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Still In Love with Your Ex: 19 Ways to Accept It Is Normal & Let Go

Is it normal to still love your ex? Love’s a funny and often confusing thing. Read on to learn if it’s normal to love your ex.

is it normal to still love your ex

Is it normal to still love your ex? Keep in mind that love can take many forms. Some people still love their ex as a friend, while others are still very much “in love” with an ex who broke their heart. 

For some, this continued love of their ex can twist into hatred, which is a painful form of attachment that is closer to love than many think.

The opposite of loving your ex is not hate, but indifference. Hate means you are still thinking about them obsessively, albeit negatively. 

They say that time heals everything, and in some cases it does, but in others, it simply covers your emotions. If you feel that you are struggling to get over your ex, know that you are not alone.

Why do you still love your ex?

Human emotions are complicated and cannot just be turned on or shut off. If you loved your ex once, that may take a very long time to fade. Guess what? That’s okay! It shows that you are human and compassionate.

Is it normal to still love your ex?

While it is normal to still love your ex, it is undesirable for many. These emotions can leave you pining for a dead relationship, one that ended for a reason. It can hold you back from seeking out better, reciprocal relationships. 

It can be overwhelming to realize you still love an ex. It may make you believe that you have no idea what was really going on inside your head and heart. These feelings may be slow-burning, or they may crop up suddenly, leaving you feeling blindsided and overwhelmed. 

You may wonder if this is normal, and it totally is. What is also normal is wanting to get over this ex you still love and move on with your life. 

[Read: Still attached to your ex? 26 signs, reasons and why it’s so hard to break free]

The subtle signs you aren’t over your ex

Not sure if you still love your ex or not? Here are some easy signs to determine if you are over your ex or not.

1. You think about your ex a lot

It is normal to think about people from your past from time to time. But if you find that thoughts of your ex plague you all day every day, you are probably not over them.

If everything from a brand of candy to a song sends you into a tailspin of despair, then you probably aren’t over your ex. 

2. You hate your ex

As previously stated, the opposite of love is not hate– it is indifference. Hating your ex is a warped continued attachment to them.

Even if you are constantly thinking about how much you hate them, you are still constantly thinking about them. Ironically, hating them is a good sign you are still in love with your ex. [Read: I hate my ex: 12 ways to handle the struggle and move on]

3. You want to talk about your ex all the time

Do you find yourself talking about your ex constantly? Are you always waiting to bring them up in conversation with friends, family, or anyone who will listen? This desire to talk constantly about your ex shows that you are still in love with them. After all, who wants to talk that much about someone you don’t care about?

4. You dream about your ex

This one is a bit tricky– dreams are mercurial things and don’t always have significant meaning. But things that you dream about a lot are things you often think about a lot– such as fears, beliefs, and people who are on your mind. If you dream about your ex a lot, it could mean that you are thinking about them a lot. And if you are thinking about your ex a lot, you are probably not over them. 

How to get over the ex you still love

Now that you’ve determined if you are still in love with your ex or not, it’s time to learn how to let go. 

1. Determine if getting back together is an option

You’re still in love with your ex, okay. We got that covered. So, is there a chance of you two getting back together? Do you want them back?

This is a time for some tough love. Be honest with yourself about your ex– was the relationship really good, or are you just nostalgic? Remember the past always seems easier than it was. 

Secondly, does your ex even want to get back together with you? If they dumped you, probably not. Especially not if they have moved on to a new relationship. If there is a chance of rekindling the flame go for it, but most relationships end for a good reason. Try to remember what it was. Read: Break up to make up: 10 ways to give love a second chance]

2. Cut off contact, especially on social

You can’t get over someone you are talking to and looking at every day, so you need to remove your ex from all social media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. Literally whatever app has your ex on it, delete them. 

This is possibly the best way to give yourself a break and time to be without them. This is going to be a hard thing to do, but once you do it, it’s so refreshing. Having them pop up on your Facebook or liking your photos only makes you obsess.

If you have to see them at mutual gatherings or work, be cordial but don’t engage. You aren’t being rude or selfish– just looking out for your own well being. 

3. Stop thinking and fantasizing about getting back together

If you have completed step one and determined that there is no chance of you two getting back together, you have to let it go. You need to redirect your brain every time you think of your ex, and actively work to not let them slip into your daydreams (or nightmares.) 

This is going to be the hardest thing you’re going to do and you’re not going to want to do it.

