How To Cope With The Finality Of A Breakup

Photo Credit: kevindean

I remember exactly how it felt.

I remember this unbearable notion of finality, this cruel feeling of irrevocableness.

Sometimes it takes a while until we get it, but when we do, the realization hits us like a ton of bricks.

Our partners are gone, and they are not coming back.

What we once had is now over.

This feeling of finality is one of the most difficult things to accept when we go through break-up recovery.

It is almost solely the reason that the so important transition to the next phase eludes us at the beginning.

You definitely don’t want an “open door”.

But when you look deeper, you will realize that finality is in fact not our enemy, but our friend. More precisely – it is one of the lesser of the many evils that awaits you after a break-up.

When you think about it, you really don’t want anything else other than finality, even when it hurts like hell.

What you definitely do NOT want is the so-called “open door”. And our Exes LOVE to leave one door open.

They do it out of self-interest, inexperience, perverted good intentions and sadly, very often, out of pure disgrace or stupidity.

You perceive an “open door” as a blessing because it still gives you the nearness that you seek.

But in truth, it is very often a big road bump in your recovery.

An open door is, for example, “let’s stay friends!”, or “I still love you but [insert stupid thing]”.

Or the classic, “I need time to think”.

(MORE: 10 Things You Don’t Want To Hear From Your Ex)

Your mindset should always be aligned towards your recovery. What you really should want at this time is to heal and benefit from this break-up.

For this, you NEED finality.

For that reason, the best you can hear from your Ex is this:

“It’s over, and we are NEVER getting back together again. I will disappear from your life, and you won’t see me again.”

Now, I know how this hurts.

Even to think of it.

I know that this sounds mean and beyond all cruelness … but it really would be in your best interest for your recovery.

I know that this feels wrong, but just take my word for it and trust me.

Unfortunately, most Exes don’t understand this fact – and when they do, they rarely say the sentence out of the desire to help you.

They do it out of anger and resentment.

But no matter what the motives are, you WANT finality. It makes everything easier, especially for the 60 days of No-Contact.

You WANT finality.

And if your Ex doesn’t give it to you, you have to create it for yourself.

So how do you do that?

You can start with sending the No-Contact letter to your Ex, as described in my course.

After that, you just stop contacting them it. As simple and as difficult as that.

You don’t call, don’t write, don’t check their Facebook status, you just stay away from them, as far as you can.

I know that this is a HUGE step. I know it will probably be the hardest thing you will ever do.

But you HAVE to do this for yourself.

Create the finality you need for your recovery.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Take this one step, and you will reach your goal, even if it’s a thousand miles away.

Your goal is a better YOU, a stronger YOU, a more confident YOU. And this better YOU will find the perfect person to be with.

Believe in that and don’t be afraid of finality. You can do this!

If I could back then, then you can too.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

  • I will not speak to my ex. He did the biggest betrayal, lies, manipulation over the last 4 months. I told him to rot and to leave me alone. I am actually proud of myself because I have no desire to talk to him..ever. when someone does the stuff to someone else that hurts and theres no reason, its just like a friendship. I wont let someone take advantage of me and use me like he did

  • It’s been a month today since my breakup and your e-mails and the posts have been helping a lot, although I do not feel ready to commit to No Contact. Actually, I thought I was doing great untill today, working a lot, running every other day, watching all the movies and series I did not when in the relationship, spending time with dear friends I missed… But then today I suddenly burst into tears while driving. Out of the blues. And now I’m feeling sad : ( Anyways, I have a story/ doubt I would like to share, because I keep reading your reader’s break up stories and it helps me a lot, but I feel I did not have a “regular” breakeup, so I’m confused… Help me.

    Well, we dated for 2 years and it was CRAZY love since the beggining. We used to be friends and hangout, and one day it just clicked and it was 2 great years. He always had issues with relatiionships, our friend used to call him “stone heart”, but with me it was so intense, everybody noticed. And with just a few months of relationship, he decided he wanted to be closer to me, so he moved to another apartament in my building and we became neighbors! Funny and also cool, like, almost living together, but still having our own space.

    Well, but he has 2 jobs, one wich he hates SO MUCH, but pays he well, and his own business, an advertising bureau, wich he loves like crazy, but still can’t pay the bills. As a result, he was each day more stressed, working 14, 16 hours a day, having trouble to sleep because he kept thinking hiw he could dedicate more time to his business and less to the firts job… He was sick, not having time to chill, always tired, always thinking about work, and, although we live in the same building, it was at a point where we could only see each other in weekends, and even this way, he still had some work to do often. I was always an understandng girlfriend, suportive, saying he should fight for his business etc. But I started to worry about him, and at the same time feeling he was distant and cold, always thinking about work when we were together.

