By Chris Seiter

Updated on June 9th, 2021

Several years ago, I went through a breakup. Honestly, it was the worst one I have ever been through. Although, I remember clearly thinking that it was almost a relief to be done with that relationship.

We weren’t compatible. We wanted different things out of life. It was for the best, really.

So, imagine my shock a few weeks later to find myself deeply missing my ex.

Wait… What?

Why was this happening?

I surely didn’t miss him at first. And I had already decided that us splitting up was for the best.

Perhaps you are dealing with a similar predicament.

  • You are missing your ex
  • You are wondering WHY you are missing your ex
  • You are trying to figure out what to do about missing your ex

Well, guess what we are going to talk about today?

If you guessed “why you are missing your ex and what to do about it,” then you would be correct.

Why We Miss An Ex

It is completely normal to miss your ex after a breakup. In fact, I can say with the utmost certainty that everyone misses their ex at least a little after a breakup, even if they know it was necessary. Although, not everyone is probably willing to admit this.

If you found your way to this article, you’re probably looking for more than “It is totally normal” and that is good because I am about to hook you up.

Today, we are going to cover why we miss our exes and go over specific circumstances and tell you what to do in each case.

By the time you are done reading, I hope you feel a little better about suddenly missing your ex.

Okay, Okay. So, why in the world do you actually miss your ex?

Well, there are two reasons… science… and not science.

The Science

Let’s talk about science first.

When you are around someone for a prolonged period of time, your body produces certain hormones.

These hormones paired with neurotransmitters form what we know as emotions and attachments.

If you want to get really scientific, the specific hormones and neurotransmitters that are most related to romantic connections are oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Then there is always estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

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Here is the thing though, we all produce these hormones naturally. Then, when you are romantic with someone, these chemicals increase. Your body, and specifically your brain, become used to functioning with a high level of these chemicals.

Now that you are broken up, your body is quite literally withdrawals from your ex as it stops producing these high levels of chemicals.

This “crash” is what contributes to those strong feelings of missing someone.

The… Not Science

Now, if my super-scientific explanation above didn’t do it for you, let’s talk about the “non-scientific” reason why you miss someone.

Generally, you miss someone because you got used to having them around.

Duh right?

Yeah, that one is kind of a no-brainer.

Which is good for us, because isn’t it likely that most of the time you are missing your ex you can get a bit hung up thinking about him?

I mean, how much time are you spending thinking about him and what he might be doing, thinking, or feeling?

Let’s say there is a piece of art in your house and over time, you have grown less fond of that art. You once loved it, but you are starting to maybe think that something else might go better in its place.

One day, you remove it.

At first, you leave the space open. Then you try and fill it with other artistic pieces.

No matter what you will remember how well you thought that piece of art fit in that room when you got it. Occasionally you will wonder if removing it was the right thing to do. You may even consider busting it out of storage to see if you really did like it better than you thought.

Missing your ex is like walking past that empty space and thinking about the art that used to be there… then walking past it again… and then again.

Okay, now that you know the WHY of missing your ex… let’s talk about some of the specific circumstances you might be facing and how to deal with them. We’ll skip the basic, “we broke up and I miss him” scenario since we’ve already covered that in may many other articles.

  • Here are the circumstances we are going to cover:
  • If You Broke Up With Him
  • He Cheated, But You Still Miss Him
  • He’s Dating Someone Else But You Still Miss Him
  • He Was Abusive, Emotionally or Physically, But You Still Miss Him

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If I Broke Up With My Ex, Why Do I Still Miss Him?

So, you broke up with your ex and now are missing him like crazy. You might even want him back.

It’s pretty normal and you can use this to your advantage after a successful No Contact. 

During a “successful” No Contact you can take the time to consider your reasons for breaking up with him in the first place.

I mean, did you have really valid, well thought out reason for breaking up with him?

Were these reasons based on “deal breakers?”

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Or was the decision merely reactionary and in the heat of the moment and you are now left regretting your actions and decision?

Taking the time to understand why you made that decision will keep you from wasting time trying to get back together with someone you don’t really want to be with.

He Cheated, But I Still Miss Him

You know you have every reason to be ticked off at your ex, but for some reason you find yourself missing him instead. Maybe you are eve mad AND missing him.

The first thing you should do, as always, is No Contact. In this situation, I would definitely go for the long haul, 45 days No Contact. Make sure that you take it very seriously.

During this time, I would encourage you to think carefully about if you want your ex back.

