Why Can’t I Forget My Ex? Reasons You’re Struggling To Move On

Why can’t I forget my ex? If you can’t seem to move on from a former partner who’s clearly not coming back, you’re not alone. It’s frustrating to stay fixated on a past relationship because your life is waiting for you to live it now. You can’t embrace new opportunities when you’re stuck in the past! If you’re struggling to forget your ex, it could be down to these common reasons.

  1. You still stalk their social media accounts. It’s nearly impossible to forget about someone if you still check up on them regularly. While it’s tempting to keep up with your ex on social media, this often ruins your chances of getting over them. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s why so many people choose to follow the no-contact rule to properly heal and move on from their exes! It requires cutting out all contact, including interacting and even stalking on social media.
  2. You’re ignoring the negative things that happened in the relationship. If you’re looking back at your relationship through rose-colored lenses, it’ll be hard to move on from your ex. Why would you want to move on from something that was perfect? Try making a list of all the things you didn’t like about being with your ex. Really think about how it feels to no longer have to worry about them.
  3. You have the same friendship group. It can be really tricky to move on from an ex when you share mutual friends. Ross and Rachel had no hope of forgetting about each other when they broke up on Friends because they continued to hang out with the same friendship group! You could try distancing yourself from your friends for a while (although it’s important not to completely isolate yourself when you’re going through a hard time). Otherwise, you could talk to your friends and work out times to see them when your ex won’t be there.
  4. You constantly see them around. When you’re always running into your ex, it can be difficult to move on properly. That’s especially true if you still have feelings for them. Sometimes you can’t help it, like if you attend the same school or work together. But where you can help it, try to avoid going to places you know your ex will be, like a particular gym or coffee shop. The less you have to see your ex, the easier it will be to try and move on with your life without them.
  5. You have no closure. Sometimes people struggle to move on because they haven’t really accepted that the relationship is over. This can happen when the break-up wasn’t clear. If your ex ghosted you or lied about their reasons for breaking up, it may be harder to accept that things are really over. For example, if they say they love you but it’s not the right time for them to be in a relationship, you may find yourself waiting around for the right time. Whereas if they had said outright that they didn’t want to be with you anymore, you would be less likely to hold on.
  6. You lost your identity in the relationship. According to Mind Body Green, you can struggle to move on from your ex if you lost your identity in the relationship. Being totally dependent on your partner for all things, including your own sense of self, can make you feel like it’s impossible to live without them. So, naturally, it feels impossible to move on when you break up. That’s why it’s super important to maintain your own life and identity, even if you enter into the best relationship in the world. You can never afford to completely lose yourself in someone else. As scary as it sounds, you never know what’s going to happen.
  7. Not enough time has passed. Sometimes not being able to move on comes down to timing. Relationships take up huge parts of our lives, and break-ups are tough. Let yourself heal! Give yourself time to mourn the relationship and deal with all the emotions. You can’t move on until you’ve trudged through the uncomfortable post-breakup stage. As much as it sucks, you have to allow yourself to feel sad. If you suppress the pain, you won’t be able to truly move on from it.
  8. You’re still friends. No wonder you can’t forget your ex! Some people can make being friends with an ex work. But if you still have feelings for your ex, friendship will only make things harder. As per the no-contact rule, it’s important to cut them out of your life as much as possible. Trying to keep them around as a friend might seem like it’s making things easier. But the truth is it’s very difficult to move on when that person is still in your life in any capacity. Leave friendship for a time when you have truly moved on.
  9. They moved on before you. It’s incredibly hard to get over your ex when they move on before you. If you see them happy with someone else, this ignites something in you that’s hard to turn off. You wonder if the new partner is better than you and if they like them more. You also begin to really feel the loneliness of being on your own, especially knowing that they’re happily coupled up and you have no prospects. In this case, it’s not really that you’re not over your ex, it’s that you’re a bit offended that they dared to get over you first.
  10. You still truly love them. Of course, it’s very possible that you can’t seem to get over your ex because you still love them. You never wanted to break up in the first place and you hate that you couldn’t find a way to make it work. In your heart of hearts, you’re always holding out hope that something might happen to bring you back together. And while that will likely never happen, that doesn’t discourage you from hanging on tight on the off chance it does. You’ll never forget your ex because you don’t want to.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.