He Left Me, So Why Can’t I Stop Thinking About Him

By: Mary Elizabeth Dean

Updated March 08, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH


Breaking up with a partner is one of the most painful things a person can do. No matter how long you dated someone, regardless of whether you ended things amicably or not, whether the relationship was healthy or rocky, it hurts to lose someone who was such a presence in your life. For the next few weeks or even months, you might be regularly asking yourself: why can't I stop thinking about him? This is, of course, completely normal, and in some cases should even be encouraged as you process through your grief and loss. We can't expect ourselves to turn our feelings off and on like a lightbulb, so be patient with yourself.

Why Can't I Stop Thinking?

You probably have lots of questions. Why did he break up with me? Why can't I stop thinking about him? How will I cope? We'll go over these later in the article.

why can't I stop thinking about him

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Why Did He Leave Me?

This is a question you may or may not have an answer to. If your boyfriend broke up with you, he likely told you why, even if it was vague. It's easy to start questioning what you could have done differently and dissect your every memory, the words you both shared, the way he acted toward you, etc. All the what-ifs running through your mind can torture you. Sometimes we don't get the kind of closure we hope for, which can lead us to fill in the blanks.

If you believe the relationship was going well, the factors which caused your ex-boyfriend to end the relationship are out of your control. If your boyfriend was not able to communicate the problems to you, giving you a chance to work on the issues together, then he's probably not ready to be in a relationship-and you deserve to be with someone who is. Communication is a fundamental need in any relationship. You also don't want to spend your relationship trying to change your boyfriend and the way he feels. We are only in control of our own thoughts and our actions. This is particularly true when it comes to relationships.

It's also important to remember that relationships are sometimes a process of trial and error. Every time we open ourselves up to someone emotionally, we run the risk of getting hurt. We are all trying to find someone who fits into our life like no other, and the only way to know is by dating and seeing how you feel about the person as you grow in the relationship. When things aren't working, as painful as it is, it's best to re-evaluate the relationship and decide whether you want to continue. While it doesn't feel good to have someone break up with you, remember that you want to be with someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with them. You deserve to have someone who is a good match and not someone who doesn't see your value.

In most instances, it is rarely the wrongdoing of one partner that leads to the end of the relationship. Quite often, it is simply that one partner desires something more than what their current partner provides. In such cases, the heartbroken partner should not blame themselves. You shouldn't feel the need to change the fundamentals of who you are to fit into someone's life.

why can't I stop thinking about him
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But Why Can't I Stop Thinking about Him?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. When You're Thinking About Someone Are They Thinking About You?

The reality of your emotions can be quite overwhelming when you break up from someone you thought was your soul mate. While reminiscing on the good times you had together, rejection may creep in. You wonder if your partner is just like you, who can't stop thinking about him. It's natural to have thoughts of people that you care about from time to time. This works for them as well as you.

Though you believe that your relationship ended because he sought a more fulfilling life, he may be longing for the value you brought to him when you were together. It's also possible that he has moved on and does not even remember you. Don't worry; you'll be fine. When you can't stop thinking about someone, and it is taking over your life- this is often a sign of something bigger.

  1. Why can't I stop thinking about him?

Getting over someone can be hard to do. The investment that comes with loving someone usually makes it hard to let go. However, with a determination to move ahead of your pain, you can get him out of your head.

The first step is to acknowledge that you can't stop thinking about him. You both grew into your closeness, so being left alone can be saddening. When your partner stops swaying to the rhythm of the Tango, it becomes burdensome. And with your recent emotions of despair, loneliness, and bitterness, the process would take time. You'd need patience and determination to explore life's benefits on your own.

The next step is to talk to a professional and get to the bottom of why you can't stop thinking about him. Involving a therapist means you choose to take one step at a time, experiencing each emotion as they come, and allowing yourself to heal gradually. Before you know it, he's out of your head, and you're ready to date again.

  1. What does it mean when you can't stop thinking about someone?

The inability to get your ex out of your mind could be a pointer to unresolved emotional issues. If you find yourself asking yourself, "Why can't I stop thinking about him" more often, this can be an indicator of a bigger issue. For example, if you believe that the relationship was going well, your brain cells seek closure, and there's a cocktail of hormones released.