It is up to you to decide whether or not the circumstances of your ex cheating are something that he is going to repeat and something that you can forgive.

According to Carin Goldstein, an LA-based therapist, there is an easy way to know if your ex will cheat again. Essentially, there are two factors that play into whether a cheater will stay faithful after a reconciliation.

  1. They take responsibility for their actions. (This is usually after plenty of individual AND couples therapy.)
  2. Acknowledging what caused the breakdown of their relationship and the factors that played into their choice to cheat in the first place.

Without both of these things, it is likely that they will not stay faithful in the relationship moving forward.

Other red flags are:

  • If he blames his cheating on anyone other than himself; you, the other woman, or anything really other than himself.
  • If he says you need to “just hurry up and get over it.” This generally means that any remorse they show is not genuine.

That second point is really important too. If you think you can forgive the cheating, then that’s great. But a lot of people think that that means they can still lord the mistake over their ex’s head for the rest of the relationship. That won’t be helpful if you want the relationship to last and be healthy. So, you should take the time during No Contact and make sure that you can handle that.

He’s Dating Someone Else, But I Still Miss Him

So, the two of you broke up and your ex moved on, but you are left missing him like crazy. More often than not, a relationship that starts right after another one ends has been thought about for a while or is a rebound that won’t last long.

If you use No Contact to become Ungettable (read more about becoming Ungettable here if you don’t know the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Term) then your ex will start to compare his new girl to you. As long as you are making the effort to be your best self, he will become painfully aware that he has made a mistake. Making it through a successful No Contact and utilizing the Being There Method along with the other methods laid out in the Ex Recovery Program is imperative if you want to get your ex back.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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He Was Abusive, But I Still Miss Him

Being in love with an abusive man is often likened to Stockholm Syndrom, however, that would mean that they fall for someone despite being treated badly. In reality, most women in love with an abusive man originally fell in love with a charming man who because abusive over time.

But the real question here is why would a woman stay with a man who is abusive? And how could a woman go back to a man who is abusive? Why are you even considering it?

There are several thought processes that women who stay in, or go back to, an abusive relationship might have.

  • What will people think?
  • What did I do to cause this?
  • Who could ever love me? What if I never find love again?
  • I don’t want to be alone, might as well stay with him until someone better comes along.
  • He might actually hurt me if I don’t do what he wants. So, if he decides he wants me back, I guess I have to go back to him.
  • I’m not the kind of person that gets abused. I can handle this.
  • This isn’t really abuse. There are people who have it worse off than me.

Another sign that you might have been in an abusive relationship is the fact that you may have thought about ending the relationship again and again and again, BUT your ex has always found some reason to make you stay.

For example, you have a huge disagreement with your boyfriend. His way of communicating his point by yelling insults and obscenities at you or by getting physical. Yet, every time you consider walking away from the relationship, it’s like he senses it and starts being super sweet or he does something that makes you think that he is sorry and won’t do it again.

And you know what?

He didn’t… until he did.

Then rinse, recycle, and repeat.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Okay. I am going to tell you something you probably already know, but don’t want to hear. And I am only going to say this once.

If you are in this type of relationship, it is only a matter of time until it escalates and you get hurt or you feel so trapped that you will never leave.

I DO NOT under any circumstances suggest that you try to get back together with your ex if you even slightly think that this could be you.

Instead, I suggest that you find a way to come to terms with the idea that the breakup may just be your chance to let go of that situation and to find someone who will treat you with respect. Until you do, it is imperative that you learn to treat yourself with that respect.

This won’t be easy as abusive relationships tend to leave a lasting impression on the way you see yourself and your self-esteem. So, talking to a therapist or doing a program made for women who have escaped an abusive relationship is something that may help you through this time.

I will remind you that abuse isn’t always physical. Emotional abuse is just as likely and just a detrimental to your health. Remember, relationships are meant to be based on love and building each other up. If it doesn’t make your life better and build you up, then it isn’t worth it.

I will suggest you read our articles on becoming Ungettable though. Everyone can benefit from building up their self-worth and that is what that part of our program is all about.

Also, I will leave this resource here, just in case you feel you need to use it. I am not saying that you have to, but I want you to know that it exists.

It takes a great amount of bravery to step outside of an abusive relationship and reclaim your life as your own.

All right. I didn’t mean to get off on a tangent, but I thought it was important that this information be available to those of you that need it. Take it and do with it what you will.

