Does My Ex Think About Me?
Updated May 04, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
How To Move On After A Breakup
When you think you are okay with the breakup but still feel devastated, you may be lost in the stages of grief. Dealing with grief for a period of time is an entirely natural response to the end of a relationship, but what do you do when you can’t seem to get over it?
You may suffer from obsessive thoughts like, “does my ex think about me,” or “our relationship constitutes agreement, so my partner can’t leave.”
Understanding the grief felt after a breakup is the first step to moving on. Today, we will look at the stages of relationship grief, how to overcome them, and how to avoid unhealthy relationship programs like “the emergency breakup kit.”
Grief often resolves itself in a series of stages. Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross first penned the stages of grief in 1969. Though her findings developed after working with terminally ill patients and their loved ones, these findings can be applied to losing a relationship and any other devastating life event.
While in your stages of grief, having thoughts like, “Maybe my boyfriend still has feelings for me” are typical. However, understanding those feelings and finding ways to evaluate them is crucial for continuing your healing process.
The Stages Of Relationship Grieving
Grieving a relationship is similar to grieving a death in the order of processing and acceptance. However, moving through the stages of grief can be more difficult. This is because you are likely to continue seeing your ex and seeing the imagined potential for reconciliation. This makes it far more challenging to allow yourself to get to the point of acceptance.
Whether your relationship was unhealthy, abusive, ill-matched, or just fizzled out, you are likely to experience the same stages of grief – the first of which is denial.
As a relationship ends, your daily routine shifts dramatically. This results in the natural stage of denial. You may feel like nothing has changed and want to avoid the reality that your relationship is over, but often, the healthy thing to do is acknowledge the pain and disappointment.
If you are in the stage of denial, you may think things like:
- They need space or time to get over it.
- There are signs my ex still loves me.
- I can change my ex’s mind.
- They don’t stay mad for long.
- They love me too much to leave.
These thoughts can be overwhelming and might lead you to try and find ways to rekindle your relationship. Some people have turned to a controversial relationship expert, his “emergency breakup kit,” or “emergency marriage kit.”
What Is The Emergency Breakup Kit And Emergency Marriage Kit?
The “emergency breakup kit” and “emergency marriage kit” are creations from the mind of Lee Wilson – the self-professed “Ex Coach.” They are expensive pre-formed training sessions provided by Wilson to help people reform past relationships.
The “emergency breakup kit” looks at negative thoughts and plays into them. The kit implies that if you are dating again, ex dating should be on the table.
Unfortunately, his process is based entirely on the process of emotionally manipulating and borderline gaslighting your ex.
The “emergency breakup kit” focuses on withholding contact with your ex until the perfect time arises and then helping you find good texts to send that subtly remind your ex of your relationship’s good times.
The “emergency marriage kit” is similar but with a specified focus on reminding your ex of the difficulties that come with divorce, like splitting assets, custody issues, and more.
After no contact and planting thoughts into your ex’s mind, these meeting methods are manipulative and unhealthy. In reality, if you use the “emergency breakup kit” or “emergency marriage kit” to reenter a broken relationship, the relationship is bound to fail again because there has been no counseling to address the issues that ended the relationship the first time.
Unfortunately, the relationship may end again, and the grieving process is restarted. Whether you choose to move on from the relationship or try using the “emergency breakup kit” or “emergency marriage kit,” again, you are still losing vital time to the healing process.
Eventually, you may finally find that the relationship is truly over, and you can move past denial. Then, you are likely to find yourself in stage 2 of grief – anger.
The anger phase of grief is one of the more recognizable stages. You may feel sad, then suddenly feel angry about the breakup, time you’ve wasted, or any faults in your ex-partner. This phase may cause you to say things you don’t mean or wouldn’t say otherwise, which is why contact, texting, or otherwise, is not recommended.
You may need space or time to evaluate your emotions. Some thoughts that indicate it may be time to contact a relationship expert are The amount of time you wasted in your relationship, whether your ex is dating someone new, hatred for being in the friend zone, good texts to upset your ex, etc.
Sometimes it is healthy to change to keep a relationship. With a Relationship Expert/ counselor, you can overcome problems like lack of communication, insensitivity, and even substance addiction. These are all reasonable changes to experience the best relationship possible.
However, the bargaining phase of grief can lead us to change things about ourselves and win the relationship back. Changing the core of who you are is unhealthy and doesn’t make a strong relationship.
The bargaining phase can also make you more susceptible to trying things like the “emergency marriage kit” or the “emergency breakup kit” because you may feel like the kits will show you what you need to do to get your relationship back.
The reality is that the “emergency breakup kit” ignores the studies showing that on-again-off-again relationships are unhealthy, more likely to fail, and can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health.
The depression phase of grief can feel like the most difficult. You may shut yourself off from the world, including social media. You might not want to spend time with anyone or do anything.
It can be hard to stop thinking about why you broke up, your ex’s thoughts, or reasons your ex won’t come around anymore. All these thoughts play into the dwelling aspect of depression.
These intrusive thoughts are some of the reasons it can be so challenging to move beyond depression.
However, embracing these feelings and speaking to a mental health professional can help you move past, wondering things like, “does my ex have feelings for me.” Signs you are ready to see a therapist may not be clear, but if you feel like you can’t move on, therapy is an excellent place to start.
You may find that you need to remind yourself daily of what you shouldn’t do. Making little notes that say things like, “don’t contact ex-boyfriend,” “don’t worry how they’re feeling,” “don’t pay for the emergency breakup kit,” or other little reminders can be a helpful way to visualize your daily healing.
When you have achieved acceptance, grieving is complete. You may clarify the situation and recognize that your ex’s thoughts or feelings about you do not dictate your future.
It is normal to be okay with a breakup but still feel sad. When your life, and the people in it, change, you may feel listless from time to time. What is important is accepting that those changes are permanent so you can move on to new things.
How To Achieve Acceptance
Achieving acceptance is done by allowing yourself to make the journey of grief. It is okay to be angry, feel denial, try to bargain, and get depressed. What matters is that you let those emotions pass so you can find acceptance over time. You might not go through these steps in numerical order, and that’s ok. Sometimes you might revisit a stage more than once- and that’s ok. They are meant to be a guide to better understanding and not a road map.
You cannot change your ex’s mind or your ex’s thoughts, no matter how hard you try. Besides, changing their opinions is a temporary resolution, which is why the “emergency breakup kit” and other manipulation techniques don’t work in the long run.
You may find lingering thoughts even after finding acceptance. If, after your entire grieving process, you may want to consult a counselor.
ReGain offers excellent resources for those seeking relationship counseling and advice.
Getting over a breakup is hard, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed that you need to grieve the end of your relationship properly.
If you are having a hard time with your healing, it is better to seek counseling and guidance from mental health experts than to rely on manipulative programs like the “emergency breakup kit.”
Though the “emergency breakup kit” is marketed to heal a broken relationship, the program’s foundation goes against current studies. It focuses more on emotional manipulation than improving a relationship foundation.
We know it can be tempting to try out feel-better-quick schemes like the “emergency breakup kit” and “emergency marriage kit.” Still, mental health counseling and therapy are ways to improve yourself and start healthier relationships.
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