10 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Over Your Ex
Nothing hurts quite like the pain of a broken heart. The end of a relationship can often leave you wondering if you will ever fully heal from the trauma of such a significant loss. While many will tell you to look at this ending as the opportunity for new beginnings, the reality is, the feelings that follow a breakup are often anything but positive. But how long is too long when it comes to recovering from a split and why is it so hard to get over an ex? We’ve done some digging to bring you 10 reasons behind that achy breaky heart that just won’t seem to heal.
CatastrophizingAccording to Psychology Today, catastrophizing a breakup or any painful situation is the process of intensifying one’s feelings of despair and anxiety. In a nutshell, actively wallowing in your own grief.
The fix: while letting yourself grieve is a crucial part of the healing process (we'll get to this later), it’s important to maintain a healthy perspective on the situation. You can do this by holding yourself accountable for just how much time and energy you are dedicating to these negative emotions and asking yourself if these grief spirals are making you feel better – or worse. Most likely, it’s the latter, in which case you need to find more positive and proactive ways to heal. Might we suggest a kick-boxing class?
You won’t believe the crazy ways a breakup impacts your body.
Refusing to accept that it’s overAnother reason why so many people struggle with moving on stems from their own refusal to let go of the relationship. Psychology Today quotes relationship advisor Kevin Darne, who says, “We’ve been programmed by romance novels and Hollywood movies to view breakups as stepping stones toward happily ever after.” This Hollywood ideal, however, is more often than not, just an illusion.
The fix: As painful as it might be, accepting that your relationship is over is the healthiest and most effective way to begin the healing process. Rather than holding on to residual feelings and memories viewed through rose-coloured glasses, force yourself to accept things as they are and you’ll soon feel the relief that comes with letting go.
These are the ten reasons why people fall out of love.
Not allowing yourself to grieve fullyNot to be confused with the prolonged and unhealthy process of catastrophizing, grief is a necessary component to any healing process. When you avoid facing the painful feelings that linger below the surface, they begin to mount and may reveal themselves in unhealthy and confusing ways down the road.
The fix: eHarmony has this to say about the grieving process following a breakup: “Give yourself permission to heal slowly, one long day at a time. You’ve likely been through a lot. Be gentle with yourself.”
We’re still grieving over these celebrity splits.
A loss of identityNoted blogger and bestselling author Mark Manson acknowledges the role our identity plays in the emotions that coincide with a breakup: “That feeling of emptiness we all feel when we lose someone we love is actually a lack of meaning and lack of identity. There is, quite literally, a hole inside of ourselves.”
The fix: As far as getting over your ex by “getting back out there” into the dating scene, Manson would advise a different route: “If your identity has been so wrapped up in a relationship that’s now gone, well, it’s a good time to explore who you are in contexts outside of that relationship. Rushing out to find someone to fill that void without really figuring out what you want and what you need … is a recipe for recurring relationship disaster.”
No one is immune to heartbreak: these celebrities reveal what it’s like to be cheated on.
The chemical factorAn article on NPR looked at the science behind heartache to get to the bottom of why people struggle with the healing process. One study claims that “…under an MRI scanner, the brains of the heartsick can resemble the brains of those experiencing cocaine withdrawal.”
The fix: so while we may not have all the answers in countering the physical and psychological effects of our broken heart, the article does offer some good news, adding, “While no one can say exactly how long it'll take you to get over an ex, research shows that most people overestimate the amount of time it'll take to recover.”
Next time around, you’ll want to ensure there’s a foundation of trust. Here’s how to trust and be trusted in a relationship.
Pushing too hard to maintain a friendshipFor many couples, the relationship began as a friendship before it ever developed into anything else. Not surprisingly, many people struggling to heal from their breakup will cite the loss of this friendship component as the most difficult to accept.
The fix: an article for Everyday Health warns, “If you are trying to remain 'friends,' forget it. You can never be friends. He will always be your ex-boyfriend and seeing each other under the pretense of friendship will only prolong the agony. Stop trying.”
Are you guilty of any of these 18 things you should never ask your significant other to do?
Fear of being aloneOne of the worst reasons to stay in – or prolong the mourning of – any relationship is a fear of being alone. While understandable to some degree, this is often the most dangerous logic for those who stay in toxic relationships and cannot cope when those relationships come to an end. Says an article on Psychology Today, “If a person is fearful that love will never happen, he or she will often tolerate neglect, abuse or disingenuous behaviour just to stay in any relationship.”
The fix: if a fear of being alone is what is holding you back, then it’s time to face those fears head-on. Learn to be at ease on your own and take the time necessary to harness your own strength and confidence – minus the crutch of another person. You owe it to yourself to discover that you are all you need.
Relationship experts reveal the biggest issues in Canadian marriages.
Previous unresolved lossesOften, the traumas we experience in our adulthood are subconsciously linked to unresolved issues from our youth. As it relates to the struggle in healing a broken heart, eHarmony says, “People who can’t let go of someone usually experienced a major loss, rejection or neglect by a parent when they were young. Later, as adults, these men and women are still searching for love, but they don’t know how to have a healthy relationship.”
The fix: sometimes these unresolved losses and traumas are too difficult to address on our own. In these cases, it can be beneficial to seek the help of a therapist in accessing and coping with these past issues via a safe and guided experience.
The bad relationship advice you should never follow.
No sense of closureThe word “closure” often brings up images of clingy past partners desperate to hold on, but in reality, there are many positive aspects to healthy closure that help in the healing process following a breakup. When a person feels as though they haven’t been given the space to express the lingering thoughts and feelings they may still be harboring inside, it can be difficult to move on.
The fix: on The Power of Positivity, those faced with this issue are encouraged to find a way to get those feelings out to allow for the closure you need to let go. In order to go about this in a healthy and productive way, the article advises, “You don’t want to expect anything from them, because that will only lead to more heartache. Instead, simply be honest with how you feel, and how your unrequited love has been hurting you. They deserve to know how you feel about them just as much as you deserve to tell them.”
Hoping to salvage your marriage but worried it’s headed for a split? These are the signs you need marriage help (before it’s too late).
Isolating yourselfWhile it may be less than tempting to be around people at a time when you couldn’t feel less social, ensuring you have a healthy support system nearby is vital to creating healthy distractions as you heal.
The fix: via The Power of Positivity, relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer says, “Allow yourself to be supported by your friends, even if you’re just going through the motions because it helps you jumpstart yourself into a new rhythm.”
These are the signs you are fully comfortable in your relationship.