My Breakup is Killing Me. What Do I Do Next?

A devastated couple on the verge of a breakup
When someone tells you, “My breakup is killing me,” you may want to pay attention and comfort them.

Time heals all wounds, they say. One of the causes of wounds is a breakup. And while these wounds will heal, that doesn’t make breakups any less painful.

When someone says “My breakup is killing me,” they’re feeling the full brunt, the complete pain that is realized during the aftermath of a relationship. But while time will heal that pain, it may not offer the complete healing you need. It may help, but it won’t do all the work.

So, why do breakups feel particularly painful? Let’s go into what makes them heartbreaking in the first place. From there, you’ll learn to heal and get back on your feet.

The Types of Breakups

While no two breakups are the same, people will normally experience one or more of these eight breakup types. Let’s go into each type and see how they play out.

1. Blind-Sided Breakups

Were you dumped out of the blue? Your relationship seemed like it was going fine, then your partner suddenly tells you they’re ending things.

Breakups of this kind are among the most challenging ones to process. Why? Because you don’t know what led to your partner’s decision and why your relationship soured in the first place.

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2. Breaking Up with Your First Love

This next breakup either begins with “I just got dumped by the love of my life” or “I broke up with the woman of my dreams.”

A breakup of this sort is like a heavy reality check. You think you’ve found the person who’ll be there in the long term, but unfortunately, things have to end.

Many people find it difficult to get over this breakup because they think they lost their person. This kind of loss can especially hurt if the love they shared was intense.

3. Breakups Resulting from Cheating

Unfortunately, cheating is a reality that many couples have to contend with. But a breakup resulting from being cheated on can leave you scarred, to the point that it affects the way you view and handle relationships going forward.

Cheating isn’t simply a betrayal of trust. It isn’t simply a matter of your partner hurting you. It also makes you think there’s something wrong with you or you’ve somehow done something to cause this.

Woman looking out of a window
Whether you’ve been cheated on or dumped out of the blue, breakups leave you doubting yourself.

Oftentimes, the healing process takes longer. Not only do you feel blindsided, but foolish as well. You also spend time trying to picture how the cheating happened, and you become wary of it ever happening to you again.

4. The “It Was Something You Said” Breakup

Sometimes, it takes one conversation to end happy relationships. If you say something that rubs your partner the wrong way, it can cause friction. It also can change your view of your relationship to the point where ending things seems like the best choice.

5. Breakups from Ultimatums

An ultimatum can often sound like a threat. Something along the lines of, “Marry me within the next two years, or I’ll leave” sounds like a ploy to control a partner into playing by their rules only. They create unhealthy dynamics because they poison a relationship’s security and safety.

6. Circumstantial Breakups

As much as you want your love to continue, your environment won’t let your relationship continue. This is what people call circumstantial breakups. One example is if one of you migrates to another country. This hurts because you need to let go of your feelings, even if you don’t want to.

7. Mutual Breakups

This is likely the least painful kind of breakup. In fact, it may not even be painful, rather, the opposite. When you both know your relationship is hurting you instead of bringing happiness, the best solution is to end things.

Or it can be an indicator that the relationship has run its course, and you are both ready to move on to something better. For example, when someone says, “I dumped her and she seems happy,” that person isn’t likely to be a bitter ex. Whether there is hurt or not, a mutual breakup is usually a point of growth and maturation.

8. The First Breakup

Do you remember the first time your heart got broken? Or are you someone who’s going through your first heartbreak?

Regardless of your situation, you know first breakups bring pain and shock. You’re in an unfamiliar setting, which can understandably confuse you, along with the sad feelings.

However, there is a silver lining.

First breakups are unforgettable because they become springboards for your future relationships. They’ll teach you what you really want and what to avoid.

My Breakup is Destroying Me. Why Does It Hurt So Much?

Once a breakup comes, there’s no changing the initiator’s mind. All you can do is just brace yourself for the wave of emotions.

Man covering his face in pain
The mental effects of a relationship’s end can make you feel some physical symptoms of a breakup.

Why do they feel devastatingly painful? These reasons may provide some explanations and clarity:

Your body’s “fight-or-flight” mode gets triggered

When you experience a breakup (especially a surprise one), your body may treat it as an emergency. And with that, it activates your “fight-or-flight” mode. This mode feels like you’re experiencing physical symptoms of a breakup because of its effects.

While you’re in this state, your body releases hormones that help you manage threats and prioritize your safety. Other symptoms include rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, appetite loss, and sleep problems. As your physical hypervigilance increases, you’ll also experience stomach pain and headaches.

You’re looking for logical explanations

When your relationship doesn’t work out as you’ve hoped, you naturally want to know why things happened the way they did. Rational explanations bring comfort because they point to the causes and effects of mistakes.

Unfortunately, you can’t truly logically explain breakups and their aftermaths. Relationships are emotionally complex, and no hypothesis can answer when and how your relationship had an unfortunate ending.

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Since breakups don’t always offer sound solutions, many people resort to self-blame and question their desirability. Why? For those people, those are the only possible reasons they can think of.

Life’s mundane details feel more demanding

The bliss accompanying romantic relationships makes daily living feel lighter. On the other hand, breakups can make you feel the opposite. Something as simple as dishwashing can feel tedious.

How to Heal from Breakups

Breakups always hurt, but you can shorten the suffering. Remember, the faster you can move on from a breakup, the quicker you give yourself the opportunity to enter into a new and better relationship.

These tips should help you start mending your broken heart:

#1: Grieve. You’re entitled to your feelings.

While it may be counterintuitive to embrace your feelings, it is wise to do so. You shouldn’t ask permission to express your loss because that’s your feelings. Don’t try to change your emotions; the more you fight them, the longer the pain will stay.

#2: Don’t block people out.

Social connections are always important for good health, but it becomes even more of a need when you’re suffering alone.

Woman hanging out with friends
Breakups always hurt, but you can shorten the suffering by being in good company.

Spend time with your loved ones while you’re nursing your post-breakup wounds. It’s important to have a support system when going through trying times in your life.

#3: Nurture yourself with love and care.

We want to feel nurtured in relationships. Perhaps you’ve had an abundance of that with your ex, and you now feel you’re lacking in love and care.

Your singlehood shouldn’t be spent wallowing in misery. Give yourself some nurturing by getting proper sleep, eating well, and pursuing your passions. You’ll be thankful for making yourself feel great when no one else can’t.

Final Thoughts

If you’re on the “My breakup is killing me” wave, don’t repress your sadness. You’re allowed to feel and release it because you’ve invested time, effort, and feelings into someone, and you’re upset you’ve lost them.

Breakups are inevitable in human experiences. Treat them as teaching moments and don’t let them close your doors to love.