Everything Reminds Me Of My Ex (29 Tips To Stop Myself From Thinking Of Him)

No one understands the anguish of heartbreak better than someone who has previously experienced it or is currently experiencing it. The tightness in your throat and stomach and the heaviness in your heart is all too familiar to me.

The truth is that many of us girls have experienced heartbreak, and while it differs for everyone, I recall mine interfering with so many other aspects of my life. My inability to operate normally throughout this period prompted me to research how to recover from heartbreak when everything reminds me of my ex.

Sure, one might easily say that you should delete his images, block his number, or forget about them, but the truth is that all of these acts are easier said than done. Not to mention, there's no assurance that after doing these things, you won't wake up at night crying over all your shared memories and all the ways things could have been better.

So while we wish forgetting about a sour lover were as simple as erasing a sour lover's phone number, it isn't. In this essay, I'll discuss 29 techniques I've used in the past to stop myself from thinking about my ex.

29 Tips To Stop Me From Thinking Of My Ex When I See Things That Remind Me Of Him

1. Accept that it is over

If you are a hopeless romantic like me, then you will understand when I say that accepting the finality of a relationship is one of the toughest things to do. On the one hand, you want to move on and forget about your ex, but on the other hand, your heart is holding onto the possibility of you guys reuniting. 

I'm just here to tell you to snap out of it! Get over any thought of a reunion. This is real life and not a chick flick movie. Treat the possibility of you and your ex reuniting as something that will never happen. 

One thing I learned during my last break-up was to treat the ex as someone who has died. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean wishing death on them. I mean realizing that who they were to you and the feelings you shared are dead so allow yourself to mourn these feelings and move on. Treat its painful memories the same way you would handle the memories of a loved one who was no more. 

2. Quit stalking them on social media

Okay, Sherlock Holmes, stop trying to figure out if there is another girl in your ex's life or how he is getting on without you. Chances are, he's getting on perfectly well and realizing this will only hurt you all over again. This is why I advise that you stay away from his social media page.

In reality, it's normal to obsess over an ex's social media page. After all, many of us will love to know how much of an impact we had in their lives while silently hoping that they are as miserable as we are. At the very least, this will comfort us because it shows that we were good for something and a source of joy to them at one point or the other. 

Nevertheless, I am here to make you see that stalking your ex is fruitless, so block him and forget about all that shenanigans. I mean, think of it, even if he is going through a tough time without you, he's probably not going to post it, and if he posts another girl immediately after your breakup, he's being childish and trying to make you jealous. You certainly deserve better than any guy who acts that way.

3. Divert your energy into something else (get busy)

divert your energy into something else (get busy)

Often, women lose themselves in relationships, which can be why getting over a breakup is tough. We tend to give relationships our all, allowing the rest of our lives to revolve around them, so it's easy for everything else to come crumbling down when we split.

The mistake I made in my previous relationship was making it a part of my identity and influencing the decisions I made concerning other areas of my life like where I lived, my job, and even the people I chose to call friends. Perhaps you have done the same thing, and now that your relationship is over, it feels like there is a huge vacuum in your life. 

In this scenario, the best thing to do is to fill that vacuum with other things that define who you are as a person. Whether it's joining a society in church or volunteering for a charitable cause, the fact is, you should focus on filling that space by getting busy as an idle will always helplessly hold onto memories about your ex while a busy mind wouldn't even have the time to think about them.

4. Think of all the things that went wrong in your relationship

I have a friend who once split from a toxic ex, but even though she knew letting go of that man was the best thing to do, she would still sometimes find herself thinking of what could have been if she had pressed on – maybe he would have changed, maybe she would have learned to deal with his excess and be more patient.

When I realized what was going on in her mind, I made it my duty to remind her of how the relationship was terrible – all the reasons why it went wrong and why there could never have been a happy ending. I say this because I believe that you, too, should have someone in your corner who will be there to remind you of why your ex is a douche. 

So even when you are feeling lonely and wondering that perhaps, you shouldn't have ended things. Try and remember all the things that were wrong. Think of how you felt in their presence and all the times they made you cry. Chances are, remembering these sad moments will enable you to become grateful for the break-up and eventually let go of your ex.

