10 reasons you can’t stop thinking about someone (real psychology)

There are just some people that we find impossible to forget.

You might be doing laundry or you might be out on a date with someone else, only for them to pop into your mind.

It can make us wonder if they’re trying to send us a message, especially if it’s been happening more often to you lately.

What is really going on?

In this article, we will explore 10 psychological reasons why you can’t stop thinking about someone.

1) You rely on them to anchor yourself

If you ever suffer from something like depression or anxiety or low self-esteem, it’s likely that you will find something to fixate on to keep yourself grounded.

That anchor can be anything, from objects, to hobbies, to even people. And if you chose to rely on another person to be your anchor, it would only be natural that you won’t be able to stop thinking about them.

Think of those times when you were a kid, when you would cry for your mother to come and give you a hug.

Now, you might not cry at the drop of a hat, or every time you need reassurance. You know better now. But that need never really disappears no matter how much time passes for some of us.

There is nothing wrong with having anchors—in fact, having them will help you function better—so long as you keep your relationship with your anchor healthy.

Do they usually enter your thoughts when you’re stressed, anxious, or feeling blue? It’s a sign that you indeed see them as your anchor.

2) You’re truly charmed by them

There are some people who you would see once and never again forget.

They’re the charming ones. You might think that you have a special connection, but in fact they’re just like this to every person they meet.

They would speak with such power and resolve that their very words would be etched in your mind, and they would stand with such confidence that you can’t help but be inspired. And the way they laugh? Well…they can light up a room!

Because of just how memorable they are, charismatic people drive people forward with their words and personality. We’re drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

Think about that someone you can’t forget. Maybe they possess some qualities that you want to have, or maybe you want to be with people like them.

For instance, let’s say your partner is grumpy. You’ll find yourself thinking more and more about the charming person. Most likely because that’s the kind of energy that you’re craving for, and it becomes clearer to you now that you’re with someone who’s the exact opposite.

3) You associate them with a strong memory

It can’t be denied that the things we experience in life will affect the way we see things.

Let’s say that you had a break-up or you lost your job and they were the only person to stay by your side and help you put yourself together.

Their presence in your life in those trying times would be so seared into your memory that you might find yourself thinking about them at random.

You might wonder how they’re doing and want to talk to them, or be by their side. It’s because the people who have rescued us in times of need will forever feel like home to us.

Whenever something happens that would remind you of those times, you would think of them, and that would remind you that all is not lost.

But this happens with negative memories too. If you learn that your partner cheated on you with your best friend, the hurt and anger that comes after would make it hard for you to trust.

Every time someone gets a little too close to you, you might think of them and wonder if this new person will betray you too.

4) They make you think of someone important for you

A possible reason why you can’t stop thinking about someone is because on some level, they remind you of someone important to you. And chances are that you probably aren’t even aware of it!

It could be that they talk the same way as your grandfather, or that they listen to the same music your mother does. Or your ex who’s very dear to you.

There’s something they have in common with the important people in your life, so there’s a sense of familiarity about them that makes their presence comfortable for you.

They’re always in the back of your mind because of that. You feel a happy fondness towards them, and your thoughts would often drift towards them when you are in need of comfort and reassurance.

But a word of caution. While they might feel familiar, don’t use them as a replacement for that person they remind you of. It would be a disservice to both of them.

5) You have unfinished business

Maybe you were once close, got into a big argument, and never had closure. Or maybe they owe you something and then they suddenly ghosted you.

Whatever the exact circumstance may be, having unfinished business is a sure-fire way for them to get stuck in your head!

Resolving that “unfinished business” will help stop you from thinking about them so much, most of the time.

Sometimes, there’s just no way to resolve things. Maybe they have blocked you on social media and cut you off, or maybe you never had the opportunity to get their contact information before they left. Maybe they stopped loving you.

In those situations, you’ll have to eventually accept the way things are, and move on.

What else can you do after all? You can send your thoughts out into the void and nothing is going to happen except for the fact that you just wasted your time.

6) You hate them to the bone

Sometimes you just hate people so much that they are, as some might say, living in your head rent-free.

Strong emotions sear themselves into your mind. And the more you hate someone, the more obsessed you will be in measuring yourself against them, or wishing them ill.

For example, let’s say that you had an ex who broke up with you to go date your best friend, and you would check up on their social media every day hoping you’d see cracks in their relationship so that you could laugh at them.

Relationships of this kind are often one-sided. While you spend your days fuming and angry about them all the time, they spend theirs without sparing a single thought towards you.

It won’t be easy to stop hating someone this badly, but it would be in your best interest to try.

If you think about it, by burning so much of your time and energy on hating them, you’re letting them win. And they will keep on winning until the day you stop obsessing over them.

7) They remind you of yourself

Most people live wildly different lives, and it can be hard to find people who understand you immediately. So when you find someone that instantly “clicks” with you on so many levels, it’s hard for you to forget them.

