There are so many memes circulating the Internet about what a terrible idea going back to your ex. No matter how many you laugh at and share, though, you may still be guilty of wanting to reach out to one of your own. The temptation to backslide can be so real, even they were so bad for you. Here are 9 reasons your ex may still be renting space in your head when you know they’re awful.
You have history.
Your ex came from your past, which means they knew you back whenever you lived in a certain city, went to that school, worked at this job, etc. They may have been in your life during an especially difficult time, like the death of a family member or a health issue you suffered from. It’s hard to let go of someone who has shared experiences with you.
They know you in a way others don’t.
Meeting new people can feel so tedious. It’s not fun to go through the same typical initial interview questions over and over: where are you from? what do you do for fun? what are your pet peeves? With your ex, you can cut straight into the conversation and be your true self. You can talk about people in your life without giving a backstory on who they are to you and share intimate details that would be too soon to discuss with a new interest. It can just feel easier to talk to someone you were already close to and not have to start from scratch.
You did get along at some point.
It’s hard to not want to recreate the happy memories you had with a special person. When you meet someone new, there’s always that what-if question of whether you’ll experience moments that good ever again with someone. Especially if the toxic ex love-bombed you, which is a common manipulation tactic. Even if you eventually came to realize those actions were motivated by dishonest intentions, your mind may still drift back to how good and cared for you felt before you got hit with reality.
It’s not easy to focus on the truth.
Depending on how toxic your ex was, the aftereffects of that relationship can range from disappointment to straight-up trauma. Even if you know deep down that person was bad news and you’re better off without him, your brain may literally be blocking the specific details of why from your conscious to help you cope.
It wasn’t all bad.
People tend to be on their best behavior when you first meet them. So, while they were keeping his negative qualities at bay, you only got to see the redeeming ones. Obviously, there was something that attracted you in the first place. And the things you did like about them may be hard to find again once you’re back out in the dating world.
They’re dating someone new.
Toxic people tend to seek out new relationships before the one they’re in even ends. So, while you’re still trying to heal from the breakup and make sense of what even happened, you might see your ex seemingly happily moved on with someone else. If you’re left feeling bitter and miserable, this can make you question yourself hard. You may wonder what their new partner has that you don’t or if the relationship going sour was really your fault. You can’t see from the outside that they’re continuing the same harmful behavior patterns with their new squeeze.
It’s not encouraging to move on.
No matter how bad your ex was, the current state of affairs in the dating world is grim. Within 24 hours of downloading a dating app, you may be exposed to a slew of worse dating disaster scenarios than what you had experienced with them. It’s enough to make you want to pack your bags up again and go running back to the hell you at least knew better.
There’s less guilt in keeping your body count lower.
Starting over isn’t fun. Especially if you are just dating and not in a committed relationship. It can be overwhelming and lack a sense of security when you start adding up the first dates and new hookups. If you’re a generally modest and shy person, it may be more comfortable to pick one person and just stick around to avoid feeling like you’ve been around the block too many times.
You’re just lonely.
It’s not even really about wanting that particular ex. You just miss the general idea of being coupled up. Your ex is someone you knew and were once with, so it’s easier to go back to that in your mind than it is to imagine a new relationship that hasn’t existed yet. And you may not have ever had a healthy connection with someone to know how much better it could be with a different person.
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