It’s incredibly common for people to be stuck on their exes for months, even years after a relationship ends.
Here are 15 of the most common signs you aren’t over your ex:
1. They are the first person you think to contact when something happens.
Even if you don’t act on it, it takes awhile to break the connection between your ex as the person you share everything with and automatically think to contact when things are happening.
2. You won’t tie up loose ends.
Haven’t grabbed your stuff from your ex? Still obsessing about some small thing that you left with them?
Do you think about getting it back or wonder if they’ll contact you for it?
Sometimes the stuff can become an emotional placeholder for your presence still being in their life. If you haven’t moved out/claimed your dog/sorted out your mutual finances, there is no time like the present.
3. You compare everyone to them.
Your ex has taken on the position of “Gold Standard” when it comes to future mates. Each new person has to measure up to your memory of your ex.
4. You’re boozing it up.
Closing the bar down every night in the wake of your breakup?
Using the bar as a place to meet potential rebounds?
A breakup can trigger a period of rapid-fire partying that only seems to end when you’ve either burned out your liver, your bank account or your feelings for your ex.
5. You agonize about running into them.
The idea of running into your ex triggers either pleasant feelings, violent avoidance or the desire to make sure that you look perfect if it happens. You shiver in horror at the idea that you might not handle the remote possibility of an accidental meeting the right way.
In the same vein, you mentally assess whether locations that you went together are now “yours” or “theirs.” You’ve been overheard mentioning that you can’t visit “their bar.” Once you’re finally over your ex, you won’t even think about what they’re doing or what will happen if you accidentally see them in public.
6. You’re obsessed with self improvement.
Is there something that bothered your ex or that you know they would have liked to do with you when you were still together? Suddenly, it’s your new hobby/fitness routine/obsession.
Don’t let me discourage you from getting a job or cleaning your apartment, just realize that once you do, your ex isn’t automatically going to waltz back into your life.
7. You stalk their social media.
Just can’t bring yourself to delete your ex from social media? Do you find yourself reading and analyzing their every status update, trying to divine their feelings about your split?
They are probably not sending you coded secret messages. It’s time to houseclean your social media, for your sanity. This might also keep you from vaguebooking your own coded message status updates that frustrate your friends and family, since everyone knows that you’re talking about your ex when you vaguely wax poetic about “recent heartbreak” in your life.
8. You are overly curious about their new flame and binge on comparison.
When you find out that they’re dating someone new, you not only need details but automatically begin comparing them to yourself.
There is an element of comparison, either their new flame is a demigod who you’re completely jealous of, or is practically a bridge troll. Either way, it’s downright puzzling why they don’t just return to you instead of dating that new inferior creature.
9. You’re openly looking for a rebound.
The words “you can’t get over them until you get on someone else” have led to gazillions of ill-fated rebound relationships. If you’re trying to find someone to fill the void, it’s a big sign that it’s time to be single for a while while you figure yourself out.
10. You bring them up casually in conversation… often.
Your patient friends and family hear about your ex all the time. It’s almost like your ex is just on vacation, since they know your thoughts about every. single. agonizing detail about your feelings, their feelings, your lack of closure, the status of your shared entertainment center, etc.
11. You can’t bear to get rid of their pictures or gifts.
Ever found yourself crying and wearing his old sweatshirt on a Saturday night while clutching a fair-ground teddybear he won you? Yep. I have, so don’t be ashamed, it’s common to have a few things that you have a hard time getting rid of.
It’s time to box up anything that reminds you of your ex and either sprint to the nearest dumpster or hide the box (note: the middle of your living room is not “hidden”). You don’t need reminders around as a temptation to soggily stumble down memory lane.
12. Ex sex seems like an attractive option.
If you find yourself still finding them hot and thinking about poorly-chosen boot knocking, this is a sign that you just can’t get off your mind or out of your pants.
13. You’re reminded of your ex constantly.
Songs on the radio, places, badminton, strangers, new dates, all seem to remind you of your ex. Maybe you chose the house that you’re now living in together and it stands as a constant reminder of them. Whatever it is, they keep popping into your mind at the worst times.
14. You need “closure.”
The need for closure has kept more people stuck than it has helped. Getting perfect closure is the endangered species of the relationship kingdom. It’s rare, and often you give it to yourself. Find out how to get closure here.
15. You refuse to delete their number (and you’re in a situation where you could).
I understand if you have kids or a business to run that requires semi-regular contact. It makes total sense that you wouldn’t delete their number in that case.
However, if you actually COULD delete them, i.e., all of your mutual business is sorted and you haven’t left something looming, like a couch or a pet at their house, it’s time to consider deleting their digits. One night the temptation to contact them and attempt to participate in #12 after #4 could be too much.