Why Do I Miss My Ex More as Time Goes On? 

why do i miss my ex

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Hey there, champ. I know you’re hurting. Breakups are tough, and the pain of missing your ex can feel like it’s only getting worse with time. You might find yourself constantly thinking about them, reminiscing about the good times, and longing for their presence in your life again. It’s a common experience, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

First, let me tell you that what you’re feeling is totally normal. Missing your ex more as time goes on is a phenomenon that many people experience after a breakup. It’s important to understand the reasons behind this so that you can start to heal and move forward.

Why I Miss My Ex More and More Over Time?

Breakups are one of the most painful experiences we can go through, and the longing for your ex can feel like it’s consuming you more with each passing day. You might find yourself constantly thinking about the happy times you shared, aching for their presence, and wondering if you’ll ever be able to move on and feel whole again. Believe me, I’ve been there, and I totally get it.

Missing your ex more and more over time is an extremely common experience after a breakup. Here are 15 key reasons why this happens:

  • Your brain has become wired to associate your ex with reward and pleasure, so being without them feels like an addiction craving a “high”.
  • You might be wearing rose-colored glasses when looking back on the relationship, focusing on the best parts and minimizing the conflicts.
  • As the raw pain of the breakup fades, your brain starts to idealize the past and imagine an unrealistic future of reconciliation.
  • If you tend to have an anxious attachment style, you may be clinging to your ex and the relationship, convinced they are your soulmate.
  • Your identity may feel incomplete or lost without your ex, since they’ve been such a huge part of your world and sense of self.
  • Watching your ex move on, especially with someone new, is incredibly painful and can intensify your longing as you feel replaced.
  • You may be struggling to fill the emptiness your ex has left behind, and find that everything reminds you of them.
  • Your mind is selectively remembering the most positive aspects of your ex and the relationship, convincing you that they were perfect for you.
  • As you feel your ex slipping away, the fear of losing them forever ironically makes you want to hold on even tighter.
  • Happy memories trigger you to re-experience the love, validation and comfort you felt with your ex, which you now intensely crave .
  • Time is not healing the wound the way you expected, and instead your feelings for your ex are growing rather than fading.
  • Life feels pointless and empty without your ex. You can’t imagine ever being truly happy without them by your side again.
  • Seeing your ex – in person, in photos, or in your vivid memories – instantly brings back an overwhelming flood of bittersweet emotions.
  • You’re replaying every good moment with your ex over and over, dwelling on what was and torturing yourself with what could have been.
  • Despite knowing the relationship had real problems, you still believe your ex is the only one who can make you feel completely loved and whole.

I know this is all so overwhelming and it probably feels like the pain will never end. You may be feeling desperate, lost, like you’d do anything to have your ex back in your arms. I understand that aching, consuming feeling all too well.

But as much as it feels impossible right now, I need you to hear this: you can survive and even thrive without your ex. You are a whole person deserving of love and happiness, with or without a partner. Even if you can’t see it in this moment, you will feel joy again.

I know you’re probably skeptical of generic advice or false promises. The truth is, there’s no instant magic potion to erase heartbreak. But there are proven techniques to start easing the awful tension and longing, and to rebuild a connection with your ex over time if that’s what you decide you want.

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and be kind to yourself along the way. Celebrate every tiny victory and let yourself lean on your loved ones. You’re not alone in this. Sending you a big virtual hug. Remember, you’ve got this!

Why You Can’t Stop Miss An Ex?

While all of the factors we’ve discussed can contribute to the feeling of missing your ex more as time goes on, the extinction burst is likely the prime driver. The sudden absence of a rewarding stimulus (your ex) can cause an intense surge of longing and desire to get your ex back.

This is similar to how behavioral conditioning works – when a behavior is no longer reinforced, it can cause a temporary increase in that behavior before it starts to fade away. In the case of a breakup, this can manifest as an intensified sense of missing your ex before those feelings start to subside.

The trouble is, when your ex left, they took a part of your identity with them. You likely envisioned a future with your ex that is now gone. And your mind keeps thinking about your ex and all the things you miss about them and the relationship.

