Can’t Fall Asleep with Anyone But My Ex

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I have difficulties falling asleep when in bed with someone else. It has occurred with a handful of different men in different beds. I will either sleep for one or two hours or not at all. This has happened consistently for over four years all for the exception of my ex-boyfriend. I would be able to sleep with him no problem and in various beds. What allows me to sleep with him but no one else?

A: Thank you for sending your question to PsychCentral. My guess is that being in bed with this new man brings back the anxiety, struggles, and unfinished business with your ex-boyfriend. I think the struggle to move on gets triggered by the intimacy.

I would highly recommend some short-term therapy, perhaps with a cognitive behavioral therapist, to help explore any leftover feelings with your ex-boyfriend. The find help tab at the top of the page will help you find someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Aug 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Can’t Fall Asleep with Anyone But My Ex. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 3, 2015, from

Want a more immediate answer from others like you?
Use your Psych Central account in our self-help support community.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12459
Join Us Now!