Grieving a Break Up

Are You Grieving A Break Up?
by Calvin smith

Grieving the loss of a relationship can be a difficult experience. It is important to recognize when you are grieving because it can help you to adjust your life view towards healthier more functional ways of  relating.  What can happen as a result of not getting over it?

When a break up happens a person may exhibit some of the items listed below as a result of having difficulty processing through the loss of relationship.      

  1. Targeting dead end relationships (i.e. people that are already married , involved in a relationship, or have some other obligation that renders them emotionally and psychologically unavailable.)

  2. Avoidance of committed relationships. These persons may become extremely shy after a breakup or loss of a relationship. They find comfort in activities that isolate rather than expose them to the dating scene and people they may be interested in.  They may be found declining invitations to go somewhere with a person of interest if asked. Some people may lose themselves in a hobby (i.e. going out with buddies, drinking, work, etc.)rather than venturing out into relationship.)

  3. A fear of commitment that’s evident in how the person perceives relationship. (i.e. Very single minded, self serving, -anti relationship in conversation). Not wanting to get hurt again drives the person to become anti-social- not willing to engage a genuine interest because they are afraid that the pain will be too great to get past if they suffer another loss.

  4. A fear of losing control that makes them dysfunctional or non-productive. (i.e., Self-sabotaging behaviors are exhibited in their interactions as they perceive the person as more desirable.)

  5. Detachment and a hindered ability to establish a bond of friendship with a person of interest. (Some people actually have anxiety attacks when they think about a relationship because of their prior disappointing experience). In a prolonged state of denial the longing for relationship may increase until it reaches a point where the person can no longer mask their insecurities about having a healthy relationship. Thus the longing for relationship collides with the fear of failure in having a relationship bringing about self-sabotaging behaviors with a person of interest. As they are pushed to a place of facing their fears they may find that it may be very difficult for them to relate to a person of interest first before they become more comfortable. However this confrontation is a necessary process through which resolution can be achieved).

  6.  Securing multiple partners without accountability or a sense of loyalty. (i.e. included but not limited to are one night stands)  


  7. Being stuck. Continually talking about the old relationship. What they did right and even how they did you wrong. This type of interaction continues on invading the development of the new relationship.

  8. Becoming dominant and overpowering in interactions. (For example: Having the last say, becoming demanding, critical, even physically threatening, or having the need to be the center of attention can lead to the creation of negative actions that stifle the potential of a relationship.)

  9. Depending on the meaning of the loss to the person. The person can be affected in ways such as: change in appetite, sleep patterns, moods, and motivation.

  10. Picking people not interested in to go out with. This person  goes out with people that they are really not interested in because they are not perceived as a threat. They do this partially because it may be easier to detach from them as they perceive the need too. There may also be an unwillingness to try for a healthy relationship because of an irrational belief system. (i.e. I will never have a happy relationship”).

  11. Some people actually choose a mate based on their level of self esteem. So if they don’t think very highly of themselves as an end result of a relationship gone bad, they may choose a partner that fits their poor self image. In some cases that’s why you hear some people say as their self image heals that they have "out grown" somebody and are not satisfied with the quality of their relationship anymore.)

  12. Developing feelings of inferiority. The person's confidence is challenged by the fear of failing in a new relationship. This can create dysfunctional beliefs like "Maybe I was not made for relationships".

  13. Developing low self-esteem and poor self-image. If it looks like something worth having they reject it, rather than entertaining the possibility of happiness with a person of interest.

  14. Becoming overly defensive. Insisting on a negative view about relationships and people that try to show interest in them. Failure to develop filters that help them to adjust to a new relationship.

  15. Loss of desire for intimacy. If the stress of a break up has effected a person sexually and they find that they are not functioning up to par, don’t further your dysfunction by reinforcing irrational beliefs like feeling threatened by the others who are functioning. Find a way to heal and restore what you’re working with. Often counseling can help you with this situation.

  16. Now you see me, now you don't. Trying to get by with one’s looks and not taking the time to develop their core self can lead to irrational beliefs and strategies that can facilitate isolation and a failure to develop healthy relationships with a person of interest.

  17. Not being willing to develop a person because you are afraid they are going to be too much work.  (The more trauma a person has the more the work it may take to prepare)

    These are some of the possibilities that may be observed as a result of not getting over the loss of a relationship. If you would like some assistance in getting past your process of grieving a lost relationship please contact (405)748-0091.

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