So it’s natural to feel like you miss your ex like crazy and even miss the future you thought you’d have together. It can make us feel lost and alone.

But taking a step back, we need time to get to the bottom of the reasons for missing an ex so intensely. The reality is, as much as you miss your ex, you can eventually stop missing them, especially if the relationship was unhealthy.

Behavioral Conditioning and the Painful Longing for Your Ex

When ex was yours, every little thing you did together felt magical. Those cozy movie nights, the way ex kissed you goodnight, even just holding it hand – they all gave you a rush of warm, fuzzy feelings. Your brain soaked up all that positive reinforcement like a sponge.

But now that ex’s gone, your mind is still craving those feel-good rewards, even though it’s not around to provide them anymore. Does it make you miss your ex like crazy. It’s totally normal to miss your ex intensely after a breakup.

You might find yourself obsessing over old routines and places you used to go together, desperately wishing you could have those experiences with it again. Your ex made you feel so incredibly happy and loved. So now, your poor brain is like an addict going through withdrawals, begging for another hit of that sweet, sweet love ex used to give you.

And oh boy, does it make the longing even more excruciating. When you miss an ex this badly, it can feel like an all-consuming, miserable ache in your heart. You may miss your ex so much, it physically hurts. It’s okay – most people feel this way when they miss their ex.

This kind of “extinction burst” happens when something that once brought you tons of joy is abruptly taken away. Your desire for your ex suddenly skyrockets to unbearable levels. All you can think about is how much you miss your ex and want it back in your arms again.

But take heart, my heartbroken friend. As brutal as this feeling is, it doesn’t last forever. It may take some time, but if you stay strong and follow the plan, this awful intensity will subside. The pain of missing your ex will dull.

One day in the not-too-distant future, thoughts of your ex may still cross your mind and make you miss it a little. But it’ll be more of a wistful twinge than a throbbing agony in your soul. You will stop missing your ex quite so much. Time goes on, and so will you.

Breakup Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

You’ve probably heard the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Well, it turns out there’s some psychological truth to that. When we’re separated from someone we love, our feelings for them can intensify over time.

This can be especially true in the case of a breakup, where the absence of our ex can make us focus on the positive memories and feelings we shared with them. It’s important to remember that this is a natural response, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that getting back together is the best thing for us.

Selective Memory and the Longing for Lost Love

When you’re stuck in the misery of missing your ex, your brain plays cruel tricks on you. It’s totally normal to idealize your ex after a breakup. Your mind clings to the highlight reel of your romance, conveniently editing out all the fights, frustrations and flaws. Those rose-colored glasses make you miss your ex so intensely, it feels like you can’t breathe without ex.

But as much as it hurts, try to remember the relationship realistically. No couple is perfect, not even you two. There were reasons why you miss your ex now instead of waking up next to ex.

It’s okay to miss your ex. Longing for lost love is a universally human experience. But don’t let nostalgia cloud the truth of why things ended. You’re stronger than you know.

Battling the Fear of Losing Ex Forever s are hardwired to avoid loss. It’s a primal instinct that hits hard when you’re suddenly facing life without the woman you adore. The thought of losing your ex permanently can make you miss ex even more desperately as time goes on.

When you still miss your ex and want ex back, that fear can become all-consuming. Everywhere you look, you imagine it slipping further away from you. Panic rises in your throat at the idea of ex forgetting you, replacing you, leaving you behind for good.

You might be tempted to tell your ex how much you miss ex, pouring your heart out in a frantic attempt to stop ex from moving on without you. But resist that urge right now. Focus on the plan.

Because no matter how much it feels like your world has ended, you haven’t lost everything. Your friends and family are still here, believing in you. Your talents, dreams, and the core of what makes you incredible are still intact. Those are the building blocks to get back with your ex the right way.

When your mind starts spiraling into worst-cast scenarios, take a breath. Missing your ex is a part of the journey, but not the final destination. Keep faith in the process. Give it time and I promise, one day you’ll wake up and miss your ex less.

