20 Reasons You Can’t Stop Thinking About Him (And 15 Ways To Stop)

We’ve all been there—lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, replaying moments in our minds. Wondering why we can’t just switch off those relentless thoughts about him. Whether it’s an ex or someone you’ve had a fling with, sometimes our minds latch onto memories and feelings, refusing to let go. Let’s first dive into why he’s occupying so much of your mind, and then explore some tried and true ways to redirect those thoughts and move forward.

Keep in mind that only you know what’s going on in your head and heart. By listening to your intuition, you’ll likely be able to figure out the root of what’s making it so that you can’t stop thinking of him. Of course, you have to actually want things to change for that to happen, but you can’t shift your mindset or your heart until you know exactly what’s behind it.

  1. You’re emotionally attached to him. The depth of emotions you felt (or still feel) plays a significant role. Deep connections are tough to shake off, especially if they ended abruptly or without closure. You feel connected to him still, so you can’t stop thinking about him. It makes sense.
  2. You have unresolved baggage feelings you’ve never dealt with. Maybe things were left unsaid, or emotions were suppressed. These unresolved feelings create mental loops, making you revisit them continuously. You replay events or conversations over and over again in your head.
  3. You shared a lot of important experiences and memories together. Every song, place, or activity that you once associated with him becomes a trigger, constantly rekindling those memories and emotions. When you’re constantly reminded of these things, it’s no wonder he’s on your mind.
  4. You’re caught up in the fantasy of what could have been. Often, our minds romanticize past relationships. We dwell on potentials, imagining scenarios where things turned out differently, fueling constant thoughts of him.
  5. You’re seeking validation. If you ever felt like you weren’t enough or sought validation from him, his memory might linger as you subconsciously continue to seek that affirmation. You can’t stop thinking about him because you’re hoping he’ll validate you in some way.
  6. You’re missing physical intimacy with him. Physical bonds, especially when intense, create powerful memories. The longing for that connection can make it hard to shift your focus away.
  7. You’re lonely and/or afraid of being alone. It’s natural to reminisce about the moments when someone filled our lives, especially during lonely times. This fear magnifies his significance, making him hard to forget.
  8. You’re addicted to the drama the relationship brought. Dramatic relationships, with their ups and downs, leave a lasting mark. The adrenaline and intensity from such dynamics often become addictive memories. Of course you can’t stop thinking about him when the passionate nature of your relationship led to constant seratonin boosts.
  9. You still follow him on social media. Seeing his posts or pictures online can make moving on challenging. It’s a constant reminder, reigniting old feelings. Why you haven’t blocked and deleted him on everything is beyond me, but this is vital if you want to move on.
  10. You have a lot of mutual friends/connections. Shared friends or circles mean he’s still indirectly a part of your life. Conversations or mentions about him keep the thoughts alive.
  11. You made lots of life plans together that have yet to come to pass. Remember those plans you made together? Those unfulfilled dreams can haunt, making you wonder if they could still come true.
  12. Thinking of him has become a habit. Over time, thinking about him might have become a subconscious habit. It’s like a playlist on repeat; even if you don’t initiate it, your mind plays it automatically.
  13. You never got closure from him. If the relationship or connection lacked a proper ending or explanation, the mind seeks answers, leading to relentless pondering.
  14. You have unfulfilled needs. Every relationship caters to certain emotional or physical needs. If those needs remain unfulfilled post-breakup, you’ll naturally think of the source that once catered to them.
  15. You’re idealizing him in your head. Post-split, we often remember only the good times, glossing over the negatives. This idealization can make him seem irreplaceable. If you can’t stop thinking about him, consider whether the version of him on your mind is even real.
  16. You faced a lot of challenges together. Facing challenges or hardships together creates strong bonds. Those shared experiences anchor memories, making them hard to let go.
  17. There’s a bit of mystery around him. If he was somewhat mysterious or unpredictable, the allure and intrigue might keep you hooked, wondering about his actions or feelings. You want to know what he’s up to, who he’s hanging out with, etc. But is it really your place anymore?
  18. You’re full of guilt or regret. If you harbor feelings of guilt or regret about how things ended, it can be tough to move past those thoughts.
  19. Thinking of him keeps you in your comfort zone. It’s human nature to cling to the known and familiar. Even if it’s just memories, the comfort of what you had can be more appealing than the unknown future.
  20. You’re hoping to reconcile with him. Deep down, if you’re still hoping for a reunion or another chance, it’s only natural that he’ll be on your mind frequently.

