Why Do I Crave Connection with My Ex When I’m Lonely?

Loneliness can be a big problem for some people. When you’re by yourself and “stuck” with your own thoughts, it’s easy to start feeling down, and even easier to let your thoughts run wild so you start focusing on things that aren’t true. 

Feeling lonely can also make you feel like you’re unwanted or unlovable, sending you into a spiral that’s difficult to get out of. 

Putting yourself out there and jumping into the dating pool can be a good way to fight back against loneliness. You’ll get a fresh start, meet some interesting people, and might even end up in a new relationship. 

But, why does it seem much more tempting to contact your ex when you’re lonely, rather than trying to meet someone new? 

Remembering the Good Times

One of the biggest reasons people crave connections with their former partners is that they start to focus on the good times. 

When you’re lonely, especially if you’re newly out of a relationship, you might start to second guess yourself. You might start to think about your past relationship and wonder if you really should’ve given it up (even though you know it was the right thing to do). 

Those kinds of thoughts make it easy to focus on the good times in that relationship. Chances are, the whole thing wasn’t terrible. Therefore, your mind will let you stay fixated on the good things and remind you of why you loved your ex. That can make it tempting to contact them and try to rekindle things. 

Your Self-Esteem is Waning

You might also be tempted to contact your ex because you’re feeling bad about yourself. 

Loneliness can be hard on your self-esteem and confidence. Again, you might feel unwanted. Yet, you know at one time, your ex wanted you. Reaching out to them for that kind of reassurance might feel like a self-esteem booster at the moment; however, you got out of that relationship for a reason. 

Dating other people is actually a better way to increase your self-esteem. You already know how your ex feels/felt about you. While that can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, finding someone new who boosts your self-esteem can be even more impactful. 

You Miss Having a Partner

Sometimes, you might crave connection with your ex not because you want to be with them, specifically, but because you want to be with someone. 

You might just miss going out, having fun, and having someone to do things with. That can lead to memories of you and your ex spending time together and going on dates, so it’s understandable to want to contact them when you’re itching to go out and have fun. 

You might feel this way even more if you know your ex has moved on and is in another relationship. It’s understandable to feel a little jealous when they seem to be living out the things you want to do. 

What Should You Do? 

When you’re lonely and craving a connection with your ex, try to focus on why the relationship ended. Yes, there were good times, but something (or multiple somethings!) caused your partnership to fall apart. 

Instead of focusing on your ex, think of other ways you can combat loneliness. Contact a friend, go on a date with someone new, or embrace the chance to have a night in by yourself. You might be so focused on wanting to be with someone that you’ve lost sight of who you really are. Take some time to feel more in tune with yourself and what you really need and want. 

This loneliness won’t last forever. While it might be difficult not to contact your ex now, that temptation will fade, and you’ll feel much better when you don’t cave in to those temptations.