5. Establish boundaries (don't call and ask them not to call)

As a reminder, you have complete control over what you think and where your thoughts go. After the split, it's much easier to set limits with your ex.

Make it clear early on in the break-up period what you want and what you don't want from your ex so that healing is easier. Tell them whether or not you want them to contact you and when they can do so.

The best way to break the news to your friends and family is to figure out how to do it, especially if you've been together for a long time and have mutual pals. As a result, if they keep their half of the bargain and vice versa, it will allow you the time you need to heal and grow, allowing your healing process to move more smoothly.

6. Exercise


A proven method for decluttering the mind is taking a walk outside. Exercise aids the creation of new neurons increases blood flow and regulates hormones. Therefore, you are likely to feel less frustrated and be in a better mood after you've exercised.

Not to mention, exercise also helps you feel more confident about yourself. So don't shy away from going for a run and working on that body to ensure that you are smoldering hot and ready for your future prince charming. 

When you make an effort to get out of the house and stay active, you will find that there will be a gradual shift in your perspective, and you'll come to see that you're deserving of so much more.

7. Get under another man

An aunt once said that the best way to get over one man is to get under another. Of course, she was joking then, but you will find some truth to this statement if you look closely. 

This doesn't mean you should hop in the sack ad have sex with any man who is willing and able or instantly get into another relationship – those will be terrible choices, especially if the break-up is still fresh. However, what you can do is welcome interactions with other men and perhaps, flirt with them. In due time, you will be reminded of all the other good men that are out there.

8. Change your environment

I will begin this tip by acknowledging that not everyone has the luxury to up and leave. Unfortunately, some people do not have flexible jobs or lives and, as such, cannot easily decide to change their environment after a breakup. Nevertheless, changing your environment after a break can provide you with the clarity you need to move on.

Remember that changing your environment doesn't necessarily mean leaving your city or state. It could also mean moving out of your previously shared apartment into a hotel or friend's home. 

9. Spend more time with your support circle

spend more time with your support circle

There is no better time to lean on the support of your friends and family than when you are going through a hard time. They are the ones who will be there to listen to you and love you through the ugly cries and endless rants about your relationship. So, don't shy away from spending time with them.

As mentioned earlier, you can also choose to leave your home and stay with them for a while to nurse you properly. That's right; I used the term nurse because heartbreaks can sometimes make one feel sick. However, having a loved one nearby to ensure you eat, shower, and pick up soaked tissue papers is comforting.

10. Throw out all sentimental gifts and items that remind you of your ex

Remember that time you both went to a fair, and he won a teddy bear for you, which you had probably promised to cherish forever? Well, throw out that teddy bear. Or did he give you a promise ring, write love letters, or create an album with your pictures? Those belong to the bin too. If possible, tear them into tiny pieces and set them ablaze.

While I have no issues with sentimental gifts, it will do you more harm than good to hold onto such presents. I mean, how do you expect to stop thinking about your ex if you have surrounded yourself with things that remind you of them? It's almost impossible. So remove these things from your life and focus on creating new memories.

11. Binge on a new TV show

The fantastic thing about a good TV show or series is that it envelopes you into the characters' lives to a point where your reality becomes a distant memory. This is probably what you need if you're going through heartbreak.

However, avoid chick flicks, and romance movies as these will only make you feel more miserable and miss your ex. I recommend a good comedy show or thriller that's full of unending suspense. 

12. Avoid finding answers in a bottle

That's right, drop that bottle of vodka. You will not find answers to your broken heart at the bottom of a bottle. Besides, alcohol and drugs are only temporary solutions. Once they fade away, the hurt will return. Also, let's not forget the embarrassing and sometimes regrettable things one can get up to when they've had too much to drink or are under the influence of drugs.

So while your heart might be hurting now, try not to use alcohol as a means to forget your ex. This will only delay your healing process, making it more difficult to move on after the breakup.

13. Talk to someone you trust

talk to someone you trust

If it's been months since you and your boyfriend split and everything still reminds you of him, perhaps you should consider talking to someone. This person could be your therapist, school counselor, or religious leader. Alternatively, you can even talk to a stranger.

I find that talking to strangers who you might never see again has its perks. Not only are you able to be vulnerable, but you also get to listen to the perspective of someone who knows neither you nor your ex-boyfriend. 

