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Are You Still In Love With Your Ex?

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I’m still in love with my ex and can’t block him out all the time. But what about you, are you still in love with your ex? How does it affect you? By Sophia Strutt

still in love with my ex

Exes are the reason that make love so meaningful and yet, so painful.

Exes help you realize just how memorable love is, and just how much it can hurt when love starts to go bad.

[Read: Why does love hurt so much when it goes bad?]

If you’ve been in more than one relationship, you’ll know what I mean.

You can get over an ex, but can you ever stop loving an ex?

Perhaps, if it was an ugly breakup or if it was a relationship that meant nothing, it may be very easy to get over an ex.

But what about getting over an ex with whom you shared true love?

Can you ever get over that ex?

Are you still in love with your ex?

I still love my ex somewhere deep within me.

I’ve always convinced myself that I don’t love my ex anymore, but just when I start to believe I’ve completely gotten over my ex, he slips through the cracks within the spaces of my mind.

And as much as I try to push my ex’s face away from my mind, I can’t help but drop my resistance and enjoy the miserable moment for one moment longer. And soon, that moment lingers and stretches into a daydream. And my blissfully painful reverie brings with it all the pain and misery I had locked within my heart, in a corner so deep I can’t even find it so I can throw it away. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding your life back]

Can one ever stop loving an old true love?

We could date someone else, and our heart may be filled with new love all over again. And it could bring all the happiness in the world too. But that doesn’t mean our hearts aren’t big enough to carry old love.

The itch to pour your heart out

Sometimes, you may be connected to an ex because there’s so much unfinished business in the air, questions that need answering, words that need to be said and so much more. But we can’t always have all that we wish for. Sometimes, you have to let go of love even if you’re not ready. And that hurts the most. [Read: If you love someone, should you ever let them go?]

Have you ever felt like writing to your ex, a long letter that’s filled with the pain, confusion and the feelings you have bottled up within? I do too, but as much as my fingers itch to write a heartfelt note, I know that its better I don’t.

My ex has moved on, and by walking through that old road again, I’m only opening my heart for more wounds to follow. What could I get out of writing a letter expressing my feelings? More anticipation, more confusion and more pain. If your ex has truly moved on and has shown no signs of wanting to get back with you, there’s nothing you can ever do about it. [Read: Signs your ex is thinking about you too]

The memories of those old, happy moments

Daydreaming or stargazing with thoughts of your ex is a bitterly beautiful experience. You get to remember those happy days and those happy times, but yet, each time you open your eyes, you feel nothing but pain because all those memories are nothing but wisps of empty memories that most certainly may never come true again.

But yet, you can’t help yourself, can you? You just want to swim in that ocean of misery and pain, because somehow, somewhere deep within, the same misery shares its space with a tingle of happiness. Oh, the irony of exes and old love and the sick humor it brings to life.

You hopelessly stalk your ex

When the love for your ex resides somewhere deep in your heart, you can’t help but look out for ways to keep it alive. You’d want to know what your ex is up to, you’d want to bump into them now and then, and you’d want to touch them and hold them, and share another of those last kisses. Can dreams ever hurt so much or memories ever make you miss someone so much? [Confession: I miss him so much but he doesn't miss me at all]

You hope for a second chance

When you hear some bad news about your ex, or if you find out that your ex is now single and ready to mingle, do you secretly hope for a second chance? You may not want to date your ex again in reality, but in your thoughts and dreams, you paint a beautiful picture where both of you walk into each other’s arms in a perfect setting and share a warm embrace that you can feel to your very core. [Read: Are you really ready to date your ex again?]

Look at yourself through your ex’s eyes

Does your ex pop into your dream now and then? Do you wake up in the morning feeling so happy, and yet so hurt?

Love can be so depressing at times, don’t you think?

But let’s face it. As much as we hate love for those beautiful memories, it’s not love that’s making life miserable for us. If you’re still in love with an ex, it’s only because you still choose to hold on to that flight of fancy because as much as it hurts you, it still makes you happy deep inside.

