You invest so much in a relationship and you feel like everything is going great. You had a perfect relationship. You were going to get a house, get married, have kids…the whole shebang.
But then suddenly, your partner tells you that there is something they want to talk about. That they feel like it’s not really working out for them. That they want to end the relationship.
You try to make sense of it all. You try to understand why they feel this way. You feel like you can fix this. You tell them that you will do anything to make things right.
“I had no idea you felt this way. Give me a chance to fix this.”
“I will do whatever it takes to make this relationship work. Let’s just slow down for a bit and talk it out.”
“It doesn’t make sense to end things when we are so close to having everything we wanted. Let’s just try to work it out. Would you?”
But your partner wouldn’t hear any of it. They don’t care that you will change. They don’t care that things can work out. They don’t care how close both of you were to finally having everything you both wanted (marriage, house, financial stability, kids etc.)
They have made up their mind. And there is no changing it.
A blindsided breakup or a sudden breakup can hit you like a ton of bricks. Mainly because you didn’t expect it. You didn’t know breaking up was on the table. Heck, you didn’t even know that breaking up was anywhere in the city.
The idea that this relationship could end this way did not even cross your mind. And that’s the hardest part to wrap your head around.
That this relationship was supposed to end.
That breaking up was inevitable.
And that you were supposed to find your way to this article to help you understand what happened, make sense of it, grow from the whole experience and come out the other end wiser and stronger than ever before.
That’s what we will do in this article. We will help you make sense of it all. And we will help you realize exactly what you need to do to come out the other end stronger and wiser than you have ever been.
Step 1: Understand Your Reaction To The Breakup and Stop Blaming Yourself For It
If you are like most people who go through a blindsided breakup, you tried to stop the breakup from happening. You probably told your ex that you don’t want this breakup. That things can change.
You may have panicked and made every mistake in the book. You may have begged, pleaded, tried to convince them with logic, gotten angry, showered them with love or maybe even threatened them.
If you did any of that, I want you to know that it’s okay. You thought you were going to lose something very valuable to you. And you tried to fight for it in any way you could. Your panicked mind tried to find the best way to save the relationship and it ended up doing things that may have even pushed your ex away.
And again, it’s okay. You were not prepared for the breakup. So don’t take it hard on yourself.
But now that you have gotten some time to think and found your way to this article, it’s time to think rationally and figure out exactly why this breakup happened.
Step 2: Think Rationally and Try To Figure Out The Reason For The Breakup
You may fall in one of the following categories when it comes to a sudden or blindsided breakup.
1. Your Ex Told You They Were Thinking About The Breakup For a Long Time
In most cases, your ex will tell you the reason for the breakup at the time of breaking up with you. They will tell you exactly why, all of a sudden, they have decided to break up with you.
And in most of the cases, your ex would have been thinking about the breakup for a long time. It’s just that they never told you that they were thinking this way. They decided to act like everything was okay.
Even though the breakup came out of nowhere for you, the love of your life has been secretly planning this breakup for weeks. Maybe even months. But then, why didn’t they ever tell you about it? Why didn’t they try to fix what was broken?
In my experience, it can be because of the following reasons
a) Your Ex Didn’t Think it Could be Fixed
Most people don’t really understand the attraction and the chemistry that you feel with the partner. For them, it’s just something that happens naturally. You feel attracted to someone. And then maybe someday, you will stop feeling attracted to them.
If your partner stopped feeling attracted to you or if they stopped feeling the chemistry between the both of you, they may just have thought that it’s not possible to fix it.
“It’s not you. It’s me.”
The classic breakup line is a way of saying that they don’t really understand why it happened. But they don’t want to blame you for it. Because they are the one who lost the attraction.
Of course, if you dig deep enough, you will find out that it’s neither you nor your ex. It’s actually both of you. The attraction and the chemistry you feel in a relationship is because of similar or compatible values you both have. And the reason your ex may have lost attraction probably has something to do with those values. Maybe they changed or maybe the way they saw you changed.
In my experience, the most common reasons for someone losing attraction is insecurity or neediness. The second most common reason for someone losing attraction or connection with their partner is the opposite of insecurity. It’s indifference to your partner’s needs.
b) Your Ex Tried To Talk About it But It Didn’t Work
Your ex may have talked about their issue before, and you may even have listened to them. But as time went by, you just didn’t think it was a big enough deal and you stopped caring. Your ex thought that they have done their job of talking about it and now it’s your responsibility to take care of the problem.
For example, your ex may have wanted more intimacy in the relationship. And they tried to talk about their needs. They told you about how they have a need for intimacy in a relationship and that you both need to spend more time together. You listened to them and made an effort to spend more time together. And things were good for a while. But then you got busy with life and forgot about your partner’s needs.
