How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex

Yesterday, I had a free coaching consult with a reader who can’t stop thinking about her ex.

Sound familiar?

It’s certainly familiar to me. And, to be quite honest, this is what pissed me off when I was trying to get over my ex- the fact that I had given my ex so much of my precious time during the relationship (and way too much time waiting for him to change), and now, after being dumped, I was continuing to give him even more time after it too.

So, when this reader shared that she can’t stop thinking about her ex, I asked her to be more specific. I asked her to think for a moment about what percentage of each day she still thinks about her ex- any thoughts at all. Thoughts of the past. Thoughts of where he is now or who he might be with. Thoughts of what he did or didn’t do while they were together, or what he did or didn’t ever say.

Her realization? An astounding 30-40%. She still spends 30-40% of her day thinking about her ex. And, what’s even more astounding, is that you very well could be doing this too.

I, however, don’t find this astounding at all. I think that this is more common than any of us care to realize. We just haven’t ever thought about it before. We haven’t ever quantified our negative thinking and realized how much time + energy we use thinking about things that don’t serve our highest and best selves.

And (clearly) thinking about your ex for 30-40% of your day is not serving your highest and best self. It’s serving heaps of insecurity and self-doubt to you instead. Insecurity and self-doubt that not only weigh you down, but take up residence inside of you, too.

Although I don’t find this percentage astounding, what I do find astounding is the fact that most of us spend more time thinking about ex after a breakup than we do most anything else- sleeping, working, spending time with loved ones, exercising, etc.

Imagine if you spent 30-40% of your time after a breakup taking care of yourself (your mind + body + spirit) instead of thinking about your ex. Chances are you’d be the hottest catch in town. Chances are you’d need an assistant just to book all your new hot dates. Chances are your ex would never forgive himself for letting your hot ass go, either.

So, ask yourself these questions today:

1) How much time everyday do I still spend thinking about my ex?

2) What brilliant things would I rather be thinking about or doing instead?

Be honest with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers- just reference points for you to evaluate, make changes, and move forward.

So…What are YOUR thoughts? Please leave a comment below! I can’t wait to read it and reply back to you.

BIG HUG!

Ellen Smoak

Author | Speaker | Relationship Coach

P.S. Get my free video series “How to beat your broken heart BEFORE it beats YOU!” for free by clicking here. In this series, you’ll learn: How to know if your ex is your soulmate, The biggest mistake most people make to get over their ex, and How to stop thinking about your ex all the time, move on, and be free! Get your free videos right here.

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Leave A Reply (48 comments So Far)


  1. Irene
    1 year ago

    Ha…I wish it was a mild 30-40% every day. I am haunted by the whole situation.. I think about it even when I’m sleeping!!! I know its crazy and I am ashamed to admit it. I’m torn apart and I spend every day just trying to control myself from humiliating myself further or making wrong choices. I would rather be thinking about my future..I wish I were looking forward to something instead of dreading how I’ll feel tomorrow. I try to make changes but part of me is and wants to hold on in case he comes back. We have broken and made up multiple times…and every time I’m in a “panic mode”. I miss what previously made me happy…and I don’t know where to begin picking up the pieces. I take it day by day…and I hope it gets easier. I just wish their were a roadmap to follow!!!


  2. Jade
    1 year ago

    My ex WAS indeed a bastard!
    Firstly, we went to Edinburgh for supposedly my birthday… was it a happy time? Was is balls!! No, i PAID for pretty much everything! The food the activities, the petrol… MY GAWD and i DONT EVEN BLOODY drive!! HE KNOWS he gets paid a hell of a lot more than i WILL EVER be but he STILL made me pay!!