But what about your ex? Do you think they still love you? Almost always, the chances are slim and almost nonexistent. Try to look at your broken relationship through your ex’s eyes. They’ve probably moved on into other relationships, or they’ve assumed you’ve moved on. And your ex has forced themselves to stuff you away in a dark hole in their heart.

Both of you broke up for a reason, and the reason hasn’t gone away. Even if both of you get back together, the same issues that caused the break up may come back into your lives again. If you’re hesitant about making a strong move and asking your ex out again, your ex may be feeling the same way too.

That just shows that though there’s love in the air, it’s the sad kind of love that can’t, and should not, become a reality, because all it offers is pain. [Read: The 10 types of love you'll experience in your lifetime]

The memories of an ex

I’m still in love with my ex, even though I can’t convince myself of it. On some sad and lonely days, my heart makes space for sad memories like my exes. And on happy days, my heart learns to ignore the fact that I have an ex. For several days, I have no recollection that I even have an ex.

But when the thoughts of my ex come my way, it feels like a burden that always weighs my heart down. But as lovers of our exes, we have no choice but to overlook the miserable happiness our exes give us. [Read: Signs you're experiencing unrequited love]

Memories and love – The eternal confusion

Spending hours dreaming of exes or assuming we’re still in love with them will never help us. Yes, it’s true that we did love our exes once.

But what you and I have to remember is that what we now feel is not love, but the dark, shadowy memory of love. Love doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the memory that makes it magical. And as much as you like the idea of it, you can’t touch it or hold this memory. It won’t create any new memories for you no matter how many times you twist the thoughts around, because it only stays in your head. [Read: 16 signs to find out if you're ready to be friends with your ex]

So cherish the romantic memories of your ex, but don’t confuse them with love. Love has a life of its own, while a memory, well, that’s just an empty photo frame, isn’t it? The love you feel in your head for your ex is just a memory, with a pinch of exaggeration and imagination.

[Read: Ways to stop thinking about someone you still like]

So are you still in love with your ex? Am I in love with my ex? Yes, but only in our heads and only as memories. As long as you remember that it’s the happy memory that makes it magical and not the broken love you experienced, it’s completely fine to love your ex, from somewhere deep within the dark corners of your big heart!


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Have your say!
  • Katherine
    June 23, 2012 | Permalink |

    This is so beautiful. You really must have missed your ex so much while writing it. I can see the fondness and the pain come straight through your words as I read your experience.

    I’m in love with my ex too, and as I read each line, I found myself nodding my head in amazement because I too experience the same feelings when I think of my ex. And the more I try to put the thoughts of my ex away, the more he comes back into my mind.

    It feels like our exes own a piece of our heart, and no matter how hard we try, we can never have it back. There’s always an empty void that can never be filled. Can we ever feel whole again after loving someone deeply and losing them?

    I guess we’ll be able to move on someday. But until then, as you say, we’ll all just have to love our exes by stuffing them away in some deep corner of our hearts.

  • Charile
    June 25, 2012 | Permalink |

    This is so touching, Sophia. As the earlier poster said, it’s beautiful. As I read each line, I couldn’t help but see myself experiencing the same emotions you feel.

    I’ve broken up with my ex over three years ago, and I’m in a new relationship with a wonderful girl, but no matter what I do or how hard I try, I can’t stop myself from dreaming of my ex now and then, or drifting away into fantasies where I walk into my ex or we have a conversation and I find out that she still loves me.

    I get so frustrated each time I think of her, but at the same time, I feel so good thinking about her. The pain and the confusion mixed with the happiness I feel is at times, just unbearable. I wish so hard that I would never ever have met my ex. She’s ruining my current relationship, and the miserable part is that I don’t think she even thinks of me… :(

  • Rachel
    July 6, 2012 | Permalink |

    Sophia, this article was heart breaking but a relief to discover all at the same time. I wasn’t sure that there was another person out there that felt exactly the same way I do. The battle of “getting over” my ex still rages on and truly is terribly bittersweet. Too often I feel that I can never love anyone else the way I loved my ex, I even think that in the future we will have to end up together because no other relationship or experience had been so amazing and so impossible to come back from.

