Today, we’re going to hear from a woman named MJ who’s having a really difficult time. She’s having a really difficult time because she just cannot stop thinking about her ex, about the breakup, everything that’s relating to it.

It just seems her mind is struggling with thinking about anything else. She can’t concentrate.

So I wanted to record this episode to not only explain to her what to do, but explain to you what to do, because this is one of the most common effects of a breakup, where you’re constantly obsessing about your ex and you can’t think about anything else or get anything else productive done in your life.

I wanted to talk a little bit about why we do that, why we obsess about our exes, some of these symptoms of obsessing about an ex, and most importantly, the three most important factors to help you calm your emotions after a breakup.

This is kind of a universal topic that we’re going to be covering today.

But first, if you’re kind of struggling about what you should be doing with your ex, I highly recommend that you stop by my website, and take the Ex Recovery Chances quiz.

The biggest question that I get from almost every single person listening to this podcast or reading any of the articles on my website or even watching videos on my YouTube channel is,

“Chris, do I even have a chance of winning my ex back? And if so, what do I do?”

Well, I put together a special quiz on my website, that is designed to answer this exact question. It’s divided up into three parts that asks you questions about you, your breakup and general situations that you find yourself in, and also your ex and what’s going on with him.

And then based on your answers and everything that we’ve learned so far about breakups, we give you kind of an approximate idea of what your chances are so that you know if you should be even wasting time trying to get an ex back.

So with that out of the way, let’s hear MJ’s question.

“Hi, Chris. This is MJ. It’s been two weeks since my boyfriend of one year and I broke up, but we’re going to see each other next week so he can return my laptop to me.

I was the one who initiated contact because I really do need my laptop back and couldn’t wait, so I chatted with him for the first time since the break up to talk about when to meet up, and he was very casual about it.

I mean, I was being casual too, because I wanted to have a positive non-stressful conversation with him, and I know he can’t read emotions in a chat box, but I just felt that he isn’t taking it as hard as I was, that he didn’t even miss me at all in those two weeks.

At one point in the conversation, I even asked him if it’s okay if his best friend be the one to give me the laptop instead. And then he said, “You don’t want to see me?” And I answered, “No, you just might be busy. Ha ha.” And that’s the thing. He sounds busy. I mean, I’m busy too, but why is it that it seems to be easier for him than for me.

I think about him 24/7 and he sounds like he hasn’t thought of me at all. I don’t know. I would really appreciate your help.”

You know, it takes a lot of courage to open yourself up and be vulnerable when you’re asking these questions, and you can definitely tell MJ is struggling with this breakup.

It’s been two weeks since her breakup, and she just cannot stop thinking about him.

But I think what irks her the most is that she feels that she’s constantly obsessing about her ex and what he’s doing, and probably nitpicking every single little action that he’s basically engaging in, and it seems like he’s not doing the same thing to her at all.

She’s struggling with the fact that maybe he’s not thinking about her at all.

Well, I’m here to tell you, MJ, that your ex is thinking about you, and I think what you’re doing is a little bit putting your own internal assumptions about how you’re approaching the breakup onto an ex.

Everyone has a different, unique way of approaching a breakup and I think it’s really common for exes to act like your ex is acting, like everything’s cool, nothing’s bothering them, but you don’t know what is happening during the private moments when you’re not around, and that’s usually the part with the most impact of the whole process.

So I wouldn’t worry so much about what he’s doing. I’d worry more about what you’re doing, and specifically I wanted to tackle this issue of,

“Is it normal to not stop thinking about your ex?”

And to answer the question, really to the point, yes, it is completely normal to go through a wide variety of emotions after a breakup.

I often relate to this or make an analogy of the fact that this is a little like having a pendulum swing from one end of the spectrum to another end of the spectrum.

It’s completely common for you to see exes be really into you one minute and then cold the next. It’s really common for you to be into an ex one minute and then really angry at them the next.

You will notice it’s kind of like you go from one wide range of emotions to another wide range of emotions at the drop of a hat.

It’s like the pendulum is swinging back and forth and back and forth.

But many of our clients, or many of the clients that I’ve worked with experience kind of similar symptoms, and these are kind of the symptoms that are common and present throughout a breakup.

So what are some of those symptoms?

  • No Motivation
  • Mood Swings
  • Fatigue
  • Lack Libido
  • Immune system weakens
  • Inability to Concentrate

Well, you may find yourself have a lack of motivation. Nothing really motivates you. Work doesn’t motivate you, because you can’t stop thinking about your ex.