A Quick Recap

There are plenty of other situations in which you might find yourself missing your ex. But, in the long run, what it boils down to is:

Are you better off without the relationship?

How much effort are you willing to dedicate to getting your ex back?

If you determine that getting back with your ex is what is best for you, then you should start with No Contact and Work through the entire Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program.

However, you shouldn’t just choose to get back with your ex just because you miss him for the moment. If it isn’t what’s right for you, then you need to find a way to move forward with your life. I suggest you do that with the Ungettable Girl part of EBR.

Now that you know what makes you miss your ex and several ways to deal with it, let’s talk about your particular situation.

  1. Tell me about the circumstances surrounding your breakup.
  2. Tell me what is triggering you in missing your ex.
  3. Tell me what you have done so far.

Our experts will help you take that information and determine what you need to do moving forward to get you the result that is best for you.

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18 thoughts on “Why Do I Miss My Ex All Of A Sudden?”

  1. Alicia

    July 27, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    My ex and I had a long year and a half of being on and off with 5 months of actually being “official” due to him not being emotionally ready and not knowing what he wanted. we both weren’t ready, but he was the love of my life.
    but here I am now in an almost year long relationship and I’ve started to really miss him, and its always when I’m not with my partner that he comes flooding in my mind and I don’t understand why? To the point of me getting upset due to missing him and wanting to reach out and talk but I can’t and im becoming a mess.

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      August 5, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Alicia, to romanticise your ex it is likely you are unsatisfied in your current relationship and your partner is not able to meet your needs. You need to take a step back from both men and try to think what you want from a partner and a relationship and see if either of those people can give you what you want. If you want to pursue your ex then I would suggest that you end your current relationship first.

  2. Canise Daniel

    November 13, 2020 at 2:04 am

    I’ve been thinking about my ex recently. I’m currently in a relationship. It’s been 4 years. This current guy is great but I realize that I dont feel the way I felt with my ex. My ex was my first love. I broke it off with him and jumped into another relationship. I dont know what to do. I feel like I jumped into this current relationship too fast. I dont know why I’m now feeling like this.

  3. queenbee

    September 1, 2020 at 6:36 am

    My ex and I broke up twenty years ago in 2000. He was the first man I dated. Then this year during the covid lockdown I took sometime to introspect and grow myself with some new skills, and look at my strengths and weaknesses from various eras of my life. I felt like I came out of a twenty year depression. I felt alive, and twenty years younger. And all of a sudden, I am remembering my ex boyfriend from twenty years ago like crazy. Every minute detail, every conversation, every memory good and bad is coming back. I am thinking of him all the time. Whats going on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 6, 2020 at 11:27 am

      Hey, I think you are just reminiscing on happier times for yourself. 20 years is a long time, and as much as you think you miss the person you are just remembering the memories. If you really want to speak with this ex, then I suggest making sure that they are 1 – single, if you are looking for a romantic connection. 2 – approach slowly and gently don’t go in fast paced as you are going to give the wrong impression.

  4. Billie

    August 31, 2020 at 3:15 am

    I’m guilty of sometimes comparing my past to my current partner lately. I’m not not happy with my current relationship but the thoughts of my ex and our past relationship bother me at the moment. Should i figure this out on my own or should i talk about my thoughts with my current partner?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 31, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Hey Billie, I would suggest that you focus on why you are not happy with your current partner. DO NOT bring up your ex or the previous relationship. Just explain what it is that is making you unhappy with them at the moment. Also avoid using blaming words or you could fall into an argument or a break up. Plan what you want to talk to your partner about before bringing it up

  5. Billie

    August 27, 2020 at 12:35 am

    I’m currently in a relationship and lately I’ve been thinking of my ex. And crying over it, actually. Is it possible that I’m just ‘grieving’ now? We broke up three years ago. Or this lockdown just gave me time to think about a lot of things including this and this doesn’t mean anything?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Billie, are you unhappy in your current relationship? The reason people start to think about their exes this late on is that they are comparing and some times romanticising their past relationships.

