How to Deal with the Grief of the Loss of a Relationship

by | Nov 15, 2020 | Lifestyle, Personal Development

Losing a loved one is never easy. When someone passes away, the relationship you once cherished comes to a painfully permanent end. Even if you have a chance to say goodbye, the emotional toll is heavy. When mourning a death, you expect to feel sad, hopeless, and stuck. Because you are familiar with the seven stages of grief, you deem the onslaught of strong emotions as “normal”. But what happens if, instead of bereavement, you lose a relationship? If a friendship falls apart? Or a longstanding business partnership deteriorates? Do you still deserve to mourn? Of course you do! While you may mourn each loss differently, grief can accompany the dissolution of any connection. 

After the loss of a relationship, it’s common to feel a deep sense of failure and embarrassment. You may even feel a mixture of guilt, anger, disappointment, and sorrow. But instead of expressing those vulnerable emotions publicly, most prefer to present an apathetic disposition to the world. As a result, you’re forced to suppress the complex feelings that truly lie within. The downside is, emotions need an outlet. Failure to allow yourself the space to work through difficult feelings only guarantees that they will resurface, unresolved, at a later date. 

Instead of remaining in denial or acting from a place of fear, accept your emotions for what they are. Losing a relationship is rough, and so are the feelings that may follow. Accept that there is emotional work that needs to be done and stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even after dealing with the emotional toll of a loss, dissolved relationships can leave an uncomfortable void in your life. To quell the discomfort, you may be tempted to find a replacement as quickly as possible. However, before proceeding with a new connection, it’s wise to give yourself time to mentally uncouple from your last. After a romantic (or platonic) relationship halts, resuming activities that used to be enjoyed as a duo can feel quite awkward. But surviving alone and learning to love your own company, only strengthens your resolve to patiently move forward as a happy and complete person.

Use the relationships of old to inspire your future. Take time to reflect on where the breakdown happened and how you may have contributed. Think about the lessons learned and the high points you’d like to duplicate in other relationships. Lastly, keep in mind that an unsuccessful relationship doesn’t define who you are.

No one enters a romantic, platonic or business relationship anticipating its demise. However, life doesn’t always go as planned. It’s okay to give yourself time to mourn, reflect, and reset. In spite of your current feelings, remember that a closed chapter isn’t the end of your story. Happier days are soon to come.