How to Cope With Regret After the Breakup
Feeling regret after breaking up is normal and even healthy – but how do you cope with it? And what if the breakup was a mistake? Here are a few signs to help you decide if getting back together is the right thing to do.
If you believe the breakup was a mistake, read How to Get Your Lover Back: Successful Strategies for Starting Over (& Making It Better Than It Was Before by Blase Harris. If you regret walking out or you’re not sure you want your lover back, this book will help you understand what happened. You might get a second chance – if you know what has to come first.
On Do You Think About Your Ex All the Time?, a reader shared his experience with his girlfriend. He broke up with her once, regretted the breakup, and got back together with her. But then he broke up with her again because he just didn’t feel that they were meant for each other.
He says, “Again [after the second breakup], the guilt, remorse, and regret flared, this time along with loneliness and quite a lot of pain and tears. I know it’s only been a week and healing takes time, but this is the first time I’ve ever broken up with a girl. I guess I’m just confused; I don’t know whether I’ve made the right choice or not. She was so good to me, she loved me despite all of my flaws and I feel awful for hurting her. However, she deserved the best and, being often frustrated with her and our relationship, I could not give her what she deserved. That’s my story, I just felt the need to share it somewhere and receive some sort of feedback. Thanks for your time!”
His relationship with her – including the two breakups – lasted seven months. He’s a lovely, caring person (you can tell from his comment!), but he’s confused about this relationship. He wants to make the right decision, and may be wondering if his regret about the breakup is because he made the wrong decision.
Is your marriage in trouble? Get FREE advice and a FREE relationship assessment from marriage coach Mort Fertel. No strings attached.
What Does it Mean if You Regret the Breakup?
I can’t tell you if you regret the breakup because you were meant to be together, or if you “just” feel the normal, healthy grief that accompanies the end of a relationship. Even the most difficult, unhealthy, abusive relationships are hard to let go of.
Look at your pattern of relationships and breakups
If you have a history of breaking up and then regretting it – or not being able to commit to a partner in a long-term relationship – then your “breakup regret” may in fact be a sign of something else. Maybe your struggle isn’t with your partner, but with yourself. Maybe you’re not feeling the love because you don’t know how to be in a relationship, don’t know how to settle into a mature, long-term commitment.
Or maybe you’re just suffering the classic “I want it because it’s not mine!” feeling that we’re born with. The grass is always greener on the other side, food always tastes better when it’s on someone else’s plate, and we always regret the one that got away.
Much of the time, we regret the breakup for reasons that aren’t even about your ex or the relationship itself! It’s often about us, who we are as individuals. Read 5 Reasons It’s So Hard to Get Over a Breakup for more info.
Regret and grief are normal, healthy parts of breaking up
If your relationship was fine but you feel you’re not soul mates, then you may have strong feelings of regret about breaking up. This doesn’t mean you should get back together…it just means you’re processing the grief and loss you feel.
You’re in a transition stage, and they aren’t fun! Transitions are hard work, and take time to recover from. Here’s a thought: instead of focusing on the regret and grief you feel, think about the benefits of breaking up! For some reason, your relationship wasn’t working out. Something wasn’t sitting right for you, your partner, or both of you.
If you think your regret about breaking up is because you’re meant to be together, read Should I Give Him a Second Chance?
It’s your turn! What do you think – how can you tell the difference between relationship regret and good old healthy grief that the relationship is over? I welcome your comments below. I can’t give advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience.
“The only whole heart is a broken one because it lets the light in.” – David J. Wolpe.