It feels like all your senses are on overdrive when you’re with your boyfriend.
And believe it or not, your sense of smell is the strongest, so much so that you may well find yourself smelling him even when he’s not around. But why?
There are two key reasons why this occurs. The first reason is simply that something smells like them. The second reason is that your mind tricks you into thinking you smell them, usually triggered when you think about the person.
Scent and love
Scent plays a major factor in romantic relationships in multiple different ways.
For one, making sure that you smell good is a big deal to both men and women in a relationship, and a partner with an appealing scent is going to be much more appealing than one whose scene is much less pleasant.
Scent plays a major part in keeping you thinking about your partner.
How do pheromones work?
While pheromones do play some degree in influencing who you are drawn towards, that should not be taken to mean that they are the only important thing, much less the most important thing.
Pheromones play a major factor on a primal level, but as we all know, we are not entirely primitive in nature (not in the ways that matter, anyway).
While they play a role in sexual attraction, that doesn’t mean they are required for arousal; after all, if they were, you would have a difficult time being aroused through simply looking at pictures or videos.
Pheromones are, in essence, a form of communication; they are most commonly known to be a factor in sexual attraction, but that is not nearly the extent of what they do.
In addition to sexual attraction and mating, they can be used to warn of predators and find food.
Because we humans mostly rely on talking to each other to communicate, are not as reliant on pheromones as other animals would be.
Still, reports show that when pheromones are involved, people reported experiencing more attraction from others as well as more intimate activity.
So while you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in that basket, you also shouldn’t assume that it plays no role in your relationship whatsoever.
The olfactory response to affection
The mind is a pretty amazing thing, and the olfactory response is no exception to this.
Olfactory refers to your sense of smell, and at times, you can have smells emerge seemingly out of nowhere just from pondering a memory.
Even if the scent is nowhere to be found, your mind can make you smell it (we’re sure you’ve had times when you smelled a favorite food just from memory).
What are other reasons for olfactory responses?
While olfactory responses are not at all uncommon in a relationship, olfactory responses are also possible for different reasons.
One example would be a physiological issue, such as if you had head trauma, which causes you to believe you are smelling something.
It can also happen if you are having dental or nasal issues.
When you are experiencing a physiological olfactory response, you should expect to smell something unpleasant rather than something pleasant like you would with your boyfriend.
Common examples of these smells include smoke, burning rubber, rot, and more.
Does my boyfriend smell me like I smell him?
Being that an olfactory response is typically the reason why you smell your boyfriend when he’s not around, it’s likely that he experiences this as well.
However, the memory of his scent may be more present to you than yours is to his, due to the fact that men tend to have a more pungent odor than women.
How do I deal with smelling my ex-boyfriend?
Not all relationships last forever, with more than a fair share of them either ending amicably or in heartbreak.
However, even once a relationship has finished, that doesn’t mean that you will move on right away – far from it, in fact.
It is not at all unusual for an ex to be stuck in someone’s mind for a long time; some people never truly get over an ex, and if it’s their first love, which makes it that much worse.
If you have found yourself smelling your ex-boyfriend when he’s not around, it should not at all come as a surprise that you are smelling him because you still think of him.
This can introduce additional complications, such as making you still feel depressed by the change in your relationship status.
How to stop smelling my ex-boyfriend when I think about him
Being that this is not an actual physical reaction to smelling your ex-boyfriend, this may be easier said than done.
Honestly, your best bet for fixing this problem is to try to excise any memory of them, either through reassociation or doing what you can to get away from things that remind you of him.
There are a lot of things you can do to get this going.
Let’s say that you used to watch a show or play a video game with your boyfriend, and now, whenever you try to enjoy those things, all you can think of is your ex.
Avoidance is a good way to get rid of this association altogether, though if it’s something you really enjoy and don’t want to lose out on, another option is reassociation.
However, this one is a little more involved.
The best way to accomplish this would be to find another person to share this experience with.
You could try to share this experience with your current boyfriend, though this may be complicated, as you may be reminded of your ex just by virtue of the fact that this is something you enjoyed with two different boyfriends.
Consider sharing it with a friend, and over time, you may find that you think of your friend instead of your ex when you think of that piece of media in the future.
What to do if I can’t stop smelling my ex-boyfriend when I think about him
Unfortunately, while the simple method may be the most ideal one, it is not always enough to get over these feelings and smells.
If you can’t get your ex-boyfriend out of mind, it may be worth considering talking to a professional, someone who can help you figure out how to move on as well as why you are not yet able to.
For example, you may be advised to learn behavioral techniques.
One technique you may use is a grounding technique, so when you find that your ex is invading your mind (and nose), you can do something to get them out.
For instance, you can try to meditate, or put your nose in a good book, which may help focus your mind away from unhappy thoughts.
One key idea is that you can simply try to learn how to be okay with recollecting them.
If you are able to be okay with remembering your ex one day, you may find that the olfactory reaction doesn’t have the same negative feelings attached to it.