The Unexpected Parts of a Breakup

Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, breakups always come with pain and confusion. Everyone knows that a breakup hurts, that you’ll have the week where you inevitably cry over the same thing hundreds of times, and that it can make you act out in ways you usually don’t. But there are unspoken parts of the grieving that can be just as hard as the breakup itself.

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How about the fact that all of you and your ex’s mutual friends will feel the need to pick sides? Regardless of the nature of the breakup, people always feel the need to separate the two of you in whatever way they can. If your ex is invited somewhere, you’ll be skipped over on an invite. Some might not even acknowledge you when you run into them after the split. That awkward ambiguity can make things feel lonelier than ever.

First, you lose your partner, then you start to feel like you’re losing the rest of the people you held close as well. However, it’s important to see this as weeding out people who were never really there for you in the first place. If someone wants to abandon you at a time where you’re feeling low, you shouldn’t keep them around anyway.

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The thing about all of these losses is that if and when you come to the realization that they’re good for you, you can start to feel happy that they happened. And for some people, this can be confusing. The guilt that comes with enjoying someone’s absence can almost lead you down a rabbit hole of persuading yourself that you, in fact, do not feel good about it and that you actually miss your ex. Missing your ex is totally normal, but don’t let how you think you should feel cloud the progress you’re making in getting over them.

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And finally, know that the hardest part may not be the breakup itself but instead the staying apart that follows. Everything and anything will remind you of your ex right after the two of you break up, and depending on the intensity of the relationship, this can go on for quite some time. You’ll want to call them, text them, you’ll wonder how they’re doing or if they miss you. It’s for the benefit of both of you to fight these urges and give time for healing.

Popping up in someone’s life when they’re trying to get over you isn’t fair, and even if your ex wants to talk to you too, having conversations at such an emotionally extreme time will only leave you more sad and confused.

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The most important part of a breakup is that you don’t think of everything so logically. Don’t get mad at your ex for looking at your profile one night, just as they shouldn’t be mad if you’re hurt that they’re trying to move on. Feelings like these are normal, and it’s how you choose to handle them that matter. Approach the situations that come up with understanding, and don’t make each other feel crazy because breakups make us all a little high strung.