A breakup raises some interesting questions. They plague the minds of both parties – the initiator of the breakup, as well as the person who receives the brunt of it. Much focus has been devoted to the dumped person with several zillion blogs addressing the issue of heartbreak. But it’s time to put the spotlight on the women who choose to call it quits. They find themselves drowning in a harrowing dilemma – why am I sad when I broke up with him? Why do we feel regret after breaking up? Why is guilt the hardest part of a breakup?
We’re answering all these and more in consultation with psychologist Nandita Rambhia (MSc, Psychology), who specializes in CBT, REBT, and couples counseling. Our dual mission is to identify the causes behind your mysterious sadness and provide a few coping strategies for them. Cast your worries away because we’ve got you covered. Let’s find out why you feel sad about the breakup when it was for the best.
Why Am I Sad When I Broke Up With Him – 4 Reasons
So, is it normal to feel sad after breaking up with someone? Nandita says, “Usually, yes. People experience sadness despite making the call to part ways. A breakup is a painful event – it is an end to an important chapter of your life. You expect the relationship to have a future; you invest so much time and energy into nurturing it. When this does not reach fruition the way you envisioned it, grief and sadness are inevitable.”
Many women are confused when they experience negative emotions after breaking up with their partners. They ask, “Why am I sad when I broke up with him?” Hmmm, why was Monica Geller sad after breaking up with Richard? We have outlined the four plausible reasons behind this phenomenon and they ought to clear things up significantly. A little bit of clarity is always helpful when you’re struggling with emptiness after a breakup. Take a look…
1. Guilty as charged
No one enjoys causing pain to someone. More so if that someone had been a romantic partner. You’ve experienced the different types of intimacy with your ex and they’ve been a huge part of your life. Hurting them was the last thing you wanted to do but it was inevitable. This has probably generated a lot of guilt which can harm you. Moreover, if your ex has accused you of being selfish, this has contributed to your sense of culpability.
But hey, breaking up and thereby hurting somebody is better than being in a relationship just for the sake of it. Overcoming guilt is the hardest part of a breakup. Just remember why you took the call in the first place. Your reasons for calling it off must have been completely valid. Believe in their justness even if nobody else does.
Related Reading: 13 Helpful Tips To Get Over The Love Of Your Life
2. Is it normal to feel sad after breaking up with someone? Post-breakup blues
Why am I sad when I broke up with him, you ask? Nandita says, “You enter a relationship with the expectation that something positive will come out of it. Irrespective of who has ended things, your dreams and expectations have suffered a blow. Your grief and unhappiness are a result of this jolt.” You’re grieving like any person would, and this is completely normal.
Most people experience a slump after a relationship ends. The knowledge of ‘it’s for the best’ can’t counteract the pain of saying goodbye to someone you love. You ought to embrace your feelings in their entirety and sit with this sadness. As E.A. Bucchianeri wrote in his novel Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, “So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.”
The ‘what-if’ or ‘if-only’ conundrum is a dangerous albeit common one to fall into. If you feel sad about the breakup when it was for the best, it’s probably because you’re considering how things could’ve gone differently. And while this is only natural, it has the potential to affect you negatively. Because let’s face it – what’s done is done. Dwelling on your history will only make you doubly miserable and also further damage your mental state. Why not make peace with the past?
Nandita explains, “Feeling regret after breaking up is not common across all relationships but it is not unheard of either. You will be ambivalent at times and wonder if you’ve made the right decision. Many people second-guess their actions in the aftermath of a breakup. You too might oscillate between what-ifs and self-assurance.”
4. Why am I sad when I broke up with him? It’s not him, it’s you
The final possibility that explains your sadness is this – you’ve actually made the wrong decision and want to get back together with him. Maybe you broke up impulsively or let anger cloud your judgment. Maybe the problem wasn’t as big as you made it out to be. Or maybe, you’re willing to work on it with your partner instead of parting ways.
If you’ve realized your mistake in retrospect and want to undo things, a tidal wave of sadness is bound to wash over you. We’re really sorry for your tricky position; only you can ascertain if reconciliation is on the cards. The error has been committed on your part but the ball now lies in your partner’s court.