    I really do agree with most of what you said, as devastatingly true as it is. Perhaps you don’t hope for something in the future, but I can’t seem to help my day dreams and the daunting sense that my ex and I were meant to be together. When things ended between us, we both still loved each other and it wasn’t because of some horrible break up, but the pain set in and the reality of deciding to end what we had due to hardships at the time hit full force. I feel that every day I am trying to live as only half a person, and the rare days that my ex doesn’t enter my mind I wonder if I felt as incomplete before our relationship as I do now.

    In my heart I don’t think there could be another, or should be, and from the beginning I knew things wouldn’t work out at the time. But what about in time? Is it silly to waste my months pretending I am ok and going about life and all the while really just waiting for the time to be right for him when he has grown up a bit more so that we can be together? Im not sure of the answer but that is now the reality of my life. Countless times I tried to love again but never did the love reach my heart and far too often it was my ex I was thinking about the whole time.

    I hate the way I feel, the fact that I still care, that I can’t do nothing to move on because lying to myself only works for a week or two at the most if I’m lucky. The memories of our love haunts my mind and crushes me with hope and self disparity. He was the burning highlight of my life and now I feel like I am once again standing in the darkness, shell shocked from the exploding passion that he brought forth inside me. My feelings don’t get anymore cliche, just like life as a hopeless romantic.

    I know why you wrote this article, because you know that no advice in the world can change your feelings or help you. Sometimes you have to give into the rainy days and share that one huge secret in your life with the world, you have to show someone the black mark on your mind and the pain and conflicting in your heart. Thank you for sharing that pain with us.

  • katie
    July 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    This is exactly how i felt when i tried to move on from my ex, he was my first true love and were together for 6 years. We broke up because of life situation and my rash judgement about it, i felt i needed to move on but i realized it was my own issues which was holding me back not him, i listened to everyone else’s opinion and judgments of my situation instead of making my own mind up and it was one of my greatest mistakes.

    I think that there is a deep rooted part of us that once we find a partner and experience true love you are emotionally bound with them forever and you can never move on fully. you can feel lust and desire for others as all emotions can be experienced even if your in the relationship but nothing else will ever be comparable and that is a deep rooted unbreakable thing that i believe exists in our deepest inner core in our basic DNA as human beings to feel this way.

    i came back to him with my head hung low and told him what i had been thinking (i stupidly told him i didn’t love him anymore so he could get over me quickly). we have been together ever since and i have doubts every now and again naturally but i see him again and i know everything is right with the world. i feel he is my safe harbor and if i break up with him i am in a storm i cant get out of in an endless ocean, i didn’t want to be this way why would i? (felt this was an appropriate metaphor pardon me being poetic x) lol) but that is genuinely how i feel nothing and no one else can compare.

    i know you probably think well she hasn’t been with anybody else really how does she know bla bla but why would i want to be with anybody else when i’m so happy? reading this back its so unlike everything I’ve read like “move on from your ex hes bad its bad” but i don’t feel that you honestly can, exactly like you said in this article, there’s always a part of your big heart where they lives and always will obviously if he doesn’t love you back that is tragic but there was something wrong if they don’t love you back you haven’t found your one yet, there’s so much out there around 4 billion men and roughly the same women so much opportunity to find your real true love its exciting!

    i have never been happier maybe i’m one of the lucky ones but i don’t want to be with anybody else there’s an unbreakable bound with your first true love especially. i grow as life goes on and he grows with me we grow together in all life’s situations and that’s something beautiful which i know will last forever, this post may not be entirely relevant but all i’m trying to say is think about how you can apply this to your situation especially if your weighing up your options if your thinking about getting back with your ex i hope this post was helpful for somebody i felt I’ve just poured my heart out!

