Breakups are one of the most traumatic things that can happen in our lives. And just when you thought the heartache from the rejection of a teenage love was bad, imagine being in your thirties to find it out, it’s even worse — but yet, we still embark on new relationships, because the pay-off is worth it, despite the risks. When something threatens our connections with the ones we love, primal feelings start to flare up, and a break up can feel like the end of the world, due our biological and psychological makeups.
Walking away from a meaningful relationship can be difficult, even when the split was mutual. Here are 5 reasons why you may be struggling to get over your ex, even when you know they weren’t good for you.
You Only Remember the Good Times (Not the Bad)
Our brain has a limited storage capacity and will only store information for the events that are most relevant in our lives. The majority of your memories are automatically filed away in an easily accessible part called short-term memory which can be used up quickly with each new experience or conversation you have. Additionally, our brains are wired to recall on good memories before not-so-good ones. But often, it’s seeing the world through rose-colored glasses that causes us to see an obstructed view.
“We remember past relationships differently than they were, as our basolateral cortex of our amygdala and hippocampus work together for emotional memories,” says Donna Novak, a licensed psychologist in Simi Valley, California . Essentially, she says, we are so encapsulated by the good aspects of the relationship that we want to believe and deceive ourselves that it was better than it actually was, in an attempt to justify negative happenings. “If you realize how bad the relationship was, forgive yourself for wanting to see it in a better light,” she declares.
You Like the Idea Being in a Relationship (Not the Person)
It’s not always easy to know why we’re feeling lonely, but I think you can learn a lot from your thoughts. When it comes down to it, relationships are about being with someone and having their company. So if you find yourself thinking that you miss the idea of a relationship or the companionship so more than the person themselves, then there might be something else going on. The thing is, even though we have these feelings of loneliness and need for human connection -we often forget that we weren’t getting what we needed from the person we were in a relationship with & we tend to want to go back to a false sense of security. If this isn’t happening for you right now then maybe you miss the idea of being with someone more than you actually miss them.
Your Attachment System is Being Triggered
When people come together, they learn about each other. When one person knows what makes the other tick, they can validate them and reassure they are loved. This creates an attachment between them that grows stronger with time. Even when relationships end, these feelings remain activated despite a lack in communication or responsiveness from one partner which can evoke a great deal of pain.
You Don’t Have Anything Going On in Your Life Right Now
The truth is, you’re probably just bored. If all your free time was consumed by an ex, going fun places and doing fun things, it can be really hard when you’re fresh off a breakup. It’s understandable that you feel lost immediately after a split- because let’s face it: Being in a relationship means sharing your life with someone else. The truth is, once you find MEANING in your days again, working on yourself and developing your own interests, it’ll be a lot easier to forget about Ol’ Wassaname.
You’re Just Horny
I hate to be the one to break it to you, because you’re not going to like this, but you have to, I repeat, You-Have-To and you absolutely MUST — stop masturbating to them. I understand that you and your ex had mind-blowing sex, but the last thing you need right now is for your mind to be releasing doses of Oxytocin and other endorphins while you’re self-pleasing & that’s exactly what’s happening. I’m not advising that you go out and run up your body count up, but if you’re emotionally strong enough to handle something purely physical, with no strings attached, then a quality one-nighter might help you get your mind off of things, at least for a while.
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Devote at least one hour a day to heal from your breakup.