And I’ve been through breakups where you go through the breakup and you’re just so frustrated or so kind of messed up emotionally that you can’t think about anything else other than what your ex is doing and when they’re going to contact you.

Every time you try to motivate yourself or engage in some sort of sport, for example, you don’t even care about it. You just lack the motivation to continue.

Another really common side effect of thinking about an ex too much or experiencing a breakup is having overwhelming fatigue and obviously the mood swings.

So anyone who says that a breakup is only internal and doesn’t take on any physical characteristics, I would submit that they’ve never been through a real difficult breakup.

It’s really common to get fatigued and even to lose your appetite, but probably the biggest thing that I’ve noticed happen is people who get sick after a breakup.

So what happens when you go through a breakup and it’s affecting you really, really internally and you’re taking everything in, you’re really stressed about the whole thing, you’ll notice that your immune system weakens, and it leaves you susceptible to colds and things like that, which obviously brings you further down into the depths of despair.

You lack your libido sometimes. You have an inability to concentrate.

I feel like a broken record here, but I think I’m kind of getting the point home to you guys.

If you’re feeling any of these things, it is completely normal. It’s completely normal to not think about anything else other than what your ex is doing. But luckily, over the years, we’ve found that there are three really important factors that you can engage in or do to help calm your emotions after a breakup.

So anyone listening to this, if you’re going through a breakup, there are three things that I would recommend that you do that can help calm your emotions.

I cannot guarantee that you will stop thinking about your ex. I actually think it’s impossible to have anyone say like,

“Yes, you will stop thinking about your ex if you do this, this, and this. If you meet someone else, you’ll stop thinking about your ex.”

I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think anything that you can do will make you stop thinking about your ex, but I think what you need to understand is some of the science behind what’s going on.

When you go through a breakup, all sorts of emotions and chemicals get released into your body, and it’s kind of like your body has a natural regulation of how it regulates all of these chemicals, but when you go through a breakup, the regulations get thrown out the window and the chemicals take control of the party, so to speak.

So it’s simply a factor, if you want to get back to more of a playing regulated level, you need to do some things to help with that.

And there are three factors that I want you to consider

Factor number one is diet

When you eat like crap, you’re going to feel like crap. You see, your body cannot properly balance the chemicals that I’m talking about that are going crazy if you feed it crap food or if you don’t feed it at all.

Remember I said loss of appetite is a really common breakup behavior that we see, or breakup symptom. So make sure that you’re feeding it properly so that you can balance how you are feeling, and I think there’s another way that this can go.

Sometimes people, when they go through breakups, they have no problem eating, but they’re just eating the wrong types of food, which in turn make them feel worse. So make sure that you’re taking care of your body with the right type of diet.

Now, when I say diet, I’m not saying that you need to lose weight.

This has nothing to do with that.

What I’m saying is that you need to be eating healthy kinds of foods, or the very least eating normal foods, that you can help stack the odds in your favor to help your body regulate all of the crazy chemicals going on inside of your body.

Factor number two is exercise

Now, Newton’s first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion.

Out of the two outcomes here, the worst thing you can do is stay at rest, and this is the biggest issue I see with most of the people when they start working with me. When you go through a breakup, there’s a tendency to kind of fight or flight, if you look at it in those kind of terms.

Some people want to avoid the breakups so they do everything they can not to think about it, or do anything productive. Some people want to fight, so they lash out at the thing that’s causing them the most anger, which of course is their ex.

They’re the catalyst for why they’re feeling this crazy way.

What you need to understand is inaction is your enemy when it comes to breakups. You always want to be in motion.

Motion is better than no motion, and exercise is a great way to start that motion. Now, when I also say and cite Newton’s first law and the fact that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion, and the fact that I believe as long as you are acting and doing something positive, you’re going to end up in a better place.

What you need to understand here is that if you sit around and rest and just wait for your ex to come to you, you feel like you’re not doing anything productive, which can allow you to have some time to sit and think, and oftentimes you really get down on yourself.

That’s why I say inaction is your enemy

If you’re not doing anything, if you’re just waiting around, you’re going to end up talking yourself out of things, and the chemicals, that internal conversation in your head, will release the negative chemicals that will just continue this negative spiral that you’re on. So I want you to not just look at it as,

“Oh, I need to exercise.” Look at it as, “I’m always going to be doing something productive at every single moment.”

That’s factor number two. It goes beyond exercise.

