10 painful reasons why breakups hurt even when you wanted it

If you have recently broken up with your ex, there’s a good chance that they remain on your mind quite a bit.

You may think about them frequently, wonder why things ended, and wish things could be different.

Recovering from a break-up can be a painful process, especially if you and your ex were involved for a long time before ending things. But it’s completely normal to go through a range of emotions and it’s hard for all of us to let go.

I’ll take you through the main reasons why a breakup can hurt so much, even when you wanted it to happen. Let’s jump right in.

1) You feel lonely

When you lose a significant other, you suffer from a decline in the quality of your life. You have more time to yourself and your habits and patterns will have to change.

You might feel less energetic and your health suffers.

One of the first things to suffer is your sense of attraction and importance. This can also impact your libido and to feel like you can’t express it as freely as when you were in a relationship.

Being in a romantic relationship is a powerful encounter. It’s expressive and fun. Going from being desired to being ignored can be painful to our egos. It’s perfectly normal to feel hurt and alone.

2) Your self-image takes a hit

When you lose your partner, it can lead to a change in your self-image. You may feel as though you aren’t good enough to attract anyone.

Your attitudes and behaviors also take on a new tone.

The longer you were with your ex, the greater the impact it would have on your outlook on yourself and how you see yourself. When a breakup occurs suddenly, this can lead to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem.

You may even begin to believe that there is something wrong with who you are or that the other person has made up their mind before they have even met you.

3) You lose a friend as well as a lover

It’s hard to lose someone you consider a friend and then add the fact that he was your lover on top of that.

When you break up, it is not easy to maintain your friendship. There is an adjustment period that needs to happen before being able to reconnect and be at ease with one another again.

The process can be difficult and painful especially if he wants nothing to do with you after the breakup. These are emotional experiences. You will have to go through the pain of rebuilding a new relationship with someone else if that’s what you chose, as well as dealing with the loss of something you once had.

4) You feel let down

You no longer enjoy the physical intimacy you once shared and now feel that something is missing from your life. You probably broke up with this partner because they let you down or hurt you in some way.

Your sense of security and connection that you used to experience while in a relationship may be lacking without someone around to help you fill in this void. And it’s painful to carry around all of these negative emotions.

This can make us feel insecure and lonely which can lead to more negative feelings inside ourselves.

These feelings are often not clear, either, making them ten times more difficult to understand, let alone work through.

In these periods of confusion and distress, consider incorporating self-reflection sessions where you sit down and let your emotions loose.

Resources such as this free 20 minute guided Self-Healing Meditation are my absolute go-tos to stopping my negative emotions in their tracks.

If you want to free yourself from carrying around negative feelings, allocating time to let your mind breathe and relax is the best place to start.

Click here to access the free meditation.

Why not give it a go now, and see how you feel afterwards?

5) You second guess your decisions

You might experience a painful breakup, even if you were the one who chose it if you second guess your decision.

For example, if you and your partner shared great sex and he or she admitted to cheating on you, you may start to wonder if this was a “deal-breaker.” You might start to think of only the good moments that you had together and forget how much his actions hurt you.

But over time, you may forget this pain. And feel that nothing is as good as it used to be or that your lack of attraction is due to age, weight, overall appearance, or whatever other excuse you can think of to justify his actions.

This can also lead to low self-esteem and depression which can make it even harder to get over the loss. Be careful. It’s a dark pit of despair to spiral into. Stay firm in your decision and trust that you made the right one for you at that time.

6) You begin to see yourself differently

One of the most painful things about a breakup is the way we may view ourselves. We start to see how hurt we are. And we can also see how ruthless we can be.

When we are in love, we often positively see our partners, even in the face of their flaws. We tend to put their needs and wants before ours.

You may feel that your partner has taken advantage of you in certain ways by dominating your priorities and being demanding on your time and affection.

Now that the relationship is over, you might wonder why you put someone else before you and be embarrassed with how you let them treat you. The breakup can feel pain because you start to see your mistakes and how you compromised things that are important to you.

7) You can’t explain it

When you lose someone you were in love with and who was in love with you, there’s a tendency to try to figure out what happened, even when it wasn’t working.

You tend to blame yourself (it wasn’t your fault) or blame the other person (they weren’t treating you right).

There is always an element of mystery surrounding breakups.

You may have some suspicions about what happened but cannot seem to explain it. Or doubt that it happened the way you remember it. Or maybe you know what happened but are unable to make the situation fit into how you want to remember it.

