10 Things That Hurt Most When You Break Up

It’s no secret that a breaking up is a painful process, no matter which side of it you’re on. Almost everything about it is miserable, but there are some things that are particularly hurtful; these ten things are among the worst parts of ending a relationship.

  1. The Initial Conversation – Whether you knew the breakup was inevitable or were taken by surprise, the first discussion about ending a relationship is one of the most difficult. Hurt feelings can cause both parties to say things they’ll later regret, causing each other even more pain.
  2. Separating Your Lives – Long-term relationships have a way of intertwining two lives so thoroughly that extricating yourself is a complicated and hurtful process. Sorting belongings, closing joint accounts and moving all hammer the point home; the finality of these necessary tasks can be heartbreaking.
  3. Questions From Family and Friends – When family members and friends become accustomed to viewing a couple as a unit, it can be difficult to answer the inevitable questions. Being forced to explain the reasons behind a breakup to loved ones over and over can be wearing; watching mutual friends take sides and grow apart can often make things even worse.
  4. Finding Forgotten Belongings – Stumbling over a forgotten piece of clothing or other left-behind belongings inevitably happens, especially if the couple shared a living space. The regrets and memories of happier times can almost be overwhelming in this situation.
  5. Adjusting to Single Life – After creating a life with someone, their absence can be even more upsetting when it’s time to make adjustments to single-dom. Mundane tasks like eating dinner alone are often among the most depressing reminders of everything that has been lost.
  6. Rumors and Gossip – Even the most well-meaning friends can’t resist the urge to pass along gossip and rumors about an ex; regardless of their truth, these second-hand news items can make an injured party even more unhappy.
  7. Being Reminded Unexpectedly – Hearing a particular song on the radio or smelling your ex’s cologne on a stranger passing by can almost be devastating; being unprepared for the onslaught of memories that accompany these things often leaves a person bewildered, reliving the relationship and its painful end.
  8. Accidentally Running Into One Another – Unless one half of a couple leaves town altogether, you will eventually bump into one another. The stunted conversation between two people who were once so close is heartbreaking in its awkwardness.
  9. Finding Out That They’re Dating Someone New – Hearing that your ex is seeing someone else, especially if you haven’t been ready to date anyone yourself, can make you question the depth of their commitment and feelings for you.
  10. Realizing That You Haven’t Moved On – There often comes a point, after a breakup, when you realize that you’ve been fooling yourself into thinking that you’ve moved on. Realizing that you’re still not quite over an ex can feel as if you’re reliving the breakup, going through it all over again.

Starting over after ending a long-term relationship is a challenge, and almost never happens quickly. Because moving on is a series of small and gradual changes, it can sometimes feel as if there will never be an end in sight. Patience and optimism is key; by taking things one day at a time and realizing that the pain won’t last forever, you might find yourself ready to face the world sooner than you expect.

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