I’m Totally Over Him, So Why Do I Still Feel Connected To My Ex?

When my last boyfriend and I broke up, it took me a while to move on. I knew ending things was the right decision for both of us and I never regretted doing it for even a second, but it was a huge change in my life. Now, over a year later, I’m dating someone new and I’m really happy in my current relationship. So, why do I still feel connected to my ex after all this time?

  1. We were together for four years. I was with my ex for four years, and a lot happened during that time. I lost my mom, I graduated from a master’s program, and I moved across the country with him. It was a really formative period of my life and my ex was there for me throughout. We did a lot of trauma bonding and also shared a ton of happy memories, so that could be why I still feel so connected to my ex even now.
  2. Most of those years were happy ones. We didn’t have a horribly toxic relationship. No one cheated or betrayed the other in any major way. There was no dysfunction, abuse, or any of the other things that would have tarred what we thought of each other. He was actually a legitimately great boyfriend and I have nothing negative to say about him.
  3. Eventually, we just fell out of love. It happens sometimes. I certainly didn’t plan on it, but nevertheless, it happened. While I did still feel connected to him, I eventually realized I wasn’t in love with my ex anymore. Deep down, I knew he felt the same. We simply wanted different things in life and were going in different directions. It was sad but completely natural.
  4. We knew it was time to end the relationship. When we broke up, it wasn’t a surprise to either of us. In fact, it made sense. While I brought up the conversation, it was a mutual decision to go our separate ways. I can still remember our talk like it was yesterday. We both did a lot of crying and a lot of hugging. We also had really hot sex for old times’ sake. We felt in our heart of hearts that we’d gone as far as we could go together and that we were making the right decision.
  5. I went to therapy after the breakup to work through my emotions. Despite feeling good about the decision, I was lost without my ex right after our breakup. We were thick as thieves for years and now that he wasn’t there anymore, I didn’t know what to do. In order to figure out my often conflicting feelings about my him and the relationship, I went to therapy. Working with a professional therapist helped me process my feelings and get back to a good place. In fact, I’m still in therapy today. Now, though, it’s just for my general well-being.
  6. I can truly say I don’t want to be back with him. While I wonder why I still feel connected to my ex all this time later, I’m not interested in a reunion. I know many people would think I’m lying to myself. They’d say that I want him back and haven’t moved on at all. That’s not true. I have an amazing new boyfriend now whose goals and lifestyle align with mine. I don’t really give my ex much thought at all. He just comes up sometimes and that’s when I feel a tug on that little invisible cord.
  7. He’s moved on with his life too. My ex, from what I see on social media, also has a new girlfriend. While it’s never easy to see your ex with someone else, I actually like it. He and his new girlfriend look really good together and he seems happy. They just recently went on vacation together and they look like they had a great time. It’s great to see him doing so well.
  8. However, there’s still such a connection between us. Because we parted on good terms, my ex and I are still in contact occasionally. We don’t talk all the time out of respect for our new partners (and because that would be weird). However, when we do chat, it does feel like old times. Sometimes he’ll forward me random memes or a song that made him think of me. Often, the things he sends are uncannily applicable. I’ll have seen that meme and thought of him too. Or, sometimes I was just listening to that exact song. It’s really weird.
  9. Maybe it’ll always be there and that’s just the way things go. The fact that I still feel connected to my ex doesn’t really concern me. In a way, I think that’s just how things go. When people and relationships are important in our lives, they stay with us. They make an indelible mark on who we are as people, and even when they end, those marks remain. I’ve accepted that I’ll likely always feel this bond with him, and that it’s a good thing. I’ve got exes I would never want to hear from again. The fact that I remember this one so fondly and still get to have him as a valued friend is amazing. I’m so lucky!
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