I used to think that staying stuck on your Ex was a sign of weakness and stupidity… that is until it happened to me.
I remember taking such pride in my theory of breakups. If you got to the point of a breakup, then it must mean that there is absolutely nothing left to fix and therefore, it’s time to move on.
And for a long time, I did just that. I would move on without so much as a blink of an eye. Granted, I would move onto the next guy (instead of working on myself). Nevertheless, I vowed to never take an Ex back because that would mean that the breakup was obsolete.
Not gonna lie, this wasn’t always the best thing for me to do, because it caused me to stay in relationships way longer than I should have been. I blatantly ignored the red flags and did whatever I could to make the relationship work until it was no longer fixable.
And then I became damaged and carried tons of baggage into the next relationship.
Long ago, there was this one relationship where my philosophy failed. I was stuck on my Ex like it was my full-time job.
I did everything one should absolutely NOT do during a breakup. No matter what I tried to do to win him back, he ghosted me completely.
Today, I get it. I see and understand why things happened the way that they did. Man, hindsight is so 20/20 after it’s all said and done.
I learned a lot from that breakup: about love, myself, and my future. It ultimately helped me become a better person in the end.
But now, I see others who are going through the motions of having this on-again, off-again relationship with their Ex’s and they just can’t seem to shake it off.
Do I see them as being dumb and weak for not being able to move on? Absolutely not.
What I DO see is someone (a really smart and beautiful woman who’s worth and value are truly priceless) who is simply stuck on their Ex.
And there are several reasons why you might stay stuck on your Ex. None of these reasons have to do with the fact that you are dumb or hopeless…
In fact, one of the main reasons why you continue to stay stuck on your Ex is because of fear.
You are afraid of starting over.
All those years. The memories. It’s so hard to think that all that is just gonna get tossed to the wayside once you deem this relationship “over over”. (Like, for real over.) And to have to go through the motions all over again with someone completely new that you have no idea who they are… it’s overwhelming for some. It may not be your cup of tea. So instead you hold onto what you know best. Whether it’s actually the best for you or not.
You’re afraid that no one will want you.
I totally felt this after my biggest breakup ever. I thought that I was just used goods and no longer was good enough for anyone else. Once I became single, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I thought that it was because of something I did. Or worse, it was because of the person I was. That evil thought made me believe that if my Ex didn’t want me, then no one will. Spoiler alert: This couldn’t be farther from the truth. So rebuke that thought right now!
You think he’s “the One” when he’s really not.
Oh man, this one gets a lot of us. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you are still stuck on your Ex because you truly believe that he is the end-all, be-all. And you’re forcing this guy to be the One when he really isn’t.
But pay attention to the red flags. The times when you both fought more against the relationship instead of for it. Remember all those tears and fights and thoughts of absolute confusion. That is NOT how a picture-perfect relationship should go down. And that certainly is NOT how you’re Mr. Right should be treating you. I don’t care what he told you in the past, he ain’t it.
Don’t worry, I thought the same thing. I even wrote a letter to my Ex telling him that I would wait for him until he “came to his senses” and realized that I was the one for him. Like, I for real at one point in my life thought that was romantic enough to win him back. Umm… that only made me look more crazy.
If your Ex ended things with you, then there’s a reason why. If you ended things with your Ex, then there’s a reason why.
Don’t ignore those reasons simply because of fear or you’re in denial.
Sidenote: If you REALLY think he’s “the One”, then read this post, and see if he measures up.
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about how you can go from being stuck on your Ex to actually moving on.
1. Allow yourself to grieve the breakup.
A lot of the times we are told to pick up the pieces of our heart, start a new gym membership, go shopping, party like it’s 1999, and forget the whole relationship even happened. That’s impossible. You’re only numbing yourself long enough to forget your situation for a short amount of time. Your feelings and the burn from the event will always resurface if you don’t deal with it head-on.
So allow yourself to grieve. You basically just lost a loved one. It cuts deep. Healing from it will take time.
There are 5 stages of the grieving process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. There are no set time lengths as to how long you’ll be in each of the stages.
But by acknowledging them, and accepting them when you are in them, you’ll be able to go through the process and make it to the other side. Not saying that it’s gonna be easy (because it’s definitely not!) but at least you’ll have a sense of awareness about what you’re feeling and what you’re going through.
2. Out of sight, out of mind.
This one is a tough one but it is for the very best. Get rid of your Ex, Twilight style. Completely erase him. Mail back his stuff. Delete his contacts from your phone, email, and social media (oh yes, I said social media). If it means that much to you, your friends who are still friends with him will keep you posted (but won’t stalk him on the daily, which is what you’ll do if you don’t do this!)
My Ex ghosting me was probably the best thing he could’ve ever done for me. Why? It forced me to focus on myself instead of him and our broken relationship.
I know this one seems cliche but seriously, do it.
Even if you have no idea what to say. Or perhaps you’re totally mad at God and just wanna complain to Him about how crappy life just got for you. Do it!
You cannot offend God. But what you can do is allow Him to come in when you are broken and allow Him to heal, comfort, and console you. God is love. It’s kinda His business. So let Him love you.
If you find it difficult to make this possible then check out my book, “The Single Woman’s Prayer Book“. It contains 30 personal prayers to help you draw near to God, heal from your breakup, and then embrace your single season, and prepare for the next relationship in your life.
4. Recommit yourself to love.
If you choose to completely lose hope in love then you’re going to have a very tough season moving forward, not just in your love-life, but in all areas of your life! By not choosing love, you’re allowing the offense from this one breakup affect every other relationship you’ll ever have!
You’ll have trust issues. You won’t see yourself as the beautiful, amazing woman that you are. This cannot happen.
The best way to recommit to love is by a) allowing God to love on you, and b) choosing to love yourself.
By not letting yourself go (e.g. picking up unhealthy habits, excessive dating with guys who take advantage/use you, hating all men, etc.) you are reclaiming authority over the situation that was supposed to break you.
The breakup happened. But you still chose to rise.
How can you recommit to love? What can you do to put that into action? Simple. It starts with trusting God. And I mean REALLY trusting Him! With everything!
How do you know for sure if you seriously, genuinely are trusting God with your love-life (and this situation)? Take the Love Trust Test and find out! Click below to download this free test today!
Ultimately, when you feel that you are still stuck on your Ex, it boils down to this…
Are you gonna allow fear to keep you in the bondage of a broken relationship, or are you gonna be brave, have courage, and allow yourself to see what better relationships are out there for you?
It’s a really tough move. You may not be able to do it alone. But love and courage will make it easier. And you’ll be glad you moved on in the end.
What keeps you stuck on your Ex? Share in the comments below!