  6. charity

    May 15, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for like 6months now…..for Reasons known to himself which he said he is not willing to share he asked for space…cause I was always complaining about his consistency as to calling,responding to my messages and even seeing each other
    he just drifted away ,,I tried my best to rekindle what we have but to no avail…nd my consistent check up and wanting to know what is wrong made me a nag that he used as an issue and complained about …that I like nagging …and just way through he sent me a message saying he loves me but he don’t see us moving on
    and that we are two different people …have pleaded and cried all my eyes out cause I love him and not willing to give up on us….buh barely does the same

    and looking at it he basically breaking up with me for no reason .. I’m soo devasted nd depressed ..please I really need help what should I do . ..when I asked what I did wrong all he says is I have done nothing wrong ..what do I do I love him so much

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 20, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Charity, I am sorry you are struggling at the moment. As much as you care for him and want to be with him, you can not force it all we can do is follow the program working on ourselves and showing your ex what he has lost. This starts with a No Contact where you focus on yourself and your Holy Trinity

  7. Maria

    April 14, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    He broke up with me and I thought I was doing ok that it was for the best, that I wasn’t happy either, that I felt uncomfortable, etc. But aferres two month I started missing him terribly and I’m feeling extremely guilty. That it was my fault that he dumped me, because I was feeling insecure (he was a less than a year widower)

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Maria, it is normal to miss someone who you have spent some time with but if you are unhappy I would address those issues before reaching out to him again.

  8. Sheshma

    April 10, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Hello i got sudden feeling of intense romance for my ex who left me 5 years ago. It was a distant relatonship. He used to call me but have stop completely fove years back. I dont know why i feel intense feeling for him all of a sudden despite that i am in an existing relationship. I cant explain this. Can anyone guide me. Thanks

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 12, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Sheshma, there could be a reason for you missing your ex that something reminded you of him, or your time together? It could also be that you are romanticising your past relationship and comparing it to your current? I would suggest that you take some time to see how you feel over a matter of weeks before taking action on these feelings as you may regret losing your current because of a past

  9. L.R

    March 1, 2020 at 9:21 am

    Okay so my ex and i broke up in around about august 2019 and for long i did not feel anything. I did not really miss him i just did like a routine check up on him on hir social media. I broke up with him because my family did not like him, because i would always lie to them when i was with him and i started to feel like i was living a lie, and also we fought a lot, over things like him that could not trust me for example when i was with my family he would think that i was seeing someone else. Its been a few months after our break up and since the beginning of the year there has happened so many bad things , and thats when i started to miss him.

    I am now in such a spin because i an not talk to anyone about these things and i just simply dont know what to do. Should i go back to him or leave it all.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 6, 2020 at 11:13 pm

      Hi LR so it sounds as if you are missing him because you have been having a harder time thats when we miss someone who would have been there for us. I would wait until things have calmed down for you before you decide to reach out. Dont reach out just because you are feeling emotional

  10. LN

    March 28, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    So, about 6 months ago my ex and i broke up. we were together only for like 2 months. we had a great connection, chemistry. I am an active and a very energetic person with many interests, and i like hanging out with people, an extrovert. He is more calm, shy, very handsome, tho lacks confidence, definitely an introvert, but he opened up with me very quickly and declared his love to me after 2 weeks of dating. At the time i was still having little feelings for my ex crush. I felt very comfortable with my ex. with him i could be myself and i was feeling peace. We could talk about everything and laugh. We had same values and goals. No common interests tho, except animation movies. I started do get more and more confused with my feelings and scared. i thought i was obliged to love him and i started to hold back. Also it was the end of summer and i was about to start university and meet new people and have new experiences , and i got overwhelmed by all these. I wanted him to be more social and i was looking for flaws in his personality, i remember thinking he was needy, because he liked to be with me and said i was motivating him to be better. Even tho he is very ambitious and optimistic. I didn’t appreciate what i had. By the time he was my 2nd boyfriend. I didn’t realy date any other guys before him and i thought i would meet someone more open and with same interests as i have. One day everything was good, another i had doubts and couldn’t figure out my feelings. i was forcing myself to feel love. then after some time he said he feels like a burden to me and that it’s best to break up and that maybe i need to see the world and get experience . He was true. after 6 months i analyzed what was wrong and this break made me realize what is important and why i was behaving this way. i know i had a blockade on my heart. some teenage standards and i didn’t even give him a chance to show me other sides of him. I regret this. But if we were to get back together, i would do everything differently now. last few days i started to think about him nonstop. I was blaming this on PMS but no! I think clearly. I don’t want to hurt him or give him huge expectations but i really think it would be better now , i like him now even more and see his positive sides, which i didn’t see before because of my blindness. Break up was too soon. it wasn’t a deal breaker, but the break definitely made me realize what was wrong. Being single is fine, i am not desperate for a relationship but i feel like i miss being around him and talking to him. I will wait maybe a week and see if my thoughts go away. I want to make sure it is not temporary.