Thinking about an old fling from your past can bring up lots of different emotions. It could be unnerving, or joyfully nostalgic, it could make you sad, or you might feel indifferent. Regardless of how it makes you feel, you might be questioning why you’re thinking of someone from the past and what it means. This is especially true if you haven’t spoken to this person for a long time. If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering where these thoughts came from and why you are suddenly thinking about them. Well, you can relax because it’s completely normal.
There are a variety of different reasons you might be reminiscing about an ex or fling you once had. Relationship experts say that when we fall in love, we’re often reminded of all the people we’ve loved in the past. It’s totally natural for an emotion to bring up other experiences with similar emotions. The feelings might match, and in fact, we might realize that our first relationship led to our current relationship. Memories of an ex can stir up a sense of nostalgia, or even fear. Either way, it’s common and, in many ways, healthy.
Why You’re Still Thinking About Your Ex
The first and most obvious reason why you might be thinking about an old fling from the past is because you miss them, but that’s not always the case. At some point, you had a connection with this person, so it’s only natural for you to wonder what they’re up to or how they’re doing. If you do miss them, that’s also normal. Thinking about someone from your past could be attributed to many different factors. Listed below are some of the most common reasons why you’re still thinking about your ex or an old fling from your past, as well as possible signs someone is thinking of you.
1. You Have Fond Memories Together – Even if the relationship ultimately turned sour, you might find yourself thinking about someone from the past simply because of the good memories. It doesn’t mean that you like or love the person; you might have just been happy when they were around at some point. Especially in relationships or friendships that lasted a long time, you’re bound to have had a lot of special times together. If you’re missing someone who treated you poorly, it could be that you don’t miss them at all, but the times that you shared together still stand out in your mind. You can cherish these memories without forgetting that this person wasn’t right for you. You don’t have to feel ashamed or conflicted; the good and the bad can both exist.
2. You Had A Dream About Them – We all have strange dreams from time to time. Sometimes, they just happen to involve someone from the past. Of course, an obvious sign that someone is thinking about you is that they have a dream about you. But sometimes, these dreams are just random. Instead of thinking about someone from your past specifically, you might just be thinking about a specific time in your life, and as a result, because they were there during that time, they might show up in your dream.
3. They Hurt You – It can be difficult to let go of the things that hurt us. If someone from the past hurt you, then you might rehash some of those situations in your head, such as an argument you had, and attempt to resolve what wasn’t resolved during the connection. You might think of what you could’ve or should’ve said, or you might imagine a scenario where they treated you differently. If you’re thinking of someone because they hurt you, be sure to take the steps needed to work through that pain. You might consider seeing a mental health professional, or you might reflect on what kind of treatment you’ll accept from people in the future. Learn from what you went through, but don’t let it spoil new connections before they start.
4. There’s An Unresolved Question – Similar to feelings of past hurt or pain, there might be something that was completely unresolved in the relationship. For example, you might have suspected that someone cheated on you and have evidence to back it up, but you never got closure on that. When you think about someone from your past, you might be looking for closure. It doesn’t always have to be as prevalent or as painful as someone cheating on you. It could also be that this person was a mystery to you, and you’re continuously curious about how they work. Maybe, they operate totally differently than you do, and although you are no longer in contact, your relationship with them left you wondering why they feel the way they do or why they make the actions they make. Human behavior is fascinating, and there’s nothing wrong with being curious. As long as it’s not distressing for you to think about this person, be assured that it’s both normal and okay.
5. You Care About Them – Caring about someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you want them back in your life. There are times in almost everyone’s life when we think about someone even though the connection wasn’t the best or was even notably unhealthy. For example, think about if you had an ex that struggled with depression or substance abuse. You might care about them even though the relationship didn’t work out, and especially if they weren’t in a good place the last time you spoke. You might wonder how they’re doing or think about how you hope they’re doing better than they were before. That’s completely reasonable, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not over the relationship. It might just be that you have a big heart and can’t help but care.
Don’t Romanticize Your Past Relationships
There are a few red flags to watch out for when it comes to thinking about an old fling from your past. One of them is focusing “on all the positive aspects of our ex,” and assuming “they were our one and only – our true soul mate.” By doing this, you run the risk of turning away from a loving relationship which you might already be involved in based on nothing more than an empty dream. It’s easy to remember the good times and forget the bad, but there’s a reason that the relationship ended, and you need to remember that. Before you know it, you might put your new partner in a position where they have to compete with those ghosts of exes past.
Figure Out Where Your Feelings Are
It’s important to understand how you feel about your ex. That’s not to say that you actually want to reconcile – there are a lot of different reasons this person might still be on your mind. Are you still thinking about them because you wish the two of you were still together? Were you just together for so long that thinking about them is a habit? Or, are you still angry about how the relationship ended? There are endless reasons they might be on your mind, so spend some time figuring out where those thoughts are coming from so you can address them and move on.
