Ending a relationship is one of the harder things to do in life. Whether you’ve been with someone for a couple of months or have been in a relationship for years – the decision to end it is always hard. Many would agree that even when you have a plethora of reasons for a break-up, there’s always that feeling of “what if we can still fix it” or “maybe I should give them another chance”. What’s worse, is that even once the breakup happens, many of us will experience not only heartbreak but also a fair bit of regret. We will contemplate getting back together. But why do we do that? Clearly, we’ve had a good reason to make the hard decision of breaking up, so why are we second-guessing ourselves? Here are a few possible reasons for your post break-up regret.
1. You’re experiencing relationship nostalgia
There’s a very good chance that the reason you’re having post break-up regret is nostalgia. You’re just idealizing your past relationship and remembering only the good things. Turns out that’s quite a natural response. Weirdly, this is how humanity goes on. If you are able to remember the good things, there’s a good chance you’ll get into another relationship. If all of us would only focus on remembering the bad stuff, we’d never want to date again, and that could lead to humans going extinct. However, if you’re experiencing this nostalgia, the best thing to do is just give yourself time to heal before attempting to get back with your ex or immediately throwing yourself into a new relationship.
2. You regret hurting them
If you were the one to initiate the break-up, you might feel a sense of regret simply because you know it must’ve hurt the other person. And even though you were the one to make that decision to end this relationship, and you’ve had good reasons for it, hurting someone is never a good feeling, so regret is natural. The best thing to do, however, is to just cut them out of your life, because if you hang around you’ll just be hurting them and yourself even more in the process.
3. You want companionship
Regretting a break-up doesn’t necessarily mean you still have feelings for them, you might just be missing the companionship element you get in a relationship. You’re used to having them there, doing stuff together, and generally always having a partner in crime. So when you suddenly find yourself single – you’re not used to it. It’s best to try and find that companionship in friends and re-learn how to be happy on your own.
4. Your sense of belonging is threatened
Believe it or not, one of the reasons we tend to regret break-ups is because it messes with our sense of belonging. We get used to a specific role very quickly. We think of ourselves as someone’s partner, and when that disappears we feel lost and confused. It’s even worse when you’re not the one who initiated a breakup, but that feeling will go away with time and you’ll feel fine again.
5. Your brain is playing tricks on you
Our brain is pretty smart, but it can also play tricks on you. See, our brain doesn’t like pain, be it physical or emotional, and will try to avoid it if possible. So if you’re feeling hurt after a breakup, it’ll be processed as “oh no that hurt, undo it, undo it!”. It’s honestly stupid, but it’s a basic way of trying to avoid pain. Just try to remember that just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not right.
6. Dumper’s remorse is a real thing
It’s pretty common to regret a break-up if you’re the one who initiated it. You starting thinking whether you’ve made the right choice, spiral into the world of what-ifs. What if that wasn’t the right choice? What if I jumped the gun too soon? What if there was an easy way to fix it? What if I made a mistake? And then of course there’s the dreaded “well they didn’t initiate it, so clearly it wasn’t that bad, what if it’s all in my head?”. Just try to stay calm and avoid overthinking. You probably did the right thing and you just need time. Talk to your friends, they will support you and give you some much-needed perspective.