Basically, I want you to do something productive at all times so that you feel like you’re kind of moving towards a goal as opposed to just waiting and hoping the goal comes to you.

Factor number three is environment

Now, we find that your mind tends to reflect your surroundings. If you allow clutter and junk to pile up around you, you’ll likely have trouble organizing your thoughts.

The same goes for your outward appearance.

If you clean up your appearance and your environment, then you could effectively trick your brain into being more optimistic and processing things more clearly.

Environment can have an impact on your life

It’s amazing what environment can have and the impact it can have on all facets of your life. Now, we’re talking about things like, okay, when you were really depressed, you just kind of don’t care about cleaning things up, and you know that godliness is next to cleanliness type idea comes into play here, but I think it’s a little bit more than that.

If you think about the correlation that environment has to love, I would argue that environment can have a gigantic impact on how you can fall in love with someone.

Think of it like this.

You’re not going to fall in love with someone at the drive through of McDonald’s. You’re more likely to fall in love with someone at the most romantic date you can possibly think of. That has to play a factor, so don’t really throw environment out like it’s not this big thing that you can focus on.

I would actually argue it’s one of the most important things that you can focus on. If you make sure that your surroundings are really, really stacked, and the fact that you have a good handle on everything, you’re probably going to feel a little bit better about yourself.

See, I think that’s one of the greatest features of life.

If you really think about it, entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, is always inaction. The universe tends towards a state of disorder. In fact, many of the best scientists believe that life was created out of the fact that the universe is in disorder.

The fact that the universe has created, and the world was created out of the fact that everything is tending towards entropy, and that only in this span of time can life exist.

My point here is, without getting too philosophical or sciencey, is the fact that entropy is a real thing.

Your surroundings, your life will always tend towards disorder. The greatest fact or the greatest ability of human beings is to create order from the chaos. You’ve gone through a breakup. You have entered into a phase of your life where chaos is reigning.

There are two ways that you can handle it

You can give in to the chaos and allow it to reflect your surroundings;

  • your mind,
  • your environment,
  • your appearance,

or you can attempt to create order from the chaos by;

  • taking control of your appearance,
  • making sure that you look better than ever before,
  • by taking control of your environment,
  • making sure that you’re not letting clutter pile up,
  • by finding ways to organize your thoughts in a better way

That’s what this is all about. Creating order from chaos.

12 thoughts on “Listen To This If You Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Ex”

  1. Avatar

    Jessica

    October 14, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Ok soo my boyfriend and I were on and off for about 6 years. The first break up wasn’t until 3+ years and then on and off after that. During one of those times he did have a girlfriend and then after we tried again and it didn’t work again. We both decided this last time that it just was not working. I can’t seem to let him go. I keep thinking he is the one for me even though I know he had major issues. I think he is currently dating someone. But in my head I seem to think he would come back. I haven’t spoken to him in about a month. I fight everyday not to talk to him. He was my best friend and we had major communication issues. He is all about new and puppy stages of love. I always said he is good at falling in love not staying in love. I did ask him the last time we spoke if he can see a future without me and he said yes. That hurt me a lot so I just backed all the way off. I’m done chasing him. It did nothing for me but cause more heartache. I do want to be back with him but I’m not sure how to even go about it. I know we need major space and I just want to work on myself. But what are the chances of a couple breaking up 3 times and trying and it never ending good? I felt like we had something special but I don’t even know anymore. Thank you.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Jessica, your problem isnt about getting him back its about the issues in your relationship that cause you to break up. Take some time during your NC and figure out what goes so wrong and you cant seem to stick together.

  2. Avatar

    Amy

    October 7, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Hi,

    My ex and I dated 8 months and he ended it almost three weeks ago. We never fought and the last couple of months we definitely got more comfortable with each other where I was spending half of my week at his house and spending time with his child and family. Out of nowhere he ended it with me, something was off for a couple of days before he did it but I had no idea it was coming – we had been making vacation plans a couple of weeks prior: Before dating me he had been in a long term relationship with his now ex wife, they have a child together. He said that he was with her for so long and never got a chance to be single, and that this has nothing to do with me or something that I did. He had said he didn’t plan on breaking up with me, he had only thought about it the last few days. When I asked him if this is what he really wants he said it’s not a matter of him wanting this, which I think might mean he feels like he needs this. I initiated no contact a day later and have not had any contact in 17 days. Our relationship was good and fun, at least from my perspective, and I am devastated. We have mutual friends so I will have to see him again eventually, and I really do hope that once he has his time for himself he will want to get back together. Is there anything you suggest I do in the meantime? And does this sound like a situation that has potential for future reconciliation?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 9, 2019 at 10:52 pm

      Hey Amy, yes you have potential and following the program gives you, your best chance. NC – Ungettsable girl – texting phase is best plan and you have mutual friends to help influence your exes thoughts of who you are as youre making the positive changes

  3. Avatar

    Sydney

    September 28, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Hi!

