Photo by Nathan Jefferis

Breakups are not easy.

And it’s ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT if you’ve been in a long-term relationship.

You’re likely to be going through A LOT of different thoughts & feelings.

One moment you’re telling yourself it was probably for the best and the next your world is collapsing.

And it is FAR FROM pleasant.

But putting words to your feelings and the things you’re going through will help you feel LESS ALONE and give you CLARITY!

These are 7 things you’ll likely experience after a long-term relationship break up.

1. Denial That It’s A Breakup

When this happens you’re not even realizing it.

That’s how denial unfortunately works.

It’s hard to want to face that reality, because the implications are unknown or just plain horrifying.

Admitting that it’s truly over can put your entire world on the brink of collapse.

So it’s easier to pretend that this is just another bad fight.

We’ll get back together once things have cooled off.

If things worked out that way, then GREAT and I’m happy for you.

But you’re unlikely to be reading this if that were the case…

So give yourself time with it.

Denial is an important and natural part of the process in allowing yourself to come to terms with things.

2. Shock That It Actually Happened

Once you’re over the first feeling, you’re probably hit by a HUGE WAVE of

“..What the hell just happened..?” (Even if it was days ago)


In my experience it felt like a giant invisible sledge hammer knocking out very ounce of certainty I had about my relationship and my life.

If you’re going through this, you might be thinking some of the following

  • “How could this happen to me?!”
  • “I thought things were going okay”
  • “Where did this come from?”

I know it’s tough. Very tough.

But the intensity of these types of feelings WILL FADE.

You won’t be bound by shock forever, the dust will settle and you’ll have a clearer head and feelings again.

3. Gradual Acceptance Of The Breakup

While things clear out, you’ll SLOWLY and GRADUALLY let the reality sink in.

It’s not an easy thing and it’s important to allow yourself however much time you need.

I was annoyed at how eager all my friends were for me to:

Just move on.” and “Get over it.” or “You need a rebound.

If you cared about your (now ex) partner, you know that it doesn’t work that way.

There’s nothing wrong with going slow.

You’ll need time to accept the breakup and recalibrate and it’s not cool for anyone to push you.

4. Confusion & Lowered Self Esteem

Even after you’ve accepted your fate, your emotions aren’t done with you yet.

As though things weren’t bad enough, right?

There’s a good chance you’ll feel confused about how it all went down.

  • “How did this happen?“
  • “Was I not keeping them happy enough?”
  • “I thought things were okay between us.“

You might also start feeling down and voices in your head being mean.

It can really help to talk to a trusted friend in these moments.

Somebody that can build you up and let you know that you’re doing okay.

Because guess what?

Nobody is perfect in long-term relationships and who’s to say this was on you anyway? 😉

5. Fear & Uncertainty About Your Future

It’s a terrible thing to have a sense of stability and certainty in your love life and for it all to then suddenly disappear!

It’s natural to think ahead in our lives and imagine a future with our partner.

Planning things like a home, family, adventures together, etc.

To greater or lesser extent, we COUNT ON being with this person in the future.

So when all of that abruptly disappears, you’re naturally left totally distraught and uncertain. Even fearful.

I KNOW the feeling!

It’s like everything you thought you knew, is no longer.

And if you were wrong about this relationship, how can you know anything anymore really?

Having said all of that.

These feelings too, will pass.

Your entire future isn’t in the dumps because of this, you can sulk, mope and bitch all you need…

And when you’re ready, you’ll begin to rebuild.

5. Loneliness And Sadness Might Be Your Friends For A While

But before you rebuild, you’ve got the next lovely pair of emotions that want to accompany you throughout your days…


You can rely on your new pals to continually remind you of how terrible it feels to be alone.

Yes. They are awful company..

And yes, you’ll have to endure them for now.

Because the sudden breakup ushers a lot of change into your life, and it’s not easy.

Where you were used to having someone, there is now nobody.

Whether that be on the couch, in bed, at a table or on your phone.

But these feelings are not forever.

As you grieve and cry into your pillow you’ll work through it all and come out the other end better.

Maybe a little swollen and red in the face, but definitely feeling better.

7. Anger At Them For Everything

This is my favorite one. 😈

I’m kidding.

But it IS AN IMPORTANT one. Because this is where you start to rebuild!

You see, you’ve been through hell by now.

Denial, shock, acceptance, confusion, lowered self-esteem, fear, uncertainty, loneliness and finally sadness…

That’s one hell of an emotional ride and well done on getting this far!

But now it’s your time for you to start feeling GOOD.

And anger is a PART OF THAT.

You see, there are two sides to every story and as mentioned earlier, nobody is perfect in a relationship.

So you might have done some things imperfectly.


A time will come when you’re ready and you can tear down the romanticized image of them and the relationship you had with them in your head.

You can then be ANGRY about all the things THEY DID WRONG and you were unhappy about.

I honestly had far more to get through than I expected with this step.

But once I had, it felt LIBERATING and FREEING.

So allow yourself the time and space to work through it all without judgement. And remember that your healing journey isn’t forever.

If you’re having a hard time coming to terms with it all, and are going through some turbulent thoughts and feelings, we can support you with getting through this in a Coaching Call.

In these one-on-one calls we can help you process the breakup, regain control over your thoughts and feelings and find stability in a way that feels good to you. And if it’s something you want, we can talk about how to potentially mend things with your ex.

Click here to check out Coaching Calls.

And if it’s not too soon for you, gather a couple of your single friends, pop a bottle together and remind yourself of the many upsides of the single life.

If you have any questions or you’d like to share your story, tell us about it in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!


Gabriel Brenner