Why Each Breakup Is Harder Than The Last

After every breakup we go through, getting back into the dating scene can be super difficult and even painful. As we get older, wiser, and more guarded, each breakup is worse than the last. I believe the reason behind this is that as we get older we gain a better understanding of ourselves.

When we were younger and we broke up with our significant other, (could we even call each other that then?) it was probably over something like an argument or a distance. Going off to college or moving to a new city. Not to categorize any reason for breaking up as “trivial” – just maybe not as significant as it feels today.

But as we grow and understand ourselves better, we become more solidified as who we are as people. And we bring all of ourselves into relationships. I’ve heard the phrase “I invested so much in him/her” a lot when I talk to my friends and acquaintances. I think that’s another way of saying “I invested so much of myself into this relationship.”

I am by nature a very guarded person. If I choose to date someone seriously, I make the conscious decision to trust them. I let them see all sides of me, share intimate details about my life, let myself become very vulnerable. And whenever you give that to a person and months or years down the line, they come to the conclusion that they don’t want it anymore – it results in complete devastation.

When a grown up relationship like that ends, it doesn’t feel like a misunderstanding or an argument that ended things. It feels like a rejection of who we are from the person we chose to trust. It hits us deeper when we’re older because we are more formed as people and the less likely we are to change. And I think we have an understanding of that. So that leaves us with the thought that something about us wasn’t enough.

Photo taken from piecesofbeautiful.com

Photo taken from piecesofbeautiful.com

That feeling of devaluation stays with you for a long time after a breakup and may even follow us into our next relationship. This, I believe, is the root of why many of us now fear commitment. The uncomfortable feeling when someone treats us well and compliments us. Sometimes it hurts to be loved when you are healing.

That’s why dating is so hard after a painful breakup. No one else has a problem accepting us for who we are. We’re the ones with the problem. No relationship will ever truly be successful until we accept that we are enough as well. And make no mistake, I have no doubt that you will heal.