What to do if you can’t stop thinking about him and it’s driving you nuts

When you can’t stop thinking of a guy, it can be all-consuming. You want to get on with your life and leave him in the dust but you just can’t no matter how hard you try. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The bad news is that it might take a while to shift your focus and patterns to get him off your mind. Here are some suggestions to help you along the way.

  1. Find a distraction. It makes sense that he’s living in your mind rent-free when you literally have nothing going on in your life on a daily basis. If you want to stop thinking about him, get busy. Engage in activities you love. Join a class, pursue a hobby, or dive into work. The key is to keep your mind occupied.
  2. Talk to a therapist if you need to. Professional counseling can provide insights and coping techniques, helping you process feelings and move on. Admittedly, this is on the more extreme end of the spectrum and might not be necessary, but don’t feel ashamed if it is for you!
  3. Do some journaling. Penning down thoughts is therapeutic. It offers clarity, helping you understand and eventually control those feelings. Plus, you can say exactly what’s on your mind without censoring yourself since it’s for your eyes only. If you’re stuck on how to get started, some journaling prompts might help.
  4. Take a social media detox. Consider taking a break or at least unfollowing him. Out of sight can truly lead to out of mind. Besides, nothing good comes from being hooked to everyone else’s highlight reels.
  5. Meditation and mindfulness practices might help. These practices ground you in the present, shifting focus from the past and offering mental peace. They may feel ineffective at first and you might be tempted to give up, but try and persevere. You’ll be shocked at what a major difference it can be.
  6. Lean on your friends. Friends can be your biggest support system. Share feelings, engage in group activities, or just have a heart-to-heart chat. If you can’t stop thinking of him, tell them about it and they might have some ideas and insights on how to stop.
  7. Set “thought limits.” Allow yourself a fixed time daily to think about him, reducing it gradually. Over time, this can train your mind to let go.
  8. Try positive affirmations to uplift and empower yourself. Remind yourself of your worth, strengths, and the bright future ahead. Use affirmations to build positivity.
  9. Avoid triggers that lead to you thinking about him. If certain songs, places, or activities remind you of him, consider avoiding them temporarily until you gain emotional strength. It sucks to have to avoid some of your favorite stuff, but you’ll be better off in the long run.
  10. Stay active. Physical activity releases endorphins—natural mood lifters. Whether it’s the gym, yoga, or just a walk, keep moving. This is another way of distracting yourself while also looking after your health. It’s a win-win!
  11. Try to come to a place of acceptance. Accept that he was a part of your journey. Embrace the lessons learned and believe that better is yet to come. It’s okay to admit that you still care for him. Hell, you probably always will. But
  12. Get out and see new places. Travel or even explore new spots in your city. New experiences help create fresh memories, pushing out the old.
  13. Set some new goals and work on achieving them. Having something to look forward to can shift focus. Whether personal or professional, set new goals and chase them with vigor.
  14. Date yourself. Reconnect with yourself. Understand your desires, pamper yourself, and fall in love with the person you are.
  15. Give yourself time. Remember, healing takes time. Be patient with yourself. Celebrate small victories, and know that with each passing day, it’ll get better.

Remember, thoughts and feelings are a natural part of our human experience. While it’s normal to ponder on memories, it’s also essential to prioritize our well-being. By understanding the roots of our thoughts and actively working towards redirecting them, we pave the path for healing, growth, and opening our hearts to new, beautiful experiences. Keep shining, and embrace the journey ahead.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill