Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Angela Vaz

You imagined your whole life with this person.

And now they’re gone.

Absolutely nothing in the world prepared you for this.

You feel like the carpet has been ripped out from under you.

And your chest physically hurts.

Sometimes, it gets hard to breathe.

And you wonder if you’ll ever be able to get over this emotional pain.

But I’m here to tell you that you can and you will.

I’ve been in your shoes and I’ve been through that pain that I thought I’d never overcome.

And not only have I overcome it, but I’ve also moved far away from it that I feel no pain or sadness when I think of my ex.

Let’s begin.

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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Is it normal to miss your ex so much after a breakup?

is it normal to miss your ex so much after a breakup?

Yes, it’s absolutely normal to miss your ex a lot after a breakup.

Coming out of a painful breakup isn’t easy.

And although it’s not talked about often, breakups are hard. You are still losing the person for good even if they aren’t dead. They will no longer be an important part of your life.

You will miss your ex a lot especially if you’ve given yourself to the other person and imagined your life with them.

You’ve formed your identity with this person and everything is now new and different.

Understand that as human beings we like familiar pain.

Even if a relationship is not serving us entirely, we choose to stick with it because new equals discomfort.

This is why a lot of people also stay with their partners even though they’re abusive.

Know that you will have thoughts like:

  • I can’t live without them
  • I am unable to think of a life without them
  • I will never love again
  • Nobody will compare to my ex

These are all normal and standard thoughts that you will feel when you’ve come out of a painful breakup.

But you will get over this and these thoughts will stop.

You will find love again if you have the desire to be in a loving and committed relationship.

How long does it take to stop missing your ex?

It depends on 2 factors:

  1. How close both of you were: If you were physically, emotionally, and mentally intertwined, it will definitely take a little longer
  2. How you are as a person: Some people do get over pain easily, some take longer

Healing isn’t linear.

There is no right answer or fixed number as to how long it will take you to heal and stop thinking about your ex.

It took me about 6 months to get over my ex because he had moved on quite easily and I was able to see that we were not the right fit for each other.

Some take months and some take years.

There is no fixed healing time and life isn’t a competition.

But if you are determined to move on with your life and let them go, you will heal.

This I can tell you for sure.

You miss your ex so much it hurts, how to get over it? 9 small steps that will make a difference

So, let’s get this straight out of the way…

1. It’s okay to miss your ex

it is normal to miss your ex after a relationship

Don’t let people talk you out of this feeling.

Only someone who has lost someone they really loved will understand what you’re going through.

You’re going to go through multiple emotions like:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

And for a while, you will move between the first 4 stages.

It’s normal.

Remember what I said before: Healing isn’t linear.

You will start imagining what life would have been like with them and your heart will ache again.

Or you’ll see mementos of them and you’ll miss them terribly.

It’s alright to miss your ex.

Let the feelings pour out.

Write, journal, meditate, talk to friends and family – just don’t contact your ex.

2. Remember why your relationship ended

When we are hurting from a breakup, our brain will move to comfort us and try to bring up positive images of us with our exes.

It will choose to forget the pain and the logic.

This is normal.

This is similar to drug or alcohol withdrawal.

We will only remember the good feelings and forget the rest.

But it is up to you to remember why the relationship ended in the first place.

Understand that if the relationship ended, it ended for a reason:

  • Maybe you two weren’t good for each other or there was no future.
  • Maybe your ex didn’t value or respect you
  • Maybe deep down you were compromising on 1 or 2 things?
  • Or you both had different values and goals.

My ex and I were so similar, it was uncanny. We both loved art and design, talked a lot, and loved dogs to death.

But we differed very greatly on our opinions and values.

He had strong Christian values and was extremely homophobic. He also was against pre-marital sex but found no issues being physical with me (even though we weren’t married). He finally left me because he couldn’t get over the pain of me being a divorcee.

Needless to say, our relationship was doomed, to begin with, but I was blinded by love. I chose to overlook those points and continue the relationship because I wasn’t fully healed from my previous breakup.

We all are blind when it comes to an immediate breakup.

So, even if you can’t see it now, you will see it in the future.

3. Ask yourself what is it that you miss exactly

Often we miss being in a relationship more than the actual person.

The coziness of having someone to depend on and call our own is what we miss more than the ex itself.

Recognize the difference between what you’re actually missing.

It’s okay to miss your ex and still know that this person is not the right fit for you.

Just because you miss your ex, doesn’t mean you should go running back to them.

Acknowledge your pain and sit with it, which brings me to my next point…

4. Do not try to bury your pain or run away from it

Sit with your pain

We need to get all of it out, otherwise, our pain will manifest in other unhealthy ways.

A lot of people who haven’t fully healed yet start multiple relationships or start sleeping with people.

This is fine, but understand that this will not heal your pain.

Drinking, doing drugs or just binge eating will not help you heal and get over your ex.

This pain has to finish its course.

And when it’s done, you will reach a place of understanding and peace.

This peace will not only help you grow and become a better person, but it will make you wise beyond your years.

5. Take the good and leave the bad

At this moment, it may be a struggle to see things clearly.

