11 Reasons You Think About Your Ex When You Have Someone New

You might think that those intrusive thoughts about your ex when you start dating someone new mean that you’re not over him and want him back, but that’s not necessarily what’s going on. There could be other reasons for why he’s suddenly coming back to your mind.

  1. You need the reminder. Maybe your ex was really awful to you and hurt you. Thinking about him now could be your body’s way of saying, “Hey, don’t let that happen to you again. Be strong, girl.”
  2. You don’t want to make the same mistakes. You might’ve been the one to blame for the end of your relationship with your ex. Now that new love is blooming in your life, you might want to remind yourself to take the lessons from your previous relationship so that you can be a better partner. That’s a good thing!
  3. You’re afraid he won’t make the cut. Maybe, just maybe, your ex was an amazing boyfriend. It was heartbreaking when your relationship with him came to an end, so because of that, you’re worried your current guy isn’t going to be as great as he was. The thing is, there are many awesome guys out there. If you hold new guys to your ex’s standards, you’re not giving them a chance to wow you with their own.
  4. You’re dining with the devil you know. You know the saying, “Better the devil you know”? You might be living it right now by thinking of your ex. You’re looking at him and your previous relationship through rose-tinted glasses because you’re afraid to let go of the past and open up to a new love. But who needs old devils? They’re boring.
  5. You want options. It’s normal to get cold feet before a new relationship. You might be thinking of your ex (and other guys) because your mind is scrambling for options. This doesn’t mean that you want to date more than one person simultaneously, just that you’re keen to keep things casual so you guard your heart. But remember: the heart is a muscle that needs to be used. It’s no good sitting in the corner.
  6. You’re nostalgic for the past. Hey, we all get nostalgic about our previous lives sometimes. We’re only human and we’ve lived some amazing days, so why shouldn’t they make us smile from time to time? Maybe you’re nostalgic for the experiences you had with your ex that were amazing instead of pining for your actual ex. That’s OK.
  7. You’re afraid of your ex. You might be thinking of your ex because you’re afraid of the toxic guy, to be honest. What if the new guy you let into your life does the same thing to you that he did? What if he lies, cheats, and treats you badly? What if you lose yourself again only to get hurt and be forced to pick up the pieces after he leaves too? Well, guess what? Not every guy is going to be a nasty, toxic loser!
  8. You’re holding onto your anger. You might feel a rush of anger when you think of your ex and it’s making you feel pretty negative about dating. You keep thinking about how mad you are about what your ex did to you and it’s holding you back. The important thing to remember is that you can be over your ex but not over the pain of the breakup. Maybe you need some time to work through those feelings before starting something new.
  9. You’re not ready to be in a relationship again. Whether you feel nostalgic, weepy, or pissed off about your ex, maybe you’re not ready to be in a relationship with someone new right now. That’s fine! Thoughts about your ex could actually be about you instead of him. They’re a sign that you need to stop and work through what you’re feeling. You might not even know exactly what you’re thinking or feeling right now, which is all the more reason to stop and take time out for yourself before opening your heart to someone new.
  10. Your ex is a warning sign. You might think or even dream about your ex because your subconscious is giving you a warning about your current relationship. You could be dating a guy who’s a little too similar to your ex for his own good—and he’s going to bring up all those past issues you need to work through. For example, if you couldn’t “fix” your ex but now you’re trying to fix your current partner, you might be doing this on a subconscious level to try to feel better about your self-worth that got damaged after your last relationship. It goes without saying that this pattern is toxic.
  11. You want your old self back. In some cases, you could be thinking about your ex when you’re on the cusp of a new life chapter because you actually want your old self back, not him. So go on and get her back!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.