The brain releases different hormones into the body based on the emotions being experienced. Examples of hormones released are adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin. Serotonin nicknamed the 'happy hormone' contributes to a person's well-being. This hormone can stimulate depression. After all, your reticular activating system makes you unable to sleep because you can't stop thinking of him.

When you can't stop thinking about someone, it's often due to unhealed issues and a lack of a sense of closure. At this point, the service of a counselor is needed.

  1. Can you ever stop loving someone?

While love can fade, you may always feel an affinity for someone you once loved. The importance in your life to fall in love cannot be overemphasized. It entails all of your being and puts you in a state of ecstasy when the love chemicals are released. As the tenacity of the emotions expands, one can conclude that she has gotten to a point where she can't stop thinking about the person.

However, this emotion can fade away gradually, while the feeling of affinity towards the individual you are in love with stays. This isn't to say that you'll always feel sad when you think of them. Sadness will also fade away over time. The thought of the person would remind you of the good old times. Once you've healed from the relationship, you may look back on it as a fond memory.

During those periods when you can't stop thinking of him, choose not to crucify yourself, nor should you allow what you're feeling to dampen you.

  1. Why do I obsess over people?

When someone is obsessed, it is not just that you can't stop thinking about your partner; your interest has also become compulsive. You are beginning to lose grip over yourself, and you are no longer reasoning. If you find out that you can't stop thinking about someone and that you're obsessing over people, it is a clear sign that you may be battling with very low self-esteem and identity crisis. 

To understand this intense feeling of possessiveness you feel towards the person, you have to sit down and analyze yourself and bring out what exactly is the underlying issue you are struggling with. This phase can be quite burdensome if you have not practiced self-awareness, talk to a licensed therapist or counselor to learn coping strategies, and rule out underlying mental health issues like depression, stress, or anxiety disorders.

  1. How do you know someone is your soulmate?

The term soulmate is relative. Many people have their definition of what it means to have a soulmate. Different cultures see the word "soulmate" from different perspectives. For most people, a soulmate is a person that helps you to be your best self and can love you unconditionally. He is that person that you feel understands you perfectly. This concept came from our attachment to childhood memories of different "happily ever after" cartoons we watched. 

In the real sense of it, loving someone unconditionally doesn't always mean there is a "happily ever after" or fairy tale ending. The love between two people, in the long run, is always a thing of choice that is not based on whether you can't stop thinking about the other person or not. This just means that the person you care about will always have a special place in your heart.

  1. How do you know if someone is missing you?

Whoever loves you would show it in their actions. When someone misses you, they may or may not reach out because we all respond to life independently and based on our disposition to life. Some people miss you, but their ego stands in their way of showing it. This could be a personality disorder that is not your business to change. 

When someone misses you and doesn't act as though they do, it is best not to try to figure it out (It's okay to honor your feelings by allowing yourself to miss someone without knowing if they miss you back). Keeping one's dignity and mental space healthy would do a lot of good.

  1. Does missing someone mean you love them?

Sometimes missing someone can indicate that you love them as you can't stop thinking of them. 

Other times this can indicate that you simply enjoy their company or had a pleasant memory of a time you had together it. The reason why you miss someone varies. It could be because of the value they add. They might be delightful people to be around. They may possess positive energy that they emit when you are together. 

Missing someone should not determine the deep affection of love you have towards another. It is just feeling. While missing someone can mean you love them (and vice versa) this isn't always the case because feelings can be fickle. Instead, it is a pointer to emotions going on in your mind. If you make decisions based on that feeling, it is possible that you would have gone into a relationship with a person you are not in love with. Choose to find it out.

  1. How do you let someone go emotionally?

We can't expect ourselves to turn our feelings off and on like a light bulb, so we have to be patient with ourselves in letting go of someone. After a breakup, for the next few weeks or even months, you might continuously wonder why you can't stop thinking of him. Often, it is because it took a while to develop the feelings you now have for them. 