But with time, you will begin to see all the little red flags in your relationship.

Those Aha moments will suddenly appear, the more time you sit with your pain.

And you will gain a better perspective.

You will begin to understand that this relationship may have ended but it taught you so many things about yourself and life.

You will be wiser when looking at people henceforth and you will be able to understand people better.

This relationship will also help you identify your needs better so that you are more careful in selecting a partner in the future.

So, don’t look at your relationship with your ex as a waste of time, instead see it as an opportunity to do better in the future.

6. Understand that life is not a competition

Everyone has different trials in life.

Your friends may be in good relationships but they may have problems of their own.

Perhaps they’re losing a parent or have difficulty conceiving. Maybe they’re fighting a battle with a terminal disease or love somebody that is.

Life isn’t a bed of roses for anyone.

We all have different challenges that we have to overcome in this lifetime and it’s okay to feel alone and lonely sometimes.

Know that you will heal but it will take time.

7. Don’t go dating if you’ve not healed yet

Healing is crucial before you get on the dating horse.

If anybody is rushing you (saying that you need to get under someone to get over someone), take their advice with a pinch of salt.

It will not be fair to you and your next partner if you are not over your ex.

Do yourself a favor and take your time to heal.

There are signs that you’ve healed from your last relationship and only if you feel you are over your ex, should you proceed to date.

If you don’t feel like dating, don’t.

If you are still hung up over your ex and you want to be single for a while, stay single.

Our relationship status doesn’t define our self-worth.

8. Learn from others who have been through what you have

Learn from others

Thousands if not millions have walked in your shoes.

People have lost their loved ones either to death or breakups.

The pain they have felt is as real as yours.

It’s easy to feel like we’re alone, but the truth is we aren’t.

Almost every calamity we have faced has been faced by someone else.

And in times like this, it is wise to look to others who have been through the same trauma we have.

So, read books.

Reading breakup books really helped me deal with my pain.

Reading experiences of other people who have been through the same thing I have made me feel better.

If I could credit my healing faster to 1 thing, it would be those books.

I’ve written a post here that

9. Love yourself

At this moment, nobody can love you but yourself.

You may have given your heart to your ex, but they’re not here now.

They’ve moved on and so should you.

I don’t mean that you should move on to someone else.

But you should become strong again and find the identity that you’ve lost in the relationship.

This starts with loving yourself and rediscovering who you really are.

Healing from a breakup is a journey.

It doesn’t happen in 1 day.

You will have ups and downs in your emotional and mental well-being and it’s all normal.

Just focus on taking it 1 day at a time.

I’ve helped several friends through bad breakups and this advice is what has helped me and them.

Take it 1 day at a time.

Learn to fall in love with yourself and take care of yourself. This is the first step to getting back on your feet.


I am truly sorry for the pain you are going through.

I have been through this same pain and I know where you’re coming from.

Know that no matter what happens, you will get through it.

You will come out of this long and dark tunnel and you will see the light.

There is a lot more that goes into healing from a painful breakup and getting over your ex.

I cannot comprise everything in 1 article, so I’ve listed several links that will help you with this below:

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.


  1. Angela,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I feel so seen and understood- it helps me immensely to know that I’m not alone. What you described is pretty much exactly what happened between me and my ex. We loved each other so deeply (he was really the first guy I felt this way with and I was the first girl he brought to meet his family), but, at the end of the day our values were so different that a long-term relationship would have left us both with too many important compromises to our values.
    I’m so glad you mentioned several times that healing is not linear. We broke up about a year ago and I have been “fine” for the past 6 months. However, this week, I visited a place that was very near and dear to both of us and it just ripped open the wound. Healing is certainly not linear, but it feels like “I’m crazy” or “there is something wrong with me,” or, worse, “this pain is a sign that we should get back together…” It’s not. I missed his affection, his attention that was only on me, and these are things that I can and will find in someone else whose values are more compatible.
    Again, thanks for writing. Your words mean so much. <3

    • Hey Lainey,

      You’re most welcome. No, you’re not alone. I’ve walked in your shoes and know what you’re going through. It’s very tough. I’m in a solid and loving relationship now but sometimes, I do think about my ex and wonder how he’s doing. I never want to go back to that relationship because I found something much better. I’m genuinely glad I went through that pain and moved on. I never would have found my current partner if I had continued to dwell on my ex.

      There’s no longing or hurt there, but I do think about him every once in a while. People who touch us deeply will never go away – he’ll cross your thoughts sometimes and that’s okay. You may feel pain now, but with time, it will heal as you continue to fill your life with more things that matter. But you have to trust the process and keep moving forward. Him leaving makes up space for you to become a better person and leaves space for someone to enter your life. You know what you want and with each step forward, you get closer to that person who’s truly meant for you. The pain is a sign that you’re growing.

      I wish you nothing but strength, love and most of all, peace,

      • I so appreciate that, Angela! Thank you for your words. I’m so happy you are in a good relationship now! 🙂
        Peace and love to you~

        • You’re most welcome. And thank you. I do believe that the love we give is never lost. It will come back, Lainey. I can assure you, it will. =)
          Lots of love,

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