While looking back on old memories is natural, constantly thinking about your ex – even if you hate them – can be a sign that you’re not over them or the relationship. After all, the opposite of love isn’t hate: It’s indifference. Anger is a form of connection, but disinterest is a form of release. If they don’t pique your interest, you’re over them. So if you find yourself daydreaming about an old fling all the time, that could be a sign that there’s some unfinished business there for one reason or another.
Should You Reach Out To Them?
If you’re thinking of someone, it might bring up the question, “should I reach out to them?” There’s no real “should” when it comes to this question because the answer will be highly unique depending on your situation, and ultimately, it’s up to you. There are situations, however, where it’s best not to reach out. Additionally, if there are still old wounds on either side, you might reach out to apologize in some cases, but sometimes it’s best to just let it go and give the other person space. Even if you’ve learned and grown, the other person doesn’t owe it to you to talk to you or accept your apology. Be mindful on how they may feel, and don’t try to reach out if they have you blocked on various platforms online or have made a pointed effort to diminish contact with you.
Alternatively, if you wish to talk to someone from the past because you’re the one seeking an apology from them, be cognizant of the fact that you might not get one if you reach out and that it might just hurt you more. When it comes to reaching out to someone from your past, always use your discretion. If you felt hurt or unheard by this person, it may be best to leave it in the past. Think about what will be healthy for you, and use your best judgment when something could be less than beneficial for you or your mental health.
Common Questions and Answers
It’s totally normal to have questions about thinking of an ex or fling from your past. In fact, we decided to scan the web and gather some of the most commonly asked questions related to this topic and provided answers for them below. We hope these will answer some of the questions you might have when it comes to thinking about someone special from your past.
How do I stop thinking about my past hookups?
One of the best ways to stop thinking about someone from your past is to cut off contact with them. This can be extremely hard if you still have feelings for them or still think about them often for other reasons, but it is the key to letting go. The reason why it’s important to distance yourself from this person and to stop following their social media is that right now, you are used to having them around and knowing what is going on in their life, which is what’s spurring you to think about them, most likely. Even if that’s not the case, it isn’t helping you.
When you’re always looking at a picture of someone from your past, it’s much harder to get them out of your head because your brain is still getting input regarding that person. Of course, if we see something on a particular day, we are likely to think about it, whereas if it is out of our view, we are much less likely to think about it. Maybe, you and your ex tried to be friends immediately after breaking up, and you’re finding that you can’t get them out of your mind. That would make total sense. If that’s the case, it might be time to establish distance.
Why can’t I stop thinking about someone after years?
There are several potential reasons you might think about someone that you were connected to in the past. It could be that you miss them, that you saw or heard something that reminded you of them, or that you still care about them. If you care about someone from your past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re stuck on them. The same is true if you only think of them from time to time. It’s natural to think of those that we were once involved with because, of course, they are in some of our memories. However, if you keep thinking about someone from the past and can’t stop, it might be deeper than that.
Is it true that if you are thinking about someone they are thinking about you?
In some cases, it’s true that if you are thinking about someone from the past, they are also thinking about you. Mainly if the connection wasn’t 100% sour, it’s natural that positive thoughts about the person from you past will arise. Even if the relationship ended terribly, you might still have thoughts about them, negative or positive, from time to time. Again, this is natural because they were a part of your life, and you do have memories with them, whether those memories are negative or positive.
Thinking about someone from your past becomes a problem when your thoughts about the person border on or reach a full-on obsession or when these thoughts begin to impact your emotional health. If you feel like your emotions are ruled by this person even though they’re in your past, there is a problem. Note, however, that this isn’t your fault and that it is something you can work through. Another potential issue is if you are actively trying to get this person back into your life when they don’t want to be in it and have made it known that they aren’t interested in reconnecting. As painful as it might be, it’s essential to respect people’s boundaries. This is difficult for some, but it is something that you can work through.
How do you know if someone is missing you?
If someone is missing you, you may or may not know it. There are some telltale signs you can look for that might let you know that someone is missing you. For instance, if they are trying to strike up conversations with you, are asking mutual friends about you, or you notice that they’ve been viewing your social media profile – these would all be signs that someone is thinking about you.
Sometimes, people will miss you quietly, and there won’t be any signs. They might be afraid to reach out, especially if one of you hurt the other the last time you talked. If you are thinking of reaching out, it’s vital to examine if that action would be healthy for you and if you could take rejection on their end. If you can’t take potential rejection, do not reach out. If you can, and there wasn’t anything serious going on, such as abuse in the past, it may be okay to reach out and ask how they’re doing or even to reconnect. Don’t place any expectations on your attempt to reconnect. They can talk to you or choose to leave it alone, and both are okay. Use your best judgment and make sure that you’re in a healthy mental space before you reach back out.
If thinking about someone is interfering with your ability to function in your daily life or causing distress, it is important to take steps to get out of this thought pattern. There are a number of steps that you can take on your own, but talking to a mental health professional can also be helpful. If things didn’t previously end on a bad note and you feel that you can handle the rejection if they don’t have interest in talking to you, then there is nothing wrong with reaching out to an ex or old fling to ask how they are doing.