EXPERT ADVICE: My Ex has Moved on but I Still Love Her

YOUR FEELINGS DID NOT walk out of your life when your girlfriend did. The feelings linger: you miss her. You are tempted to call her and tell her how much you want her back.

Walking away from a meaningful relationship is never easy

It is completely normal to be still attached to your ex-girlfriend: loving your ex-girlfriend long after a breakup is perfectly ok. After spending so much time being close and intimate, it makes sense to be stuck in love. Detaching yourself is even harder when the breakup was not your decision.

According to relationship experts, just because you broke up with your girl does not mean that the feeling of love stops. Indeed, therapists indicate that many people still love their exes for some time after the breakup. Being hung up on your ex-girlfriend is nothing to be alarmed about.

“Love’s favorite thing to do is to stick around when it isn’t convenient”

To get back with your ex-girlfriend or not, especially after she has already moved on?

The act of getting over the end of a relationship is not easy.

Sometimes, when a relationship ends, you may doubt whether breaking up was the right thing to do.

You will know for sure that the relationship was not healthy, and you will be perfectly aware that she no longer wants to be with you, but somehow, you will still feel that the relationship should not be over. And you will be convinced that if you give the relationship one more chance, the outcome will indeed be different.

Things are even more confusing when your ex-girlfriend decides to move on. The main part of breakup pain is not being able to understand how she can just move on with her life. How can she just disregard what you had?

  • So, apparently, she didn’t love you that much in the first place
  • The relationship didn’t mean that much to her; she is finding the break up easy while you are still in pain.
  • She was probably seeing another guy behind your back

Just because she’s moved on, does it mean she’s over you?

But, according to relationship therapists, it is possible that all the thoughts above aren’t true. Just because your ex-girlfriend has seemingly moved on doesn’t mean that she is over you, or that she doesn’t still love you, or that the relationship didn’t matter to her.

Many times people move on into a new relationship because they think that they will fill the void of a breakup. What if this is the case with your ex-girlfriend? Maybe she has moved on hoping to fill the void of being without you, which she cannot handle alone.

This could be a band-aid to heal the wound in her heart temporarily. ‘Moving on’ for your ex-girlfriend could be a coping mechanism for the loneliness that she feels after the breakup.

“When a relationship ends, there is a tendency to ‘cherry-pick’ and only think about the stuff that was nice in the relationship.”

According to relationship experts, you should pursue your ex-girlfriend if:

The fact that your ex-girlfriend has moved on should, therefore, not discourage you from pursuing her. However, it is essential to determine whether it is a good idea to get back with your ex-girlfriend, depending on the nature of your breakup.

You broke up due to bad timing

According to Kristen Mark, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, many couples break up due to bad timing rather than more fundamental issues. As such, if the couple gets back together, the new relationship has excellent chances of survival. Could this be you and your ex-girlfriend?

You have remained friends even after the breakup

Result by a 2014 study by the National Bureau of Economics revealed that ex-partners who remain friends even after they have separated are twice more likely to establish a stable relationship the second time around.

If your friendship has remained stable even after the breakup and your communication is uncompromised, you have a better chance of building a healthy new relationship with your ex-girlfriend.

You had a great relationship

How would you describe your former relationship? Did you have honesty, trust, respect and excellent communication? If your relationship was healthy in all these four areas, you could say that your relationship was great. And you know what, you have the chance to create a fantastic relationship once again.

The breakup was a rash decision

Sometimes people break up because of pride and ego. This kind of a breakup is often not well thought out. You said something, or she said something, the other person overreacted and left. If this was the case, your feelings are intact, and you can still build a strong relationship.

Could your relationship have suffered from a circumstantial breakup? Sometimes, couples break up because one of the partners had to relocate to another city for college or business. In such a case then it is worth a try to get back together as long as the circumstances have changed.

Did you know: Research shows that one-third of cohabiters and one-fifth of spouses have experienced a breakup and renewal in their current relationship?

When pursuing your ex-girlfriend is a bad idea

Research shows that we are attracted to what is familiar to us. This is known as the Law of Familiarity. A study by UCLA psychological researchers revealed that when you invest time, energy, money and physical contact on a person, you tend to describe more value to them. No wonder you are so drawn to your ex-girlfriend even when you know better.

Combined with a man’s innate desire to fix what is broken, it is inevitable that you will miss your ex-girlfriend even when the two of you together just can’t work.  There are, therefore, many cases when getting back together with your ex-girlfriend will not yield a happy ending.

“Falling out of love seems to be a process that is painstakingly longer than falling in love is”

The fact that you still love your ex-girlfriend or you miss her is not a good reason to get back with her. Other factors that are poor reasons for pursuing a relationship with your ex-girlfriend include:

  • Feeling miserable without your ex-girlfriend
  • Thinking you cannot live without her
  • Still believing she is your soul mate
  • You cannot imagine a life without her

According to a 2013 study by Kansas State University, many couples who reconnect after a breakup assume that their partners have changed for the better. They also get back together with the assumption that this time around they will communicate better.

As such they do not work at ironing out important issues. This subsequently affects the new relationship negatively.

  • Further research shows that people who date their ex-partners:
  • Have worse communication
  • Make more decisions that negatively affect the relationship
  • Have a lower self-esteem
  • Have a higher uncertainty about the future

The verdict

We will not tell you whether to get back to your ex-girlfriend or not, because no two situations are exactly the same. However, there is an easy formula to help you make the decision.

Relationship therapists recommend that you give the relationship an honest assessment. Consider both the good and the bad experiences that stand out from the relationship. Doing this will help you understand why things ended and whether you want to avoid or replicate the situation.

You may miss your ex-girlfriend terribly, and this ok. But, if you are not convinced that getting back with her is a wise decision you need to let her go. Getting back with your ex-girlfriend is sometimes a quick fix. But honestly, it’s not always the answer.

“Trust your intuition, trust your worth, and dare to venture on the other side of discovery. It may be difficult, but it is much sweeter than getting back into a relationship that will only bring you sorrow.”