As a follow on to my previous post about breakups, I wanted to look into to some of the common assumptions of breaking up that people so regularly throw around as fact. If you are going through a breakup, I am so sorry. It is a horribly painful experience and the loss of a relationship can really shake someone to the core. Know that, if nowhere else, you have support here.
Often, when people preach at you and feed into these “facts”, they are just trying to think of something to say that will help you. they likely don’t MEAN to say something unhelpful or hurtful.
Most of these can apply in some cases, but they may not apply to your case or most cases.
1. Someone is always the bad-guy
Sometimes there is a bad-guy, maybe one of the people cheated, lied or was neglectful, but there isn’t always a bad-guy. Sometimes people just drift apart or a great couple find themselves in circumstances that they can’t make it through together. There isn’t antagonist in every story and it can hurt those grieving a lot more to try and sign the “blame” to someone.
If you find yourself of the position of talking to someone who is going through a breakup, try to consider the feelings of both sides and how they feel about each other before you try to dish out blame or vilifying either person involved.
Also, if you are going through a breakup, try not to vilify your ex unnecessarily. If they did do wrong by you or the relationship, you are fully entitled to your feelings, but don’t blame where it’s not needed. It might seem like it’ll make you feel better, but it won’t. It will only stir you up with aggravation and annoyance. Anger doesn’t solve anything.
2. Breaking up means the relationship wasn’t real or loving
Relationships begin for strange reasons. Personalities, interests and circumstances all club together to make two people click and the beginnings of a relationship is formed. It’s weird how it happens and it’s wonderful. Relationships also end in as just a weird way. Also a combination of personalities changing, a drifting of interests or priorities and circumstance.
Sometimes a great, loving couple just don’t work out, through no fault of either of them.
Breaking up does not mean that you and your partner were never in a real and loving relationship, it just means that the relationship has reached its end.
Breaking up is hard. You are mourning the loss of love, the loss of a relationship that has taken time, attention and emotional investment to form. While some relationships are loveless, that isn’t the case for every couple. Quite likely, your relationship was loving, was valued and was just the victim of circumstance and personal differences.
3. It’s impossible that you still love them
I know from experience that breaking up with someone doesn’t mean that all your love is instantaneously erased. If that were the case, breaking up would be so much easier. Breaking up is the slow and difficult path of walking away from your love with another. It isn’t so easy as just suddenly not being in love – how useful that would be!
Sometimes people, even both sides, continue to love the other for a long time. A breakup doesn’t always mean that there’s no love there and that makes it all the more painful.
If you know someone who is going through a breakup, try to be careful about suggesting anything along the lines that they are completely out of love could be very hurtful to them.
If you yourself are going through a breakup, don’t feel that you have to suddenly act as though you are suddenly completely over your ex. Accept and embrace your emotions.
When times are tough, remember the phrase “The only way out is through”
4. You just need to pull yourself together
Breaking up is hard. It is painful. There has been a shock to your system, causing a chemical storm in your brain as it tries to compute what’s happening, and that’s a valid, real and very undeniably human reason to be shaken and upset.
No-one should be telling you, or even expecting you, to just pull yourself together. Pulling yourself together just means bottling it up and acting as if nothing is wrong, which is unhelpful and inhumane towards yourself.
5. It’s always down to personal fault or flaw
It is true that some breakups are down to personal difference, bad behaviour of character flaws, but that’s not always the reason behind a breakup. Everyone is different, no situation is identical and sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out.
It used to baffle me when I was younger when couples, both good, kind, honest, committed and lovely people, would seemingly break up for no apparent reason. Like they just decided “Eh, that was cool, time to move on” or something. Being young and inexperienced, I then tried to find the reason behind it, assuming that someone was responsible for some wrong doing or other. With time I grew to learn that it is sometimes just a case of people drifting apart.
It happens, it’s sad and there isn’t always a reason for it.
6. You’re smiling, so you must be over them
This is possibly the most irritating of all of these over-assumptions.
So much of the time people, even the people who know you really well, may assume that you are fine, over your ex and ready to get back out there just because you’re not curled up on the floor crying.
Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to cry, or you’re trying to handle things calmly or maybe just because you don’t need to cry about it right there and then. That’s okay. Crying is draining, it really saps your energy and can make you feel a whole lot worse so it’s understandable that you’ll try to avoid it!
Cry isn’t the only way we handle sadness. Especially for women, a lot of sadness is internal. It’s a vicious and destructive storm in the sea of your being which crashes walls of your soul. It’s rough and it’s only made worse when people try to force you to be better.
If you have a friend going through a breakup, be very careful when you suggest that they are better because it can be seriously upsetting to them if that is said when they are no-where near better and, please, do not try to encourage them to get over their ex by trying to hook them up with other people or take them out to get “back out there”, because that could be very damaging.
If you yourself are going through this trouble right now, please take your time in recovering. Let it be as fast or as slow as you need. Stay safe, stay healthy and put yourself first. Only you can truly and deeply know inside when you are fine again.
If you do find that you are taking an incredibly long time to feel okay again, or maybe issues related to things keep cropping up, perhaps try to see a professional who you can talk to to get your feelings out. The great thing about a counsellor is that you can get all of your feelings out using the best words you can and the counsellor will work them all out and tell it back to you in the clearest, healthiest and most satisfying way possible and can give great advice for how to take the best steps towards being happier and more yourself again.
I hope that these myth busts have been helpful to you and perhaps offered you some comfort if you are going through a breakup. Always remember that, even at times where you may forget so, there are people out there who love and care about you and you are of tremendous value. There is always someone to turn to out there. I wish you all the best and infinite happiness in future.
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