Do You Miss Your Ex Who Was Toxic As Hell? Science Will Explain Why

Original Reporting: CLEO.com.sg | Adora Wong | Additional Reporting: #TeamCLEO

2019 has been one heck of a ride, and a lesson and a half. There were so many levels of love, loss, healing and reflecting.

So you’re fresh out of a relationship and many parts of it was toxic. You were controlled, stonewalled or even demeaned. That’s why you left.

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After walking away, you thought you were doing just fine. But you now miss your ex, however big a prick he was. That’s understandable—he was a big part of your life. You spent so many of those hours, days, months and years together. How do you go from all that to night?

“As a general rule, there should be no contact for at least three months.”

If you find yourself wanting to be with him again, though, you should be alarmed. And to make sense of your feelings, you ought to dig deep about why you want him back.

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Why you want to go back to someone who’s no good for you

According to Brian Lim, a couple and family therapist at Relationship Matters, there are two common reasons as to why you want to reconcile with an ex even though the relationship was painfully toxic.

The first one? Emotional comfort.

“Human beings are creatures of familiarity. We often behave in ways that we’ve grown accustomed to doing without thinking,” he says.

“We can become so accustomed to being in an unhealthy relationship that being emotionally unattached from a familiar relationship can become stressful and anxiety-inducing.”

The second one is physical comfort. Oxytocin (the love hormone) increases the bond between two people during physical intimacy, so you might already be quite physiologically attached to your partner. This adds to why you find it hard to completely leave the relationship, however unhealthy it was.

“The physiological attachment can be confusing. While the body is familiar with the physical intimacy, the [positive feeling] is incongruent with the [negative] emotions of being in such a relationship,” says Brian.

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