    Then it comes to his birthday a month later… i go out of my way to get him a good present, he loved it and loves the mug i got him too, he still doesnt know i bought the ‘Mr Perfect’ Mug to have a sly dig at him, hahah

    Then a couple of days later i walk out on him, as i am so fed up of looking after him and him NEVER looking after me!! I ended it with him, I DONT GIVE A DAMN WHAT HES DOING RIGHT NOW, he can have his perfect life all to himself, Hes a fucking SELFISH BASTARD who can go screw himself!!
    I hope the next women who gets with him can get out a lot sooner than i did!! He had a hold on me for 4 years, 4 years of bullying and getting torn to shreds and using MY money to pay for shit HE wanted!!! But i believe now, that i am over that bastard!!!!!!


  3. Rodney
    1 year ago

    My ex wasn’t a bastard or a bitch… :p Anyways, sometimes I can spend 70-80% of the day thinking about her but other days it could be as little as 5%. It just depends on a range of factors, like environment, stress levels and what’s going on in my life at that present moment. Some days I just feel like picking up my phone and calling her and telling her all about my day and troubles (but, of course, I can’t do that anymore)… sucks pretty bad. She was my first love as well. I told her she would always have a special place in my heart when I broke up with her… you don’t know how true that is until you let them go… Thinking about her still hurts sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you should stop living your life to the fullest :)


    • ellensmoak
      1 year ago

      Thank you for your comment! Amazing how much time we spent sometimes, huh? I used mantras and affirmations to end the thinking…they are free for you if you would like :) xo


  4. Rick Hawks
    1 year ago

    |Please help


  5. Trish
    1 year ago

    desparate, really wasted sooo many years trying to stop waiting ..but it just goes on…


    • ellensmoak
      1 year ago

      Hi Trish! How can I help you my dear? xo


  6. Simon
    1 year ago

    I would love any help – I have just found out my ex has started seeing someone and I am completely lost. She is my every thought.


    • ellensmoak
      1 year ago

      Hi Simon! I’m so sorry to hear about your ex. I’m sending you a gigantic hug! Please look at this page for exercises that will help you heal. It’s exactly what I did when my ex left me. Let me know how else I can help. http://www.breakupsareabitch.com/book.


  7. Chris
    1 year ago

    Hi, I just want to destroy m ex…. I was married for 17 years and I just want people to know the truth…… I was a dedicated husband and now have custody of our 3 children, because she didn’t want the responsibility. People don’t know that I have custody….. The oldest is 13. I don’t think about her all the time, but sometimes I do and it is paralyzing. I want people, family on her side, friends, whoever to know the truth…. that she cheated on me multiple times. With her best friends husband, with my best friend, and probably with others too. Her best friend had a 9 month old baby and she still slept with her husband. I found out about my best friend having sex with her, from her best friend…it had happened 16 years before. Why do I want to destroy her…because I want her to feel the pain that she’s caused me….. I want her to feel the humiliation……when people know who the real piece of s*** person she is, and her big, dark, dirty little secret.

    She hooked up with a younger guy 13 years her junior before our divorced was even finalized. We went from being separated to divorced in less than 3 months…. We still live really close to one another in a very small community so this is out in the public arena a little. I find it embarrassing. She wasn’t discrete about anything…. now we are at the 7 month mark….I want her to just go and she’s telling me that she’s going to in October. Following him to Texas. I’ve took the high road, but I just want to let loose. I asked her if she had told anyone about her cheating on me after one more incident where I didn’t think she was being considerate to me….i.e. the new boyfriend, her friends, her family etc and she told me no. I know that’s her little dirty secret and she is very concerned with people’s perceptions. I just want to tell everyone….why?? so they can know who the real person is, and not the fake person that she show’s everyone. I know I need to forgive and forget, but her behavior continues to be a source of irritation to me….I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I do.