Well, did these help you understand why you’re feeling regret after breaking up? Now that you’ve located the pebble in your shoe, let’s move on to some troubleshooting. What you’re pegging as excessive sadness can be the symptoms of depression. The aftermath of a breakup is quite devastating even if you’ve initiated it. It’s time to understand how you can help yourself through the hardest part of a breakup. So, how long does breakup sadness last?
5 Tips To Help Get Past Depression After Breakup
How long has it been since you left your apartment? Having trouble focusing on work, aren’t you? Healing from heartbreak is a long and difficult process that demands immense patience. While there’s no point in hurrying yourself along the path of recovery, you can make the journey smoother with these simple tips. There are no fixed formulas or quick fixes to breakup pain. You have to adapt these strategies in your own way; nobody is a better judge of them than you.
Implementing these approaches in your life will yield positive results for sure. They will also give you a retrospective understanding of your question – why am I sad when I broke up with him? Read these with an open mind and don’t dismiss any suggestions instantly. Give each of these a chance to help you. Without further ado, we move on to the five tips that can help you get past the post-breakup sadness.
Related Reading: 10 Ways To Deal With Heartbreak
1. Maintain a one-arm distance from your partner
Since you’ve initiated the breakup, you have to respect their space. A sudden pang of whim should not send you running back to your partner, demanding a reconciliation. Your actions should not start a toxic on-again-off-again cycle. Stay away from your ex and steer clear of social media. If you work in the same setting, keep communication to a minimum. Repeated texts, drunk calls, and desperate appeals are strict no-nos.
Now coming to your question – how long does breakup sadness last? Nandita says, “If you’ve called off things because your partner was unkind or nasty to you, the sadness would be temporary. But if you ended the relationship because of practical reasons or a right-person-wrong-time situation, your hurt will be prolonged. There is no straight answer, honestly. Each relationship is surrounded by a unique set of circumstances and has a different intensity.”
2. Be a social-butterfly
Nandita says, “It’s very important to surround yourself with people. Be with friends and family because isolating yourself will make you slip into a depressive cycle. A solid social support system is a must when you’re going through a breakup.” Return the missed calls of your friends and go visit your parents. Find solace in their company as you cope with things.
Similarly, stick to a routine in your life. Lounging on the couch all day is not sustainable nor desirable. Take a shower, clean the apartment, and go to work. Channel your feelings into something productive in order to feel better. Eat healthy and exercise. Taking care of yourself is non-negotiable even as you battle the quandary of “why am I sad when I broke up with him?”
3. Grieve the relationship
Is it normal to feel sad after breaking up with someone? Yes, absolutely. And you should not try and sidestep this sadness. Denial is sweet in the short term and damaging in the long term. So, it’s better to be a sobbing mess right now than five years later. Emotions never go away when you ignore them. Take time to process the stages of grief after the separation.
And it’s okay to ugly-cry and binge-eat. Look at the photos featuring the two of you and play sad songs on a loop. Give in to these temptations as you embrace the gloom. Cope however you can but don’t push your emotions to a tiny corner in your mind. It’s going to be okay eventually… but until it isn’t, you’re allowed to be down in the dumps.
4. Learn from your mistakes
If you were seeing things with complete objectivity, you wouldn’t be wondering “why am I sad when I broke up with him?”. After a few weeks have passed, sit with yourself and have an honest conversation. Things will be clearer once you look at it from hindsight and you will be able to see where things went wrong. And we don’t mean the breakup. Your reasons for ending things must have been right, but what about the course of the relationship?
If things could not work out between you and your partner, where did you err? Approach this exercise with a growth mindset. The aim is not self-criticism but self-awareness. You need to know your problem areas to prevent them from creating trouble later. This will ultimately pave the way for more self-love. When you ask, how long does breakup sadness last? We say, as long as you don’t learn from it.
5. Seek professional help
There are some mountains one cannot scale alone. Nandita says, “Reaching out to a professional can be very beneficial if you’re battling depressive symptoms. They can help you see things clearly and provide a safe emotional outlet.” At Bonobology, we offer professional help through our panel of licensed counselors and therapists. Many people have emerged stronger from their breakups after seeking guidance from a mental health expert. Don’t hesitate to do so yourself.
We hope this helped you understand your situation better. A breakup is extremely challenging for every person; don’t hesitate to rely on us for more advice. We’re always glad to have you. Write to us in the comments below if there’s anything you think we’ve missed. People get through the hardest part of a breakup and so will you. More power to you and farewell!