Of course, break ups are crap - we can all agree on that.

There’s a natural mourning period to break ups – and it often takes much longer than we realise. Years sometimes. That doesn’t mean we can’t date other people or live our lives – but to heal and to let something go takes time. Be patient with yourself and surround yourself with good people.

The Stages of Grief can be useful here, we may well experience them all: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Sometimes we can hit depression and get stuck there.

There are certain individuals who experience relationships very intensely. So when a relationship ends it can feel catastrophic. These are people who may have an anxious attachment relating style. We love with every fibre of our being and when a relationship ends it can feel like a huge loss of self, not just the relationship.

Learning more about your Attachment Style can help us understand some of our insecurities. 

A breakup is not just a breakup for anxiously attached individuals – it’s so much more and it’s excruciatingly painful. We can strive to develop a more secure attachment style where we are secure, and the stakes are not so high all the time.

It’s possible you are also choosing unavailable people and have a pattern of being left or things not working out the way you wanted. Was this person there for you? Was the future you wanted there? Were you making a choice based on esteem and resilience, or were you scared, taking what you could get and hoping things would get better in time? If that is the case that might be an unhealthy pattern worth exploring more.

This will have its origins in our history where abandonment is somehow familiar to us. We will unconsciously recreate this familiar feeling by choosing unavailable people who may well abandon us, or we will feel abandoned by. This sense of abandonment is also what contributes to break ups being so hugely painful.

It’s important to try to step out of the emotionality of what’s happened because of the breakup and use the rational part of our brain to get to grips with the reasons why things didn’t work out and are part of our ways of relating.

Dealing With Difficult Breakups

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In today’s Agony Aunt session, I discuss why break ups can be especially hard and what might be happening for you psychotherapeutically.

There’s a natural mourning period to break ups – and it often takes much longer than we realise. Years sometimes.


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