    • ellensmoak
      10 months ago

      I’m so sorry Chris. Are you feeling better? Did you get my free video series How to beat a broken heart before it beats you? If not go to http://www.breakupsareabitch.com and sign in to get it. It will help you so much! Big hug, xo Ellen


  8. Clint
    12 months ago

    Hope this helps…


  9. divs
    10 months ago

    i am a med student from gujarat india,..my gf dumped me 2 months back.. i still cant stop thinkin about her.. i have tried hard, i have been humiliated in front of her family when i went to try and convince her to get back together.. because at that point of time, they all started blaming me for the break up.. i was alone, my parents didnt even know i’d gone there.. she had the support of her entire family as if it was all my fault.. and i believed her.. for a long time.. but no, it wasnt my just fault..but she doesnt seem to care anymore.. she seems happy.. it was a 2.5 year relationship, and i feel lonely.. my parents try to cheer me up, but truth is i feel lonely, and discouraged, and hopeless and i find myself thinkin about her while driving or sleeping or eating or takin a bath or visiting a friend in the area or visiting the mall…. i dream of becoming a neurosurgeon.. the truth is, now when i look back i gave everythin i had to her, all my time and my energy.. i kept her happy.. she was happy… then how could she just forget everythin??? it hurts, it pains… i have never felt like this my entire life.. never..


  10. Kelly
    10 months ago

    I was wih my ex for 10 years, we broke up 8 months ago but as we still work together running a business i am finding it extremely hard to move on. He also has a new girlfriend which is killing me as i do believe we are soulmates. I watched your videos but do i have to break all contact from him to work on myself? Its heartbreaking knowing he is with someone else and he is constantly on my mind. If he is my soulmate – should i stay in his life or if i break away completely will he stay with his current girlfriend and forget me. It’s so hard meeting people nowadays- most of my friends have been single for years which makes me feel as though he was the one and it is most likely no one else will ever come along. I just dont know what to do!


    • ellensmoak
      10 months ago

      Hi Kelly! Sending you a HUGE hug. And a personal email! xo Ellen


  11. raymond
    10 months ago

    I just really want to get rid of thinking about my ex. its really affecting all what I do,my life. I seriously want to be free from her. Pls kindly help me,I need u guys now. Plssssss


  12. virgenia nez
    9 months ago

    please!!! help me about my stupid ex keeps going into my mind . i wish i could just forget about him and move on but today i saw him with a anthor woman and i feel like why please!!! help me to forget about this dosh bag :)


  13. Sherry Gray
    8 months ago

    First off, Glad I found your site, I thought I was pathetic, thinking about the prick all the time! Why Is it so hard to feel good about myself without HIM by my side! I think my prides hurt, because i’ve never been dumped before! lol..i was the dumper, maybe i had it coming! But It was so good for so many years., then he hit mid life crisis! So i’m not takin the blame for his stupid decisions..Thanks :) Sherry


    • ellensmoak
      7 months ago

      You’re welcome Sherry! Thank you for the comment it means the world. Sending love to you! xo


  14. Louise
    8 months ago

    My boyfriend broke up with me 6 weeks ago and I didn’t see it coming. We had our own issues, differences in personality, different way of doing things but we always figured it out. After 4 weeks of not being together, he said he had made a mistake and wanted to give us another go. After a very long time thinking about it and talking about it we decided to and we broke up again 2 weeks ago. I feel completely heart broken. I know it was the right decision for us to break up and we came to that agreement mutually. However much we wanted to be together we coulnd’t find a way to make it work, we wanted different things from a relationship. The thing I am finding the hardest is that he seems completely fine, I feel almost worse than I did the first time around but he seems fine. He says that breaking up the second time after we talked things through gave him closure and however much he misses me he knows it was right.
    What I don’t understand is, even though it is right, why do I hurt so much and he doesn’t?
    We work together so see each other every day, we talk every now and again and he texts me askign to see me which I have said no to but then sometimes I cave and see him and we end up acting the way we did when we were together, the only difference is I feel incredibly sad when I know he has to leave or I have to go and start to get upset and ask him all sorts of questions about whether he is over me. What is wrong with me? How do I stop doing this?