    After reading this article it made me realize this deep rooted connection designed in our genetic make up that will never go and was so helpful in understanding in my head why i was feeling those bittersweet emotions as you say, perfect article. thank you

  • CJ
    November 28, 2012 | Permalink |

    katie, i am happy to hear that you are one of the lucky ones. i am currently going through a tough time to say the least. we broke up almost 2 months ago now, and its been difficult for both of us. the hardest part was having to let her go, because i knew that she just wasnt happy in the relationship and that if ever it were to work out, i must first give her the time and space so that she can determine what her true feelings are.

    in giving her the time and space, i have noticed that she has been the one contacting me, seeing how i was doing, etc. i wasnt exactly playing hard to get, i was simply giving her the space she needed. but in doing so, she has expressed how her life makes no sense without me. it just confuses me, because i dont know if she wants me back as her bf or just as a friend. ive been reluctant to respond back.

    katie, how long were you guys seperated until you came back to him and asked your ex for another shot at your current relationship?

  • Ruby
    January 28, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m still not over my “ex” we were involved but, technically not dating the last time I was seeing him for one month was two years and three months ago. I’m in a new relationship now but, my current boyfriend and ex met up without my knowledge about a month ago. my ex asked him to find him drugs. they never met … my current boyfriend only heard of my ex through me.

  • Ben
    February 24, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m in the exact same boat, my ex was my first girlfriend, but I’ve had a crush on her for eight years, and I fell head over heels for her, and vice versa, it was a fairy tale true love. We only broke up about a few weeks ago, but I love her like no one else ever will, and I know that it’s not normal to love your first girlfriend, but I did. The worst part is that the breakup was completely my fault, there was a horrible miscommunication via texting, and it ended up being me essentially lying to her, even though I told her that I had lied. I’ve done everything in my power to get her back, told her how much I love her and miss her, I wrote her an amazing 11 stanza poem for valentines day, I think I’m just gonna go up to her and kiss her and see how it goes. I’ve wooed to her to the point where any other girl would jump on top of me and, well you get the idea, but I don’t want any other girl but her, and I have to see her every day, and it feels like I’m dropping my heart in a blender and hitting puree. I know couples who have made it through much worse than us, and I just want her to give me one more shot. We understand each other so well, we both have atrocious family issues and have dealt with bullying and depression and lies, and all sorts of horrible things. We understand each other and support each other, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to hold her one more time.

  • Lisa
    March 23, 2013 | Permalink |

    it is, said previously, very beautiful and like all above i am going thru a hard break up.
    We were together over 11years and when he decided he wanted to see if “the grass is greener”
    it tore my heart to pieces. It has been 2 months that we have been properly seperated and even though he hurt me bad i cannot stop thinking about him constantly. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of stalking but the thought has crossed my mind hahaha. Everyday is a struggle for me not.to contact him, but just when i think i can do this he begins with his mind games, calling me the nickname he had for me, texting me he misses me an loves me and trying to see me all the time even just coffee and then after that he goes cold and i barely hear from him and i fesl i have to start the process all over again.
    I have found this has been the hardest thing in my life to go thru……. these kind of sites help not only to realise im not the only person that feels the way i do but also to process the feelings.
    He really was the love of my life, the one i had given my all to and now have to learn to go on day by day without him being with me.

