10 Best Things You Must Do When Thinking “I Miss My Ex”

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Jun 11, 2024

After helping hundreds of men overcome their feelings of missing their exes, I know the sad, sinking feeling you get when you catch a whiff of her perfume on an old sweatshirt. 

Almost all men I spoke to who miss their ex had that late-night text draft typed out but couldn’t send. 

And I get the temptation to drive by her office “just to see.”

The statement “I miss my ex” is enough to make grown men cry into the chicken curry they used to order together. 

And it sucks. 

I’ve talked guys off the ledge of drunk texting at 2 am. I also know some guys had their ex’s name tattooed on his back, only for them to leave for another person. 

So, from personal and professional experience, longing for an ex is normal. This is prominent when the breakup is fresh. 

Is it normal if I miss my ex?

Missing your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is completely normal. You’re not alone. Almost all the men I spoke to have admitted to missing their exes. 

Breakups are a lot to take in and are not easy to process. After a breakup, you can feel alone, uncertain, and even depressed. The person who was once with you through thick and thin is no longer there. 

All those positive aspects of your previous relationship are something you’ll have to move on from.

Distance and time will help. I know it’s hard, but it’s a step you must take.

Do you need to sit back, eat ice cream, and watch sad movies all day? 

I don’t blame you. Breakups can make us retreat and fall into a slump. But, there is a better, more effective way to shift the breakup energy. You can use this to transform your life and even find love again.

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You’ll often read in articles about getting over a breakup that “time is a great healer.” 

While that’s true, reading about how to ease the hurt or loneliness during the breakup is far more helpful.

Feelings of love don’t vanish overnight, so let the healing process begin. 

10 Things You Must When You Miss Your Ex

Here’s what to do when you miss your ex: 

  • Grieve
  • Let go of reminders
  • Go on a solo trip
  • Use your support system
  • Organize your self-care 
  • Reflect on who you want to be in a relationship
  • Discover the type of person you want to date
  • Master your sexual energy
  • Don’t compare your last relationship to a new person

Follow these steps when you find yourself muttering the words, “I miss my ex.” 

The sooner you start this journey, the faster you’ll heal and get over this. 

These steps aren’t just coming out of my ass. It’s the same formula and professional advice I share with my clients to help them regain emotional independence. These steps will help you move forward from your ex-romantic partner. 

And remember, this is no “stay positive” fluff. I’m telling you what you need to hear and precisely what to do. 

1. Grieve

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Moving on with your life will not be easy unless your ex meant nothing to you. 

You snuggled with them at night and made breakfast in the morning. There isn’t a magic wand to wave so that you suddenly stop missing them.

If you feel you don’t miss your ex, you could be blocking your emotions to skirt around the pain. 

You may also want to think positively and immediately manifest a new life, maybe even a new partner. The issue is that you’re bringing your old, unhealed processes. You’re blocking the path to healing by suffocating your emotions.

So missing your ex is the first step towards creating a new, wonderful life. 

Allow yourself to grieve. At the end of the day, you are experiencing a loss. 

2. Let go of reminders

Ouch. I know this one will feel painful. 

When I say let go of reminders, I’m talking about letting go of everything you have related to them. 

Take those photo frames down and remove the things you have that remind you of them. It will not instantly make you stop missing them. 

But the fewer reminders you have of them, the better. 

You can do this in stages. Or, you can do it all at once. 

Like a healing cut, you don’t want to pick at it, and those images of your ex are like salt in a wound. 

3. Go on a solo trip

Going on a solo trip is a powerful experience.

Here’s what was even mentioned on Conde Nast Traveler

“Taking a trip that you’ve called the shots on can help you reacquaint yourself with who you are. And if you’re the one who’s done the leaving? It can be a powerful way to remind yourself that you did the right thing.” 

Heading on vacation post-breakup may sound like you’re celebrating your newfound freedom. 

But the truth is, getting away by yourself is a powerful way to gain perspective. You can reflect and get back in touch with yourself. 

