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The End of an Affair: Why Are We So Sad?

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By Angie G.

Breakups are hard.  Some are a lot harder than others.  But in the end, what makes some of us so sad?  Is it because we are mourning the loss of love or is it because we are mourning the loss of the fantasy?  I strongly suspect that it’s the latter.

Now, I can’t speak for all women-just myself, my friends, and other acquaintances; but what I do know is that we ALL knew it was over well before the final curtain closed.  For some, the relationship just wasn’t a good fit.  Others had come to distrust, be annoyed by, or flat out despise their exes before it was all said and done. Some were just over it. The laundry list of “don’ts” had become too long and each day these relationships lasted past their expiration date just seemed like a long, arduous journey to nowhere.  But when it was finally over? Tears. Sadness. Heartache. Why?  Most of us are reasonable, so what is it about relationships that cause us to catch feelings and wallow in the misery of “losing?”

And we’ve all experienced it.  Either we have done it ourselves, or we have been the listening ear for a friend who calls to pour her heart out over a recent breakup. We meet to talk about the hole in our hearts or the pain that won’t allow us to sleep. It’s all just so, so sad.  But is it, really?  Some of us might want to stop with the theatrics and just own up to the fact that it might not be the person that we are sad about losing so much as it is the ”story” of the relationship that we created.  A fantasy not realized……this time.

For some, it’s about making it down the aisle.  For others, it’s about proving everybody wrong who thought that the relationship wouldn’t last.  Some of us just don’t like starting over.  But why do we feel compelled to hide these simple truths behind stories of heartache and loss?  And when did we learn that the letdown that many of us inevitably feel at the end of a relationship is all about the other person, a broken heart, or “love?”

Am I attempting to make light of our emotions or question our sincerity in expressing our feelings?  No.  What I do question, however, is WHY we feel the emotions that we do.  Sometimes, we just feel let down.  Sometimes, we are just frustrated.  Sometimes, we feel like we have failed.  And sometimes, we are angry at ourselves for not making different choices.  Being able to better identify the cause of our emotions allows us to put our past relationships in the proper perspective.  In doing so, we allow ourselves to properly heal and move on-in truth and with clarity.

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