Publish 10 February 2022
By Kevin RR Williams
Why It Hurts So Much
It feels like a part of you is missing. Does it really matter which way the fingers point? Whether you dumped or got dumped, the loss hurts. It is most difficult to walk away from long relationships. But ones lasting a few months can also be painful.
With this person, you shared secrets within your soul. You made sacrifices of time, energy, and finances. Your expectation may have been for a permanent relationship or just something longer than what you had.
Losing your first love is very hard. Divorce is devastating. It is not just the memories that linger in your mind. Behaviors that trigger brain chemicals—endorphins responsible for pleasure—are absent. Even if you are better off without a person, you feel the void.
Desire To Patch Things Up
You might go through a time period of unanswered phone calls or text messages. Whichever party didn’t initiate the breakup can feel that the relationship is salvageable with an act of kindness. Perhaps you were at fault for neglecting something. Maybe you were blindsided by the breakup.
Apologies may fall on deaf ears and a bouquet of flowers lands in the wastebasket. Eventually, the realization begins to sink in. You are not getting back together.
Baggage To Carry
Though the romance has ended, further interaction may be necessary. You might have contractural agreements. The title to the car you’re driving may not be in your name. Perhaps joint names are on an apartment lease.
Sadly, many unmarried people breakup over pregnancies. Now the question of child support lingers. With either of these situations, there is a need for ongoing conversations and mutual agreements. Each can stir conflicting positive and negative emotions.
It might be too early to consider, but the strong emotions you feel may not be those of a loving union. Unilateral or bidirectional obsessions can feel similar. Other than the attraction, what else did you have in common? Was this person a true complement to your abilities?
Are You Better Off?
During the time that you are in a close relationship, you either maintain a hope that the bad aspects will improve or you ignore them. Perhaps you felt the pros outweighed the cons. Now you can make a more objective assessment. Emotions are strong but logic can prevail.
Have expressions of love faded? Were you exhausting yourself with 110% of the effort to keep the relationship together long after your mate checked out? Was the veneer of success masking deceit? Did you discover another recipient of your lover’s affection? Were you enduring a harmful relationship? Maybe the only lasting thing to come from the intimacy is a venereal disease.
Make a list of all the ways you are better off now. Be positive. With the opportunity to craft a new relationship, how would you perfect it? What are your true needs that went unfulfilled? List the goals you placed on the back burner for the sake of the mate who is now gone. Can you now pursue the ones that are worthwhile?
Write down and then read aloud sentences that describe how you are now better off. Something like this can improve feelings about your current situation:
“In retrospect, we had little in common. I gave up personal interests and adopted those of my mate. The declining affection became perfunctory. We generated more bills than any foundation for future happiness.
“I can do better. I deserve better. The breakup was the best thing that could happen for me. I will make it past this despair as a much better person.”
When you get through listening to sad love songs, follow through on your affirmations. Enroll in online courses that will better your financial outlook. Take up a hobby. Improve your cooking skills. Exercise more. Spend additional time with family. Press the pause button on the dating scene.
There are advantages to being in and outside of a relationship. Explore the outside to discover someone truly amazing—yourself.