After a breakup, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions as you come to terms with the fact you’re no longer a couple. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and feelings can fluctuate constantly. On any given day, you might feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, anxious, or even relieved.
When a relationship ends, many people experience a sense of loss and disappointment. It can be difficult to let go of the hopes and dreams you had for your relationship and look towards a new and uncertain future.
Even if you were the one who ended the relationship, or you know it was unhealthy, the fear of the unknown can be harder to bear than the unhappiness you felt in the relationship. You might start to wonder if you have made the right decision.
Both of you will miss things about each other, even when there’s a new partner involved. You may remember things you loved about your ex only when the relationship is over. No matter how happy your new partner makes you, it’s OK to miss some aspects of your previous relationship.
But, while the leaver and the left may share a sense of loss, these feelings are likely to be more intense if you didn’t choose to end the relationship. You may feel out of control and, in the immediate aftermath, it’s hard to minimise this feeling. Your routine has been disrupted and your life has changed.
Psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Janet Reibstein explains:
You haven’t planned for things so the chaos will be that much greater, the grief will be that much greater, and you’ll be going at a different pace.
However, it’s often the emotional, rather than the practical, loss that feels most painful. Dr Reibstein recommends allowing yourself time to grieve your loss.
It’s fair to say that, normally, as with a death, people go through the mourning process or readjustment and come out of it alive, and sometimes better off.
Tips for dealing with a breakup: