By Chris Seiter

Published on January 17th, 2022

After analyzing breakups for the past ten years we think we’ve come up with the best way to help you stop thinking about your ex so much. Each of the things you’re about to see me recommend has been taken directly from real life success stories who have been able to stop obsessing so much about their exes.

Specifically, we’ve come up with a simple five component method that, if implemented correctly, can make all the difference in the world when it comes to training yourself to stop obsessing about your ex.

  1. Understand The Link Between Anxious Attachment And Obsession
  2. Use The Anxious Problem Solving To Solve A New Problem (Outside Of Your Ex)
  3. Use A No Contact Rule Calendar
  4. Adopt A Stoic Mindset
  5. Achieve A Balance With The Holy Trinity

Now it’s time to share what we’ve discovered.

Component #1: Understand The Link Between Anxious Attachment And Obsession

Attachment styles have become a pretty big priority for my team and I over the past few years. Not because they hold a magical key to making someone do something they don’t want to do but because they allow us to understand what’s going on within your exes head.

Coach Tyler and I recently did a video where we talked a lot about attachment styles and their core wounds.

I’d like to focus specifically on the anxious attachment style because I think that they are the most likely to “think” about their ex after a breakup in an obsessive way.

First things first though, what are attachment styles?

According to Scientific American,

Attachment is the bond we form with our first primary caregiver, usually a parent. It’s a universal human phenomenon that starts as early as in the womb, and the way we develop it eventually affects the way we find, keep, and end relationships.

Generally speaking there are four core attachment styles.

  1. Secure: The most confident individual in a relationship. Isn’t afraid to provide love or give space when needed.
  2. Anxious: Our first type of insecure attachment. They value relationships highly to the point that they lose themselves in it. Like feeling really close to their partners to the point that they want to spend every day with them. Their biggest fear revolves around being alone.
  3. Avoidant: Another insecure attachment style. They value their independence so highly that when they feel a relationship is intruding on it they’ll leave that relationship.
  4. Fearful: A combination of both anxious and avoidant behaviors.

Since we are focusing on anxious attachment styles let’s draw attention to their core wound. I actually have to give credit to coach Tyler for pointing this out to me.

The Core Wound Of An Anxious Attachment Style = A fear of being alone or abandoned in a relationship

Now, what’s interesting is that this core wound is usually responsible for a self fulfilling behavior that comes about where they end up alone because their fear of being abandoned is what triggers their anxious behaviors.

Behaviors like,

  • Helicoptering
  • Obsessively stalkng
  • Constantly seeking reassurance
  • Being prone to jealousy when there is no cause
  • Not giving their partner enough space
  • You get the idea

So, my argument is this, I believe that if you are going through a breakup and you are having a lot of trouble “moving on” or stopping thoughts about your ex from entering your head you probably are allowing your anxious tendencies take control.

Of course, anyone with an anxious attachment style will tell you that it’s not as simple as having me tell you to “stop thinking about your ex.”

The irony is that this is how society often treats people with these anxious thoughts about their exes. Instead of trying to understand what they’re going through and realize that anxious individuals need something a little more actionable than “get over it.”

Which is why component two is so important for you if you want to stop thinking about your ex so much.

Component #2: Use Anxious Problem Solving To Solve A New Problem (Outside Of Your Ex)

Remember that interview I did with Coach Tyler that I referenced above?

*This one in case you’re too tired to scroll back up.

Well Coach Tyler said something incredibly insightful about anxious attachment patterns in it. After acknowledging that anxious behaviors are a definitely difficult to shed he mentioned that perhaps the biggest asset to their personalities is that they are incredible problem solvers.

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This gave me an idea.

I know from the experience of coaching people with anxious attachment behaviors that simply telling them to “stop thinking about an ex” isn’t going to work. This is mostly due to their amazing problem solving nature.

After all, most of our clients are people who can’t take the anxiety of the breakup anymore and so they went searching for answers.

Why not use their amazing problem solving abilities to redirect their thoughts towards something that will fill their life with purpose?

Here’s the rub, this has to be something completely outside of your ex. I want you to think big picture. Often I’ll call this the “magnum opus” concept and I’ll put this annoying video in tandem with it,

Ah, there it is.

My argument is simple. I recognize that you can’t turn your brain off and stop thinking about your ex. However, you can redirect it by focusing on something that’s just as important to you as your ex.

The real challenge is finding that thing.

And no this isn’t about “finding a distraction.” This is about finding a worthy purpose to your life. That’s where I’d start.

Let’s move on and talk about component three.

Component #3: Use A No Contact Rule Calendar

Without a doubt the most popular “breakup strategy” that we endorse is the no contact rule. I’ve written hundreds of articles about it and have even done quite a few videos on it too,

Of course, I like to think I’m alone in the fact that the way I recommend to do a no contact rule is different.

Here’s our official definition,

The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you

Notice how the emphasis is revolving around “outgrowing” your ex. Very similar to component two above. Yet there is one good thing about the no contact rule. While it does endorse time away from your ex it also gives you a timeline of when it’s ok to talk to your ex again.

It may seem obvious but sometimes someone who is thinking about their ex nonstop needs to see a light at the end of the tunnel. This was something that I understood when I first started Ex Boyfriend Recovery but as the years have gone on I actually forgot it.

It wasn’t until I conducted a success story interview and had a client talk about the importance of having a no contact rule calendar that I remembered.

What’s a no contact rule calendar?

Well, a few years ago someone from our private facebook support group posted a pretty epic version of one,


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During a no contact rule you’re supposed to be working on all the stuff that I mentioned above in the first two components above but the true beauty of the no contact rule calendar is that you allow yourself to visualize your progress while understanding there is an end in sight.

