Why Do I Love My Ex?

By: Nicola Kirkpatrick

Updated August 24, 2019

Medically Reviewed By: Kelly L. Burns, MA, LPC, ATR-P

If you've been thinking "I love my ex" a lot lately and don't know why, you might be a little weirded-out right now. Why are they on your mind all of a sudden? Chances are there's an explanation as to why your ex is on your mind, you just might not be aware of it yet.

Relationships end for a reason. You move on, but it's totally normal for memories of past loves to resurface from time to time. Taking some time to mindfully pinpoint the cause of these thoughts and feelings can help you figure out how you should proceed next.

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If You're Wondering, "Why Do I Love My Ex?" Here Are Some Possible Explanations:

  1. You're Feeling Lonely

If you've been broken up for a while and haven't met anyone new, you might start to think about your ex because you're lonely. Maybe you miss the good times and since you haven't found someone else yet, you're starting to forget about the bad times that ended your relationship.

Being lonely isn't a good reason for getting back together with an ex, though. If you're feeling lonely, try making plans with friends or family. Spending more time around people you love might be just what you need to banish these thoughts of your ex for good.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is going back to an ex simply because they feel lonely or don't want to be alone. While it's natural to crave togetherness and companionship, it's equally important to ensure that you're surrounding yourself with the right type of people. You should never run back to what hurt you and you should also never compromise your standards just for the sake of not being alone.

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If you feel lonely, it can be easy to convince yourself into believing that you still love your ex. However, it's much more likely that you just hate feeling lonely and will do anything to fill that gap. It may be difficult at the time, but it's important to know that loneliness will not last forever; one day, you will meet someone who is so much better for you than your ex ever was.

  1. They're Still A Part Of Your Life

If your ex is still a part of your life, it can be a million times harder to get over them. An ex could still be in your life for a number of reasons: you decided to stay friends, you have a mutual group of friends that you both hang out with, or there could be kids involved that you need to co-parent.

When this is the case, the best thing you can do is try to set clear boundaries for your relationship as it is now. If you're determined that the two of you are over and you need to move on, your actions need to reflect that. Hang out with new or different friends or only talk to each other when it's about the kids, for example.

If your ex is still part of your life, then that could be a reason why you still feel as though you love them. This can sometimes prompt questions about whether or not your ex should truly be in your life. However, the truth of the matter is that there is no one answer to that question. It all depends on you, your situation, and your comfort level. If you and your ex have children together, then completely eliminating your ex from your life may not be feasible; but if you're without children and don't have anything really tying you to your ex, then it's up to you to determine whether or not your ex truly belongs in your life. Different decisions and arrangements work for different people.

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When this is the case, the best thing you can do is try to set clear boundaries for your relationship as it is now. If you're determined that the two of you are over and you need to move on, your actions need to reflect that. Hang out with new or different friends or only talk to each other when it's about the kids, for example.

  1. You Never Got Closure

One other reason why you might currently be in love with your ex is if you didn't get closure when your relationship ended. It's possible that he or she left without an explanation, and you're confused as to what you did wrong.

This is a hard situation that can leave you with a lot of "what ifs" and mixed emotions. The best thing to do here is reach out to your ex so you can get the closure you need to move on. If you were still in love with them when they ended the relationship suddenly, you deserve to know what happened.

Not getting closure is something which can be difficult to deal with; however, it's a part of life. All relationships do not always come with closure at the end. Sometimes, we just have to move on. Constantly seeking closure when it's simply not available will only lead to misery and distress. If you still have feelings for your ex due to a lack of closure when the relationship ended, then you need to decide if that's really the healthiest reason to keep holding on.

Most of the time, romantic relationships end for a reason. If closure is keeping you from letting go, then you need to work on redirecting your focus and energy towards relationships which will be healthy and beneficial to you.

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Does Your Ex Love You?

When you still have feelings for an ex after a relationship has run its course, then it's important to ask yourself whether or not those feelings are reciprocated. Even if your ex does love you back, that does not necessarily mean that you two should get back together. Once again, you need to consider why the relationship ended, how your ex treated you, and whether or not you truly see a happy path with them going forward. Of course, there are people who have gotten back together with their exes and enjoyed successful relationships.

If you happen to have feelings for your ex but they fail to reciprocate, then that's a sign that you need to let go. This can be especially challenging, particularly if you feel very invested in the relationship or if you still feel attached. However, it's important to note that if you and your ex were truly meant to be with one another, the feelings would be reciprocated. The fact that the relationship ended and that lingering feelings are one-sided, that's definitely a sign. It may not seem like it right now, but later on, you will find someone better and you'll be thankful that you didn't stay hung up on someone who didn't return your feelings.


If you've considered these options and still can't figure out why you love your ex, it might take more time to decipher why they have this hold on you.

Don't be hard on yourself. Break-ups are hard, love is hard. Know that there is help available if you need it. A counselor, in-person or via an online service like BetterHelp, can assist you in figuring out your feelings regarding your past relationship so you can decide what to do next.

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