Your ex thought that they have already spoken about their need and they don’t need to repeat it again. They kept hoping inside that that you will eventually start caring about them when you have more time. But you never did. So while you were there thinking that everything is okay. Your partner was going through each day in hopes that things will get better. And every day they felt disappointed. Until one day they thought it was enough and decide to end things.
If this is your ex, then they probably have a serious confrontation problem. They run away from confrontation and they feel it’s wrong to ask someone to fulfill their needs. They gathered the strength and somehow confronted you once and that was more than enough for them. But once you stopped paying attention to their need, they couldn’t find the strength to confront you again. Instead, they let the resentment build inside until they felt there is no other option but to end the relationship.
If you relate to the above example, then it may seem like you were the one solely at fault here because you forgot about their needs. But you are wrong. In my opinion, your ex is also at fault here because they decided not to fight for the relationship. They kept quiet when they were miserable and they let you think everything was okay. They kind of punished themselves slowly for months and then gave you the cumulative punishment all at once by breaking up with you.
If you think about it, you both had issues that lead you to act in a certain way.
Your issues lead you to pull away from them when you felt they needed intimacy and your ex’s issue lead them to suppress their needs and build resentment inside them. (Of course, this is just one example. In reality, people have more than one type of issue that’s preventing them from having healthy communications in a relationship).
In some cases, your ex may have tried to talk about the future of the relationship or about their need for growth in the relationship. But you may have ignored that talk or maybe you weren’t ready for that talk because you were complacent with the relationship. As a result, your ex may have decided to back off and not talk to you about what’s important for them.
The only way for either of you to stay in a healthy relationship would be to work on your issues and figure out how to communicate properly. But now that the relationship is over, the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and move forward with life.
c) They Never Told You About Their Issue or They Confided in Someone Else
This one hurts the most because it will feel like they never even gave you a fighting chance. There was an issue in the relationship and they decided that you are not worth talking to. They thought something like,
“Well, if he/she figures out what’s wrong and fixes it, great. Otherwise, I am gonna dump them.”
And that’s exactly what they did. You never figured out something was wrong. You never tried to fix it. And they dumped you. How could you have figured out something was wrong unless they told you?
Some exes will say things like,
“Well, I’ve been dropping hints for months now. You never picked up.”
“Remember that time I was upset. You never tried to ask me why.”
And the funny thing is, their hints were probably too vague and when you asked them why they were upset, they said “I am not upset.” You took them for their word and decided to leave it at that.
Such people are usually those who are very very bad at communication. They are either too afraid of confrontation or they think that relationship and communication is a game and they need to manipulate their partner to win.
In a lot of cases, they will be confiding about their problems with someone else. And usually that someone else will give them bad advice.
“Honey, if he has not proposed to you even after you made it so obvious, you need to dump him asap.”
“You can’t show her you are weak. Women hate guys who whimper. You need to be strong and show her that nothing gets to you. Don’t tell her all this emotional crap. Man up and just get over it.“
The worst of these cases is when your partner will confide with someone who is romantically interested in them. Your ex girlfriend may have confided with a colleague who has the hots for her. Or your ex boyfriend may have confided with a class mate who thinks he is cute.
Once the confidant realizes that the relationship is in trouble they pounce on the chance and give bad advice just so they can have a chance with your partner. If that’s your ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend, then there is a good chance they cheated on you before the breakup. And there is a good chance they are in a rebound relationship right now with that very same person who gave them bad advice.
I think I’ve already made it obvious but if your partner never really told you about their problems (until the very end) then it’s not really your fault.
How could you have fixed something unless you knew it was broken?
The majority of the blame for the breakup goes to your ex and you shouldn’t feel bad about not being a mind reader.
2) Your Partner Broke Up With You in The Heat of The Moment
Some of the blindsided breakups happen in the heat of the moment. You may be thinking that it’s just a normal fight and that it will just blow over. But your partner decides to end the relationship over this fight. They just can’t take it anymore.
If that’s the case, then there is a good chance your partner will reconsider the breakup if you come back to them once they have calmed down. It could just be a simple communication issue in the relationship and once you both learn to communicate properly, things will work out.
If you feel this is the case with you, check out my article on no contact where I describe something I call The Brief No Contact Rule. Essentially, you take some space from your ex for a week or two and then reach out to them telling them how things can be different if you communicate effectively. There is a good chance your ex will agree to it and you can get back together with a better understanding of relationships and communications.
However, if they are still not ready to give it another shot after they have calmed down, then there is probably a deeper reason for the breakup. The best way to find out about it is to calmly ask them about their reasons. There is a good chance they will open up about what’s causing them this dissatisfaction and why they want to end the relationship.
If you feel that they won’t really change their decision and you want to give the relationship another chance, check out this article on reconciliation.