But, if you want to move with your life and have a future of your own, your thoughts of your ex are an obstacle.  [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]

4. Accept your emotions

Stopping yourself from thinking about your ex is good, but you should accept your feelings for what they are. 

Feeling love for someone isn’t something to be ashamed of. Not only is continuing to love your ex completely normal, it’s a sign of your emotional depth. You shared an intimate part of your life with this person, so, of course, you’re going to love them.

Allow yourself to feel whatever you want to feel– whether it be grief, anger or sadness. If you suppress these emotions, they pop up later in life. Feel your feelings, then let them go, knowing that this is what is best for both of you. 

5. Don’t go for a rebound

Many people suggest a rebound hookup as the cure to heartbreak. Those people are wrong. 

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, whether you two broke up a month or two years ago. Being with someone just because you’re scared to be alone isn’t going to work, and is more likely to make you feel worse. [Read: 8 most common post-breakup mistakes you should never do]

6. Don’t think about the if’s

You might find yourself stuck. You get caught thinking about your ex and what you could have done to change the outcome of the relationship. This is normal but painful and unnecessary.

There’s no reason to think about the “what if’s.” The fact of the matter is that you’re no longer with your ex. So, accept that. Don’t think about what could have been because nothing would have been. By fantasizing about this, you only dig yourself deeper into a hole you don’t need to be in.

7. You have to keep your mind busy

When you’re not busy, your mind wanders. And if you think you’re in love with your ex, well, then your mind is going to focus only on that. So, keep your brain active with other thoughts.

This means you’ll want to refrain from having any time to sit and think about things. Pick up a book, get a hobby, watch Jeopardy. In your search to busy yourself you might get a chance to meet other people!  [Read: Feeling stuck in life? How to change directions and live your dream]

8. Keep any memories out of sight

You don’t have to burn everything they gave you, but it’s best to keep it somewhere you don’t have to look at everyday. 

Keep photos and other memories that you have of them. But, instead of having them on your mantel, put them in a box and tuck them away. You don’t need to see them right now. Maybe in ten years you will dust it off and go through it, but not now.

9. No sex with the ex!

You shouldn’t even be hanging out with an ex you are not over, let alone having sex with them! This is a big no-no. NO SEX with them. 

This only hurts you by giving you hope and keeping them around you. Every time you will be reminded that you love someone who doesn’t love you, and who wants that? So, don’t have sex with your ex. 

10. But do have sex

Yes, please. You don’t have to go crazy, but make sure you have a little sexy time here and there. Maybe you have an old booty call on your phone, well, ring them. If you have problems getting over your ex, letting go of some sexual tension could help. [Read: 13 rebound sex questions to know if you’re ready]

11. Do things that you want to do

If you always wanted to take a dance class or take up weightlifting, now is the time to do it. Even if it’s just going out for dinner with your good friends or spending more time with your family– do stuff that you want to do. 

It helps you keep your mind off of your ex and see that there’s so much more out there in the world.

12. Go out

You need to go out. Please note– this doesn’t mean that you need to be on the prowl to sleep with someone, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should get blind drunk. 

Go out in a social way. Don’t expect anything more than to meet people, have some drinks, and relax. Staying at home alone watching a depressing chick flick isn’t going to help you stop loving your ex. [Read: Are you still in love with your ex? Why you feel this way]

13. Go back into the dating pool *when you are ready*

Your friends are going to push you into the dating pool quickly. I know they try to help, but honestly, if you don’t want to, don’t do it. 

Dating is fraught with stress and rejection, which can only make you pine for your ex more if you are not ready for it. Instead you have to process your emotions and come to a comfortable place with yourself. Then you can start dating. 

14. Know that you’re normal for feeling this way

Apparently some people can get over their ex right away. But the reality is, most cannot. Don’t beat yourself up for loving your ex– you cannot force these feelings away.

Accept that you still loving your ex is normal, and forgive yourself for loving someone you cannot be with. You will soon find that this heals the heartbreak much faster than negativity. [Read: 10 signs that prove you are still attached to your ex]

15. Remember that there are other people out there for you

You will find someone you love just as much, if not more, than your ex. When you are in the throes of heartbreak that does not seem to matter, but it’s important to hold onto. 

Your ex isn’t the only person out there. So, don’t think you won’t be able to meet anyone else. No two loves are the same, but that doesn’t make one better than the other.

[Read: Why do people break up even if they’re still in love?]

It is totally normal to still love your ex. However, it’s also important to move on and find someone who’s going to love you.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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