    • ellensmoak
      7 months ago

      Hi Louise! How are you feeling? Any updates?


  15. Rob
    7 months ago

    I have spent two years thinking about my ex. She comes into the picture because of the kids and lures me back in with sex every time. I love her very much. We are on and off since the divorce. I met another woman and had a good thing with her. My ex wife came back and told me she loved me and what a mistake it was to let me go. So I broke it off with my girlfriend. 3 weeks later my ex wife stops talking to me. She seems to only want me in spurts. Mostly sex. I know guys should not care but my heart gets involved every time. I Told Her Tonight I Was Done Doing this. Either be with me or not. She said let’s be cool for the kids only. I’m OK I guess with that but just confused why she keeps coming back to me. I think it is because she is afraid of starting something with someone else. I’m comfortable. That sucks. I want to be loved and desired on an everyday level not just when she is horny. One of my girlfriends told me that I’m the kind of guy women have an affair with not the one they marry. I enjoyed being a husband. Looks like I’m the guy on the side from now on. I feel like I should stop trying to be the good guy I want to be with one woman and be the bad boy women want.


    • ellensmoak
      7 months ago

      Hi Rob! Thank you for commenting. How is everything? I’m open to having a conversation offline with you about this. Are you on my newsletter? If so, send me an email ok? xo


  16. Little L
    7 months ago

    Hi Ellen

    I found this page because I was googling help to stop thinking and missing my ex so much; now thats how desperate I am. I always catch myself thinking about him, no matter what Im doing! Its so frustrating! If Im watching a movie, Im either seeing “him and I” in it or fantasizing abt watching one with him in the future. If Im sleeping I sometimes even dream about him! What gets to me the most is the fact that I know he is not thinking about me at all. I dont go out much because the last thing i want is to bump into him with someone else! Please help me!


    • ellensmoak
      7 months ago

      Hi! I totally get it, which is why this site is up and why I’ve created the free video series for you. Did you sign in to be able to watch it?


  17. Maryam
    4 months ago

    Awesome advise!! Yes i do agree i spend so much time thinking about my ex, yet i could be doing so much better. And im always thinking about a guy who might not even think about me 5% in his day. Thank you, i will follow this advise!
    REgards


  18. Marie
    4 months ago

    Dear Ellen, I still think about my ex all the time. we separated in February and now after everything I went through emotionally with him and everything that’s been said I cant stop thinking of how things could have been, how things were, and the sentimental moments we shared with one another. I think about him at least 40- 50% of my day everyday, on a good day its 30- 35%. Id rather be thinking of my career and the different things I want to pursue, however, when ever I do a reminder of him pops into my brain. There are reminders everywhere. Not sure what to do..


  19. Jai
    4 months ago

    Hi,
    I just had my break up, she was my first love, in my relationship we both were good but her parents wants to marry her as soon as possible, and i was busy in settling my future because i had no job when her parents make her engagement anywhere else. At that time i was not ready to marry but after 2 months of her engagement i feel that every thing will lost if she married to another guy i thought that she was the perfect girl for me. Then i told her to say no for marriage to her parents and the guy who is engaged with her, tell him that you love me and you can not marry him. But she refused my offer she said it is too late now, she has affair with 2 other guys before me so it is not big deal for her but that was my first love so i feel so bad, Before 1 month ago she got married to that guy and i was feeling so bad and i am not focusing on my career now when nothing can happen, how i forget her please help me. I think that was my fault if i tell her before that we will marry please talk to her parents then we can hold her marry at least for one year, I feel guilty because i never told her that i will marry her so that she got engaged with that guy other wise whe will never got married anywhere else. I want to forget her now,


  20. Tina C.
    4 months ago

    So far so good, but after the first video, the second video isn’t available. There’s no way to access it; no place to click on it. I wish I could watch it.


