Ending a relationship hurts

Ending a relationship hurts – here's why

The vast majority of song lyrics out there are about heartbreak - especially about situations in which the breakup was not your choice. But what almost no one talks about is that ending a relationship hurts just as much. Whether it's your romantic partner, a family member or a friend, your heart is broken, too, just (partially) in a different way.

After the breakup of a relationship, it is important to mourn that which is no longer there, that which hasn't been there for a long time (and perhaps never was), and that which will never be again. Let's first take look at these 3 types of loss:

Type #1: What's no longer there

You’ve ended the relationship and now there is an empty space in your life. Whatever your reason for ending it may have been and however unpleasant the relationship may have become before you decided to end it, that empty space is still a new absence. It’s the loss of all that the (physical) presence of that person still offered you.

Type #2: What was already (long) gone

The relationship was no longer working for you, in one way or another. Which means that you have been walking around with a feeling of loss for quite some time now, only you weren't (that) aware of it. You had already been missing that partner or mother or friend for a long time before you ended it, that's why you split up. So, in addition to the pain of the new empty space, there is also a greater loss - a loss that was already there (unconsciously) and is only now getting to be experienced. The loss of the person who hasn't been there for ages - and perhaps never really was.

Type #3: What will never be again

Until the moment you actually part ways, there’s always this timeline in the back of your mind, an image, a dream, a version of you in the future with that person. And that's gone now, too. Until that very last second, somewhere really deep down, you had hope. You could still delude yourself into thinking that maybe that person would one day have some moment of deep realization or that perhaps you would, somehow, someway, be able to find a way to work things out together. That hope is now completely gone. That too, is a loss all on its own.

“Right now, you are existing in the space between what could have been and what is. All you can do here is mourn.”

Your invitation and challenge for now

So, your invitation right now is to be present with all three types of loss. If you completely surrender to this grief for a while, a space will naturally be created, in which you'll be able to be with and celebrate everything that is better now, because you made it happen.

Whether you are rolling on the floor crying, taking your anger out on some plates, or experiencing a certain confusion and numbness - or all of the above - this pain is part of you right now. And the only thing that matters is that you deal with it in a way that feels safest and most authentic to you today.

Grieving = honoring

The hardest part is over; now give yourself some time and space to grieve. You don't have to feel good, just because it was your choice. You have created a certain void that can begin to serve as a magnet for everything in life that is truly aligned with your authentic self. That is a wonderful thing and as soon as you feel you genuinely have the space to do it, absolutely revel in your courageousness.

But for now: grieve. You are worth it and the relationship (and your investment in it) was worth it. In grieving you honor not only all that was, but also every version of you during that relationship and the hopes and dreams of the person you were then. All this to say: Allow yourself to grieve, dear human.