The path to the love you deserve isn’t easy, but you’re never walking it alone. Stay strong, stay hopeful, and keep those eyes on the prize. 

Miss Your Ex So Much: The Turmoil of Cognitive Dissonance

Right now, your heart and mind are locked in a brutal battle. You thought what you had with your ex was unshakable, the kind of once-in-a-lifetime love people write songs about. But reality has dealt a devastating blow, leaving you reeling. How could something so precious just…end?

It’s this painful clash between your cherished beliefs about the relationship and the cold, hard fact that it’s over that’s making you miss your ex so fiercely. Like a drowning man grasping for a life preserver, you cling to those intense feelings of longing. Because if you want them back badly enough, maybe it means what you had was real after all.

Cognitive dissonance is a beast, twisting your mind into knots. One minute, you’re lost in memories of happier times, convinced that your love was the stuff of legends. The next, you’re slapped with the gut-wrenching realization that your ex is gone. No wonder you’re struggling to make sense of it all.

But here’s the thing: missing your ex as time passes doesn’t prove the strength of your bond. What it does show is the depth of your humanity. You’re grieving, healing, and processing a profound loss. And that takes incredible courage. Be patient with yourself on this journey. The road ahead may be rocky, but you’re going to come out the other side stronger than ever.

Chasing Mirages of Reconciliation: Longing for Your Ex More as Time Goes On

When the ache of missing your ex gets too heavy to bear, your mind might start spinning tales of what it would be like to have them back in your arms. You imagine the tears of joy, the passionate reunion, the promises to never let each other go again.

In your daydreams, all the problems that tore you apart have magically vanished. Your ex realizes the error of his ways and comes crawling back, begging for another chance. You ride off into the sunset together, blissfully in love, never to be parted again. Roll credits.

It’s a beautiful fantasy, right? But that’s all it is – a temporary escape from the pain you’re feeling. If you’re not careful, chasing these illusions can keep you stuck in the past, unable to move forward and heal.

Trust me, I know how tempting it is to retreat into the safety of your imagination when reality feels too bleak to face. But you’re stronger than you know. Instead of dwelling on what might have been, pour that energy into becoming the best version of yourself.

One day, your ex may realize exactly what he lost and come knocking on your door, ready to do whatever it takes to win you back. Or you may find a love so much deeper and truer, this heartbreak will barely register as a blip in your rearview mirror. Either way, your brightest days are still ahead of you.

Keep pushing forward, even when you find yourself missing your ex so much it hurts. This is just one chapter in your incredible story. And I can’t wait to see what adventures the next one holds.

How To Stop Missing Your Ex

According to attachment theory, our early experiences with caregivers can shape our attachment style and how we navigate relationships as adults. If you have a secure attachment style, you may find yourself longing for your ex more intensely because you had a strong and healthy bond.

It’s important to remember that even if you have a secure attachment style, it doesn’t mean that every relationship is meant to last forever. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, relationships come to an end.


The feelings of missing an ex would be overwhelming for anyone. The intensity of missing someone who was such a big part of your life is totally understandable. You may even miss your ex for years and feel like you’ll never stop thinking about your ex altogether.

But it’s important to remember that this is a natural response to a difficult situation. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you’ll never be able to move on from the love with your ex. With time, self-care, and a focus on personal growth, you can start to heal and build a happy, fulfilling life without your ex. A therapist can help guide you through this process.

So, take a deep breath, champ. Remember that you are valuable, worthy, and deserving of love – both from yourself and from others. The path to healing may not be easy, but you have the strength and resilience to get through this.

Keep your head up, focus on taking care of yourself, and trust that brighter days are ahead. You’ve got a whole life ahead of you, full of new experiences, relationships and adventures. Embrace the journey, and know that you are never alone.

Keep pushing forward, one day at a time. The best is yet to come.

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About Alex

Alex Bert is an esteemed relationship coach with a specialization in marital counseling. With over 14 years of experience, Alex and his team have developed multi-lingual online programs that have positively impacted over 180,000 individuals globally. His approach, known for its effectiveness and often counterintuitive advice, is grounded in extensive real-world experience rather than theory. 

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