Common signs you're stuck in the past.
It's incredibly common for people to be stuck on their exes for months, even years after a relationship ends. Are you still living in the past? Here are 15 of the most common signs you still aren't over your ex:
1. They are the first person you think to contact when something happens.
Even if you don't act on it, it takes a while to break the connection, especially since you're used to thinking of your ex as the person you share everything with and automatically contact when things happen.
2. They still have some of your possessions.
Haven't grabbed your stuff from your ex? Still obsessing about some small thing that you left with them? Do you think about getting it back or wonder if they'll contact you for it? Sometimes, the stuff can become an emotional placeholder for your presence still in their life.
If you haven't moved out/claimed your dog/sorted out your mutual finances, there is no time like the present.
3. You compare all new dates to them.
Your ex has taken on the position of "Gold Standard" when it comes to future mates. Each new person has to measure up to your memory of your ex.
4. You go bar-hopping.
Closing the bar down every night in the wake of your breakup? Using the bar as a place to meet potential rebounds? A breakup can trigger a period of rapid-fire partying that only seems to end when you've burnt out your liver, your bank account, or your feelings for your ex.
5. You have issues about running into them.
The idea of running into your ex triggers either pleasant feelings, violent avoidance, or the desire to make sure that you look perfect, just in case. You shiver in horror at the idea that you might not handle the remote possibility of an accidental meeting the right way.
In the same vein, you mentally assess whether locations that used to visit together are now "yours" or "theirs." You've been overheard mentioning that you can't visit "their bar." Once you're finally over them, you won't even think of it.
6. You have a new self-improvement routine.
Is there something that bothered your ex or that you know they would have liked to do with you when you were still together? Suddenly, it's your new hobby/fitness routine/obsession. Don't let me dissuade you from getting a job or cleaning your apartment — just realize that once you do, your ex isn't automatically going to waltz back into your life.
7. You stalk them on social media.
Just can't bring yourself to delete them from social media? Do you find yourself reading and analyzing their every status update, trying to divine their feelings about your split? They are probably not sending you coded secret messages. It's time to houseclean your social media, for your sanity.
This might also keep you from vaguebooking your own coded message status updates that frustrate your friends and family, since everyone knows that you're talking about your ex when you wax poetic about "recent heartbreak" in your life.
8. You're curious about their new flame and binge on comparison.
When you find out that they're dating someone new, you not only need details but automatically begin comparing them to yourself. There is an element of comparison: either their new flame is a demigod you're completely jealous of, or practically a bridge troll. Either way, it's downright puzzling that they don't just return to you instead of dating that inferior creature.
9. You search for a rebound.
The words "You can't get over them until you get on someone else" have led to gazillions of ill-fated rebound relationships. If you're trying to find someone to fill the void, it's a big sign that it's time to be single for a while while you figure yourself out.
10. You bring them up casually in conversation... a lot.
Your patient friends and family hear about your ex all the time. It's almost like your ex is just on vacation, since they know every single agonizing detail about your feelings, their feelings, your lack of closure, the status of your shared entertainment center, and so on.
11. You can't seem to get rid of their picture or gifts.
Ever found yourself crying and wearing his old sweatshirt on a Saturday night while clutching a fair-ground teddy bear he won you? Yep. I have too, so don't be ashamed — it's common to have a few things that you have a hard time getting rid of.
It's time to box up anything that reminds you of your ex and either sprint to the nearest dumpster or hide the box (note: the middle of your living room is not "hidden"). You don't need reminders around as a temptation to soggily stumble down memory lane.
12. Ex sex seems like an attractive option.
If you find yourself still finding them hot and thinking about poorly-chosen boot-knocking, this is a sign that you just can't get your ex off your mind, or out of your pants.
13. You're reminded of them constantly.
Songs on the radio, places, badminton, strangers, and new dates all seem to remind you of your ex. Maybe you chose the house that you're now living in together and it stands as a constant reminder of them. Whatever it is, they keep popping into your mind at the worst times.
14. You need "closure."
The need for closure has kept more people stuck than it has helped. Getting perfect closure is the endangered species of the relationship kingdom. It's rare! Often you give it to yourself.
15. You refuse to delete their number (and you're in a situation where you could).
I understand if you have kids or a business to run that requires semi-regular contact. It makes total sense that you wouldn't delete their number in that case. However, if you actually COULD delete them (i.e., all of your mutual business is sorted and you haven't left something looming, like a couch or a pet at their house), it's time to consider deleting their digits.
This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc.. Reprinted with permission from the author.