Nostalgia loves to hand you a pair of rose-colored glasses and romance you with versions of the past that aren’t necessarily realistic, especially when it comes to relationships. The sad part is, nine times out of ten, you fall for it. You lose your grip on reality and start second-guessing your carefully calculated decision to move on. So how do you know if nostalgia is tricking you into thinking you miss your ex? If you’ve had any of these thoughts, you’re getting caught up in false memories.
I miss him and he misses me, so maybe I was just taking him for granted?
Wrong! You weren’t taking him for granted. You had a clearer perspective of the relationship then, when you were actually in it, than you have now, weeks or months after you’ve moved on. Trust your past self. You probably miss pizza when you’re on a diet, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
He’s changed for the better since the breakup.
You run into him at the grocery store and he seems to be doing really well. Maybe he finally has his act together and it’s worth another shot? Unlikely. The same way you frantically put on lipgloss when you saw him and poised your work promotion story for execution, he wants to look and sound his best around you too.
We had so many good times together. Maybe I made a mistake.
Yes, you did and no, you didn’t. Remember when you decided the bad parts of the relationship outweighed the good? The chances that balance righted itself in just a few months are very slim. He’s the same person he was and you’re the same person you were. The good times are still not worth all the crap you had to put up with.
I can’t stand to see him moving on without me.
Well, of course you can’t. This has as much to do with plain ol’ jealousy as it does nostalgia. If you follow him on social media, chances areyou’re keeping tabs on every minuscule change in his love life. Stop doing that to yourself! It’s going to feel weird watching him with other women while the breakup is still raw. It’s not a sign that moving on and away from him was a wrong turn.
It feels wrong to let the relationship slip away now.
That’s because you spent so long protecting and fighting for it. Sitting back and doing nothing is like watching your house burn down and just standing there. I know it’s hard.
Everything makes me think of him.
The pictures on your phone, the stranger wearing his cologne, your song on the radio – all sensory memories that touched a deep part of your heart. Sharing those things with a person links you, but that’s just part of being a human being with emotional responses. Yes, those things are special and always will be, but are they a sign you made a mistake? No.
My love for him hasn’t faded even a little since the break-up.
The truth is, when you really love a person, a part of you will always love them. Sometimes we love things that are bad for us and that sucks, but don’t second guess your decision to walk away. Some of the hardest decisions we make turn out to be our best ones. The sharpness of your feelings for him will fade and love of other things and people will take precedence.
I’m so lonely.
It might take some time to get used to life without him – especially if he was your best friend. On the other hand, you might just be missing the idea of him and the feeling of having someone. Don’t let this drive you back or forward into another bad relationship. Take a beat and just breathe.
I’m afraid of what my future may or may not hold.
Society likes to scare women into thinking singleness is a disease. It’s not. You ended it because he wasn’t right for you. Chances are, you won’t die single. But isn’t ending up single far better than ending up miserable, married to a jerk who devalues you? Mmmmhm. Reevaluate your priorities. You are not just a girlfriend. You’re a daughter, a friend, a mother and you have so many other things in which you can invest your energy and vitality. Don’t be scared!
I have this picture in my head that makes the past look perfect.
Nostalgia painted you that picture, but it’s just a mirage. Things were never like that. If you want a shot at your dream relationship, stop looking back and start looking forward.
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