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Many people find it helpful to pull themselves out of their routines when coming to terms with the end of a relationship. It’s a time to step out of autopilot and tap into their most whole, authentic selves.

Go on adventures. Get out in nature as much as possible. See life’s beauty and wonder. 

Breakups wouldn’t be half as painful if we didn’t live in a society encouraging us to put happiness into one person.

Happiness, joy, and fulfillment exist everywhere. 

The end of one thing means the beginning of another. Perhaps you can use the ending of this chapter in your life to gain wisdom and step into your purpose and power. 

4. Use your support system

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You might think that being around other people will make you feel worse. 

But that’s not always true. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do when missing someone. 

A big reason our minds can become so low during a breakup is the social connection void created by their departure. 

Call in the troops. I’m talking about friends or family members with whom you have a loving relationship. Spend time with them as an act of self-care. 

Sharing your personal experience with others is often a fantastic way to make sense of this new chapter in your life. 

5. Organize self-care during your free time

The shock of going cold turkey at the end of a relationship can make free time a daunting experience. 

Perhaps your instinct is to stay busy, so you don’t have time to start missing them. 

However, this exact part lets you heal from the emotional upheaval. 

So instead of having unending free time on that Friday evening, which was once your date night together, schedule self-care. 

It can be yoga, a book club, a gym class, or a massage. 

Try to make it an event you must book rather than a scheduled activity or something easy to cancel.

6. Find ways to boost your self-esteem

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Develop your self-confidence. When a relationship ends, it can be too easy to let negative emotions influence how you perceive yourself. 

Positive affirmations are an excellent way to maintain a positive mentality during a breakup. Spend at least a few weeks after the end of the relationship to express and acknowledge your own feelings.

Then, it’s time to start winning back your life and make new positive memories despite your change in relationship status. 

Being single for a while after a breakup can give you newfound confidence in yourself if you let it. Why not take yourself out on a date?

Climb mountains, dive into oceans, and do what you’ve always wanted. 

And experience the liberation of living life fully. That is the road back to self-confidence.

7. Reflect on who you want to be in a relationship

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Eventually, there will come a time when you long for your past relationship less and less. 

And although it may be hard to believe, many will stop missing their old relationship altogether. 

Wherever you are on that journey, you can always start choosing your own happiness. 

When reentering the dating scene, be conscious of your deep desires. 

We’re not talking about eye or hair color or height. Instead, focus on what you want a partner to bring out of you

A true life partner will pull you up into your highest self. Their inspirational being will call you into your success, your sexual self, your kindness, your compassion, and your loyalty. 

So spend time getting to know who the highest version of YOU is. Then, we begin to piece together how a new relationship will serve that. 

8. Discover the type of person you want to date

The reasons we fall in love may seem like a mystery. Yet, there are qualities in a person that make us FEEL LOVED, SEEN, AND ACCEPTED. 

When we feel such intimacy from another person, it creates a solid emotional connection. One that can weather storms, tiffs, and time.

These have nothing to do with how similar a person looks to “Hollywood beautiful.”

According to PsychAlive, an ideal partner is:

  • Grown-up
  • Open and non-defensive
  • Honest and lives with integrity
  • Respectful and sensitive toward their partner
  • Holds empathy and understanding for their lover
  • Physically affectionate and sexually responsive
  • Has a sense of humor

After reading this list, you’ll likely feel a shift in priorities. I suggest saving this in your phone notes. Then, build clarity on what makes a relationship succeed and thrive. 

9. Master your sexual energy

Many people feel least connected to their sexuality after a breakup. 

It’s too easy to let the house become unkempt, throw on a pair of joggers, and dissociate through Netflix, lost in a mountain of blankets.

Mastering your sexual energy is a bit of a buzzword. 

For men, it’s not about being well-endowed. For women, it’s not how loud you can moan and orgasm on command!

Instead, it’s closely tied to a person’s energy. 