It’s hard to understand why relationships fail. Sometimes it’s just bad timing or a lot of misunderstanding or something external that came into play.

No matter how much you try to make logical sense of them, relationships and breakups aren’t easy to figure out at all.

8) You feel like you are betraying someone if you go out

After a breakup and when you are trying to get over the loss, it’s normal to avoid going out with your friends. Whether they are planning a night on the town or just want to grab some coffee.

You may feel that it would be hurtful to your ex or that you will run into him or her out in public. Or maybe run into the person he or she is seeing now. Maybe you don’t want to allow yourself to have fun with someone new.

You aren’t ready for that kind of exposure at this time and might be concerned about how it will make you feel.

But the truth is that living in a comfort zone which largely tailors to your ex’s feelings isn’t doing you any justice.

You are allowed to heal yourself and sequester yourself away when needed, but there will come a time when you have to combat these feelings of guilt and focus on the priority.

And guess who the priority is?


The next stage of your life will inevitably mean facing the uncomfortable and returning to single life, but I’m confident your friends will be there to welcome you with open arms.

9) You lose your sense of adventure and spontaneity

After a breakup, it can feel painful to take on new experiences and have fun again. We can easily hold ourselves back from living our lives because it hurts for things to end and change.

You may even start to avoid going out because you think it will remind you of the relationship.

pexels darwis alwan 1817121 1 10 painful reasons why breakups hurt even when you wanted it

It’s only natural to want to keep yourself busy but unless you’re feeling better about yourself, this can hurt more than help. But that doesn’t mean that it will feel good.

When you are broken up from a relationship, it can still take time to grieve and mourn the change. Sometimes we can’t allow ourselves to have fun and new adventures until we’ve gotten over our former relationships or they’ve passed over us.

10) You are a perfectionist

Breakups can feel painful, even if you are the one who decided to end things because they can feel like a failure.

Are you a perfectionist? That can explain why you don’t like to admit that some things have to change and end.

You might have been a model student in high school, but now you’re looking for the perfect career and the perfect partner. However, instead of getting you what you want, it only makes you feel more depressed because it’s hard to figure out what works until you experience it.

Now that you’re out of a relationship, it can feel painful and like a failure. Now you have to find someone else because you don’t want to settle for someone who isn’t “perfect.”

And it can feel pain because you don’t want to be alone at the moment or put in more effort to find someone else.

How to move on

Moving on from a breakup can be difficult. We can get addicted and used to feel sad and sorry for ourselves. The breakup and difficulties in the relationship may have dominated your thoughts and conversations for the past few weeks or months. So how can you change your mindset to move on? Be gentle and go slowly. Here are some tips for moving forward after your breakup.

1) Recognize and acknowledge your feelings

The first step to moving forward is to recognize your feelings and fully acknowledge them. This includes understanding why you feel the way you do, as well as recognizing your feelings are normal.

When you start to feel stuck or like you can’t move forward, take time to ask yourself why you feel the way you do.

What happened to cause you to feel this way? What are your feelings telling you? What would you say to a friend who was going through a similar experience?

When you’re emotionally engaged in something, it can be difficult to see it objectively. Acknowledging your feelings can help you become more aware of them, begin to understand their root causes, and move beyond them.

2) Be honest with yourself about why you broke up

Whether or not you feel like it, you need to be honest with yourself about the events that led up to your breakup. If you broke up with your partner and now find yourself continually thinking about them, you need to ask yourself why.

You don’t want to engage in a cycle of self-defeating thoughts that prevent you from moving forward in positive ways.

Why did you break up with your partner? Was it because of something you did or something they did? Or was it a combination of factors?

If your relationship ended because of something they did, what did they do and can you forgive them for it?

If the relationship ended because of something you did, do you believe you can change and do better in the future?

3) Find ways to stay busy and distracted

One of the best ways to move forward and put your ex in the past is to stay busy and distracted.

Doing so allows you to focus your attention on other things, and thereby gives your ex less space in your mind. If you’re struggling to move forward, try to find ways to keep your mind and hands busy.

Engage in activities that interest you, and do things that you enjoy.

This could be anything from baking to playing sports or taking up a new hobby like kickboxing.

4) Remember why you parted

When you broke up, you parted for a reason. You probably didn’t end the relationship without at least some consideration, and you probably have your reasons for why you did so.