    I’ve been reading every article on this website hoping to get some clarity. My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me a little over 3 weeks ago.

    I went out to dinner one night 3 weeks ago and when I came back, my boyfriend had gone through my computer and read all of my texts with my friends over the course of our relationship. In many of the conversations, I was venting to my friends and was basically trash talking to him. Usually it was in the context of one of our fights but sometimes it was just trash talking. There was no smoking gun, but after seeing it all, it was too much for him and he ended it with me. He was angrier than I’d ever seen him.

    I went to talk to him the next day, and he didn’t sound like he had any intention of speaking with me again, but told me to at least give him a month, and even then, he’d get in contact with me if he wanted to. He initially had my phone number blocked, but when I went to see him I got him to unblock it. He blocked me on all other social media but still follows my friends and family.

    I texted him in the third week of no contact because our anniversary was coming up and calmly said I was wondering if we could have a conversation, no matter the outcome, because I think we both deserve it. He didn’t answer.

    In the first week of no contact, he liked one of the photos my mother posted of our family on Facebook.

    In the second week of no contact, his mother asked me to get coffee with her and when I went, she told me how much his family didn’t want us to be over and offered to help in any way.

    It was the first time we’d broken up, but we did fight very often. Each one of those times I’d beg for him to forgive me either that day or within a few days and he’d get over it. But our relationship was always on the rocks, something I’d like to change if we got back together.

    I don’t know how to get him to talk to me now or how to move forward.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 29, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Sydney, so what you need to do is complete a full NC with out reaching out to him, or his family and close friends at the moment. During that time you need to work on yourself. You need to take a step back and look at your relationship unemotionally and think, why were you always “on the rocks” what was it that caused the fall outs so often?

      Most relationships have arguments in the sense we don’t agree with your partner every time. But how we deal with the situation is what makes or breaks the relationship. Doing some work to be the best version of yourself will go in your favor during NC too. Getting him to talk to you, you need to read the articles about texting your ex, using curiosity hooks and his interests.

  4. Avatar

    Rosa Linda

    September 25, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    What a great read! I was with my ex for almost 6 years and ended things in 2015. I remember all the back and forth issues and not to being able to shake him off. Thankfully with the few suggestions you mentioned improved my overall outcome. Although my ex did not come back, I can say it was THE BEST THING that happened to me. It is extremely hard to see when you are in the situation but once you step back a bit. Things become clearer! He is super close with my brothers and recently my brother told me my ex visited him and they spoke briefly. I am so grateful for the articles you guys post!! Cheers!!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 26, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for your comment Rosa 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Minnie

    September 22, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve been on this site so often it’s ridiculous. To sum it up, my ex and I are both 24 and have been together for 3.5 yrs. We have broken up 3 times (1. At 8mo, 2. At 1.5 yrs, now at 3.5 yrs. He initiated all 3. Not sure if this is considered on-off again at this point) First time, I did a month NC and while he did get a new job from having no job, I think we moved too fast getting back together/I made it too easy for him. Second time, it only lasted a day, which he says wasn’t enough time for us to heal and grow, I agree. Now this is the 3rd time as of 9/16. Each time, the reasoning seems to be that he is insecure, stating that he feels he’s holding me back and I deserve better. I have always made more money than him and have been more financially stable and I think he feels guilty that he can’t give to me the same way I am able to give to him (ex I surprised him with a bday trip to LA for a week this yr which is across the country bc he’d been talking about wanting to go back there for yrs). He also says I want things he can’t give me right now like moving, marriage, and kids (even though I felt I’ve made it clear that I’m not expecting any of those things any time soon bc we are BOTH not ready. And it was MY idea for him to live with his friends before living with me to gain more independence). He works two deadend jobs now and still doesn’t have much left at the end of the week, so when we do get to go out, it’s always very simple, like to the movies. And half the time I offer to pay for myself (sometimes him too) just to take the load off of him. Anyway, this time he also added that he’s scared that yrs from now, he’ll regret not dating around bc he’s overheard older people saying this before (we’ve been together since we were 20) but then said he knows he wants to marry me one day and doesn’t truly have a desire to be with anyone else right now and just needs to focus on getting his life together/become a more stable man. He even started crying and apologizing saying he’s tired of hurting me (with the break ups), he doesn’t know why/what he’s feeling and he doesn’t even know if breaking up again is the right thing to do for “our relationship”. He wants to stay friends and still hang out at least once a month but I told him I dnt know if I can do that. I told him to leave me alone for a month and then we’ll see how I’m feeling. He begged me to contact him if I need anything or just someone to talk to, saying no matter who he’s with/what he’s doing when I called, he’d drop everything to answer me. I brought him back everything he’d ever given me, which he didn’t want to take back, and vowed that he’d keep everything so he could give it back to me when “everything got better”. He kept citing that his mom and step dad were together before he was born, they broke up, his mom married his dad, divorced, and then eventually got back with and married his step dad. He’s hoping he makes big changes in this month apart to finally get a stable full time job and finalize moving plans he has with his cousin and friend. I’m reluctant to believe all these changes will be made in a month, especially bc I don’t feel I was holding him back from doing any of this, I think he just lacked the motivation, but maybe the thought of losing me for good will do that. Told me he’s never felt like this about anyone ever, he’s sure that he loves me, I’m his best friend, I make everything better when I’m around, I’ve helped him grow into a better person etc.