During a split, investing time to harness all that the marriage of sexuality and spirituality can offer gives you a powerful force to explore. 

Tantra, specifically, is a practice that will boost the following:

  • Sex drive and libido
  • Confidence
  • Connection to your most sensual self. 

And hey presto, Netflix loosens its hold on you, and you attain more presence in your life than ever before.

10. Don’t compare your last relationship to a new person

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Believing in love after being problematic in a past relationship can be bittersweet. 

Don’t romanticize your ex. I know it can happen, but you need to be vigilant. When falling in love again, it’s natural to be reminded of your previous relationship. 

It’s easy to remember all their positive qualities and forget the negative ones. Unfortunately, missing your ex this way risks turning down new, meaningful, and even incredible relationships. It can also affect a woman’s sexual attraction toward you. 

Essentially, you can cause new partners to battle with the ghosts of exes in your head. 

Love is a universal force that doesn’t exist in one person. When you’re dating again, remember to believe that new love is in store for you.

Refocus your energy. Ask the right questions in new relationships to ensure you’re on the same page and the right path. 

How do you tell if your ex misses you?

Here are the five most common signs an ex misses you: 

  • She makes unexpected contact
  • You hear about it from mutual friends
  • She asks you for assistance
  • You feel that she’s trying to make you jealous
  • She apologizes and shows a lot of regret

These are all signs that your ex isn’t over you. Various reasons could trigger your ex-partner to do any of these things, such as having a dream about you.

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1. Making unexpected contact to spend time with you

Say you’re working your way through the split. 

You’ve started getting your life back in order (or not). Then, your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend rings, texts, or knocks on your door from out of nowhere.

Despite what they may say to play down the fact that they’re getting in touch, the truth is that you were on their mind enough that they felt they had to reach out. 

Before swooning at the phone calls or text messages, please take a moment to evaluate how entangling your life with theirs will affect you. 

Next, work out whether you want to get back together or if moving on is best for you early in the split. 

2. Hearing about it from mutual friends 

Going through a breakup and missing your ex makes people lean on their community. 

So don’t be surprised if your former partner feels lonely and leans on others to get through it. 

Your mutual friends might want you to get back together or hint that you’re not the only one struggling since the breakup. They might imply that since the split, your former lover has uttered, “I miss my ex.”

Take it as a sign that they’re not over you.


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

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3. Needing assistance from you

We’ve all heard the trope of the ex ringing because their car’s broken down, and they need help.

This works because humans feel more connected and responsible for the people they help. So, asking for help or using their feelings to your advantage is in poor taste.

Even though this was your person who was there for you no matter what, that was when you were in a long-term relationship. This person is trying to express “I miss my ex” without actually saying it.

Now that the relationship is over, it’s essential to set boundaries. 

Do you have a hard time setting boundaries? Then, watch my short YouTube clip below: 

4. Attempts to make you jealous

There’s a right and wrong way to make someone miss you. 

Trying to make someone jealous is a petty way to win someone back. It mightn’t necessarily make them a morally wrong person. Love can make idiots out of us all, but it also hints heavily towards emotional dependence and immaturity on their behalf. 

Of course, do your best to stay in your lane and look after your well-being. Avoid playing the jealousy card yourself. 

If your ex sees you trying to make them jealous through social media platforms, the breakup turns into a weird game that they think they’re winning.

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5. Apologizing and showing regret

You’re learning how to stop missing your ex, and then they give you the most earnest apology and express just how sorry they are for hurting you. They may think or realize that you weren’t the wrong person. 

Still, apologies can be tricky to decipher.

It could be that they got back on Tinder conversing with others. They tried to date again but only realized how much they missed you. 

It could be that they’re trying to grow and didn’t like how they ended or left the relationship.

Another reason is that they are genuinely sorry and remorseful. They desperately want you back.

The truth is, you won’t figure them out unless you have a conversation and get closure.

However, you might not need to know. Maybe moving on is your priority, and you want to start making happy memories that don’t involve this person.


