Why do break ups hurt so much? Why are they so difficult?
A loving relationship fills so many gaps that it's difficult to imagine yourself without the person you have grown to care about. The relationship may have defined you for a time. It was the thing you looked forward to, it was how you spent your free time, and it may have reinforced you when life was tough. Your romantic relationships become part of your personality because as you grew close to that person, they become part of you.
As you grew in love, your personalities, schedules, families, friends, and emotions integrated. All of those things were woven together to the point where you couldn't tell the difference between what was yours and what was theirs.
When you decided that you couldn't be in a relationship together anymore, it is the unwinding that can make you feel extremely empty. You might not know what to do with your time anymore. You aren't sure if your friends are your friends or their friends. Things that mattered to you as a couple might seem to matter less because your partner made those things important. You may even lose support from people like your ex's parents or siblings. This process can leave major holes in your everyday life.
A break up is disintegration. It's like spending time building a sand castle, working on every detail, and seeing it get washed away by the tide. You may feel so much loss that it's almost like a death to you. You might go through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and then look down and see that all of the pieces are still there. The little bits of sand, the little pieces of your personality are still there. You just need to rebuild stronger and smarter than before.
Things to Remember During a Breakup
- Breaking up with someone doesn't make you a bad person.
- Being broken up with doesn't make you a bad person.
- Focus on rebuilding yourself before you jump into another relationship.
- Just because this relationship is over doesn't mean you will never love or be loved again.
- You can't make a person love you, and shouldn't want to, let love be free.
- Don't be afraid to fully experience the stages of loss, it's all part of learning.
- Think about your break up and figure what you need to do in your next relationship to stay strong.
- Don't regret the relationship, it has changed you and prepared you for the future.
- Create healthy boundaries with your ex so you don't fall back into bad patterns.
- Understand that you have to be strong in yourself before you can be strong in a relationship.
No relationship is permanent. Life and people are always changing so we should expect relationships to change too. Although breaking up is difficult, it can sometimes be one of the best decisions we make and one of the most self-empowering experiences we can go through. Don't despair. This is part of life and if you're constantly learning you will grow into the healthy relationship you deserve.