14. Acknowledge the grieving process

If you no longer want to be reminded about your ex, you will need to accept that what you shared is over. However, getting to this stage isn't always as easy, and neither is it a linear progression. According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, there are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

These stages serve as a framework to help us better understand and express our feelings after experiencing loss, in this case, the loss of a relationship. By acknowledging the grieving process, you will be made more conscious of your feelings. Therefore, when you feel anger, guilt, or depression, you will understand why it's happening.

15. Indulge yourself

Some people are born with so much love in their hearts. Perhaps this you and you find yourself longing to keep giving without saving any for yourself. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's time to take a break. If nothing, this breakup should teach you that while it is okay to love someone else, you must never neglect yourself in the process; otherwise, you are left feeling empty when they are gone.

It is that emptiness after a breakup that makes it hard to move on. The emptiness reminds you of your past and leaves you feeling like there is no more meaning to life. So now is an excellent time to indulge yourself with self-care. Buy nice candles and soak yourself in a bath, fix your nails, take yourself out to a restaurant, or do something that excites you.

16. Journal/ Write

Writing is the best way to get rid of the thoughts that are occupying your mind. There is an unexplainable calm and relief that comes from pouring your thoughts out onto paper, making it an effective way to get rid of things that remind you of your ex.

For instance, if you miss your ex but are contemplating seeking closure from how they hurt you, you might want to consider writing down what you want to tell them. So pour yourself a drink of your favorite wine, put on some relaxing music, and get to work. You'll be astonished by how much better you feel once you begin to allow yourself to accept the thought, feel the emotion, and write it down.

Even though you may never send this letter to your ex, putting everything on paper every night as if you were talking to them proves to be a great way to get thoughts out of your head.

17. Pick up on an old hobby

pick up on an old hobby

If everything around you reminds you of an ex, it's easy to fall into a rut. However, if you have a hobby that engages you during your free time, it can serve as an escape from your daily life and thoughts.

You see, Indulging in interest outside of work or school can be a way to relieve stress, improve a skill, or meet new people. Also, spending time doing something you enjoy that isn't related to your job or other responsibilities will improve your sense of well-being and contentment in life. The time you save will be used solely for your benefit, not the benefit of anyone else.

So while it is convenient to have a routine, adding a hobby can give your life the energy and vigor it lacks to make you happier. You'll be able to get rid of thoughts about your ex while remaining open to new, healthy relationships.

18. Refrain from reliving moments – snap back to reality

While we can't snap ourselves back to our pre-breakup state of mind, we can control our feelings by snapping them back to reality whenever they wander into the past. This is what I would call taking the tough love route, as it requires you to be stern with yourself. 

Did you catch yourself fantasizing about a future with your ex? Snap out of it. Did you wonder what it would be like to go to the same restaurants you visited in the past? Get your head out of such thoughts. Are you reminiscing about a vacation you took together and how in love you both were? Snap out of that feeling too. 

Dwelling on the past has never been done to do anyone any good, at all; it brings torture, so do yourself a favor and avoid those thoughts. As tempting as they may be, realize that what you shared is over, and you must now focus on creating new memories away from your ex.

19. Stay optimistic about the future

There is so much possibility that the future holds if only we dare to dream and believe. Admittedly, staying hopeful when things are bleak in the present can be tough, but amazingly, it's the best way to make your burden lighter. 

To stay positive, avoid comparing your situation with other people. For instance, your friends and family members in your age group might all be in serious relationships or married. This can have you questioning yourself. The fear of being the only single one can make you want to reconcile with your ex even when you know that they aren't right.

Therefore, the first step to positivity is avoiding comparisons. Understand that everyone is on a different track, and when the time is right, you will meet your Mr. Right. However, avoid basing your positive thoughts solely on the possibility of meeting someone new. Learn to also base it on the possibility of finding something fulfilling. 

Perhaps a job, a house, or a savings goal can also serve as positive things to look forward to.

20. Give yourself time to feel sad and recover

give yourself time to feel sad and recover

As tempting as it may be to push your emotions aside and put up a brave face, it is better to allow yourself to feel the emotions involved with a breakup. 

Every time you feel pain, you should acknowledge it and allow yourself to grieve healthily and safely. Afterward, you can begin to let go of it, which means getting on with your lives and pursuing your dreams. That's because, when you give yourself to be moody, you will soon find that you have no more tears to shed for your ex.

