Written by:
Amna Nawaz

It is seen that whenever any romantic relationship ends, no matter if it ends on fairly good terms, it still takes its toll on one’s emotions. A feeling of rejection, a sense of loss of something one might have hoped to be forever, shattered self-esteem, shared commitments and dreams, and a feeling of failure all overwhelm an individual. During the process of going through a loss of companionship, one might experience feelings of confusion, loneliness and apprehensions about one’s future.

Amna Nawaz works as clinical psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. She has done MS in clinical psychology and B.Sc (Hons.) from GC University, Lahore. Heath counseling, addiction counseling, subjective well-being and intellectual disability are her areas of interest as well as her educational expertise.

Editor: Haroon Christy

No matter how one tries to make sense of it all by considering it to be better for oneself, the emotional anguish of a breakup is indeed quite heartbreaking. When we lose someone we were once deeply attached to surely hurts badly, regardless of the duration of a relationship, being dumped by the other person or consciously taking the decision to breakup.

Several studies suggest that emotional pain of a heart-break involves the same parts of our brain as of physical pain. Since we don’t try to ignore, avoid, distract or suppress our physical pain, instead we look for a remedy to get rid of our physical pain. Similarly emotional pain also requires our attention, understanding, healing and recovery.

Relationships are initiated with extreme excitement and several hopes, whereas breakups bring a deep sense of disappointments, hopelessness and sorrow. Everything gets disrupted during the initial phase of a breakup including one’s daily routine, activities, emotional and sometimes physical health, responsibilities, socialization, and interactions with family and friends. All these circumstances seem even more terrible than being in a broken unhappy relationship itself.

Considering the painful aftermath of a relationship breakup, it is quite evident to know that breakup is difficult to cope with and it also takes time to get recovered from its effects. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that it is possible to get through this hard time and move on in life with an improved sense of self, wisdom and strength.

Romantic relationships deeply influence the beliefs about oneself. New goals, wants, hopes and dreams for life are set. One feels intertwined with the partner and eventually couples’ entire lives start moving in the similar direction. When a breakup happens, all this needs to be undone which acts as a tough blow for the partners. All of a sudden, one feels alone and out of practice to live life with his own self.

This also damages one self-concept. Studies indicate that a long term relationships develop interconnected memories that make the couples a part of each other’s cognitive systems and breakups make it difficult for them to fill in those memory gaps. So breakups bring a lot of traumatic experiences. Healing from a breakup calls for some rejuvenation and strengthening one’s self-concept and a sense of an independent self without the relationship.