    • ellensmoak
      4 weeks ago

      Sorry Just seeing this. Did you get it yet? If not message me :-)


  21. Prat95
    4 months ago

    When you were like you could be the hottest, I laughed out loud, god it just made me feel so bettwr suddenly. I was looking for something like this. Thanks a lot! This helped me for a while, I don’t know about my feelings and mood an hour but I hope this thing continues to cheer me up, seriously you become so helpless after a break up….:(


  22. Lord lapdama
    3 months ago

    Actually if it hasn’t been your quotes i will be feeling sad.thanks miss ellen


  23. Sally
    3 months ago

    I don’t want to exaggerate my issue…….I led the dumping coz I was scared of him doing it first though I got it all from the signs of time. I’m certain then he ain’t thinking abt me bt I’m mad@ myself for thinking abt him….I hv myself preoccupied with a job bt it happens that thoughts of him creep in my mind each time I’m free….it could take an hour or two going through flashbacks of our then happy tyms. I’m scared of meeting up with him coz as much as I told him off, I didn’t mean it….it was to keep my ego ….I’m certain it won’t work out either way n I hv distanced myself from him n promise myself to keep it that way coz if anything I don’t Want to seem desperate . I dread to think that he’s with someone else bt it’s so obvious he’s moved on…..my problem is that I hv all facts with me to help me move on n keep off bt my mind is stuck on him! !! this annoys me so plz help me on what I need to do to pull this off


  24. Ric
    3 months ago

    About 60% of the time for myself, she wasn’t very nice to me , but when I broke up with her she actually begged me to stay, nobody has done that before, I still left but i keep wondering if I should have stayed? Now she is back with her ex who abused her and she is telling me he is perfect for her and that she has never been happier, and yet I’m still single…. Why does it feel unfair? Probably sounds stupid , but how it’s so easy for her to just move on?


    • ellensmoak
      4 weeks ago

      It sounds like she’s finding security with her ex – even though it seems unreal that she could if it is abusive. How are you doing these days? Any updates?


  25. Devastated
    2 months ago

    Hi. I can’t stop thinking about my ex who suddenly dumped me in an extremely hurtful manner and ruined and took all of my inheritance and family heirlooms. We had been together for over 10 years and I knew her for over 25 years. We built our “dream house” together – she never put me on the title of the house that I poured ALL of my money into – then took advantage of the fact we are gay and changed the locks and said I had been renting. I then sued her and won the court case but the legal fees have eaten up all of what I will receive and to top it off, she’s appealing. I have been in this for two years, all the while scrambling to find work and living out of suitcases for the most part. She threatened to ruin my career and said I’d never work in this city again. We were in the same industry and it is a big city but a “small town” in our profession. And I have not been able to get hired in my industry and I fear she has gone through with this. Looking back and I see she was using me and she really qualifies as a psychopath. Now I can see it all. This wasn’t a normal breakup, she never told me why she was doing this, and tracing the steps back I can see how she planned this whole thing from the beginning of designing the house with our architect (who testified against her in court) and did it without me realizing it. Now I am waiting for an appeal, I want to just settle, but I can’t do it now because the legal fees are so high. I don’t want to be involved in this anymore but I am stuck with the situation. I don’t know why I keep thinking about her and have flashbacks of “aha” moments when I remember other things she has done that could have been clues to her plans had I been paying attention. There’s a site called Lovefraud.com and on there are other people who have had similar experiences with psychopaths. I certainly deserve to live a good life now after all I have been through but I feel vert stupid for believing all of her lies (about many things – suspected affairs – I caught her in small lies so why didn’t I leave? A liar is a liar). I hung on and continued to have faith and loyalty while she was fucking me over and emotionally and verbally abusing me. And now I can’t seem to focus on anything else like finding a job – sometimes I can but I agree I think about her and what she is doing and what her next move will be at least 60% of my days. I feel scared and helpless even though she was found to have committed fraud in court on three counts. I just can’t stop wondering why she did this and why I fell for it and why I truly loved her. I did, I really did – but I don’t know if that was even her now. I think she was pretending the whole time, wanted to get married, wanted to have children, wanted to build the dream house together all of it – and now I have nothing, my things were literally stolen and destroyed, and I need to stop thinking about this ASAP so I can go on with my life. Thanks for listening and reading what has to be redundant. I am caught in a cycle that I can’t get out of. I am devastated and have been knocked down and have not been able to get back up. And I feel obsessed with it.


