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I Love My Ex – What To Do About It

How To Get Over Someone | By: Katie Lister

April 10th, 2024

What should I do if I love my ex? Does love for an ex-boyfriend go away? Is it normal to still love an ex? Is it wise to get back with your ex if you still love them? Will my love for my ex ever fade? This article is for you if you are looking for answers to these and related questions. 

Hi, my name is Katie Lister. I am a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. I lead personal development groups and coach women to live their best lives authentically. Growth Gals provides a safe space for women to connect with like-minded individuals, learn, and offer support to one another.

A big part of my work in these support groups involves creating safe spaces where women feel free to discuss various topics related to everyday issues that affect their lives, such as mental health, emotional intelligence, finding purpose, personal development, and navigating relationships. In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know when you love your ex and don’t know what to do. 

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Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

Is It Normal to Still Be in Love with Your Ex?

If you have found yourself thinking, ‘I still love my ex,’ it is not uncommon to wonder why you still harbor these feelings, sometimes even long after the relationship has ended. While it may seem or feel wrong, it is not uncommon for people to still have strong feelings for their ex-partners. Love is a rollercoaster of emotions and heartbreak that are difficult to control or predict. If you find yourself still in love with your ex, rest assured that there is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Relationships end for different reasons. Afterward, the parties involved often wish to erase the memory of the past relationship and seek a new relationship. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. It takes a great deal of intention and time to finally let go of a failed relationship. 

When a relationship ends, the time apart can sometimes make you miss your ex-boyfriend. Scientists have discovered that the brain function changes when you fall in love with someone you consider your soul mate. This happy chemical flooding when you fall in love rewires the brain. 

You can miss and want your ex back because you had gotten used to having them around, and suddenly, they aren’t. In this state, the mind primarily focuses on the good parts of the relationship. Forgetting to remind yourself of the reason you broke up or the bad times you experienced while in the relationship can make you feel as though your ex is your one true love.

Here are telltale signs of when to call it quits in a relationship. 

Why Do I Love My Ex? – The Likely Reasons 


You haven’t grieved the loss of the relationship

The end of a relationship also brings a sense of grief caused by the loss. To heal from grief and a broken heart, you first need to acknowledge it. Once you accept that you are grieving a loss, you can give yourself the grace you need to go through the process. People tend to avoid grieving the end of a relationship in the first place because they do not want to be confronted with the heavy emotions involved, including sadness, loneliness, and anger.

I want to break up with my boyfriend but I’m scared I’ll regret it.’ Does this sound like you? This article can help. 

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You keep going back to the good times 

Reminiscing about the feelings of love you experienced while in the relationship while ignoring the bad ones will make you feel as though you are still in love with your former partner. This completely blinds your emotions to the negative tendencies your ex had, like perhaps failing to put your needs first, breaking your trust, being passive-aggressive, and maybe sometimes emotionally abusive. 

You lost your identity with the relationship 

Codependency is very common amongst human beings. After spending months or years with someone, a lot of people peg their self-esteem and sense of self-worth on the individual. This is especially common in abusive relationships. After the breakup, you may feel lost and lack a sense of identity. You think the only way to feel whole again is by getting back together with your ex. This is often confusing and will make you think you are still in love with them. 

You haven’t gotten closure 

You may think you still love your ex because you did not get closure after the breakup. This is especially common if you were blindsided and didn’t even see the breakup coming. When your ex moves on without providing you with an explanation for ending things, these lingering feelings leave you at a loss. This craving for closure can often be confused with still having feelings for your ex. 

You have set high expectations for yourself

Sometimes, the idea that you may still be in love with your ex can stem from your expectations for yourself, consciously or unconsciously. You expected that you would be over your ex-boyfriend by a given time. When you find yourself still thinking about them and missing them past your moving-on expiration date, you wonder whether it’s because you still love them.  

Here is everything you need to know about how to leave your husband

I love my ex – what you can do about it 

Before you decide to unblock your ex on social media or send them a text message to express your undying love for them, ensuring you have given yourself a fair chance to move on is essential. Allow yourself to grieve the loss and come out on the other side. Some ideal steps to take in your healing process include:

Focus on self-care: Self-improvement and self-growth are important aspects of your well-being. Start loving and caring for yourself, putting your needs first and treating yourself with kindness and unconditional love. This will boost your self-esteem and sense of self-worth, often lost during a breakup. This includes seeing a mental health professional or seeking online therapy for professional advice if the breakup affected your mental health.

Implement the no contact rule: The reason you may think you are still in love with your ex may be because you are addicted to them. If you are still speaking to your ex post-breakup, you are making it harder for yourself and making room in your life for future relationships. Cut off all contact with your ex-partner to end the addiction and focus on your healing. 

Learn to be okay with the feelings: After breaking up, you will not stop loving your ex immediately. Learn to be okay with missing and loving them without wanting to act on these feelings. 

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Process the feelings: When you think, ‘I love my ex,’ your brain may start focusing on ways to get back with them. If you feel that you cannot be without your ex, spend time processing these feelings before acting on them. Consider the reasons for breaking up and your non-negotiables, then determine what you would want in a healthy relationship. Is your ex capable of offering that to you?

Find other things to love: Since moving on to the next relationship immediately after a breakup is discouraged, you can channel this love into different things. Reconnect with your friends, try new hobbies, and explore new interests. This will keep your brain and time occupied, making it easier for you to focus less on your ex. 

Consider dating other people: Before you decide to contact your ex because you are finding it hard to stop loving them, consider trying to date other people. Sometimes, the idea that you still have feelings for your ex is often caused by loneliness. If you have been single for a while, consider returning to the dating world. Meeting new people can put things in perspective. 

I Have Tried to Move On, but I Still Love My Ex. What Should I Do? 

For some people, the feeling of still being in love with their ex can persist even after healing from the breakup. Not all breakups are final. Sometimes couples get back together, work on the issues that caused the breakup and live happily ever after. 

If you have gone through the healing process and worked on yourself but are still having a difficult time moving on, you could try reaching out to them. Sometimes, telling them how you still feel can offer clarity and a way forward. 

Sometimes, expressing your feelings to your ex-romantic partner may help you realize that you are in love with a version of them that does not exist. If your ex has not done the work you have done to be a better person, getting back together with them may not be the best option for you. Sometimes, just because you are still in love with each other does not mean you have to get back together. 

How Growth Gals Can Help You Move On from Your Ex-Boyfriend 

Our aim at Growth Gals is to inspire women to reach their full potential. We also strive to create positive change by giving women the resources to discover their true selves and expand their knowledge base on various issues, such as mental health, emotional intelligence, self-improvement, and navigating relationships, including breakups.

Growth Gals helps women overcome obstacles and make informed decisions. We also help them connect with other women with similar values and experiences. All these are critical aspects of learning how to deal with feelings for an ex. To learn more about navigating emotions after a breakup, subscribe to the Growth Gals newsletter to access resources and helpful guides for women.

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The Bottom Line 

When you find yourself wondering, ‘Why do I love my ex?’ it is essential to take time to sit with this thought and the feelings to figure out why you feel the way you do. Going through the healing steps highlighted in this article can go a long way in helping you determine whether the feelings are real or just a coping mechanism. Finding a supportive community, be it your family members or a supportive network of women like Growth Gals, can go a long way in making the right decision for yourself easier. 

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