Eventually by the end of that no contact you’re going to reach a crossroads.

You’ll have to decide if you want your ex back or simply want to move on. Now, if you’ve done your job during no contact “getting over an ex” or “not thinking about them so much” will come naturally.

Component #4: Adopt A Stoic Mindset

Watch this,

This video doesn’t get a lot of attention but the insights it brings are beyond amazing.

The man talking is Michael Sugrue, a professor of history. He’s essentially summarizing Marcus Aurelius’ stoic philosophy.

He argues that it’s simply “the human condition” to have all kinds of worries, problems and anxieties. Most people when faced with these worries or problems torture themselves. They allow it to take over their minds.

The stoic believes that there’s no point in torturing yourself over things that are out of your control. Instead, it’s always smarter to do your best working on the things you do have control over.

  • Yourself
  • Your behaviors
  • Your intentions
  • Your actions

If you do this you give yourself the best chance of living a happy life. However, if you do not do this you will gradually be controlled by all the things that enter your mind that are out of your control.

I think the reason I’m so in love with this mentality is that it’s without a doubt the simplest philosophy I’ve ever encountered and despite that I find that very few people have mastered it.

Especially when it comes to breakups. The stoic would say that it’s a waste of time to worry or even think about an ex. You have no control over their behaviors and thoughts. Why waste your energy on them?

Instead it’s better to focus on yourself.

On your behaviors.

But what kind of behaviors should you be engaging in?

Component #5: Achieve A Balance With The Holy Trinity

Above I mentioned that I’ve been obsessed with stoicism. Of course understanding what the stoics believe and implementing it are two entirely different things.

So, if you should only be focusing all of your efforts into things that are within your control what kinds of things should you focus on?

Well, how about the holy trinity?

The trinity is a concept that I came up with in 2013 and it’s perhaps been my most influential.

Here’s how it works.

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Divide your life into three distinct categories; health, wealth and relationships. Once you’ve done that you need to try to spend your time improving each “category” and ultimately try to achieve a balance.

Before we move on let’s talk a bit about what kinds of things are found within these three categories.

Take a look at this graphic,

I’ve broken down what kinds of activities, things or people can be classified as health, wealth or relationships.

The ancient samurais used to believe that their entire lives were one big pursuit of perfection. They recognized that perfection is ultimately impossible to achieve. However, if you live your life in a way so that you’re constantly trying to achieve perfection you can come close and maybe even have moments where you touch the impossible goal.

This is exactly how I want you to look at the holy trinity.

Finding a perfect balance is probably going to be impossible. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live your life in a way so that you’re constantly trying achieve it.

One thing that I find incredibly helpful is setting a major goal for each of the three categories.

For example,

  • Health = Completing a marathon
  • Wealth = Getting a raise at work
  • Relationships = Spending at least “x” amount of hours with family

Make sure that the goals are achievable otherwise you’ll give up because things will seem impossible. A typical thing I do in my life is setting a challenging but achievable goal and then once I hit that goal I set another goal and I keep doing this slowly upping the intensity.

Perhaps the most measurable way of looking at this is within the healthy category.

So, imagine the first goal you set for yourself is to simply complete some type of milage marker:

  • I want to run 2 miles in a day
  • Once you do that you up it to 5 miles
  • Then 7 miles
  • Then 10
  • Then 13
  • And so on and so forth

After a few years go by you’ll be amazed at what you were able to achieve.

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3 thoughts on “How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex”

  1. Sheri

    August 6, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you sooooo much!! I’ve been searching & searching for something g as close to a scientific way to get “jerko” out of my mind PERMANENTLY. There is no getting him back. In fact we had a work relationship 22 yrs ago (yea we were basically kids) & we were both in relationships. While we were at work however, we were inseparable & basically “together” & yes we hooked up one night after work & we can’t remember what happened other than he got fired. Long story short (him being 1 of 3 ppl in my entire life I have actually loved), I reached out to him once every 5 yrs or so. One day after reading an old journal, I couldn’t get him out of my head. I messaged him on FB & eventually we were a month into constant communication. He called me at work (10hr shifts) & as I was off on a short medical leave, we were able to talk for 11 hours straight at least 5 times. We talked from the time he got in his car to go to work until he had to go home to his wife & 2 kids. Yea, that’s where it was bad. BUT!! Since he had his own bedroom & they were basically roommates “for the kids”, we kept it up almost 2 months. Long story short, as his feelings for me developed to be stronger he decided to end it because he didn’t want to lose his 3 & 6 yr old daughters. He said that he was already changing & getting questioned & he knew that “when” he got caught, she would take the kids & divorce him & w/him being an adulterer, in the state of KY, he would get minimal custody. We cut it off like a bandaid 3 days after the last time we were intimate. I didn’t put up ANY argument or try to make it work. He would drop hints about how I’d meet his girls one day & he would get me to eat pork because he is such a good cook. (Those were always humorous conversations but cute because they involved our FUTURE-key word being “our”). So after no contact starting immediately when it ended in May, I don’t understand how he still pops in my head so much. I’ve even had 3 sexual partners & lots of fun w/each one but that STILL hasn’t erased him from my heart & mind. It’s pathetic & insanely annoying. I appreciate the work that was put in here & I am definitely going to work on my holy trinity!!! The question remains…why is this guy so special?

  2. Bless

    May 31, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    It hard for me to stop loving my ex and thinking of him what should I do

  3. Carla Dreher

    January 18, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    You are a smart man.
    Thank you for sharing!