Why Is It So Hard To Get Over A Breakup?

The process of breaking up may be easy, it is the aftermath and cluster of feelings that is hard to face. Whether you were in a happy relationship or a toxic one -- getting over the breakup takes time and a lot of mental effort.
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The process of breaking up may be easy, it is the aftermath and cluster of feelings that is hard to face. Whether you were in a happy relationship or a toxic one -- getting over the breakup takes time and a lot of mental effort. Both the person getting dumped and the person doing the dumping go through the grieving process. The breakup can turn their world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. They simply do not know what to do with all these difficult feelings.

They know it in their head that they should move on, and get over with it already but is it that simple? Is it easy to move on when everything inside of you is falling apart? When you are so devastated that you could barely function and think straight? It is easier said than done, so we will talk about reasons why moving on and getting over the breakup is so difficult.

1.Our Ego Took the Blow
Sometimes it is the love that makes the getting over part difficult, and sometimes it is our ego. Or, maybe, most of the time, it is both as love and ego are connected by our attachment. We question ourselves: Why did they not want to be with me? Am I not lovable? Is there something wrong with me? If these are the questions you always ponder on, then it is the case of bruised ego rather than a broken heart. The feeling of inadequacy will start to creep in, and hinder the process of recovering from the breakup.

2.We Blame Ourselves
After the breakup, our mind turns into overdrive. We try to overanalyze everything we said and did, and find reasons behind it. We start to develop feelings of guilt, and because of that, we blame ourselves for ruining the relationship. We are on the go with the 'What If' questions. What if I had said that instead of this, or done that instead of this. It is important to stop with these things because you cannot go back in time and change it. It is important to get over the spiral of guilt and blame in order to move forward and get over the breakup.

3.Love Is an Addiction
There are a number of studies, such as of Helen Fisher, that show that the chemical reaction caused by love in the brain is similar to that caused by drugs. Similarly, the breakup has similar impact when the withdrawal of drugs takes place. And, isn't it difficult to get over the addiction? When your choice of drug is taken away from you, you think obsessively about them. You are yearning them and you are ready to do anything to get them back, even if they were not good for you. This fixation in love causes the person to see reality in a distorted way. The craving of the positive emotional and physical connection does not go away easily, and hence, keeps the person stuck in the past.

4.Breaking Up Is Stressful
Breaking up is stressful. Even more, if you are suffering from trust issues, high level of anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks, self-destructive behaviors, and lack of sleep after a breakup, you are probably going through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) induced by a breakup. Yes, a person can suffer from PTSD after their breakup. People tend to take breakups as a normal occurrence; however, they have the potential to cause high-levels of psychological damage to a person. Not everyone is able to cope up with this kind of stressor in their life.

This is the reason we see people cutting their veins and overdosing on medicine after their relationship is over. The disorder is triggered because of the abandonment issue of the individual. These issues may have taken roots in childhood, or it may be because of previous trauma, which they may have faced in their life. When all this combines, the person feels stuck and experiences the stress and difficulty in moving forward.

5.We Fear Rejection
We all have an innate feeling to belong to someone, some group, or some place. When this is taken away from us, we feel rejected. We are social beings, and rejection for a long time can really take a toll on our psychological and physical condition. As humans, we tend to anticipate an exaggerated version of rejection. It is true that rejection is painful, but its effect is only limited to a particular aspect of our life. So when we face rejection, our initially response towards it is shock. It takes time for the shock to sink in, and for us to accept it. We are too busy denying and avoiding the confrontation with the rejection that it becomes tough for us to get past that.

In spite of the emotional crisis created by the breakup, this is an opportunity to learn and grow. You can emerge from this experience knowing yourself better and become more mature and resilient. Yes, this is not easy, but absolutely possible to do if you are able to accept the breakup and move on.

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  • Moshe Ratson (MBA, MS MFT, LMFT) is a Licensed Couples/Marriage Family Therapist and Executive Coach based in New York City.

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