Walking away from a relationship that you thought would be meaningful is always difficult. Even after you’ve gone through all the stages of grief, there’s still longing. But why it is hard to let go? Why do you miss your ex even after years of separating? Here’re the reasons why.
You are not alone if you still miss your ex after a year. I know you might be judging yourself because you do but DON’T.
Societal pressure makes us believe that it’s not okay to mourn. We are expected to get over the hurt and move on. And if we can’t, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. And feeling bad about ourselves will only hinder forward progress.
Understanding why you still miss your ex after a year will help you understand and hopefully forgive yourself so that you can move forward and find the love of your life.
Why Do You Miss Your Ex?
1. You have regrets.
I have a client who is full of regrets. Years ago, she cheated on her boyfriend and ultimately left him for another man. At the time it felt like the right thing to do but now she is full of regrets.
My client didn’t get to the place where she was unfaithful in a void. Her boyfriend had broken promises to her, made plans for his future that didn’t include her, and didn’t make her a priority when she needed him. Because of this, she was driven into the arms of another man. And she left.
What she struggles with most is that she was unfaithful. In retrospect, it feels incredibly selfish to her. She feels like if she had talked to him about how she was feeling, instead of looking outside the relationship, they might have made it.
And, if they had made it, they would have been living happily ever after. What I am here to say is that regrets will get you nowhere. My client believes that, if she had talked to him instead of fooling around, then they would be living happily ever after. But, she just doesn’t know that.
There were already cracks in her relationship that were starting to show – he was making choices without her and not making her a priority. Who is to say that those behaviors wouldn’t have continued. Or that, if they did fix things, a job on the other side of the country or the death of a parent or another person might have thrown a wrench in that relationship.
Regretting what ‘could have been’ is a waste of time because you are regretting something that might not have even happened.
If you are still missing your ex after a year, know that it might be because of regrets, about holding on to something that might have been, something that just really is something that you have made up in your head.
2. You are lying to yourself.
I believe that my client who regrets letting go of her ex has reinvented her relationship in her head. She talks to me about how wonderful he was, how she knew he was going to do big things, that she loved him madly and that they were each other’s soulmates. As a result, she still misses him.
The reality is, however, that they had plans to move to New York City after college but instead, without telling her, he applied to schools in San Francisco. His father died and, without talking to her, he made arrangements to live with his mother. She was feeling left behind and questioning herself in the relationship and he made her feel forgotten and unloved.
Be honest with yourself. Is the ex who you are missing really the ex that they were? If you miss your vacations together and the presents he gave you and that one fun concert you went to, are you perhaps missing those things instead of the person?
I have a client who was feeling really sad because she went to a concert that her husband had bought tickets to before he died suddenly. She told me how sad she was that they weren’t at the concert together but then she realized that, if they had been, he would have gotten drunk and sloppy and she would have had to get him home. She didn’t miss him so much after that.
So take stock – do you miss the person your ex was or the experiences that you had together? Seeing the difference might help you move on.
3. You haven’t found someone else.
The number one way to get over someone is to find someone else. Of course, we are told that we should ‘find ourselves’ before we move on, an admirable goal but, I believe, not necessarily the best move to help you move forward.
I know that when I broke up (again) with the married guy I had been seeing for two years, the only reason that I was finally able to make it stick was that someone else appeared in my life. That person was able to distract me from thoughts about my ex and keep me busy and make me feel loved.
Have you met someone else? Have you even put yourself out there to date? Or do you spend your nights and weekends mourning your ex and regretting what might have been? If you are still doing so, it makes sense that you are still missing your ex after a year.