You’ve gone through the motions of healing and moving on, but for some reason, your ex still lingers in your mind. What’s the deal?
You know deep inside your heart and soul that you are over your ex. You have made peace with the past, and you are even in a new, happy, and fulfilling relationship. But sometimes, you can’t help but wonder why, in spite of the time that already passed, you still remember your ex.
Does it mean you want your ex back? Are you secretly still hoping for another chance? Do you miss the times you shared with your ex? In all honesty, probably not. But the mere fact that your ex crosses your mind should mean something, right?
Why do you still think about your ex?
Don’t jump to conclusions and think that keeping your ex in your mind means the universe is telling you to give it another shot. There are rational explanations that don’t entail trying to get back together with your ex.
#1 You run in the same friendship circles. You both know the same group of people. It’s not uncommon that you and your ex have a lot of common friends. Sometimes, it is even through a common friend that couples meet. If this is the case, then you will come across your common friends in social media, and they might have status updates, photos, or tweets that would include your ex.
At that moment, you would be reminded of the past. It is normal and it doesn’t mean that you still have feelings for your ex. It just so happens that there are still people who mention your ex, thus making you think about your past together.
#2 “I used to order this dish here.” This was what my ex used to order every day! Do you find yourself remembering how many times you have eaten in this particular restaurant with your ex? Do you find your mind wandering into the past? Do you remember which dishes tasted the best and which ones you hated? It is all about the experience that you had with your ex in the restaurants that you have eaten in, especially if it was their favorite.
This is actually pretty normal. Remembering something your ex used to like doesn’t mean you’re still hung up on them. It just so happened that you recalled a fond memory of eating something with your ex, hence the flood of memories. [Read: 12 foolproof ways to quit thinking of your ex]
#3 “I was here almost a year ago.” With the ex. And now that you are back in the same place, you kind of had a flashback of what you did here with them. It’s okay for anyone to have flashbacks, especially if you have been to the same place several times and you’ve actually enjoyed your time there.
Call it déjà vu. You may have been in the same spot with your ex before, but now you’re in the same spot with the person you’re currently with. Your mind just associates the place with a memory, and that’s why your mind gravitated towards thoughts of your ex. Just keep in mind that you made memories in this place before, but you can make new ones with the one you’re now with.
#4 You still see your ex everywhere. It’s impossible to see someone you know and not think about them to some extent. If you see your ex in your favorite deli or at your neighborhood dentist, you can’t just push thoughts of them to the back of your mind.
Thinking about your ex is one thing. But thinking of them and how awesome it used to be and how great you were together is a whole different thing. If it’s just a passing thought that went through your head when you ran into your ex, think nothing of it. Your brain is just telling you that, yes, you used to date, but no, that doesn’t mean you want to date them again.
#5 The social media generation. It is both a blessing and a curse that social media is this generation’s bible. First of all, you get to be connected with everyone and have updates about anyone, anywhere in the world. So when your ex posts something, you’re bound to see it, and to some extent, you think about what that post might mean to your ex.
This is almost the same as seeing a friend’s post and wondering what that post could mean to your friend. For all intents and purposes, as soon as you get over your ex, he or she is just another friend on your list, and nothing more. Thoughts about them bear the same weight as any other post from people on your list. [Read: 8 ways to deal with your ex seeing someone new]
#6 The power of the senses. You know science is a bit tricky. Whenever you smell the same scent or hear the same music and there is a particular memory connected to it, you will be reminded of the same feelings you had when you heard or smelled it.
It could be the perfume that your ex used to wear, or your ex’s favorite song turned into a ringtone – anything can become a reminder of your ex. You can’t control these thoughts, because it’s just your brain reminding you of something from the past.
#7 These are a few of my favorite things. Just because you broke up, doesn’t mean you have to return every single thing your ex gave you, right? So you’re bound to still keep a couple of gifts from your ex, not as mementos, but as regular items that you just happen to use.
When someone asks you where you got your Louis Vuitton bag or your PSP or that chipped mug that you always use, you can’t help but recall the fact that your ex gave it to you for your anniversary or your birthday or for Christmas a couple of years ago. You’re just remembering the origin of something you’re still using, and even if it involves your ex, it doesn’t mean you’re holding on to those items because you can’t let go of your ex. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]
#8 Heart to heart talks. We have particular moments where we open up to friends about our past relationships. And this happens a lot. It could either be for advising them or for sharing experiences from which you learned lessons from. One of these stories can be about what happened between you and your ex. If it is still difficult to talk about it, then you might not really be over your ex. But if you can casually talk about it without eliciting any feelings, then you’re good to go.
#9 The doppelganger. You were quietly making your way to work, sipping on your hot cappuccino, when you suddenly needed to stop. You see your ex about a couple of meters from you, ignoring you completely. You become annoyed because you both ended things peacefully and agreed to stay acquaintances.
Oh wait, but that’s not your ex. It’s just someone who looks exactly like them. So nobody is apparently avoiding or snubbing anyone. Carrying on means being reminded of your ex doesn’t bother you. If you dwell on the fact that you think you keep seeing your ex when they’re not there, then that may be some cause for concern. [Read: 14 things to keep in mind when you run into your ex]
#10 Events with the ex. You used to go with your ex to usual friend and family affairs like holidays, birthdays and other forms of celebration. You no longer do, but sadly, not everyone got the memo. So when the next get-together comes, everyone is going to look for your ex. And you have a lot of explaining to do.
You can explain the absence of your ex in a polite and casual manner or you can go on an hour-long pity fest with whoever bothers to listen. If you end up doing the former, congratulations! You’re over your ex, and thinking about them shouldn’t be a big deal for you. [Read: 7 resolute ways to resist the urge to call your ex]
Do not think that just because you remember them, it means that there might still be lingering feelings in there. Remembering the past and pining for things to go back to the way they were are two different things. Keep that in mind the next time your ex pops up in your mind.
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Daydreaming of pristine white sand beaches and attempting to beat her 40 books read in a year record, she is a preschool teacher by day and a writer by night. N...