everyone has thought it from time to time. Most times, it passes. Sometimes, we need to give it a little extra time or be proactive about making the feeling pass. If you wallow in the feeling, however, it’ll take longer to pass.