  26. alexandra
    2 months ago

    Testing – tried to post, didn’t work


    • ellensmoak
      4 weeks ago

      Sorry about that! This one did.


  27. Samantha
    2 months ago

    hi, im going to make this quick as i spend all day every day thinking about my ex husband, we are still sleeping together which is making my life miserable but i cant stop, my confidence is at an all time low, we have a 6 year old son together and both want to bring him up as a family but he lives with his mum now and my son and i live in the family home, he comes round every day to see my son and for us to be with our son together so he doesnt feel the separation, we also go on holiday together but only for our son, and if i didnt still love him this wouldnt be a problem, i need to move those kind of thoughts from my head and definately need to stop thinking we can get back together because i seperated from him because, he was a cheat and still is he is also an emotional mind game player to, so i need to be able to get rid of him from my head, and my bed i need help, i cant stop seeing him completely as much as this would be the preferable course of action, as we have our little boy, but i have to do something before i go absolutely round the bend and break completely. please please help me regards samantha x


    • ellensmoak
      4 weeks ago

      Hi Samantha. How are you feeling now?


  28. Jai
    2 months ago

    Hi,

    My name is Jaiveer I am from India, I had only 4 month relationship with my girl friend, actually she already had a breakup with a guy then she meet me and we started talking, after that we meet again and again, we are in relationship now and do sex also, she was not serious and me too for marriage so soon because I have no job at that time, but after 4 month relationship her parents make her engagement anywhere else, I told her to do that because I can not marry her so soon and her parents can not wait for settlement of my carrier. After her engagement she started crying over phone that she wants to marry me, then I become serious so I told her to say no to boy who is engaged with her, but she refused my proposal I tried many thing but now she got married with that boy in feb 2014, I feel so alone now, after 2 months I feel that ok now move on but again from 2 days I am feeling bad because her hubby coming and take her with him where he lives, what should I do now after three and half month why I am remembering her, is this for whole life that I again and again remember her and feeling sad? When this pain will end please help me.


  29. Amy
    2 months ago

    This really helped me I feel like I can leave my ex (Joel) behind and look forward to all the brilliant things will happen in the future.
    Thank you Amy


  30. Ewan Minford
    1 month ago

    I spend more than 30-40% a day easy thinking about my x , and if I could do anything instead of thinking about my x . I would be with her :(


  31. Alyssa
    1 month ago

    I was struggling with anxiety a little before my boyfriend of a year broke up with me because of starting college and a new environment. Now my anxiety has gotten worse because of the breakup and constantly wondering about him. Some days I find it easier than others to forget about him, but there are days where all I can think about is him and if he has moved on or forgotten about me. He is going to school at my same college this coming up semester and told me if things settle we might have another shot. I would love to get back together with him, but I’m afraid the same thing is going to happen. We didn’t end on a bad note as far as the reasoning behind him breaking up with me but he is being wishy washy and he recognized that it wasn’t fair to me and ended it and I’m not sure what to do. My friends are so quick to hate him and I don’t like them talking poorly about him. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.


  32. ellensmoak
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback, Viki. I have added to the article that my healing mantras and affirmations are available for free…AND a 60 minute audio on how to use them and why they work scientifically to change your brain. I have dozens of posts with valuable information. You must not have looked around my site at all. That’s too bad. I’m helping and couching tens of thousands of men and women all around the world, I speak regularly, and my book is on the way to be a best seller soon. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

FREE VIDEO SERIES: