Dealing with a breakup | Advice for Young People | Jigsaw

Dealing with a breakup

Dealing with a breakup

Saturday, 02 October 2021

Whether you broke up with someone, they broke up with you, or the decision was mutual, feelings can be tough. We can feel sadness, loss, guilt, or anger.

Sometimes we can be upset because we’re confused and not sure what happened. Other times it can even be a relief.

It doesn’t matter how long it lasted or how serious it was, it matters what the relationship meant to you. How you felt about that person and how it ended will impact how you react to dealing with breaking up.

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Jigsaw Live Chat

If you have been having difficulty dealing with a breakup, talk to one of our clinicians about it through our text-based live chat.

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How we might be feeling

The way we feel about ourselves and others around us also has an influence on our reaction to a breakup. It can be harder if we don’t have close friends around, or we’re not feeling good about ourselves.

Try not to only focus on the loss of the other person. Instead, think about your own life and what you can do to support yourself.

There is no right or wrong way to feel. Every relationship is different, and it’s important to acknowledge and allow ourselves to feel whatever is going on for us.

Feeling loss

Going through a breakup it can be really tough, especially if we don’t want the relationship to end. When this happens, we can experience feelings of grief at the loss of this person. It’s not unusual to feel loss after a breakup.

Not being able to hang out together, or with the friends you made through your ex, all adds to this sense of loss. Sometimes people feel upset about the plans made during the relationship that will no longer happen, like going to a festival or debs together.

Boy and girl talking on building steps

Having to let go

There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a relationship. But it is important to know you do have to let go, even though you might not want to.

Confusion

Sometimes people go over and over things that happened, and ask themselves “Why?”, “What did I do wrong?”. Or “How could I have done things differently?”

Sadness

It can be hard to let go of all the great things about a relationship. Feeling loved and close to someone is a very special thing. This includes being touched, cuddled and kissed, and also sexual touches too.

We can feel very sad thinking about not having these things in our life.

Anger

Some people feel angry at the other person for ending the relationship. But some can feel anger toward themselves or the situation that caused the breakup.

Let down

After putting trust in another person when in a relationship, we can feel let down or a sense of betrayal. 

Rejected

This is such a common feeling when someone breaks up with us. So know that you’re not alone with this. We can feel unwanted by the person we were so attached to after a breakup.

It doesn’t feel good to think that someone we care about doesn’t want to be with us anymore.

Loss of identity

Being in a relationship can be very consuming. We can get so wrapped up in being part of a couple. After being someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend for a while, it can be difficult figuring out who we are on our own.

Relief

Even in situations where people don’t want the relationship to end, there can also be a sense of relief. Perhaps things had become difficult with a lot of arguments or tension. It can then be a relief not to have to go through this anymore.

Blame

We’re not saying anyone should feel blame. But we can sometimes feel at fault for a breakup, even if we’re not the ones who ended it.

Maybe something was said or done towards the end  that becomes the focus for the breakup. We can also look for someone else to blame outside of the relationship like a close friend or an ex.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a relationship. But it is important to know you do have to let go, even though you might not want to.

 

Letting go and moving on

We need to respect someone’s right to not want to be in a relationship with us anymore. No matter how we feel about it ourselves.

Social media can make it really tempting to keep an eye on what they’re up to. We might follow them on social media or show up to places where we know they’ll be. But really, we have to give them and ourselves space.

It could also be seen as stalking (which is against the law) and is very upsetting for the other person. As painful as it is, this is what we need to do when a relationship ends.

Online updates

Following your ex’s updates online can make it tougher to move on. It gets in the way of you letting go.

What you can do to get over a breakup

Feel your feelings

Allow yourself time to experience what you’re feeling. It’s not easy feeling sad and hurt from a breakup.  It’s understandable to want to push these feelings away.

But, avoiding the sadness can make us feel worse in the long run. Give yourself time to feel. Make sure that you do something nice for yourself too.

Girl looking down

Make sense of and accept

It’s OK to go over the breakup to make sense of and accept what has happened.

Talk to someone you trust

It’s OK to go over the breakup to make sense of and accept what has happened. Feeling cared for and listened to by friends or family is important.

Think of the positives of being single

Embrace your new status. You might now have time to do things like hang out with friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Being newly single can be scary at first. But it can end up being nice not to have to think about someone else all the time. Now, just focus on what you want.

Do things that you enjoy

Small things like watching a funny film with a friend, or walking the dog can make a difference. Doing things we enjoy can help build our confidence and sense of identity again.

Try something new

Sometimes relationships can take up a lot of our time. Use this time to try something new.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

It can be tempting to use drugs and alcohol to help with the pain. This just makes us numb and means we don’t manage how we feel and learn from the experience.

Alcohol also decreases our inhibitions. If we are drunk, we can become over emotional and do things we might not normally do. Drunk texting or calling the person late at night is never a good idea. If you do want to contact your ex, it’s better to do this sober.

Focus on what you did right

People often focus on what they did wrong in relationships when they end, but don’t focus on what went right. Think about how you let someone close to you and tried to connect with them. This isn’t always an easy thing to do. Acknowledge yourself for being able to do this.

When you’re ready, it can be useful to think if there is anything you can learn for future relationships. Remember, you were likeable or lovable to this person, and the breakup doesn’t change the person you are. It just means the relationship wasn’t working out.

You are still loveable, and can meet someone new when you are ready in the future. But don’t feel under pressure to find someone else, lots of people are happy being single.

 

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Jigsaw Live Chat

If you have been having difficulty dealing with a breakup, talk to one of our clinicians about it through our text-based live chat.

Live chat

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