How long does it take to get over a breakup?

Roughly 3-4 months, or more. 

Here’s what was even mentioned on Healthline

“Since the breakups happened an average of 11 weeks before the study, these findings seem to imply many people recover after about 11 weeks.”

Again, this might not be exactly how long it takes for you. 

I will frame the answer around the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle to give you a more accurate and helpful timeline. Swiss-American psychiatrist and pioneer Kübler-Ross created this model, which many qualified mental health professionals also use. 

Did you know that a breakup process is similar to grief? 

Let’s explore the different stages and what to expect. 

It would be naive of me to give you concrete timelines. Each person will need their own time to complete the cycle. It’s the same when determining how long is too long without sex

Also, before we begin, know that it may not be linear for you. 

You may bounce back and forth between different stages. Not only is this normal, but it’s to be expected. 

Overall, though, this is an accurate predictor of where you are in your post-breakup healing journey.

Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle graphic

1. Denial

Denial is your brain’s automatic response to unwanted news. 

It’s a clever and natural response, giving your heart time to adjust to the new situation. 

In the denial phase, it’s common to think that your ex is coming back. You might tell yourself they need time and space to cool off or realize you’re meant to be together. 

Again, understand that each phase does not have a set time. What’s important is that you acknowledge what’s happening. 

Notice and accept these feelings of denial and turn to your friends and family for support.

2. Anger

During a breakup, anger can be directed in many ways. 

You might be angry at yourself, angry at your former significant other. It could be the in-law that never accepted you were together. You might even be angry at the world or the stars for not aligning for you both. 

The best advice I can give you is DON’T MAKE ANY RASH DECISIONS. 

Don’t start to become too emotionally dependent on others. 

I’ve seen people burn their whole lives down during this breakup phase. They’ll quit their jobs, relocate, or enter a new relationship. But really, they’re running away from their anger. 

Being angry is healthy. You can’t move forward without this magnificently transformative emotion. 

Find healthy ways to let it out. 

Try boxing or exercise. And recognize the hurt bubbling beneath the hot coals of your anger. 

You can even try to bring yourself to a calmer state by practicing tantric yoga

Journal during this time, and you’ll notice that you might feel sad. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by this change in your life.

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3. Bargaining

For many, the idea that their partner is no longer there for them will break their heart into a million pieces. 

It can be a scary concept. 

In the bargaining phase, people often try to restore the relationship or resculpt the romantic connection into friendship.

These options are often disastrous. Romantic relationships cannot be translated into platonic ones. It’s often that level of closeness—both sexual and intimate—that makes you miss your ex. 

Staying friends is tricky because you are forced to interact with them differently. 

Lusty gazes, inside jokes, deep closeness, and endless caresses are no longer yours to enjoy. 

Many will opt out of the friendship because it’s just too painful. 

Long story short, trying to befriend an ex will only keep the emotional pain of heartbreak fresh. However, you can make new strides in your life by starting anew without your ex.

4. Depression

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It’s expected to be feeling sad at this time. 

However, your heart is coming to terms with the fact that life is taking you in a new direction.

Riding this low requires you to reflect and commit to your well-being equally. The term wallow might sound harsh, but you don’t want to let your life fall to pieces during the turmoil. It makes moving out of heartbreak that much harder.

As I’ve mentioned, rely on your support system. Let them distract you from your grief and help you develop healthy habits. 

Eat well, sleep well, and exercise. 

5. Acceptance

It may seem beyond your imagination, but you will eventually piece together what happened and process the breakup. 

If you decide to take learnings from the relationship, fully accepting a breakup means growing as an individual. 

Loving relationships form us.

They are an integral part of what shapes us as a person. Knowing this allows us to see the meaning in the time spent together, not just “a waste of time.”

The pain may not have fully cleared yet, but the wounds are well on their way to healing.

How do I look after my mental health during a breakup?