Nevertheless, remember that these negative feelings are only fine for a while. So if you still find yourself wallowing in misery for long periods, remember that you are doing yourself more harm than good. So caution yourself on how long you will dwell in those sad and miserable thoughts.

21. Do not contact your ex!

Breaking up is never easy. It's difficult to avoid missing someone who broke your heart after spending time together, forming a strong bond, and becoming accustomed to having them in your life. Because of this, it's understandable that the temptation to text your ex can be nearly overwhelming. 

It's possible that you'd like to express your feelings to them, tell them how much you miss them, or simply find out how they're doing. However, remember that the best way to completely eliminate reminders of your ex is to cease all communication with him or her, whether that means unfollowing them on social media and banning their phone number.

So resist the urge to contact them as this can suck you into the vicious and destructive circle of trying to work things out with them again. Your ex is an ex for a reason. Let it stay that way!

22. Find ways to rebuild your confidence

It is not unusual for people to lose their self-confidence after a breakup. After all, breakups force us to question many things. Did he really love? Did I do enough? Is something wrong with me? Will anyone ever love me again? All these questions are sprung from doubt as a result of the bad experiences we've been through. 

Therefore, if things still remind you of your ex, it could be because you don't believe that you deserve more. You think they were the best thing to have ever happened to you, and now that they are gone, no one else will love you. The thing is, while it's normal to question yourself from time to time, you shouldn't let it hold you down.

A few ways to rebuild your confidence include taking a new course, learning a new language, or doing something you never believed you could do. Face some of your insecurities; even if you're worried about embarrassing yourself or making a mistake, go ahead and give it a shot regardless. 

In due time, you will realize that a little anxiety or some mistakes are not as dreadful as you had previously imagined. Because of your increased self-confidence, it will be easier for you to avoid beating yourself up over the break-up, helping you to have an optimistic view of the future.

23. Join a club or community program

join a club or community program

It is normal to feel lonely after a breakup, considering your ex-partner was integral to your daily life. Nevertheless, you can get over this feeling by becoming an active member of a community. 

So, if you're feeling alone and lonely, there are a variety of activities and things you can do to help you feel more connected to the world. Take up a new sport or volunteer work in your town, or enroll in an evening class at your local community college to broaden your educational horizons. Take a look at your local choices and see what you can do.

It is possible to form or join a community based on a shared location, hobbies, interests, or other shared characteristics. They're all about getting people involved, making connections, and feeling like a team. Besides, people who experience a sense of belonging to a community are more likely to experience a positive impact on their health and happiness.

24. Get passionate about your spiritual and emotional well-being (religion/ stoics)

A critical part of moving on after a breakup or divorce is understanding that you cannot always control everything. As such, it's not your fault that your partner decided to walk out of your life or that they decided to cheat on you.

I have come to realize that one way to grasp this concept is by embracing religion or philosophy. For instance, with religion, you understand that a supernatural being is watching over you, and He is the one in control of your life. Therefore, whatever is happening right now is all part of his grand plans. Having this mindset will give you the faith to let go of your ex.

Likewise, philosophy holds its fair share of wisdom; consider the stoics, for instance. Great stoics like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca lived their lives by first acknowledging that there are things within and outside their circle of influence, then letting go of the things that weren't within their circle of influence, like the love of another person. 

By adopting this same ideology, you will realize that your partner's love was never guaranteed irrespective of their promises. So now that things have ended, there is no use dwelling too much on it. Instead, embrace what you can control, like your mental well-being and career, and focus on improving them.

25. Set new goals

Now that you understand the importance of focusing on the things within your circle of influence. Perhaps it is time to consider setting new goals. I assume that now that you're single, you have some more free time at your disposal. 

Therefore, you should consider readjusting your existing goals or adding new ones to the list. For instance, is there a language you want to learn? French perhaps? Now is a good time to set a measurable target for yourself. For instance, you could say you want to get to the intermediate level in the next 3 months.

Knowing that you have a target will give you the motivation to devote time to the task. This means you will find yourself too busy to think or notice the things that remind you of your ex. If you want to take things a step further, perhaps you can consider eliminating the mutual goalsyou had with your ex and if you're seeing someone new, sit with your existing partner to draft new shared goals to replace the previous ones.

