“Is my ex the love of my life?”
It’s a question you may be asking yourself and one which I myself have wondered about in the past.
It’s just so hard to sort through all the thoughts and emotions and find any clarity on it.
Let’s get a clear answer and help you find out.
Nostalgia and heartbreak
Nostalgia and heartbreak are a powerful combination.
You may have broken up a week ago or a year ago, but moving on from someone you love can feel impossible.
Even if you’re dating someone new, you may find yourself thinking back and missing that ex with all your heart.
Then the thought hits you like a gut punch, making it hard to breathe:
“Is my ex the love of my life?”
I know how it feels because I’ve been there myself.
The key is to separate out nostalgia and heartbreak from love and sincere affection…
And also to sift out love from emotional dependency.
Here’s the difference-maker
The difference-maker here is subtracting your love and missing of your ex from your present situation.
Answer the following questions to get a clear picture:
- How happy are you in your life right now overall?
- Are you currently dating someone and, if so, how is that going?
- How is your life stability and feeling of being supported in life?
- What emotion do you get when you picture the future?
- How does all this compare to how you felt when you were with your ex?
If your answers are more on the unhappy, unstable and lonely side currently, but were much happier when you were with your ex, then you may be missing the overall situation, not only him or her.
You miss that time in your life and the hope and joy you felt.
However, if you’re doing quite well in most respects now and maybe have even started a relationship with someone new, but still miss your ex very badly, then they may indeed be the love of your life.
The key is to separate out the present from the past overall and make sure that you’re not just missing your ex mainly because your present is unsatisfactory or disappointing.
Next up we will look at:
Emotional dependency vs. love
If you have determined that you very much miss your ex and that it’s not mainly just because of dissatisfaction with your present, it’s important to look at what you miss about him or her.
Far too often we end up confusing emotional dependency for love.
We feel a strong need for an ex, but we don’t really love them. It’s more of an addiction-type feeling, not love.
I got really clear on this by doing something I never expected: talking to a love coach.
I’d heard of football coaches or hockey coaches, but this was a first for me.
These ladies and gentlemen are really a league of their own, and they are accredited professionals who help sort out your love life and answer questions like whether your ex was really the one for you.
The site I used is called Relationship Hero, and I’ve consistently found it to be an excellent resource that gives practical, helpful advice.
If you’re wondering whether your ex was the real deal or you’re just lost in fantasy land, I strongly advise connecting up with Relationship Hero online.
How was your relationship?
To determine whether your ex was the love of your life, you also want to reflect honestly on your relationship with them.
What was it like being together with them and what did you like most?
What was the hardest part of it, and why did you break up?
What about them drew you toward them and what repelled you away?
Thinking back to your time together, you may have many images, emotions and memories of the deep bond you shared.
How did it differ from your current relationship or dating life?
What was it about your ex or your connection with your ex that makes you feel it might have been the love that’s meant for you in this life?
Remember back to your memories and try to look at them almost like an outside observer, seeing the faults as well as the sweetness.
Of course, all these aspects are now in the past. You and your ex are not exactly the same people as you were when you were together, even if it’s only a few months later.
That’s why thinking of how your relationship was when you were with them is only one part of the puzzle.
You also must reflect on what a relationship might likely look like with them in the future.
Do you have similar goals?
Are you both ready for commitment?
Do you both want kids or both not want kids?
How do you feel about religion, spirituality and building a life together built on common values?
Remember that everything does not have to be perfect. But the love and attraction you feel for your ex also needs to be based on some kind of real foundation as well.
If you’re still unsure about what’s going on in terms of this situation and have had confusing experiences getting back in touch with your ex (or deciding whether or not to do so), the next step is to reflect a bit more.
Giving it time
If you’re not sure if it’s more emotional dependency or healthy love, give it time.
In some cases the two may be mixed, and allowing your feelings time to percolate and reflecting on them can also help clarify for you whether your ex is the one.
If you feel that urge to call them up or go right back to them, resist it for a bit and sit alone.
Be with your own thoughts and your own sense of being and see what’s at your core.
“Just like distance and perspective from your relationship gave you the ability to see your ex might be the love of your life, distance and perspective from where you are right now might give you a different opinion in the future,” advises relationship expert Laura Moses.
This is very sound advice, and the more you understand how changeable life and love can be, the more you can make a decision and a commitment that takes that into account.
Finding out who’s ‘the one’
Part of the question about whether your ex is the love of your life rests on your beliefs about whether there is “the one.”
I personally believe there are a precious few people we are highly compatible with in life and can fall in love with.
I do not believe there is only one (although I’m more than willing to be corrected on that!)
I used to be very convinced of the idea of “the one,” however, and found talking to a love coach really helpful in that regard as well.
Earlier I talked about how useful it was to speak to a relationship expert at the Relationship Hero website, and I want to suggest them again.
These fine folks took my ideas about love and brought them to a whole new level of clarity and hands-on application.
I went from swimming around in my thoughts and emotions and experiencing drastic ups and downs out of the blue to having a much more reasonable and empowering approach to love and to making decisions about my ex.
I strongly encourage you to check them out.
“Is my ex the love of my life?” Answering the question for good
The only way to answer this question with real certainty is to get back in touch with your ex.
Spend time together, talk and explore a potential life together.
Opening the channels of communication back up is the first step, and where it goes from there depends on the two of you and what you are both feeling and ready for.
At the end of the day, you will have to see if your ex is the one for you by being around them and seeing if they also want to give your relationship another try.
There are no guarantees in love, and they may not be interested, to start with.
Then, even if they are, as I said, you both have changed and you will have to see how it goes as you try a new episode together.
If you find the connection is stronger than ever and that you have a real foundation for your love, the only thing left is to bring the patience and inner development you built up in your time apart to bear on this current relationship.
Because the ultimate answer of whether your ex is the love of your life will be whether you can weather the tough times together and get through the difficulties that couples experience.
It’s easy to miss your ex and feel love for them from afar, but once you’re together and back in the middle of the fray that’s where you will truly be tested in the refiner’s fire.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
Take the free quiz here to be matched with the perfect coach for you.
Click the above link to get $50 off your first session – an exclusive offer for Hack Spirit readers.