10 signs you’re not over your ex, even if you think you are

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I’ve often found that moving on after a breakup isn’t a linear process. It’s more like a line drawn by a 2-year-old. It moves up and down and goes around in circles before finally breaking off the page. 

There are days when you’re convinced you’ve moved on, and other times when you stare at old pictures for hours, unable to shake the feeling of missing them. 

That’s pretty normal – you’re going through a lot of emotions right now. But if you do the following, it’s a sign that you’re not over your ex as much as you think you are. 

Ready to face some uncomfortable truths? 

Let’s dive in:

1) You constantly check their social media

You’re happily getting on with life, you might even be putting yourself out there and dating other people…And your ex?

History.

Or so you tell yourself – in reality, your search history says otherwise. You can’t help but check their socials. You rationalize it by saying you’re just curious, but let’s be honest…

If you check their profile more than once a month, you’re probably not as over them as you think you are. 

What you’re actually doing is checking up to a) see if they’ve met someone else or b) if they post an indication that they miss you too. 

That shows you’re still holding onto hope that things might turn around. 

2) You compare new partners to them

I know you feel like you’re over your ex, but if you can’t stop comparing new romantic partners to them, it’s another sign to look out for…

Why?

Because once you’ve fully moved on from someone, you stop seeing them with rose-tinted glasses. 

You start to recognize all the negative aspects, all the reasons that contributed to the breakup. 

Essentially, they stop being the gold standard and just become another chapter in your life’s history. 

So – if you’re still holding out for someone who measures up to your ex, it sounds like you’ve not quite moved on yet. 

3) You talk about them often

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I once had a friend tell me that I was driving her crazy by talking about my ex a year after we broke up. 

It sounded harsh at the time, but it was actually the wake-up call I needed. You see, I thought I had moved on. I was dating other people, after all.

When my friend made that remark, I initially brushed it off. I thought, “It’s normal to go over the details of the breakup or wonder what he’s up to now.”

But the more I thought about it, the more I had to be honest with myself. 

I wasn’t fully over him, I was just distracting myself and driving my friends bonkers. 

4) You keep mementos

Struggling to let go of last year’s Valentine’s present? 

Still got the picture from your first date stuck on the fridge?

If you can’t let go of mementos like this, it might indicate you’re not over your ex, even if you think you are. 

You see, it’s normal to keep hold of some memories, like holiday pictures or an expensive perfume. 

But if you find yourself reluctant to get rid of these things and they’re still dotted around your house as if you’re still in the relationship, it shows you’re not over them. 

5) You’re not open to new relationships

“I’m just enjoying being single right now.” 

Okay…but it’s been three years since you broke up. You talk often about wanting a family or a steady relationship. Isn’t avoiding getting into a new relationship a telling sign? 

Don’t get me wrong, if you genuinely do enjoy being single and don’t relate to the other points in this article, you probably have moved on. 

But if deep down, you know you’re avoiding other relationships because they don’t compare to your ex, then I’m sorry to say, you aren’t over them just yet. 

6) You revisit places and activities you shared

When I went through this, I often found myself going to the same park where my ex and I used to picnic. 

I’d tell friends and family that it was my spot. I introduced him to it so why should I give up going there just because we broke up?

I made it seem like I was going despite all of our shared memories. 

But with hindsight, I can see that I still felt attached to that place. I felt closer to him whenever I was there. I guess deep down, I was hoping one day he’d be there too. 

So, do you find yourself revisiting places and doing things you used to do with your ex

Have a think about how you feel when doing so – it might reveal whether you’ve truly moved on or not. 

7) You keep tabs through mutual friends

Just like with social media stalking, if you find yourself constantly keeping up with your ex’s movements through friends, you’re definitely not over them.

You might feel like you’re finding this information out of curiosity, but in reality, you’re simply staying connected without direct contact

Put it this way:

If you really were over them, you wouldn’t care less. You wouldn’t even think to ask a friend what they’re up to these days or who they’re seeing. 

And if a mutual friend did offer information, you probably wouldn’t feel much about it. 

8) You’re hoping they’ll reach out

If you lie in bed at night, staring at the phone and willing them to text, I feel ya. 

You can tell yourself you’re over them all you like, but if you’re doing this, it’s obvious – you miss them. 

And hey, that’s okay. 

There isn’t a time frame for how long it takes to move on from a relationship. But being in denial will make the process longer. 

So if you really do wish for them to reach out to you, it’s time to acknowledge that you may still have feelings for them

9) You’re not happy about their new relationships

Now, if you maintain the stance that you’re over your ex, yet every time you see them with their new partner you burn inside with jealousy or hatred, you’ve not moved on yet. 

A part of you still has feelings for them, otherwise, you wouldn’t care if they meet someone else. 

I think the first time I realized I was truly over my ex was when he posted a picture with some girl on his Instagram. 

And for the first time, I didn’t feel anything. A part of me was actually happy for him.

That’s when I knew I had well and truly moved on. 

10) You rationalize reaching out

And finally, have you been debating whether to message your ex or not?

I’ll tell you the same thing I told my friend after his breakup:

“You don’t really need closure. You don’t have a reason to call her. So why are you thinking about it?” 

It was obvious – he was still in love with her. 

So, if you keep coming up with reasons – closure, “just to check in”, wanting to see how their family is doing – you simply want to be back in touch with them. 

Maybe you think there’s a possibility they’ll want to give things another try. Maybe you just want to hear their voice again. 

I’m not here to judge. 

But as I mentioned before, living in denial about your feelings isn’t going to help you. 

So, if you relate to most of the points in this article, I’m afraid you’re not over your ex as much as you’d like to believe. 

I wish I could give you magical advice to help you move on, but unfortunately, this is one of those things in life that just takes time. It’s different for everyone. But you will get there in the end.

It all starts with being honest about your feelings and going from there. 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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