I Don't Want My Ex Back, But It Still Hurts (24 Possible Reasons)

Break-up is done promptly. Mental detachment follows its due course and takes its time for complete unattachment. You might not share the proximity with them anymore, but that doesn't mean that their memory does not haunt you. It hurts because you haven't cleansed yourself off them completely.
Medha Sureka
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Even long after the breakup, on sudden days or when you are at your lowest, you get this strong urge to travel back in time just to relive all the moments with your ex again. You stop right there, and instead of reliving, you begin to scrutinize. You are still looking out for answers. You still want an explanation - either from them or from life itself.

Did you reason with yourself when you had fallen in love? Were you able to convince yourself of that reason? Was there one particular reason for loving them? How did you manage to unlove them?

Reasons Why You Don't Want Them Back, Why It Still Hurts

You are sensible enough to understand that going back is not the option, but you keep falling back into the memories of yesteryears because you didn't get your answers or you loved them with your all. The pain stinks, but you can make your way out of it. Let's begin with trying to figure out why it still hurts.

#1 You Still Love Them; You Just Can't Bear The Pain Anymore

To learn to unlove is trickier than falling in love. It was involuntary when you felt that first skip of beats, but can you stop it from beating for that person voluntarily?

Always remember that to stop the pain, you need to stop loving or hating them. If you either love or hate them, you are still investing your emotions in them; hence, it would be an asset or reliability. In this case, it is a liability that would ultimately result in your loss.

#2 You Understand That Neither Of You Was Wrong, But Somehow The Relationship Got Too Demanding

The truest love stories are never realized into reality. That's the beauty of it that it is tragic. Worry not; you shall get your happy share of real love soon. You deserve someone right for you, not just right.

Maybe you loved right, but love didn't do you right. If you feel that is the case, then acknowledge and accept and don't let it hurt you anymore.

#3 Something Has Triggered You

You saw a couple in the metro or spotted one at the bus stand. This took you back to all the moments you had spent together. It is because you invested yourself so much with that one person that even something as minor and familiar as this shall trigger you.

It becomes worse if you come across someone with a similar personality. You will at once feel attracted towards them and would be taken up with such an overflow of emotions that you would not know what to do and where to go.

Take slow and deep breaths and try to come up with an estimation: did you get more miserable after they left you or, were they the real cause of your suffering?

#4 You Haven't Moved On Yet

 You did manage to break up with them, but you completely forgot to move on! Isn't that right? Breaking up and staying at the same place without making any changes will only turn it all stagnant.

The bread is stale, and you can see fungus showing up on the surface. Discarding it is not the complete solution. You need to buy fresh bread or better alternatives. You can't go hungry just because the bread got stale.

But was the bread always stale? No. Maybe you even had a good many slices from the bundle. You are discarding the leftover, and that is perfectly okay.

#5 You Are Lonely 

While the thumb rule says you are lonely even when not alone, it is highly possible that, in this case, you are more solitary and hence all the more lonesome. If not a partner, spend some time with your friends and family. Even watching them and listening to their humdrum will make you feel better.

#6 You Miss The Things You Used To Do Together

Well, that must be it! You shared the same interests and hobbies, the same playlist, went to movies together, and now you don't feel like doing anything because it all reminds you of them!

Make new hobbies. Make a list of all the things you have not tried yet. Invest yourself creatively. Visit exhibitions, learn about different art forms, and color yourself with all the pretty forms of art out there.

#7 Every Other Couple In Your Circle Is Happily Settled

Watching others in your circle settling, or worse, having kids already while you have no plans or hope for plans, can take a toll on your mental peace.

Prepare yourself mentally to start all over again. Start dating. Go on blind dates, try to connect with people virtually, at least start talking again, and things will fall back into place.

#8 You Are Unable To Trust Another

This is natural, but you cannot trust another for a very long time. You will have to learn to trust again. Your first failure will always guarantee your second success. 

Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with someone who is trying to love you. Give them a chance. Years from now, you would know that it was with it back then. Just like no business can boom without taking heavy risks; similarly, no relationship can improve until and unless you invest your faith in them.

#9 They Never Offered You Closure

Maybe it still hurts because you still don't know why you two are not together. The ending was so abrupt that you never got your closure. Would the closure bring you justice? No, on the other hand, it might even make you feel guilty. You are better off without it.

