Do Breakups Hurt Less As You Grow Older? 5 Signs You’re Hurting More Than You Know
Recently, I was having a long discussion with a friend on how she’s changed over the past few years. She and her boyfriend used to be very romantic but going in and out of the relationship kinda made them simmer down their emotional side. Because, well, breakups hurt. I can relate to that. But guess what? Our gestures, our romance style may change but we don’t. If you love deeply, eventually you will return to your OG self. Humans are essentially resilient like that.
When I dated for the first time, I loved hard. I have been the kind to express my love in more romantic ways and been head-over-heels. Of course, when you’re like that, the breakup hurts a lot too. I was emotionally numb for months before I could even shed a tear. Sometimes, you find the vacant spot soul-crushing. You find a void in you that bleeds and you don’t know how to fill it. When we are younger, we don’t even know how to handle all that pain, and the loss feels like the end of the world.
Then you have these crazy thoughts that you will never love again, at least not deeply. But then you do find love again and you know it’s possible. No, true love doesn’t happen just once. We stop ourselves from making it happen again with a cloud of cynicism fogging our perception.
So after having a couple of breakups, working on yourself, becoming emotionally stronger – you feel like you are invincible. You feel it won’t hurt so much this time. You break up and yet, you are fine. You are laughing, making merry, and still doing well. There you are, flipping your hair, flirting with guys, and thinking this time, you nailed it. You aced saying goodbyes because you’re not curled up on the bed, hurting like the previous time.
Until…a moment of truth arrives and finds you unarmed. And you see it all crashing down, in front of your eyes. All those things that you believed – that you’re detached, that breakups don’t hurt so much – turned out to be false. You realise that it’s not like breakups don’t hurt anymore. You just know how to bottle up your feelings and pretend to be an adult about it. Or maybe drown your sorrows in alcohol. Because you know what they teach us, right? The adult thing to do is not show your vulnerable side to anyone, they say.
So does it ever get easier to say goodbye? Does it ever stop hurting to break up with someone you loved dearly? No, it doesn’t.
Here are signs that you’re hurting more than you know.
You don’t feel like talking about it
What should I say? What can I possibly say that will change anything at all? You don’t want to talk about it because you feel it will make you sound pathetic and weak. You want to say nothing because you want to close your eyes and act like this didn’t happen. But it doesn’t disappear when you turn a blind eye to it. And at some point, when your guard is down or when you’re beyond your breaking point, your feelings will erupt like a volcano. Don’t wait for that to happen.
Your heart closes like the mimosa plant on being touched
If your heart rejects any guy that is trying to love you, how can you say you’re okay? You’re single now but emotionally you’re still with him. Each time some guy shows interest, flirts with you, asks you out – instead of feeling happy, you feel sad that it’s not him. Breakups hurt and your heart knows it more than you do.
There’s been a change in your appetite
When we are stressed, our appetite changes significantly. So you can pretend that you’re not hurting and be in denial but your body doesn’t lie. Have you been skipping meals? If you’re a foodie at heart and lately, you’ve been able to say no to your most favourite junk, you’re hurting bro. Either that or if you start eating so much that it almost feels like you’re replacing him with food.
You’re not sleeping enough or sleeping too much
When you’re alone in your room, you suddenly become hyper-aware of the emptiness in it. The clock is ticking, your eyelids are heavy but sleep doesn’t come easy. The nights are the worse and you want to watch Netflix, talk to friends, and tire yourself so that once you hit the bed, you’re too sleepy to overthink. Then there are some of us who oversleep because that is easier than being awake and feeling things. I would rather be the over-sleeper but unfortunately, I fall in the former category.
You seek social connections
Human beings are social and subconsciously, when we are trying to heal or seeking comfort, we turn to our friends and family. It’s such a reflex that you don’t even realise but you’re socialising more than usual. You’re always on call, making plans, and even going out on dates. Deep down, you’re trying to heal. And that’s not so bad.
It gets tougher until it gets easier
Happy realisation! You are not emotionally dead neither are you as detached as the rest of us millennials pretend to be. So how do we fix it? We are not getting any better at breakups by swallowing our feelings. We can, however, learn to handle them better but becoming numb is not the way to do it. That will only end up causing damage that is deeper and you won’t even realise it’s happening.
The first step of healing is acceptance. You loved him and losing a loved one hurts. There is no amount of emotional maturity that can make it hurt less. Acknowledge that you’re vulnerable and start working on making things better for you. Give yourself the chance to grieve your breakup. Eventually, he will stop occupying so much headspace and it will become your past, not present. Focus on loving yourself instead. I had written an article on how to heal emotionally, the healthy way. Check out the link below. PS: Let it hurt and then let it go.