    Since I’m no stranger to this site, I immediately started NC. I reenrolled in counseling to deal with my anxiety stemming from being cheated on in the past (different ex) and now these multiple breakups. I started going back to the gym and have made plans to meet up with some old friends. I’ve made a list of things that I enjoy and plan on doing them to occupy the days I have off from work. I plan on connecting more with some coworkers (one guy who just got out of a 6 yr relationship a few months ago and confided in me thru his rough time. I’m sure he’ll be kind enough to return the support) and maybe turning them into new friends. I’ll be posting things on Instagram when I go on these mini adventures. I never really posted much before so I’m hoping he doesn’t think I’m posting them for him. I’ve also thought about doing some online dating just to see different personalities but haven’t decided.

    I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get back together with him again since this has happened 3 times now but I’ve always had this reassuring feeling over the years that we are supposed to be together. No matter what has happened. And now that my emotions are stabling out for the most part, I’m starting to lean towards trying one last time, although for some reason, I’m not as confident that he’ll come back this time as I was previously (I keep thinking he’ll find someone else).

    My question is: how long should I do NC? Originally I thought 30 but since I told him to give me a month and he plans on reaching out then, maybe I should go a little longer? Especially since this is the 3rd breakup. But this article says not to do a full NC if the relationship was long and positive with minimal fights, which it was. Also, would this be considered an on-off again relationship now? The breakups aren’t as frequent as that typical type of relationship and they aren’t caused by frequent fighting etc but I still feel breaking up and getting back together 3+ times is more than normal, even though it’s been over yrs. Thanks in advance

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 23, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Hey Minnie, so firstly its great you know what you need to do to better yourself and give yourself the best chance. So majority of the work is one for you already. Understanding and implementing the NC is sorted with you it seems. You also seem to be aware of the faults in the relationship – to which is out of your control regards to his financial situation. He seems insecure that you are more secure than he is in that sense which can effect a guys ego (sadly even in 2019). Your relationship is on and off again but you’re right over longer periods but the same issue is coming back to cause the break up. So until he sorts his own lifestyle out I dont see you getting a long term commitment from him if he keeps feeling inferior to you financially. Which is unfair as its not your fault or your wrong doing. It is based on his ego. Good luck if you decide you want him back try to avoid financial talk or career opportunities for him, its a sore spot. If he is not going to get himself out of his “deadend” jobs its not your place to sort it for him.

  6. Avatar

    Alice

    September 22, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Hi there,

    My ex and I have been dating for 2+ years until about a month ago. I didn’t learn about the no contact rule until recently, so I have been messaging him and gotten no reply. Then I realized I was blocked. I’m going to start No Contact now, but I was wondering if it would do anything since he blocked me. He doesn’t use social media (I know, very rare), so I think this counts as a hard block. Is there still a chance for me? And will no contact work in my case?

    Thank you so much!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 23, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Alice, so yes No Contact will still work because of the things you need to do during your NC by becoming Ungettable. Even though he doesnt use social media you will have friends who do and who know him too. So make sure youre becoming the best version of yourself and showing the world all the great things you’re doing. His interest will show eventually.

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