  • alex
    March 28, 2013 | Permalink |

    First off, this article is alright, it’s not beautiful. It’s written in such a melodramatic way that it seems like this author has literally just gone through a breakup, or is a jerk who can’t move on and try dating other people because she’s clearly scared. Sorry to appear brash, but the only problem I have with this article is the way that it reinforces this pathetic kind of love, instead of empowering people to get out and try to meet other people, not stagnate in self-pity. I mean come on, people are reading this because they’re vulnerable, and you’re just reinforcing their feelings of inadequacy by saying how they’ll never “move on” from their past love. Personally, I don’t think that love can ever truly die, and that’s what makes it easy for me to move on from a break up. I mean, just because a guy has started dating another girl doesn’t mean that you never cross his mind from time to time, if not in nostalgia at least in comparison–how can you judge a current relationship if not comparing it to your old ones? All I’m saying is tone down the self-pity a little bit and maybe you could have an empowering and enjoyable op-ed

  • Heather
    June 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    This really helped. My ex boyfriend tells me all the time that he loves me and I am afraid to ask for a second chance…any tips on how to get over the fear of asking a guy out?

  • Nig
    July 8, 2013 | Permalink |

    This article echoes or confirms so much of the feelings I have for my ex, but I think there’s a sub-class of relationship which introduces a different kind of pain when recalling, or trying to get over, a first love. Mine goes back more than 20 years; she was in her teens, I in my early twenties; she was my first true love, but I wasn’t her first. She was wise beyond her years. The relationship was amazing, but my parents disapproved and fought viciously against. I was naive, immature and financially dependent, and after 3 years of relentless pressure I caved in and ended the relationship. Even now I remember the breakup – we were both crying, she was asking why, and I couldn’t give her a compelling answer. Oh for an older more mature head on that day! But now, when I look back and try to remember the compelling reasons for breaking up – there aren’t any, and that seems to make things that bit more regrettable. Despite being happily married now with young children, her memory haunts me. It pervades every element that makes me, me. I got on with life, but there’s something fundamental about a first love, if it’s right; the first release of those chemicals in the body in response to the attraction that hard-wires the image, smell, feel of the person into the amygdala. Impossible to erase, only to be suppressed. The biggest lesson I take, and the only positive I take, from my experience: no matter how much I may disapprove of my sons girlfriends, I will never, ever try to end the relationship, only to gently advise and watch from afar. To meddle with a first love is to play with the primeval, and lasting damage to every actor in the scene can happen as a result.

  • yroll
    October 13, 2013 | Permalink |

    Heather, I have cried all weekend because the man I love has gone on to marry another when I know he loved me for a long time and he wanted to be with me forever but we did not communicate this to each other in a clear way. We did not discuss our concerns and fears which could of been overcome.

    If you love this person with all your heart and know that he is the one TELL HIM. TELL HIM in person, TELL HIM after you’ve had a drink if you need Dutch courage, write to him, email, Facebook or post if you can not say the words BEFORE its too late.

    That said don’t be grateful he wants you back and put up with anything. Date for a while, get engaged and marry. Don’t be a girl friend forever. Good luck, I am going back to crying on the sofa alone (only joking).

