Almost Relationships Can Still Be Really Painful When They End

You liked them, they liked you, but for one reason or another it didn’t work out. You were never official or anything, but that doesn’t make the breakup hurt less. Almost relationships can have their own flavor of pain when they end and they aren’t any less valid. Here’s why it sucks so hard:

  1. You got your hopes up. This almost lover of yours seemed like a dreamboat at one point—they were kind, thoughtful, adorable, and funny. You couldn’t help but hope they’d stick around to be in your life for a long time. Inevitable devastation set in when your hopes were smashed.
  2. You dreamt of a life with this person. They were so dreamy that you couldn’t help thinking about what your relationship would look like in the future. You thought about how they’re definitely going to be your date to that wedding you have in six months, but they hardly lasted six weeks in your life.
  3. Feelings were developed. It doesn’t matter how short the time was that you spent together. You were really starting to like them. That thing they did when they were upset made you giggle and you always appreciated that they texted “good morning.” You caught some serious feelings while you were together.
  4. You made space in your life for them. You’re a busy person. You have a full life of your own, but this almost lover of yours became important enough to create space for them. Now that they’re gone, all you can feel is this crater in your life where this person used to be.
  5. They were someone you regularly talked to and hung out with. You knew that at least three days of your week would be spent with your new lover. Sometimes you even spent more time together. They became a regular part of your life that you looked forward to each day. It’s only natural that you feel sad now that they’re gone.
  6. You know you can’t call/text anymore—even when you want to. When your boss does that silly thing again, you want to text your former lover to vent to them about it. After all, you got used to talking to them when it happened. It feels like something big is missing when you want to call/text them.
  7. Unfriending and unfollowing them is sad but necessary. Sure, you could continue to be connected on social media, but you know that it’d only cause you pain. You don’t need to be stalking their pages. Instead, you bite the inevitable bullet by unfollowing and unfriending them. It pulls at your heart, but you know it needs to be done.
  8. To call them an ex or not? This bothers you more than you’d like. When talking to your friends about this person, you don’t know whether to call them an ex or not. I mean, they kinda are, but they also kinda aren’t. Does it really matter? Probably not, but it irks you nonetheless.
  9. You feel like you “shouldn’t” be as upset as you are. Oh, the shoulds and shouldn’ts. You beat yourself up with them rather than just letting your process unfold. I mean, the whole “almost” thing confuses you. You think like you have no right to feel what you’re feeling because you weren’t even together that long.
  10. Crying over them happens anyway. A lot. Despite all that you tell yourself that you should and shouldn’t feel, tears pour out. You cry while with your friends. The creeping in of sadness happens when you least expect it. You realize that the best thing to do is to just let it happen. The tears are here to stay for a while.
  11. You’re still not quite sure why it ended but you accept that it’s over. Maybe the other person ended it, or perhaps it was a mutual thing. It’s hard to say that anything was hugely wrong when it was an almost relationship that was mostly working out. The ending was a bit vague, but you have no choice other than to practice acceptance that it’s ended.
  12. Doubt creeps in about your capacity to have a relationship. On those days when you’re crying in a grocery store, your mind also starts to spiral out of control. You ask yourself the questions: “Am I broken? What if I’m too messed up to love?” You’re stressing out over whether or not you’ll ever be able to date again.
  13. Will you ever find love? This question plagues you. As you’re trying to accept that this almost lover is gone, you’re thinking about your future. You thought this person was the one, so what if you never find love? You know you’re probably thinking totally irrationally, but the questions roll around in your head anyway.
  14. You slowly move on, but there’s a twinge of pain for a while. After some time healing, you have days where you don’t cry and you don’t think about creeping on their Facebook. Even though you’re definitely moving on (albeit slow AF), there’s still a little pain in your heart for as long as it takes to move past what you almost had with this person.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at