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“Thriving” might be too ambitious a goal when going through the end of a relationship or divorce. 

So, caring for your mental health at this time is paramount. 

Gayle Weill, a licensed clinical social worker, states in an article on PsychCentral that: 

“If you change the way that you think, then that [can] change the way that you feel, and then your behaviors [may] also change.”

Here are the best steps to soothe and mend your mental health after a breakup occurred:

  1. Process your feelings
  2. Keep a movement and meditation routine going
  3. Meet up with loved ones regularly
  4. Delete reminders on the phone of your ex — including text messages
  5. Find fun activities to partake in — especially on weekends
  6. Write in a daily journal and a nightly gratitude journal
  7. Evaluate whether a therapist would be helpful

What If My Ex Wants to Get Back Together?

Thinking things through logically is essential if an ex wants to reconnect.

I understand that you might have mixed feelings about this. You might miss your ex and the comfort of the relationship. However, you still have hesitations about restarting something that has already ended. 

Reflect on why exactly you broke up. Consider whether those issues can be resolved and if you want to try again. Healthy relationships take time to build. 

Ask yourself, what’s best for you and your ex? 

Don’t feel pressured into a choice. A relationship takes two people willing to commit to each other. If unsure, be honest with yourself and your ex about your concerns. 

Moving forward requires trust, communication, and willingness to grow. It’s not just about spicing things up in the bedroom. 

Is the Burden Too Heavy? Consider Talking to a Qualified Mental Health Professional

Getting informed professional advice from a mental health professional or men’s relationship coach is a good idea. 

I would encourage you to seek professional support when it feels too much. 

Is your physical and mental health deteriorating? Do you have negative thoughts about your self-worth? 

If you commit to doing the inner shadow work, I promise you will eventually stop missing your ex. 

But if you feel alone and lack emotional support, I urge you to seek help from a trusted source. As mentioned, this can be a friend or family member. If not, consider talking to a men’s relationship coach or medical professional.

Side Note: One of the essential things men need to know to get into a healthy relationship is that you must be able to control your emotions. This can be hard to do, especially after a break-up, which is another reason to consider professional support from a men’s intimacy coach. If you’re curious about the other essential things a man must know, watch my short YouTube clip below: 

Conclusion: Missing Your Ex is Completely Normal

Getting over the “I miss my ex” phase takes patience and a mix of self-care and discipline. 

With this blend, life moves on to new and exciting places. 

AND you process the split, finally no longer missing your ex. 

The tips in this article will help you begin healing from a relationship break-up. But what if you’re looking for something more? 

What if you want your next romance to be IT?

You want the woman of your dreams, and you want it to be a life-long, intimate, caring, and sexy match?

Then, you need to become a conscious man. 

We’ll uncover that in this free attraction training for men who want to attract incredible and lasting love.


Is it normal if I miss my ex?

Yes, missing your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is normal. Going through a breakup is one of life’s most emotionally painful experiences. This person was a big part of your life. They celebrated your wins with you and helped you when life got burdensome or overwhelming. It can feel challenging to adapt to when they disappear from your life. 

What to do when you miss your ex?

Now is the time to prioritize self-care and self-development. Schedule your day with well-being as a focus. Move, eat well, and surround yourself with loved ones. Also, leave small, manageable amounts of time for reflection, journaling, and meditation. 

How do you tell if your ex misses you?

You can tell if your ex misses you when they make unexpected contact. You might also hear about it from your mutual friend group. She might try to say that she needs your help with something, attempt to make you jealous and apologize or show regret. 

How long does it take for an ex to miss you?

It takes as long as it needs to. But by caring for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, the healing process tends to be a far smoother experience. 

How does the dumper feel when there is no contact?

In a relationship break-up, the dumper tends to fall into two categories. First, you could feel liberated because the work in the relationship felt stifling or unfulfilling. Second, you could feel remorseful or sad because the relationship was good. If you’re in the latter category, chances are you broke up because your paths diverged or your values didn’t align. 

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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