11 Signs Your Ex Is Still Affecting You

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Breakups can be tough, and often times the negative feelings that you and your ex might experience can last a while, as wounds can take time to heal. Yet, some wounds are deeper than others, so knowing when your ex messed you up and how best to expedite the road to recovery can get you back to feeling more like yourself in a shorter period of time.

As a certified health coach, I understand the importance of having intimate, supportive and nurturing relationships, as these bonds can make us feel more connected to our surroundings and supply a source of happiness and interaction that can boost our wellbeing overall. However, some relationships, such as romantic ones, can be stressful, and when you notice that a relationship isn't working out and call it quits, the pain and tension doesn't necessarily stop right away. Often such feelings can linger post breakup, and they can really mess up our abilities to work and be productive, to move on and focus on other relationships, and be open to finding love with a new partner. Here are eleven ways to know that you are either still hung up on your ex or were somehow damaged in the process, and that you're in need of some self-love, happiness-boosters and confidence to get back to your normal self.

1. You Need Outside Help

If you notice that simply hoping to heal on your own or talking to friends or family about what happened in the previous relationship and how it has affected you is not helping you get closure and the ability to move on, then you should consider seeking help from a professional so that you can learn what went wrong and do better in your next relationship, suggests NYC based psychiatrist Dr. Judith H. Tanenbaum, over email with me. "Figure out why with therapy you were with that person to avoid the same mistakes," she says.

2. You're Stalking Them

According to Antonio Borrello, PhD on Huffington Post, if you are "hunting and haunting," you are frequenting the typical areas, such as restaurants, coffee shops, work offices and residential neighborhoods, where you might bump into your ex, in hopes of seeing his or her face. However, this can make things awkward and can trigger pain once you see the other person.

3. You're Angry & Guilty

According to Borrello, if you are still harboring feelings of anger or guilt towards your ex and how the relationship went down, then it means that you have not gotten the closure you need to move on and focus on other relationships and life tasks that can bring you joy and empowerment. If you notice negative feelings, consider talking with your ex to clear the air and feel neutral towards each other.

4. You Compare Other Dates To Your Ex

If you are comparing other people to your ex, then you are not allowing yourself to find an opportunity for love elsewhere, as you are still hung up and unable to move on. Remember that your ex and other potential partners are different, and potential partners should have an equal chance to be themselves and be given the benefit of the doubt without pre-determined judgments.

5. You Miss Your Ex 24/7

Even if the relationship ended poorly, there's usually some time within the healing process where you find yourself missing him or her, regardless of how happy or sad you are with the outcome of the relationship, according to Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD, on Psychology Today. That loneliness or void could just be from not being with a familiar person, and it means you should focus on looking into other hobbies and relationships that bring you happiness to fill the empty space.

6. You Keep Checking Your Ex's Social Media

According to Elly Prior, Counsellor, Relationship Therapist, Founder and Author of, on her website, keeping tabs on your ex's social media accounts could be preventing you from moving on from your previous relationship and forgetting about your ex. Instead, block or alter settings on social media accounts to keep your ex far from your mind.

7. You Blame Your Ex Or Yourself

According to Prior, blaming yourself or your ex can really mess you up, making it hard to focus on things that are uplifting, such as work success, other social and familial relationships, and exciting hobbies that make you feel relaxed, confident and more satisfied with your life. Get rid of the blame so that there are no bad feelings left, but rather a neutral perspective and acknowledgment of what went wrong and how you can be better going forward.

8. You're Ruminating Without Feeling Better

According to Karen Young, a psychologist and creator of website Hey Sigmund, if you find yourself talking about the breakup, which can actually be a healthy way to feel better and gain closure, but not being able to do so in a constructive manner, it could mean that you're stuck; however, journaling can help you jot down your thoughts in a productive way to start feeling better and happier with the outcome.

9. You Feel Depressed

Feeling depressed and more negative regarding other areas of your life, such as work performance, health habits and social obligations, as well as your own idea of self worth and love, can definitely occur after a tricky breakup, as those feelings and insecurities can evade into many situations, advises Melanie Haiken, M.A. on Health Day. Do things that make you feel good about yourself and focus on being your best self for future relationships.

10. You Isolate Yourself

Separating yourself from other intimate relationships, such as family members, close friends and co-workers, can only make you feel more lonely after a break up, and it's important to keep yourself busy with other uplifting activities and supportive relationships in order to work through the pain and go back to feeling like your normal, happy and confident self. Look to others to make you feel whole again.

11. You Are Set On Staying Friends

Sometimes waiting to become friends again can be best, as breakups can bring mixed emotions and we might not be ready to immediately become platonic or get rid of harsh feelings. Staying close with an ex right away can hold you back from meeting someone new or it can bring up bad or confusing feelings about the relationship. Thus, taking some time away from your ex could be beneficial at first so that you can move on, and if you feel that friendship is possible later in the future, it's worth giving it a shot then.

No matter who broke up with whom, or if the breakup were mutual, a breakup can be difficult on both sides, and there's a time for healing that is necessary to help you transition to being apart. If you notice any of these signs, it could signify that your breakup was a lot harder than you might have thought and you need to give yourself some love and respect to get back to normal.

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