Remembering and reminding yourself of why you broke up with your ex can help you stay focused on the future and move forward in positive ways.

This could help you avoid making the same mistakes again, and it could also help you to avoid becoming too obsessed with your ex.

Remembering why you broke up with your ex can help you to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.

It can also help you to avoid repeating mistakes from your past.

5) Try new activities and meet new people

If you ended a relationship that happened in a social setting, you might find yourself continually thinking about your ex and wishing you were still with them when you’re in those same settings.

Doing new things and meeting new people who aren’t connected to your ex can help to prevent this from occurring.

Try to do new things and engage in new activities that aren’t connected to your ex. This can help you to meet new people and put your ex in a new context.

If you have a hard time moving forward, consider doing something that is completely out of your comfort zone.

This can help you to meet new people and put your ex in a new context.

6) Commit to self-care in general

When you’re heartbroken and longing for your ex, it can be tempting to focus on the past and the person you miss.

Doing so, though, can prevent you from moving forward and regaining your confidence and independence.

Instead, commit to self-care and self-development in general. Make sure you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and taking care of your mental and emotional health in general. Mindfulness and meditation practices such as this Self-Healing session will be key in keeping your emotional state cared for and helping you to heal.

By doing so, you’ll make it easier to move forward and put your ex in a new context.

7) Focus on something bigger

If you’re obsessing over your ex, you might benefit from putting your attention on something bigger.

This could be a cause or issue that you feel strongly about, or it could be a positive relationship in your life.

Putting your attention on something bigger can help you to move forward when you’re feeling stuck or obsessed with your ex.

It can help you to move past the lingering hurt and pain of the relationship and put your ex in a new context.

8) Find a more exciting partner

If you’re continually obsessing over your ex, it might be helpful to try to find a new, more exciting partner to give your love life a fresh start.

This can help you to move past the person you miss and put them in a new context.

If you’ve been moping around and obsessing over your ex, a new partner can help to snap you out of it.

A professional coach, like the ones available at Relationship Hero, can help you navigate your feeling after your breakup and help you move on. They genuinely help people solve problems and are at the top in their field.

After going through an especially painful breakup that I couldn’t quite get out of, they were the ones to finally snap me out of it and find the courage to get myself back out there.

My family and friends were getting tired of hearing about my issues and pain and I needed someone new to turn to. They gave me strategies that worked.

And they were patient, understanding, and professional.

In just a few minutes you can connect with an experienced relationship coach who I am confident will help you find new light at the end of this dark tunnel and start the next page of your life.

Click here to get started.

Dating again can also give you something new and exciting to focus your attention on and provide a fresh start.

9) Don’t ruminate on the past

When you’re trying to move forward, the last thing you want to do is ruminate on the past.

While it is important to acknowledge your feelings and why your relationship ended, it is equally important to put the past in the past.

To move forward, try to avoid ruminating on the past. Instead, focus on moving forward and finding ways to engage in positive activities that will improve your future.

Trust your decisions

Breakups happen for a reason.

Even if you are still in love with your ex, it is important to remember that the relationship has ended for a reason, and it was something that you felt was inherently necessary. Trust yourself.

If you find yourself obsessing over your ex, you should try to find ways to move forward.

There will come a time when you can look back on your relationship and determine how it ended.

In the meantime, be patient and allow yourself to move forward in healthy ways.

We’ve covered why this experience can feel so painful and how you can take steps to move on. But as I mentioned earlier, sometimes trying new things or finding new ways to think about your past relationship can help to snap you out of the obsessive thinking and pain.

Why not have some fun with this new opportunity? You can get a completely personalized explanation of your breakup with the readers over at Psychic Source.

When I got a reading from them, I was surprised at how insightful it was.

They helped me to finally move forward after my latest breakup. I can’t help but recommend this new approach.

Click here to get your reading.

Whether your reach out to others or not, remember that it’s normal to feel hurt after a breakup. This will take time and patience to get through. I can promise you there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

However, if you continue to obsess over your ex or spend too much time dwelling on them in negative ways, this could prevent you from moving on.

Furthermore, such thinking habits could prevent you from finding someone new, and keeping your ex in your life indefinitely might hold you back from forming meaningful and lasting connections.

By focusing on moving forward instead of backtracking with your ex, you can improve both the future of your relationship as well as your future.

Stay strong and remember that the pain will soon ease.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.