Do Exes Remember The Good Memories Or The Bad Memories? 

When your ex thinks about you, do they remember the good memories, and miss them? Should you remind your ex of the good times, maybe send a good memory text? Will no contact make your ex forget the bad memories?

These are all questions my clients ask me. What does the science say?

1) Painful memories linger longer than happy memories

While it’s true that we remember some pieces of an event but forget others, it’s not true that over time the brain forgets bad memories and only remembers happy memories. In fact, studies show that remembering negative experiences and holding on to negative memories comes more naturally to us.

The review of research on emotional memories published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science says “.

“It really does matter whether [an event is] positive or negative in that most of the time, if not all of the time, negative events tend to be remembered in a more accurate fashion than positive events,” says review author Elizabeth Kensinger of Boston College.

Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University in a journal article “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,”

“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. ”

What does this mean for you trying to attract back your ex?

It means that it is OK to remind your ex of the good times. But you should not bank on this as a strategy for attracting back your ex. Your ex may remember the good times and good memories, but the bad or negative memories are stronger and last longer.

You may even find that the reason your ex is hot and cold is because they remember the good memories and seem interested and engaged. Then a few hours or days later, they remember negative memories. They are like “I don’t think we should continue contact. It’s preventing me from moving on”; or “I am worried that we’re spending too much time together, I don’t want to lead you on”; or “I don’t see us getting back together.”

You didn’t say or do anything to make them want to pull away, they just remembered the negative memories and they were stronger than the good memories.

RELATED: How Do I Help My Ex Move Past The Pain and Hurt I Caused?

2) Memories aren’t reliable

Memories are subject to distortion especially if we tell our story of what happened again and again. Each time we retell it, we change the facts and sometimes add false details without even realising. But because we have told it too many times, we become increasingly confident in its accuracy. But that’s not all, a study from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, found that people base their decisions on subjective memory — how they feel about a memory — more than on its accuracy

What does this mean for you trying to attract back your ex?

It means that it is OK to remind your ex of the good times. But keep in mind that the way you remember the relationship and the break-up may be different from the way your ex remembers it. You may be thinking your ex is missing you, becoming nostalgic and will reach out. But your ex is angry or feeling resentful. They are making decisions based on something that happened in the past.

memory rather than what actually happened.

RELATED: Should You Talk To Your Ex About What Went Wrong – Clear Things Up?

3) Restorative nostalgia is more likely to make your ex feel sad

The word “nostalgia” triggers positive emotions in people trying to attract back an ex. We all want to think that an ex we still love thinks of us. They remember the good things and feel inspired to want to relive and/or recreate the special moments from the past. But according to Svetlana Boym, author of The Future of Nostalgia.

“There are two types of nostalgia, restorative and reflective. Restorative nostalgia inspires a desire to “rebuild the past” or reconstruct what has been lost, while reflective nostalgia allows you to accept your memories for what they are. People can experience both types of nostalgia, but restorative nostalgia is more likely to make us feel sad.”

What does this mean for you trying to attract back your ex?

It means that it is OK to remind your ex of the good times and happy memories. But it does not necessarily mean they will want to relive or recreate those memories if the memories make them feel sad, stressed, disappointed, depressed, resentful or angry.

This short video explains why regret for losing you and regret for the break-up can keep some bad memories longer; and how this can affect your chances of getting back together.

You have a better chance of pulling your ex closer creating new and better memories

So while it is true that memories and nostalgia play an important role in attracting back your ex, it is not a straight line between nostalgia and attracting back your ex. In some cases, trying to trigger nostalgia may actually hurt you chances and prevent you from getting back together.

If you are not in contact with your ex, it’s a good idea to open up the lines of communication so that you can keep track in real time of how your ex remembers certain events, how they feel about them, which memories are holding them back, and which memories need to be overridden with better memories and

But more importantly open up the lines of communication so that you can start creating new memories instead of relying on old memories.


5 Strong Signs An Avoidant Ex Regrets The Break-Up

How Long After A Break-Up Does Your Ex Start Missing You?

This Explains A Fearful Avoidant Ex’s Mixed Messages About Contact

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  1. says: Debbie

    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

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Thanks… and so are you!

      I am happy for you and wish you much love and happiness.

      Have a great Christmas TOGETHER!!!!

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