In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the ten reasons you’re not over your ex.
First a quick update:
“Are You Living For You?”
“For once, I took the time to assess my needs instead of being that caring person I have my whole life and worried about other people so much.” – Michael Ventrella, winner of Season 9 of The Biggest Loser, who lost a whopping 526 pounds. He described himself as an emotional eater
“The Triangle of Love”
There are 3 critical components necessary for a happy, fulfilling and long-lasting relationship. Do you know what they are? Watch the video where I reveal and explain what you need for a successful relationship.
Now, let’s talk about the ten reasons you’re not over your ex.
Are you over your ex or are you still craving your ex?
What do you feel or believe that pushes you to want to be with or hang onto your ex?
Review these ten points that explain why you’re not over your ex.
1. Anchors & associations
An anchor can be a person or thing that provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation. Was your ex an anchor for you? Did your ex provide you with some form of security, stability or safety? Do you now believe that you can’t do it on your own or, you believe you can’t find anyone else to become your anchor?
Did you anchor certain positive emotions or emotional states to your ex? For example, your ex would smile, hug, kiss, caress or touch you in a special way and you would immediately feel a warm sensation or an emotional high?
Similarly, we create associations with our partner – associations to songs, music genres, places, restaurants, food, people and so forth. Perhaps you did specific things together and had favorite places or hobbies or interests. You might see a gorgeous sunrise or sunset and instantly think of your ex; you might see an animal and think instantly about your ex knowing that type of animal was a favorite of yours or your ex’s.
Quick tip: Associations can be reprogrammed. Remember, you created those associations in the first place. Start creating new associations with friends and new people.
2. Emotional voids
A void is a completely empty space. An emotional void is the empty space that lacks meaningful emotion: numbness, a sense of nothingness, lack of excitement, lack of purpose, hopelessness, isolation, and feelings of being disconnected, lost or confused. https://www.patrickwanis.com/7-steps-to-fill-emotional-void/
When you have emotional needs that are not being met, you will crave your ex, believing that he/she can fill that emotional void, particularly if he/she was the person that previously filled that void. Accordingly, be open and honest with yourself: no matter how good or bad the relationship was, there was some emotional void (or connection) that your ex filled; what was it? Was it praise, attention, devotion, guidance, safety, security, physical love, purpose, direction, confidence or something else? Do you truly believe that no one else can fill that emotional void? Have you given anyone else the chance to do so?
Quick tip: Look inwards to fill the emotional void, and, give others the chance to meet your emotional needs; stop hiding.
3. Euphoric recall
Euphoric recall is the recalling of past events or people in a positive light while forgetting or ignoring the negative aspects. Although it is referred to as “recall”, it is actually an immediate reliving and re-experiencing of the positive aspects, the pleasure of the past event or person. This same phenomenon occurs in addiction and is directly related to the pleasure or reward centers of the brain. Scientists argue that this occurs as a way for the brain to regulate our emotional states, and therefore the euphoric recall is most likely to occur when we are having negative perceptions of our self – when we are feeling down, we recall and re-experience our ex as if he/she is an angel who brings us great joy.
Quick Tip: When the cravings for your ex begin, remind yourself of all of the pain you experienced with your ex, and, focus on pleasure with someone new.
4. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem consists of how much you like yourself, how significant you feel and how capable you feel. When you have a poor self-image and think lowly of yourself – you don’t feel significant, needed, special, lovable or talented – then you will cling and crave your ex because you don’t believe that anyone else would want or love you.
Quick Tip: Focus on building your self-esteem.
5. Physiologically one unit
The brain processes a relationship breakup in the same areas where it processes physical pain. Thus, a breakup feels like physical pain and when in pain, we strive to reduce pain and seek comfort – we try to mend the relationship or pine for the ex. Further, studies show that partners affect each other’s physiology and they can feel as if they are one unit, and; the release of endorphins and oxytocin (a bonding chemical) within the relationship creates greater physiological attachment.
Quick Tip: Accept that your brain was controlling your cravings; do fun and pleasurable things with new people to release happy hormones.
6. Soul mates – The One
If you believe that there is only one person destined and designed for you – the one soul mate that will make you happy – then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and misery. If you believe in soul mates, or that there is and can only be one person in the entire world for you, then you will be controlled by this person. If you believe that you and your ex are divinely chosen to be together, then who chose to end the relationship? Do you believe that you can never be happy with anyone else, even though you were both obviously not happy with each other?
Quick Tip: Science proves we are adaptable and there is more than one person with whom we can have a loving, happy relationship.
7. Stress (contact comfort)
Contact Comfort is the physical and emotional comfort that an infant receives from physical contact with the mother or caregiver. Research reveals that the infant responds more to the physical warmth of the mother than the food offered by the mother, and that the physical contact contributes to social development. Thus, it can be inferred that mental and emotional comfort (safety and the feeling of being loved and attached) is even more critical than biological needs such as food. Incidentally, secure attachment by an infant to its mother does not lead to insecurity or extreme dependence in adulthood. The opposite has been proven to be true – secure attachment in childhood leads to secure attachment styles in adulthood – not anxious attachments.
How does “contact comfort” relate to craving your ex?
In times of stress, anxiety, insecurity or fear, it is natural that one will reach out for comfort, security and safety via touch and physical contact. This is another reason why some people choose to have sex with an ex. If you are feeling anxious, afraid or stressed, it is highly likely you will crave your ex imagining comfort and security in their arms or in their presence. Extreme and chronic stress can also reduce your ability to control impulses, thus pushing you towards pleasure and potential reward, while ignoring the potential risk.
Quick Tip: Reduce your stress with yoga, deep-breathing and meditation.
Somehow you have arrived at the point where you have given up hope – you feel hopeless and you believe that no one else will want you or be compatible or be able to love you, please you, fulfill you or complete you. Thus, you have pinned all of your hope for happiness and fulfillment onto your ex.
Quick Tip: Recall times in your life when you lost hope only to be proven wrong. Focus on building your subconscious beliefs of lovability.
9. Unresolved Issues
Why would a person who was in an abusive relationship still crave or go running back to the abusive ex? There are ten reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. The primary reason is that the victim believes that she subconsciously deserves the abuse (which she also equates with love) and the second reason is psychological attachment to the abuser (The Stockholm Syndrome.) Further, if you have unresolved psychological issues such as trying to prove yourself, fear of failure, Twisted Love and so forth, you will keep craving the ex because he/she represents and mirrors your issues.
Quick Tip: Get professional help to resolve these blocks and issues.
10. Fixed Ideas and Ideals
You believe it’s more important to be right than it is to be happy!
One of my clients believed that the family unit is paramount – it was one of his core values. Thus, he refused to let go of his ex-girlfriend because she is the mother of his child and he wanted a family unit even though he and she were miserable together.
Another client believed that a marriage must work no matter what even after he cheated on her multiple times. She separated from her husband for a while but craved him because she refused to accept that her ideal of an eternal marriage can only exist with his consent and participation.
In both above cases, my clients chose being right over being happy: they were rigid about their ideals and refused to accept the reality that the relationship wasn’t working no matter how hard they pushed for it.
Further, some people cling to the ex, because they believe that walking away is equivalent to failure and they refuse to accept that a relationship didn’t work out and cannot work out.
Quick Tip: Focus on being happy over being right; be flexible and open.
If you would like to break free from the binds and craving for your ex, and if you want help to overcome the ten reasons you’re not over your ex, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist