Why Do I Still Feel Connected To My Ex? 10 Mysterious Reasons Why

Author: Anyuktha Nallani & Renée shen

Love is a word that stirs a frenzy of emotions within us – whether it's the gush of new love or an ache from an old one. 

Love and heartbreak go hand in hand as we tread the fine line between them. 

Speaking of heartbreak, our relationship with our ex(es) is forever a complicated affair regardless of how cordial or messy the breakup was. 

Still, sometimes time flies by, and we sit by the window with a sad song playing in the background, wondering: 

"Why do I still feel connected to my ex?" 

Today, we wander deep into your wondering (phew, bad jokes are a coping mechanism!) and give you a list of reasons why you still feel connected to your ex. 

So read on before you pick up the phone to write your ex a heartfelt text about how you miss them because the reasons might be more twisted than you think! 

1. Codependency

When dating someone, we sometimes underestimate how much our lives revolve around them. 

This is a widespread affair in long-term relationships (especially for feminine women) because you get emotionally attached and perhaps even reliant on your lover! 

Over time, your lifestyles, routines, friend circles, and habits blend into one another’s. 

Before you know it, you're doing everything together. 

However, when you break up, it's a cold turkey moment, and your mind doesn't quite grasp how to function without your significant other. 

You’ll have to grieve the loss and slowly attach to other things.

So, just like any other addiction, this journey of rediscovering yourself will take time, and all you have to do is sit tight and be open to new places, habits, and experiences! 

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Reason #2. Emotional Memory

We often hear the term muscle memory when it comes to activities like driving, dancing, etc.

Still, we don't realize that while our body holds memories of its activities, our body and brain does the same with experiences and emotions. 

So, although you and your ex are on the outs, your brain might still reach out to the emotional memories for a sense of comfort and belonging. 

So you might still feel connected to your ex due to the subconscious connection your mind is retaining with them. 

Not to mention, if you’re a woman, you have to respect the fact that you let this man into your body. 

He permeated your whole body (and perhaps your soul, too, if he was a wonderful partner and lover), and as such, he’s left behind remnants of himself and his masculine direction.

Specifically, your body and mind will still remember:

  • Advice and directions he gave you
  • Esteem and confidence (if he encouraged you and loved you)

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Reason #3. Timing

One of the most open-ended breakups is those that happen due to circumstantial factors rather than emotionally driven ones. 

For example, let's say it was all magical and perfect. 

Still, it's now time for a big move across the country, or they have some unresolved family or personal issues they need to cater to, leading to an indefinite breakup. 

Of course, this will make you miffed and confused because it seemed like you found your happily ever after! 

But, of course, it's normal to still feel that ray of hope or connection. 

Still, you have to remember that bad timing is mostly about: 

  • Differing values
  • Emotional unavailability; and 
  • Varying life goals

So maybe they weren't the one for you after all! 

MORE: 13 Warning Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Man.

Reason #4. Maybe they Are Your Twin Flame

If you’re into new age spiritual concepts, you may have heard the idea of twin flames before.

Simply put: twin flames are mirrored souls that are always looking for each other.

MORE: What Is A Twin Flame + 14 Crystal Clear Twin Flame Signs.

Some believe that they are literally the other half of our soul. Specifically, that you two were one soul before birth and then split into two halves. 

Your twin flame is your other half in a very real sense.

So if your ex is your twin flame (and you two cannot be together), you may still:

attachment style quiz

Reason #5. Ex With Benefits

Hooking up with an ex is more common than one might think because of how physically familiar and comforting it may feel. 

It's normal to run towards an old habit, especially when things get complicated. 

You might be going through an emotionally challenging time, or maybe you're feeling lonely, which led you to run straight into your ex's arms (well, not just arms!). 

So no matter how hard you convince each other by saying things like: 

"We've done it before, one more time won't hurt!"


"We were good at it, and we both know what the other likes, so why not!" 

Or even, 

"It's totally no strings attached!" 

It's most likely that you haven't completely healed, and this is your way of channeling your grief. 

Plus, physical contact will only make you that much more connected and attached to the idea of them— so there's that *well*.

On a more uncomfortable note: it’s best to avoid doing this, no matter how tempting, because if you haven’t fully grieved, it will just bring your energy down.

I know everyone needs physical intimacy, but when you keep letting the wrong person into your body, you’re physically and emotionally saying ‘yes’ to:

  • Who they are
  • How they treat you; and
  • No strings attached sex (with no standards nor any real emotional commitment)

And when you make that a habit, it runs the risk of you showing up low value to any new, better and more committed partner you could be spending your time with instead!

Also: did you know that There Are 7 Common Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to All Men? Do You Know What They Are & How to Avoid Them Like the Plague?

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Reason #6. Peer Pressure

This one can be confusing, so stay with me — This happened a couple of years ago when my ex and I had broken up. 

I wasn't even that serious about him, so when we broke up, I was upset — sure, but not as much as my friends thought I was.

So they kept talking me through to "get me to open up about my grief," but honestly, I didn't get the hype.

Eventually, it came to a point where I was subconsciously pressured into missing him, and I ran back to him only to date him for a month before he cheated on me (a real ouch, that one, more on that some other time!). 

Related: How To Get Revenge On Your Ex Boyfriend In 5 Easy Steps (With No Repercussions). 

So, if you're asking yourself, "Why do I still feel connected to my ex?" maybe look at how your friends are dealing with your breakup before you consider the other points because, believe it or not, the company you keep has the most lasting impact on our lives. 

    Reason #7. Best Friend Withdrawal

    While breakups are an emotionally taxing experience, breaking up with someone you were best friends with before is a whole other ballpark of grief. 

    When you date someone after being best friends with them, the mutual understanding between you two might be immaculate, and all may seem perfect with the world because the person you're dating is also your human diary. 

    So, when you split, it's usually twice as hard because you're losing not only a partner but also your BFF. 

    To truly understand why you're still feeling connected to your ex, first channel your grief into understanding if you miss the relationship or just miss having your best friend by your side! 

    In this case, there's a possibility that you might want to be best friends again (platonically, of course), so just ensure you're having an open conversation with clear intentions. 

    Although, be reminded that this process will take time, effort, and patience. 

    Reason #8. A Personality DejaVu

    When dating someone, it's natural to pick up some new habits and personality changes that you might love. 

    Maybe they helped you become a more confident version of yourself, and when the breakup happens, you suddenly feel like you're sinking into this unknown world where you don't know who you are anymore. 

    Alternatively stated, when your breakup happened and your ex left your life, they mostly took that personality trait they helped create within you, with them.

    Because your ex isn’t in your life anymore, you no longer need to be that person as much.

    But because they helped create this positive personality trait in you, it’s still kind of ‘within’ you and comes out every now and then, and it may show up, causing a personality deja vu. 

    Perhaps now you’re walking through your day as a single woman (or even a taken woman now), and you have a random interaction with a stranger that brings out that specific part of your personality that showed up so often in your relationship with your ex!

    In this case, you're potentially missing and trying to hold onto a version of you that they brought out in you. 

    But you’re not necessarily missing them, the person. Hmm, this one's a real thinker, isn't it? 

    Reason #9. Maybe You’re Meant to Be

    While badmouthing an ex and dissing the possibility of them ever coming back into your life seems like the attractive choice, there is a slim possibility of the universe sending you some serious signs! 

    If you're still feeling connected to your ex, even after a plethora of attempts to get over them, it's time to take a step back and ponder if this person has the potential to be your soulmate or THE chosen one. 

    This happened to a best friend of mine who was broken up with her ex for about 5 years before they realized that all the signs were pointing toward them being together. 

    Now – 4 years into the relationship, they've found their happily ever after! 

    Understandably, believing in signs from the universe or trusting your gut in these situations might seem like a weird hoax. 

    Still, sometimes, just sometimes– the universe is telling you: 

    • Exactly what you need to do
    • Where you need to be; or 
    • Who you should be with if you're ready to listen

    Parting Words

    I hope this answered your question of ‘why do I still feel connected to my ex?’

    At the end of the day, there could be many reasons why you feel so connected to them, despite your best attempts not to feel that way.

    Know that there’s nothing wrong or bad about feeling connected to them.

    You guys came together, formed a bond (whether toxic or healthy), and that bond was worth something to you. 

    Bonds don’t always come along often, so when we lose them, remnants of what was created will always remain.

    The reminders and feelings of connection may just need to fade slowly over time. So be patient with yourself. 

    Anyuktha Nallani
    Renee Shen

    Anyuktha Nallani

    Anyuktha is a freelance writer and student living in Mumbai, India. She enjoys fashion, sipping tea by the window, and spending time with her boyfriend and dogs.

    Renée Shen

    Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.

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