One of the most fatal characteristics of break-up recovery is what I call the “two steps forward – one step back” phenomenon.
Maybe you’ve experienced it already.
You wake up one morning and feel great. During the next few hours, you notice that you haven’t thought about your Ex for a while, you feel energized and motivated to get out there and live your life.
You feel happy, you feel good.
“That’s it” you think. “I am finally over him/her”.
Until you experience that moment, which unfortunately shows that you’re far from it!
Later that day, you see someone that looks exactly like your Ex, or a friend you had not seen for a long time asks you how you two are doing. Or maybe you find something that belonged to her/him under the couch.
And boom – you’re back to square one.
At least it feels that way.
The truth is, that you’ve made two steps forward, and now just one step back. But what it means is that, you’ve still made ONE step forward.
So you’ve actually made progress.
We have to understand that break-up recovery is not a straight line.
We don’t go from complete break-down to extreme happiness in just a certain amount of days.
It is more like climbing a huge mountain.
While making the arduous climb to the next stages, we may trip, fall and slide down to the previous base-camp. And the thought that we have to make this horrible climb again seems unbearable.
All these exertions for nothing?
But it wasn’t for nothing.
Now that we know the biggest obstacles, we can hike past them, and find better and faster trails.
We didn’t lose what we have learned along the way that we’ve already traveled.
5 Signs You Are Still Not Over Your Ex
After such a “fall”, you may ask yourself how you can know for sure that you are over your Ex once and for all.
There is one way to know – you know that you are definitely over your Ex when you can stand in front of them, talk to them, know they are in a new relationship, and feel NOTHING.
That’s the ultimate test.
But I don’t recommend doing that unless you are absolutely sure. Otherwise, it could throw you way back.
What’s easier to determine, are signs that you are NOT over them. These are recurring patterns that happen when we are still in the “depression” or “rebuilding” phase.
You haven’t let go of your Ex if you experience one of the following:
1. The urge to contact them is nearly uncontrollable
You feel an almost physical need to contact them, like hearing from them is crucial for your well-being.
You have the urge to share your thoughts and worries with them as you did while you were still together.
That means that you still think that your Ex is your “confidential person”, the one you share your life with.
2. The Cyber-Stalking is killing you
We discussed the fatal consequences of cyber-stalking many times before, (link to Facebook tag), but the main sign that you haven’t moved on yet is not the fact that you are curious about their life. It’s that it devastates you when you find out certain details.
Remember, the ultimate goal is indifference.
You are checking Facebook, and there are your Ex’s newest pictures of his/her “new life” and it kills you?
Nope, you are still not over him/her.
3. You have no clue why the relationship really ended
To understand and fully grasp the real reasons why the relationship ended in the first place, so you can learn from this experience, is an essential part of moving on.
So by implication, if you have no clue, and you maybe blame yourself alone for “blowing it”, then you still have recovery work to do.
4. You have the secret hope that everything will be as it was before
The false belief that your Ex will eventually become the person he or she was before – given enough time, I-love-you assurances from you, persistence and maybe even stalking – is the MAIN reason you may feel stuck.
Letting go means accepting. And accepting means letting go of the hope of getting back together.
Once you do, you take responsibility for your life and your recovery.
5. You are caught in the “what-if” and “if-only” trap
You are still going through scenarios about what would’ve happened if you haven’t done this or that.
You are blaming yourself for the mistakes you think you’ve made, and you are convinced that it was solely YOUR fault that the relationship ended.
If you’d only had told them how much you loved them more often, or fought less, or cooked them more dinners, or brought them flowers or whatever.
If you find yourself caught in this fatal trap regularly, then you are still not over your Ex.
Whether you ARE or you are NOT over them, you can only determine with the “ultimate test” as I’ve stated above.
But because this test can often do more harm than good, you can use the above signs to get a vague idea of how far you’ve come.
In any case, I advise you to NOT rush yourself, and don’t force your recovery.
Because it takes as long as it takes.