Letting go would have to be you coming to terms with where you are. It is analyzing what brought you to where you are right now. You need to choose to get healing. To understand how you can let go of someone emotionally, you must accept that you miss them. Then, you start looking for a way to stop that.

Never run away from the pains that you experienced. That's because bottling up the series of emotions you feel during this process will not make you whole, and you won't become ready to date again.

  1. When should you let go of a guy? 

Once you sense that a guy doesn't care about you, you should let go of him without delay. When you find out that you are the only one putting in all the work and investing all you have, just stop. It is hard and tiring to be the only one working out the relationship. A relationship is two-sided, so you both have to play your parts. 

There is a need for you to close your eyes and accept that the person you are in love with may not be so into you. Meanwhile, this should be done after you have made him aware of his nonchalant attitude towards you. If you tell him that he hurts you, and he still does not consider changing his attitude, you should move on without him. It is clear that he is no longer in love with you.

And where a guy comes to you with an intention to end your relationship together, please accept his choice. It must have been well thought of, so you should accept his decision, and give him space.  

  1. Will a man let you go if he loves you? 

As hurtful as this can be, a man who loves you can let you go. He may have reasons for letting go of his emotions towards you. Men are logical beings. At times, they choose logic over emotions. His choice to walk away can be because of some character flaws he thinks he can no longer condone with you. It may also be because he wants more benefits from life and you don't seem to be going the same direction. 

It may also just be that he is not yet mature enough for a relationship and would not want to hurt you with his lackadaisical behaviors continually. For whatever reason he walked away, don't be on a lookout for him to have repercussions for his actions and choices. Let the person you are find expression by learning to love and accept yourself. And if there are character flaws that you think could have caused the breakup, work on them, and personally develop yourself for a beautiful future.

  1. What's the difference between love and obsession? Is this why I can't stop thinking about him?

People misinterpret the feeling of love with that of obsession because the hormones raging could mean either of them. These two are intense emotions, and it is easy not to be able to differentiate them. The difference between them is the desire not to control the person you are in a relationship with. Obsessed people also think they are in love and would justify all their toxic actions to show affection. 

One thing to be on a lookout for is jealousy. When you are in love with someone, it is reasonable to want his erotic emotions all to yourself. When you see other girls flocking around him, you could feel hurt, yet allow him. However, it does not mean that you would not mind getting rid of those girls by killing them if he does not stop spending so much time with them. 

When you love someone, you are comfortable with his individuality. Meanwhile, when you start sensing that he may want to leave the relationship, you can let him go even though you feel so much discomfort doing so. That is love.

  1. How do you tell if a guy is playing with your emotions?

There are red flags that can be quite obvious to everybody around you except you. You can get blinded to the wrong ways a man treats you. Since you are head over heel in love with him, it is possible that you hold on to the belief that he only makes mistakes. It would save you a lot of tears if you are not carried away, and you see his actions for what they are. 

When a man's profession of love to you does not tally with his actions, he is most likely playing with your emotions. It is a common cliché that women are moved by what they hear, which makes us fall prey to men with narcissistic tendencies. When he is making you feel unloved, like you’re forcing the relationship, step away. Actions that show selfishness, disrespect and absence of value for you are common signs that he is not serious. When you see these signs, take heed and run.

  1. What does it mean when you can't get someone out of your head? 

The inability to get someone out of your head is not peculiar to you. It's very healthy to realize we're still thinking about someone even after a long period of time. It's hard to quickly get someone out of your head, simply because you are no longer with them. People you're once romantically attached to would always remain in your mind.

Your life gained meaning while you're with them, so you find yourself constantly thinking about them even when they are no longer your love. When you can't get someone out of your head, you feel anxious whenever their name is mentioned. For instance, it's possible that as a lady, the new guy you met is friends or colleagues with them.

Even though you broke hope when you knew that it's time, if it takes longer than necessary to move on, you have not gained the confidence to get them out of your head. The right thing to do at this time is to get help. And that's because holding on would hinder your progress relationally.

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