3) Your Partner Never Really Tell You The Reason For The Breakup
In some cases, your partner will blindside you with a breakup and just disappear without giving any proper explanation. These cases are extremely hard because you have so little information to work with. Why did they breakup with you? What could you have done differently? Did your ex never even loved you? Were you even important to them?
And in most cases, there just isn’t a way to find an answer to these questions. Because if your ex is not willing to talk about the breakup, then they will probably block you from everywhere and will try to cut off any attempt to contact them.
The best way to handle such a blindsided breakup is to just try to accept that your ex is not compatible with you and move on. Your instinct might want you to put all the blame on yourself. But the truth is, if your ex can’t offer you an explanation for the breakup, then it’s on them. They don’t have enough respect for you or the relationship you shared to offer an explanation. And you deserve someone who respects you and cares about you.
But still, to give your mind some sort of closure, I will list out some of the reasons that can cause an ex to act this way.
a) They cheated on you.
The most common reason for an ex to act his way is because they cheated on you and they just don’t want to accept it. They don’t want to come out and just say that they made a mistake and that they cheated on you. Instead, they decide to just end the relationship without any explanation and just leave you wondering why they broke up with you.
In their mind, hurting you and leaving you with pain is somehow a better option than painting themselves as a cheater in front of you and perhaps the world. They may have pulled a lot of mental gymnastics to come to this conclusion (for example, they may have said to themselves that you will be too much hurt if you found out they cheated on you. And it’s better that you never find out.)
This means that your ex is a selfish person. And you should focus on getting over them.
b) They have a lot of fear
In some cases, an ex is just too afraid to reveal the real reasons of the breakup.
It could be because of an actual threat from another human being (like the parents or an abusive new partner). But that’s rarely the case.
In most cases, the fear is mostly psychological that’s built by their own issues. Some people spend so much time suppressing their past traumas, their fears, their attachment issues that the idea of facing it and sharing it with someone else is just too much to handle.
They spend their entire life avoiding these fears, these traumas, these walls they have built around their true self. And if the breakup happened because of something that they want to hide, they will not share it with you. They may go to extreme lengths to NOT SHARE THE REAL REASON of the breakup. In some cases, they will lie to you. And in others, they will just refuse to share anything altogether. And they will just stop talking to you without giving you any closure.
Even though they know that giving you closure will help you recover from the breakup and move, the pain of facing their own fears/issues is much greater than the reward of giving you closure. Instead, they choose to continue living in fear and distract themselves from their issues. They choose to let you live in pain of the breakup.
Such an ex may look like a perfectly okay person on the outside. But they will usually break up with you whenever things start getting real. They are usually people with an avoidant attachment style who try to avoid any real relationship at all. Whenever they feel like things are getting too serious, they will either sabotage the relationship, find a reason to end things or just end everything without providing a reason.
If this feels like your ex, then you should try to understand that your ex is broken and it isn’t your job to fix them. No matter how special you may feel your connection is with them, you shouldn’t pursue them.
And you shouldn’t pursue closure either. Because it will take a lot of self-awareness and hard work for your ex to face their fears. And maybe even more for them to share those fears with you. And most people never go through all that work their entire lives.
Step 3: Take a Pledge To Move Forward With Your Life
The breakup has already happened. The person you loved the most has suddenly blindsided you with a breakup.
The good news is, there is no other way to go but forward. Okay, that’s not completely true. You can actually go backwards if you continue obsessing over your ex and keep wallowing in self-pity.
But the real good news is that if you pledge to move forward with your life, then you are going to get over this and come out the other end stronger than ever.
So even if you made a fool of yourself after the breakup. Even if you begged your ex or pleaded them to take you back. Even if you can’t seem to figure out the real reason for the breakup. You need to put your chin up and pledge to start moving forward with your life.
Try to figure out what you need to do be a better person. What do you need to do to be a better boyfriend or a better girlfriend to your next partner?
How can you be better in different aspects of your life? How can you be better in your health? How can you improve your wealth? How can you have better relationships with your family, with your friends and with your future lover?
As time goes by, you will start feeling better about yourself and you will slowly get over your ex. But if you feel you are stuck, then I recommend you cut all communications with your ex.
If you feel that you and your ex had something special, then you may even choose to try to get them back.
But only do so if you are sure that getting them back is the healthy decision for you. I recommend you read this article to figure out if getting back with your ex is the right decision for you.
If you feel it’s worth trying to get them back, then the following articles should help you further.
If you think that you should focus all your efforts in moving on from the breakup, then here is an article on moving on that will help.
If you are still confused about your breakup and need some advice, check out our email coaching packages here to speak to a breakup expert.
And finally, consider subscribing to our EBP Basics Email Course. It has helped hundreds of thousands of people get through a breakup. The only way to subscribe is by taking a quiz.
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