Brandon Woelfel

Some Things No One Told Me About Going Through A Breakup

There’s denial.

When we first let each other go, I was in denial. I was even in denial about being in denial, silently bartering with the Universe to keep him close. We still wanted to be in each other’s lives, not realizing how hard it would be to keep that up. He convinced me that we would still be friends and I convinced him I was okay with us being friends.

If you’re going through a breakup, don’t do what I did and keep talking to them. Distance yourself. Cut off contact. Mute (or block) them (and maybe even their friends and family…) on social media so you’re not tempted to reach out. Still allowing yourself to be tethered to them only prolongs your hurt and your healing.

There’s so much crying.

I’m already an incredibly emotional person, but nothing and no one prepared me for this kind of ache. No one warned me about how often I’d cry myself to sleep and then first thing in the morning. No one told me how hearing a song that reminds me of him will cause full-body, can’t-breathe sobs. No one told me how the sadness would hit me out of nowhere: in the grocery store, on the subway, in the shower, while opening a window on a nice day. I knew breakups were sad, but I didn’t know they were like this.

Grieving the end of a relationship is hard. Breakups are devastating and burdening and the crying that follows is exhausting. But you have to cry and cry and cry until you can’t anymore. You have to feel all that you’re feeling in order to feel lighter.

There’s emptiness.

The months that follow the breakup were quiet. I felt very lost. Numb. Empty. I spent so much time with him and so much energy on him that when we ended things, I didn’t know what to do with myself. He wasn’t around anymore. I didn’t have anyone to give my attention, affection, care, and devotion to. I couldn’t help but think, What am I supposed to do with all this love?

Being in therapy during this breakup allowed me to realize a lot of things about myself and our relationship. I’m learning what self-love and self-forgiveness mean. I’m learning the difference between giving love because I love to love and giving love for reassurance. I’m learning what that emptiness means, and how I can fill myself up.

There’s acceptance…eventually.

Breakups are tough, but let’s be honest — it’s easier to let go of someone when they’ve hurt you or done something wrong. It’s easier when you can make a villain out of them. But a breakup that didn’t end bitterly, life just got in the way — that’s a different kind of pain.

Acceptance isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. As sad as it was, we knew we had to end things. As devastating as it was, I knew we had to let each other go. Acceptance for your ending will come when it’s supposed to, and often when you least expect it. Healing will come eventually. Just feel all that you’re feeling until it all feels a little bit lighter.