5 Reasons Why You Might Miss Your Ex — Even If You’re In A Healthy Relationship
It's OK to miss your ex — we all do it!Have you ever found yourself saying, "I miss my ex"?In fact, I had a friend call me today and ask, "How can you be in a healthy...
- Sep 17, 2020
It's OK to miss your ex — we all do it!
Have you ever found yourself saying, "I miss my ex"?
In fact, I had a friend call me today and ask, "How can you be in a healthy relationship and still miss your ex?"
She had just had a lovely date with her guy and, on the way home, she was compelled by some unknown force to find out where her ex lived and drive by his house.
She thought she was over him and was now worried that she wasn't. She liked her new guy and didn’t want to slip backwards.
I assured her that it's very common for people to still miss their ex while they're dating or even in a healthy relationship.
Here are 5 reasons why you might miss your ex.
1. You miss the comfort of the known.
When you're newly dating or in a new healthy relationship, one of the reasons that you still miss your ex is the comfort of the known.
I had a boyfriend once who said it would be so nice to be able to skip the dating and go right to the two-year mark in a relationship where everything was comfortable.
That’s what new relationships are — uncomfortable — and who wants to be uncomfortable?
With your ex, you knew exactly how things were going to play out — who eats what for breakfast, who needs space before coffee, what happens during Monday night football, how Thanksgiving is spent, and so on.
You were in your relationship for some period of time and you were used to each other. And that was comfortable.
With your new relationship, even if it has been going on for a while, you might still not be as comfortable as you were and that makes you think back to your ex and your routines, and miss the security that you felt.
So, perhaps it’s not your ex you're missing as much as the comfort you felt with someone you knew very well.
2. You miss the things you shared.
I have an ex who I definitely should not be with right now, but man, did we have fun!
One July day, while out sailing on Lake Champlain in Burlington, we flipped our sailboat. We came up, sputtering, still holding our wine glasses.
We sacrificed the glasses to the lake and flipped the boat over. Our bottle of wine was still there, but our flip-flops and T-shirts were gone.
We were laughing so hard! We sailed home, walked to the closest outside bar with bare feet, and shared Dark & Stormys. And that night at the hotel was the cherry on top of a perfect day.
We had plenty of memories like that, this guy and I. And I think about those days a lot. I enjoy the memories and the feelings they evoke.
I love my new boyfriend in a big way, but there are many days that I think back on the fun my ex and I had. I miss it, and that's OK.
3. You miss what was good.
Yes, your ex is your ex for a reason, but they are also someone you fell in love with. And that means there was some good.
When you miss your ex, do you remember how the two of you were when you first met? When you stayed up all night talking, and then stayed in bed in the morning making love?
Do you remember how good he was with your friends? Do you remember that funny way she stuck her tongue between her teeth when she laughed?
Do you remember how he used to hold your hand when you were anxious about going to his parents' house?
When we break up with someone, the things about them that made us fall in love with them don’t cease to exist. There are still there in your memory and, perhaps, in real life, and you are going to miss them.
Even one of my clients who was in the most toxic relationship I've ever heard of misses her ex and the way he could be, even now that she's in a healthy relationship.
So just because you have broken up, your ex does still have some of the qualities that you fell in love with. And knowing that will lead to you miss them.
4. You've forgotten the past.
I have an ex who I used to think of often, even as my relationship grew into the amazing thing it is today. I often found myself thinking about the good things we shared and the wonderful things he did for me, and I missed him.
And then one day, I found an old journal. I had written a few pages in the midst of the turmoil building around the relationship. And, in those written words, I remembered some things that I had forgotten.
It was always all about him — rarely about me. He stopped wanting to have sex quite early on in our relationship, and he actually strong-armed me one day when I made a move.
He was insecure, jealous, and very possessive. And I had forgotten all of those things.
I remembered the one time he sang to me while I was in the shower, the first time we made love, and how I believed that I could fix him if I just loved him enough.
This journal helped me finally let him go. The bad definitely outweighed the good, and I had forgotten all about it.
5. You miss the person you used to be.
Another reason you might still miss your ex, even if you're in a healthy relationship now, is because you might miss the person you were in that relationship.
Relationships bring out the best and worst in us. And when at its best, we feel secure and loved.
I remember my first relationship after my divorce. I was fresh meat out in the world exploring dating for all of its good and bad.
I went into that relationship so fresh, not yet jaded by dating in middle age. I jumped in headfirst.
We traveled, laughed, had amazing sex, and fell in love. Ultimately, it didn’t work out, but I think about the girl I was during that period of time and I love her.
She was going through a really tough divorce, but she didn’t let it bring her down. She stepped up, moved on, found love, and proved to herself that she could survive anything.
I still think about that guy — and the amazing sex — and don’t wish that I was with him, but I relish the person I was when I was with him. And that feels great!
So, of course, you can be in a healthy relationship and still miss your ex.
Life isn’t linear.
I always use the ice-cream analogy. Let’s say you have always loved chocolate ice cream. And then all the chocolate ice cream in the world disappears, and you can only eat vanilla.
And you discover that you love vanilla ice cream! Would that love of vanilla ice cream take away from the love you once had for the chocolate ice cream?
No! It was something you were used to and it made you feel comfortable. You loved that you used to eat it with your kids at the beach in the summer.
It tasted really good — although the chocolate didn’t go so well with butterscotch sauce. And, when we eat ice cream, we always love the child that we become — the child that we need to get in touch with more often.
So, if you still miss your ex, it’s OK!
We all do it, at one time or another. The key is to not let it sabotage your new relationship.
Again, that person is your ex for a reason and unless hell has frozen over, that reason probably hasn’t changed!
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