Do Exes Remember Good Or Bad Memories?

Does not talking to your ex for a while really make the bad memories disappear so that your ex only remembers the good things about you and the relationship?

A lot of the advice on the internet seems to think so.

While it’s true that our brains deliberately forget certain things in order to keep us sane and forward looking, it’s not true that the brain necessarily forgets bad things and only remembers good ones.

Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University in a journal article “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,” writes “Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones. ”

“Research over and over again shows this is a basic and wide-ranging principle of psychology,” he said. “It’s in human nature, and there are even signs of it in animals,” in experiments with rats.

Moreover, the way you remember the relationship may not be the way your ex remembers it. In addition, external influences including advice from friends, relatives and strangers can influence the relationship, or you.

“Negative emotions” linger much longer, and sometimes even time doesn’t heal certain hurt. If you’re waiting for your ex to forget the bad memories or reaching out once in a while with no real effort to try to create new and better memories, you may be making your ex suspicious of your motives and agenda.

This may explain why one of the most searched questions about an ex on my site and on the internet in general is, “why is my ex contacting me?”

Your ex may not understand why every few days you text him/her, and don’t seem to have anything important to tell him/her, or anything substantial to talk about. To you, you are practicing “low/minimal contact” or trying not to be needy, but all your ex knows is that every few days (like clock work), you text him/her.

Instead focusing your time and energy on contact for contact’s sake or on trying not to come across as needy, try to focus more energy on making sure your ex has better experiences interacting with you by text, email, phone or in person.

Creating new memories with every conversation or date is the fastest way to change your ex’s negative perception of you. The bad memories and the “negative emotions” attached to them may never completely go away, but once the new pleasant memories out weigh the bad memories, the “negative” emotions attached to those memories lose their power.

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16 Comments

  • Hi Yangki,

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for this site. It’s so refreshing to find such honest, constructive and frank advice which doesn’t revolve around mindgames or manipulation, but instead focuses on healthy, honest and respectful communication.

    I’m so happy to report that following your guidelines, my ex is now telling me he loves and misses me too, we have had some really good times together and are even planning to spend some of Christmas together next week!

    Thanks so much, you are an absolute blessing xx

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