What is in the pain of a breakup

What's in the pain of a breakup


The heartache that follows a breakup is painful... Whether you are the one who made the call or not. It can feel so painful that we might become angry towards the other person or critical of everything that was. Or we might even start to reconsider and question if it really was the right decision for the relationship to end.

I can remember my breakups very well. I might have made the decision to end the relationships but that didn't mean what followed was easy. I was literally aching. It was painful. I felt empty - something was missing. I had intense periods where I felt lonely, miserable and scared.

In these moments my mind would start racing with thoughts:

"If I'm feeling this way it might mean that I still love him and that I made the wrong decision."

"Maybe I'll never find someone again."

"What if it could have worked out?"

"Maybe I wasn't patient enough...”

“Maybe I didn't try hard enough..."


Before I started paying attention to my emotions

Before I started paying attention to my emotions, all I knew in these moments was that I hated how I felt and I wanted it to go away so I could feel better again. The discomfort of the feelings left me frantically (but aimlessly) trying to make sense of it all. Numerous times the uncomfortable feelings would even drive me to go back and rekindle the relationship again. Yes, this meant many painful back-and-forths with the same man, which really could have been avoided if I had understood my feelings better.


Understanding the breakup emotions

What changed in my last breakup was that I understood the feelings within me and I let them flow through me. The pain and aching were still the same. Everything I felt confirmed why its called a "heartACHE". But this time I knew what the feeling miserable, lonely, grief, disappointed and hopeless was about. It's actually simple. Sadness. Yes, all those feelings are under the sadness umbrella and we feel sadness when we experience loss. Most people can understand loss when someone passes away or disappears from our lives, but it can also be the loss of a hope, a dream, a place, a lifestyle or even part of ourselves. Sadness is a call to grieve and it reminds us what is really important to us.

When a relationship ends we are obviously losing the person as they are often not part of our lives anymore or at least not in the same way. So yes, the sadness is at least in part to do with that. But often there is more to it. If we really think about what we have lost, it's not just the person. It might be a circle of friends, certain hobbies you shared, their family, hopes and dreams that you built together, plans that you made...

I know that when my latest relationship ended I was also grieving for the lost hopes and dreams that I had for the relationship. I had dreamed of us getting married, having children and building a life together filled with many happy moments. I had hopes that the bumps in our relationship would smooth out. When the relationship ended I was letting go, not only of him, but also of these hopes and dreams that involved him.


4 reasons understanding my sadness helped

Realizing that it wasn't just about him as a person, and understanding what sadness was really about, made the world of a difference in four ways:

  1. I accepted my feelings. I let myself be sad because I knew that the sadness was there for a reason.
  2. I understood what the loss was about so I felt less confused and didn't question the decision to breakup. I felt more peaceful, clear and less confused.
  3. I realized that I didn't have to give up my hopes and dreams completely. I just had to let go of my hopes and dreams with him. I could still have them, just not with him.
  4. The period of pain and suffering was less intense and shorter than before.


Our emotions and feelings are there for a reason. They carry messages for us to guide us through life in the best possible way. We just need to decipher them. The relationship wasn't right for me but the sadness reminded me that I do want to share my life with someone and that the hopes and dreams I had, really are important to me.

So if you are aching, in emotional pain, feeling sad... dive into it and investigate what it is really about. What have you really lost? What important things is this feeling reminding you of? There might be more to it than you initially thought. Understanding the feeling will help you through it and ensure that you are getting the right message from your emotions. Here is some more guidance to understand your Sadness.

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