Why You Didn’t See Your Breakup Coming Even Though Everyone Else Did

Are you newly single? First, my condolences. Even if the relationship was extremely toxic, it can be really tough to move on and come to terms with the fact that you’re back on the market. While it was probably for the best, this feeling right now has to sting a little. It’s even harder if you’ve told your friends about the breakup and their initial attitude isn’t one of shock and dismay. Why did everyone see this coming but you?

  1. In your head, you really wanted this to work. Your head and your heart are two completely fascinating things. Aside from all the good they do for your body (like keeping you alive, for starters) they can also lead you in different directions when it comes to love. Sometimes your head steers you away from your heart. You want to think something is a good idea when in your heart it isn’t. If you’re in your 30s and just want to be settled, your brain may have kept telling you that this person was the one. Your heart — and your friends — thought differently.
  2. You might be inexperienced with relationships. If this is just your first or second big relationship, you may not realize how you should be treated. That, or you might not know what true chemistry feels like since you just haven’t felt it yet. There’s nothing wrong with being inexperienced. Everyone starts at this level once. But if your friends have been dating longer than you, they’ll be able to figure out the signs that you were actually in a mismatched relationship.
  3. Your type may not really be your type. You may be attracted to problematic guys that you want to “fix” even though you don’t actually know how. Here’s the truth: you can’t. Relationships need to be about balance and partnership. Instead of looking for someone you can “save,” look for someone who will complement your lifestyle.
  4. It’s possible you didn’t communicate very well. Here are a few things that aren’t normal in a relationship: not spending time with each other on the holidays (or FaceTiming, if things are still new), not communicating for over a day, and not knowing how your partner is spending their weekend. If your ex completely blocked you out like this, it’s a sign to everyone around you that your relationship just wasn’t built to last.
  5. You might not have the self-esteem to realize you could have done better all along. If you’re not feeling yourself, you may latch onto the first person who comes your way. This is really unhealthy and a big way for both of you to get tired of each other fairly quickly. It also means that comfort may overpower actual happiness. Nobody should settle. Your partner may have finally cut the cord, but this doesn’t mean you’ll never love again. Consider it as them doing you a favor. Work on yourself, love yourself, and be a little choosier next time you look for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  6. You may have liked them more than they liked you. Did you force the relationship at all? Did it start as a casual hookup but then you never actually went away? Two people need to be on the same page for a relationship to work out. If it didn’t start that way or you pressured them into an arrangement that they never wanted, you may have been blinded over the fact that they were unhappy.
  7. It’s possible you were making the relationship toxic. Real question here, though it may hurt your feelings: have you lost a lot of friends recently? Maybe a best friend just randomly faded away? Maybe it’s you. Maybe there’s something abrasive about your personality that you’re not even realizing. If that’s the case, you may have driven your partner to call it quits. It’s not too late to change or even apologize. Maybe you were going through something emotionally difficult and just didn’t realize you were projecting your pain onto people you cared about. Do a little bit of self-reflection and be honest with yourself.
  8. Maybe you weren’t ready for this relationship. When you enter a new relationship right after a breakup, friends may assume it won’t be serious. The reason being, everyone needs some time to really get over someone else. You’re starting something new with a lot of baggage that may unintentionally sabotage your chances of love. It’s okay — everyone does it at least once in their life. But if you’re not over Person X, don’t be surprised when Person Y ends things.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.