  • Aaron
    April 12, 2014 | Permalink |

    I know I may be young compared to others. I may not act my age. But the girl I was with, she understood me. We understood each other. I tried my hardest to be the best boyfriend I could be for her. Telling her how she’s the princess in the tower and I’m her knight in shining armor. I’d suprise her with kisses, sometimes cutting her off with a kiss, not because of rude reasons but because it was funny and cute, sometimes she’d do it to me too. At the renaissance fair I had her wait one second because I had a saw a flower lady with her favorite flower and so I had bought it for her and she spent the whole day sniffing it and blushing. I told her I loved her everyday. Then about 8-9 month into the relationship she starts having problems with her parents getting a divorce, her grades slipping. I supported her the best I could but the best wasn’t good enough for her. She broke up with me 2 weeks before Christmas. Christmas of the year before was where I first asked her out (where she said no actually, but then later confessed that she panicked and that she actually did have feelings back) I was planning on giving her a promise ring. We had talked about how we were going to go on a adventure once we graduate, just the two of us and it would always end with her saying “I can’t wait to graduate so I can be with you always” I wanted to be with this girl forever… I tried being supportive after the break up, trying to be her friend. It was really unfair because she would still tell me she loved me. Then one day, when I was going on about all the stuff I was able to accomplish that day with her one of my friends showed me some messages that she had said to her. Stuff like she’s already moved on, that she doesn’t want to date a pussy like me, that she’s tired of wearing the pants of the relationship, that she wanted a man not a boy. I felt broken… Like my whole world had shattered. I was angry, hurt, and confused so I sent a nasty message to her saying fuck you, that she’s a cold hearted bitch. I knew once I sent it things will never be the same. The next day her friend slaps me and then tells me how she was crying all night so I apologized because I knew I took it too far. She told me she was kidding, that she didn’t mean it. I tried to believe it, even though I knew she was lying. I apologized so many times hoping that she’d forgive me. She never did. She didn’t meet my eye when we were with a group and ignored everything I said, like I didn’t exist. It made me feel terrible, knowing that we used to love each other, that we were happy. She’s deleted all the post we shared on Facebook. All the memories we had are gone. She’s blocked me on Facebook too. I tried and tried to make things right but she just wouldn’t forgive me. Then one day she told me that she’ll forgive me if I never talk to her again. So I waited, I waited while one of my friends decided to make a move on her. I hid my feelings as I saw them flirting right in front of me. I hid the tears when I saw her smile at him. I swallow a sob when my friends tell me that she’s moved on, that she’s in love with my friend. All because I wanted her to be happy and that I knew if she saw I was still hurting she wouldn’t be happy. Now these days her relationship with my friend is still flirtatious but not as much as it was, I avoided the group for a few weeks, talking to other group members when she wasn’t around. I thought I was better, that I had moved on. So I had rejoined the group, with her present. She still ignored me but kept glancing over at me. I was perturbed so I continued showing up for a few more times. Each time I’d find her looking at me, and as soon as I caufmght her she’d look away. My heart started hoping for so many things even though my brain told it to stop. Then a couple days later she gets asked to prom by a senior that she is friends with. I kept losing to myself saying it was a good thing even though I hurt so much.I tried to judge her reaction about being asked and whatnot and was suprised to find that she was indifferent. Like it didn’t really matter to her. Then I kinda but not really watched how she was with the senior and as far as I could tell they were just friends. Unless he felt something she didn’t. She started looking at me more, sometimes not breaking eye contact but me instead breaking it. Then one day as I was calling one of my friends over she just looks at me and gives me a smile, a smile I hadn’t seen since we had dated, when we were alone. Truth be told my brain was overheated and my heart was beating like a jackhammer. I tried to get her out of my head but couldn’t no matter how much I tried. So I decided to send her a text, see if she wanted to talk, she is Stage manager and I’m an actor so it’s normal for me to have her number. I sent her a text and was suprised by a quick response. I tested her for 30 min-an hour before I cut the conversation off. She had been businesslike, not open, which I figured to be normal because of everything that I had happened. The next day I tried texting her again and again she responded. This time with one word responses, like yes and no and idk sometimes longer but not much. I tested her two days after and got no response at all. I’m worried now though, I’m worried about what may happen at prom because of all the rumors like virginity being lost and other things of that nature. I don’t want her to make a mistake she is going to regret for the rest of her life. I care about her and I want her to be happy. That’s why I never told her I still love her. Anyways, prom is tonight and I want to text her, to to tell her that I’ll be here for her, through rain, sleet, and snow so if she was going home with a under the influence driver because she doesn’t have a license that I’ll ride my bike(because both her and I are sophmores so prom isn’t for us) to the state house where prom is being held or wherever she may be and takeher home. Now you may think that I may be even younger because I don’t have a license but actually I’m seventeen. I just don’t see the purpose. Except for cases like this. I want to tell her these things but I’m scared if I do I’m going to scare her off before things get fixed. I know we will probably never be in a relationship but if I’m able to just be there, just be there for her when she needs someone most, I’ll be happy. So I know it’s probably too late to ask but can someone halo me please!

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