26. Change your daily routine

When in relationships, much of our daily routines will revolve around our partners. In the case of me and my ex, it was calling every morning and on my drive home. So when we broke up, I struggled with getting over it because there was no one to communicate with during these times again.

Perhaps your case is similar, and there is something you always did with your partner that now that they are no more, the emptiness forms as part of the things that remind you of him. A great way to stop thinking of your ex is to replace those with other things.

Alternatively, you can completely change your routine to one that makes room for your new activities and goals. This way you won’t have a battle with missing them too much.

27. Focus on making new memories

focus on making new memories

Breakups can be particularly difficult for people who have been dating for a long time. Perhaps you and your partner have known each other since high school, which was over five years ago, and it will be more challenging for you to get over their thoughts. That's because most of your activities within those years involved them, one way or the other. 

If you want to get over the things that remind you of your ex, you will need to take deliberate steps toward creating new memories. For instance, you can choose to travel to new places, join new societies/ communities and engage in their events. This way, you get to meet new people and create new memories that have nothing to do with your ex.

28. Stay away from mutual friends for a while

It is normal for couples who have been together for a while to develop mutual friends. At some point, it might feel like you can't distinguish between your friends. You probably went camping as a couple with these guys, went on a couple of vacations, had double dates, and perhaps even celebrated some holidays together.

However, after a breakup, your interaction with these people can become confusing because, on the one hand, you aren't sure if you can confide in them about your feelings. On the other hand, you're silently hoping that they pick your side and remain friends with you. 

Regardless of which end of the rope you find yourself in, you can never be too careful hanging around mutual friends if you want to stop thinking about your ex. I would advise you to temporarily cut connections with them as you never know when they might say things that remind you of your ex. It'd be great if you informed them too, explaining that you need some alone time. 

29. Quit daydreaming

You know how the movie goes. Boy meets girl; they fall in love, break-up then after five to ten years, one party apologizes, and reconnect and it's happily ever after from thereon. Well, as I mentioned earlier, it's a story that happens mainly in a movie.

The fact is, in real life, your ex may never come back, so holding onto that thought will prevent you from meeting new people or fully committing to your current partner. You may not realize this, but holding onto the hope that you and your ex will get back together can create a fog, causing you to see things that remind you of him. So wake up and smell the coffee, he is not coming back!


Should I get rid of everything that reminds me of my ex?

After a breakup, what you choose to get rid of will depend on your reason for keeping it. For instance, if it's something sentimental that you want to remember 20 years down the line, keep it. However, if it's something like a photo album, music, or anything that focuses on your relationship, you should throw it away.

Why does everything make me think of my ex?

While it's true that time heals all wounds, unfortunately, some people can't get over a breakup even after a year because everything reminds them of their ex. If this is your situation, it could be because they haven't taken the time to heal properly. Perhaps you are still stalking or communicating with your ex and holding onto items from your past relationship.

What to do with things that remind you of your ex?

If you are in possession of things that remind you of an ex you would rather not remember, perhaps you should throw them out. If these are items that you find useful in the sense that you use them in your daily life, then you can consider keeping them with a trusted friend until you are done with your healing process and no longer find yourself thinking of your ex.

How do I stop being reminded of my ex?

The first thing to do here would be to bring yourself to the point of acceptance. Remember the stages of grief and apply them to your situation. This means that you shouldn't bottle up your emotions for too long. Cry if you feel like it, and talk to someone you trust if you feel like venting. This will enable you to get the emotions out of your system and, finally, let go.

When should I remove my ex from social media?

As a general consensus, I am a big-time advocate for blocking and unfollowing your ex on social media. However, this will also depend on your reason for a breakup. For instance, you can block them temporarily if things end amicably, pending when you get over the heartbreak.

In Conclusion

Socialization forms a crucial part of our human needs. This is why it's almost inevitable to form connections and relationships even when we aren't trying. Unfortunately, some of these relationships do not last forever, causing us great pain. Regardless, in times like this, we must learn to comfort ourselves in the knowledge that there will be many more opportunities to love and be loved for as long as we live.

With that said, I hope you enjoyed reading these tips on how to stop thinking about your ex. If yes, please leave a comment behind, and don't forget to share with friends.

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