You see yourself—or perhaps who you used to be—in them, in the things they do, and the words they say.

When you relate to someone to that extent, you can’t help but feel a bond. You worry when you see them follow in your footsteps, and feel elation when they avoid making the same mistakes you do.

And of course, there’s so much you can learn from one another, from sharing your stories and experiences to simply doing things together. It would also help remind you that, while you might have many things in common, the two of you are ultimately different people.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to assume that they’re exactly like you, because then you might begin doing things for them or coerce them into doing things, thinking that because you like the idea, then surely they do, too.

8) You think that they’re the only one who understands you

One reason why people obsess over one person in particular would be because they believe that they’re the only one who understands them.

You might want to examine if this is how you feel towards them. If you do, you might find many of your thoughts about them involve the idea about them being special or irreplaceable.

Things like them being irreplaceable or being the only one who truly understands who you are.

Thoughts and impressions like these often start small. Maybe they’re the first one you know who understands half the things you say straightaway or that you had several magical moments together.

Then for whatever reason you would focus so much on those experiences that you would begin to fixate on that person.

Overall, should you find yourself stuck in this line of thought, try to do your best to get yourself out of it. It’s harmful and does nothing other than isolate you and leave you vulnerable when you needn’t be.

9) They tick off your whole checklist

We all have things we want to see in the people we hang out with or date. But at the same time, most of us understand that there’s no way anyone’s going to tick them all off. Nobody’s perfect.

But then they came, and you’re just in shock at how they have almost everything you wanted. You might swear it’s almost as if the heavens saw your list and sent someone to earth exactly for you.

Maybe they not only fit your criteria for ideal physical beauty, but also mental attitude and ability.

There’s no doubt that they have their own flaws—they’re human, just like you and I—but as far as you are concerned, they’re perfect.

Because of that, they end up in your thoughts often. They’re a living embodiment of what you think are the best traits someone can have, and it won’t be surprising if you would daydream to have them as your partner or best friend either.

10) They’ve been giving you validation

Sometimes the reason why you can’t stop thinking about people isn’t because of what they do or who they are. Sometimes the reason lies in the demons you struggle with.

If you have low self-esteem, you will be starved for any and all validation you may receive from others. Do you think your voice sucks? Do you think you don’t look good at all?

If you have thoughts like these and more, the first person to tell you otherwise will be stuck in your head. They will become to you a symbol of hope, and you might find yourself idealizing or idolizing them in return.

Chances are that you will even feel jealous when they give their attention to others, and worry that maybe they simply told you all those things to get you to calm down.

Sadly, it’s not that easy to just “fix” low self-esteem. The reasons for it are so many that the only reliable way to deal with it would be to consult a trustworthy therapist.

Are you feeling lost in life

When someone keeps haunting us, it’s possible that we’re not yet where we want to be in life.

Most of the time, it’s just our subconscious communicating to us that we should make big changes in our life and take a different path.

It’s time you ask yourself what that person could be telling you. They could hold the clue of what you want and who you want to be.

But there’s a better way, and that is to go inward.

When I felt the most lost in life, I was introduced to an unusual free breathwork video created by the shaman, Rudá Iandê, which focuses on dissolving stress and boosting inner peace.

My relationship was failing, I felt tense all the time. My self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom. I’m sure you can relate – heartbreak does little to nourish the heart and soul.

I had nothing to lose, so I tried this free breathwork video, and the results were incredible.

But before we go any further, why am I telling you about this?

I’m a big believer in sharing – I want others to feel as empowered as I do. And, if it worked for me, it could help you too.

Secondly, Rudá hasn’t just created a bog-standard breathing exercise – he’s cleverly combined his many years of breathwork practice and shamanism to create this incredible flow – and it’s free to take part in.

Now, I don’t want to tell you too much because you need to experience this for yourself.

All I will say is that by the end of it, I felt peaceful and optimistic for the first time in a long time.

And let’s face it, we can all do with a feel-good boost during relationship struggles.

So, if you feel a disconnect with yourself due to your failing relationship, I’d recommend checking out Rudá’s free breathwork video. You might not be able to save your relationship, but you will stand a shot of saving yourself and your inner peace.

Here’s a link to the free video again.

Last words

It’s not easy to have someone intrude on your thoughts all the time.

They rob us away from the present. Instead of enjoying life as it unfolds in front of you, you’d ruminate, get nostalgic, or get delusional.

However, if you really think they’re your twin flame or soulmate because you’ve been experiencing other signs that they’re trying to connect with you, then go ahead and reach out to them!

But if you have no interest in reconnecting with them, then don’t be bothered by these thoughts. Instead, do some self-reflection. You may be going through something and they hold the key to how you can be your best self.

Most of the time, when we can’t stop thinking about someone, it’s nothing to do with the other person, but it’s about you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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