#10 They Never Apologized

A note of apology can make all the difference. While you loved them unconditionally, it hurts you that they don't even bother to give you a note of apology.

To spell out the term sorry takes one a long way in the process of healing. It's a way to acknowledge that you had wished things could have been different and favorable. It would mean that all the time that you had spent together with them was not a lie.

Note of apology whenever due should be granted because it gives the other person a lot of strength to cope when they feel abandoned.

#11 You Still Have Their Belongings 

If you never discarded or gave back to them their belongings, then that would act as a souvenir of remembrance. If by any chance you still have their belongings that might include their photographs, their clothes, their diary, or anything at all that they had gifted you, then immediately discard them, burn them, and do not bother to return them now. It's too late for that; get rid of it and all their memories at once.

#12 You Still Live In The Same Flat 

If you were in a live-in relationship and they moved out after the breakup, but you stayed back in the same flat, then it's possible that you might feel that all the walls are closing upon you, and that might suffocate you.

Even if you have your reason for not being able to abandon the flat -- it may be because you had invested in it, trust me, suffering a financial loss is way better than the mental toll that it is taking upon you.

#13 They Still Have Your Belongings

Even if you discarded or turned all their possessions, but they never returned you yours, then that might get you thinking that even the miss being with you and that might cause all the trouble.

We want to believe what we think will comfort us, and the thought that they might have kept your belongings because they still love you is always comforting.

But I tell you, it's a trap. Do not fall for it because you don't know that they actually kept it with themselves. It might just be that they discarded it.

In these moments of doubt, just remember why you broke up in the first place, and even if you feel hurt right now, try to recall the pain that you were in with due to the person who was supposed to take them away.

#14 You Get To See Them In Your Workplace 

If you get to see your ex in the workplace or a few to work together, then that might put you in a tremendously difficult situation. Try to look for a change, apply at other places. If it's possible and if you get an opportunity, try switching cities.

You might think that it should not be a big difference since you do not see each other anymore, but that is not how it works. The memories will keep haunting you that way if you have your ex right in front of you.

#15 You Have A Mutual Friend Circle 

If the two of you have the same friend circle, then it can get really tricky to avoid your ex. This might build up a tension where at least one of you might feel uncomfortable while the other may act cool.

In such situations, you don't get many options but to be the cool one. If you can't treat them as a friend, treat them as a stranger. It might take some time, but eventually, both of you will get used to it, and it won't hurt you anymore.

#16 You Feel Helpless

You might feel so broken by that breakup that it seems to you that it is the end of your romantic adventures. But it is not true, and it's not an end. It is just the beginning of another phase.

With the world's current population, it is highly likely that you have a chance to meet and come across many other better and likable people out there who would not keep you happy but would love to spend their life with you and would always make you feel secure.

#17 You Loved Them More Than You Loved Anybody Else 

It is hurting so much because you never loved anyone with that intensity before. It might be that you feel like you will never be able to give someone that much love again. But this is not true.

With the right person, you will not have to put in any effort, and it will be an effortless journey and the most romantic love story.

#18 They Loved You More Than You Loved Yourself 

It can also be that it is hurting so much because nobody ever loved you or made you feel loved the way they did.

Yet again, it is because you have not yet come across the right person. With the right person, they will love you so much that you would find yourself floating in cloud nine even when the sky is cloudless.

#19 They Always Found Ways To Make You Smile

It isn't easy to unlove a person who always found a way to put a smile on your face. But ask yourself if those smiles are really worth the pain that you are undergoing right now?

Your happiness should spring from you. Stop finding reasons to be happy. Start believing that it is within you. It's you who make happiness happy, and it's you who make happiness happen.

#20 They Remembered All Your Special Days More Than You

You may be missing them, and hence it is hurting you because you suddenly remember that it is a special day and how you would always forget about it and they would never fail to surprise you.

If it is indeed an extraordinary day and you used to celebrate it with them, and the memories are hurting you, then rise up, fix yourself your favorite drink and celebrate.

#21 Sex Was Good 

It can also be that you miss them because you failed to share the same intimacy with somebody else. If this is the case, then all you have to do is be frank with your partner with your new partner and tell them about your likes and dislikes, understand their preference, and try new things to make it more fun.

#22 They Always Had A Solution To All Your Problems 

You might be hurt because you see yourself in a difficult situation at the given moment, and deep inside, you know that had they been with you, they would have known the solution and helped you to get out of the problem.

Remember that no problem can last for very long, and just the way you got yourself into it similarly, you are very much capable of getting yourself out of it.

#23 They Understood Your Silence

And that is where even your anger melts, and all that is left behind is the pain that pricks like thorns all over your surface. Find the replacement in the mediums of art. Music, poetry, paint, sketching, meditation, deep breathing exercises will soothe you and keep you composed.

#24 It Is Raining 

Maybe you are in pain, and it's hurting because of the rain. If you have a romantic soul, then this might be the case. It's always best to take a nap, and if not, then play your favorite song and eat your favorite food.

How To Break This Phase?

No matter how toxic your relationship was and how much the memories come back to get you at night, you can break free from it with some very simple steps. Start the detoxification process right away and start it with whatever you find easiest to do.

  • Start dating again! You need to replace them to fill the void. Try dating sites, go on blind dates, ask your friends to set you up. 
  • Practice the skill of being indifferent. Once you master the art, you will no longer suffer either emotionally or mentally. Hating them is not the wise option here.
  • Develop new hobbies. Make a list of everything that you have not done, all the places yet to be explored, all the writers and poets yet to be read. And? And start doing it this very instant!!
  • Write a letter of apology to yourself for undergoing so much. Nobody else owes you that letter of apology as much as you owe it to yourself. It shall be the most cherished possession. Sit down, grab a sheet, take a pen and start writing.
  • Discard anything that reminds you of them. You had your reasons to stop being with them. There is no reason why you should keep things with you that act as a reminder of them or a souvenir of your relationship. Throw it all away at once. Better to burn down whatever possible.
  • Recall the pain that you were in with due to the person who was supposed to take it away. Read it again and again. Yes, they were supposed to be the reason for your smile! Look what they have done to you! Is it really worth it to still lift the burden of all the pain again?
  • Start celebrating special days alone. Cherish your being! You have all the reasons for it. You made it this far. You have been successful in pulling yourself out of a very toxic relationship. Do you need any other reason for the celebration?
  • Be open with your new partner about your needs and desires. Have sex and have lots of it. Make it fun. Try everything that you did not try with your ex. Try new toys, role-plays, Make fore-plays interesting. Understand the sexual needs of your partner and make them discover yours subtly.
  • Talk your heart out with your family and friends. Engaging in dialogues can calm you down more than you can think. They will always lend you their ears and more. They are there to support you and love you.
  • Visit your native place. When you are reliving the old memories, why not relive the fondest ones? Paying a visit to your native place will bring back the real you back to life! You might have lost your essence, and your charm might have been put off while you were with them, rediscover yourself, start at the roots.
  • Read tragedies and tragic-comedy. Read the former to learn how tragic your relationship could have been, the latter to understand how adjusting the angle by degrees can bring delight even from such suffering.
  • Embrace yourself, get a new hairstyle, paint your home, get your hair dyed. Work on yourself. Make some changes here and there. Take on a new appearance while metamorphosing into a colorful butterfly. It's time for you to soar high.
  • Go for a staycation, spend more time in the lap of nature. Nature has the secret powers to heal your deepest wound with its magical spells. 
  • Adopt a pet to know the love you deserve. Those little paws will shower you with so much love that you would never ask for more.
  • Love yourself more in all the ways possible. Drench yourself and all your sorrows in the rain. 

A tip from my side: Make yourself the priority and whatever you do, do it for your betterment. All your favors should be directed towards you. If you look after yourself well, you won't need anyone else.

Let bygones be bygones. If you keep chasing or reliving the past, then you are not only wasting your present but preventing yourself from weaving a lovely future. Do not steal yourself of that pleasure. You deserve what's best out there. Your past and your ex were the worst that life could have offered you. Take an oath that you won't let them hurt you anymore, and you shall be alright on your own.


Start a conversation. Or give us feedback.

One comment on “I Don't Want My Ex Back, But It Still Hurts (24 Possible Reasons)”

  1. Exactly!! Everything should start from us. Disengaging the old memories is the tricky part here. Some nights they haunt us. Disengage is really tricky 🙂

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