    One day I brought this up and said this was not right. That he should quit his job, dedicate to his business, take care of himself, do some sport, something else other than work, have some fun, and also give me more attention, cause I was feeling like crap. He said I was right and that we should take a break. I said no, we should work on things together and that I was still there for him. Still, he said “a few days apart” could be good for us. Well, we took a 20 days break and it was hell for me. I was crying all day, missing him, painting scenarios on my mind, checking his car on the garage (it sucks to live this close in situations like this!), I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. Until one day I called him and said “ok, we need to talk, enough of this break thing”. It was a GREAT talk, he said he was devastaded, his life sucked, bla bla, we laughed together and agreed to talk in person in 2 days.

    Well, basically, we met, we talked for hours and hours, he told me everything that happened on his mind those days apart, to then say he thought we should break up because his life was upside down. He was thinking about leaving his first job for good, put his life on track, take care of his business, etc., and that he was beeing a trash byfriend to me, and that he couldn’t deal with us that moment of his life. Fine untill that. BUT he also said, when I started crying, that in his mind, this was not a break up. That he thought that, when he could finally deal with everything, he would come after me, but that he was not planning to tell me this, because it was unfair for me and that he was taking a big risk of loosing me for good. He litterally said “if you love me, don’t consider this a breakup”. WHAAAAT? Then, he said he loved me “so so so so much”, that things between us should never end, that if it wasn’t me, then it was not going to be anyone else, bla bla bla. I said then “ok, I still love you and I hope things work out good for you”. And he panicked. He said “stop talking like we were never gonna see each other again or speak! We will be in each others lives! Go out for luch, call, text, etc.”. Then, I said I was considering quiting my job (wich I hate and he knows) and living abroad for a year. Again, he freaked. “PROMISE ME YOU GONNA STAY HERE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE”.

    Anyways, when he was leaving, he hugged me and said “there won’t be anybody else. I promise you. Do you trust me?”. And that was it. He keeps texting me, he travels for work and texts me like “you are my emergency contact number, I’ll text when I get there”. He keep calling me our nickname, he likes every photo me ir my friends put on instagram. Really, I was fine with this. I was thinking “there’s nothing I can do right now, let it be, he knows what he told me, he know what that meant”. And I was fine! We talked for an hour on the phone this week! We didnt met since the break up, but I know he is very very busy with his businesse right now… He told me everything, they are moving offices, hiring people, etc. Also, a week after the break up his mom called me to check on me, ask about him, because she was also very worried about him, his stressed life, etc. And she told me they had talk, and that he said to her he wasnt looking for anybody else and that he still loved me. But I dont know… yesterday I went out with friends and got back home like 5am. For my surprise, he wasnt home! HIs car wasnt there. He doesnt have many friends, actually he complained a lot about feeling lonely here in Brasilia… His closest friends was with me yesterday and they are all in relationships! So, where the hell was him and with who?

    I think that upset me… like we never went out to parties when we were dating because he was always tired, and we prefered to be home with netflix… So where could he be at 5 in the morning? I woke up sad, thinking about everything, what he said to me a month ago… We like each other a lot. We always have easy talks, and great ones… We love to talk to each other, and I’m worried too about his life, he was so crazy when we broke uo, saying he was everybody around him, that he should be apart from everybody he cared about because he was not making any good to anyone… I care a lot about him and our talks are always great… What should I do? I am afraid to start NC and let him deal with everything alone, also I really enjoy having him in my life, even if its some fun texts and talks on the phone. He didnt even change his relationship status on facebook already. Help me! I feel like I’m in a place where no one has ever been in break ups, because of why and how it happenned. We loved each other a lot : (

  • I don’t know how to stick to No Contact. I’ve deleted him on facebook, gotten rid of all his ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re the most noble cause I’ve fought for’ texts, changed his name in my phone to ‘DO NOT TEXT’ etc, but I still see him every week. We met at church. He’s the youth minister there, and now he’s leading my bible study group. We used to do it together, like, he would lead the group while I helped, cleaning up afterwards, doing all the little housekeeping things. I still go to my church- I can’t let him kick me out of my own place of worship- but it kills me now that I’m not there to help him. That I’m just like everyone else now. I know now that he never loved me in the first place- he liked the idea of having someone there, I was companionable and fit his ‘type’, but it was never me he was interested in. Despite all of his assurances and texts, dates, kisses and flowers, he never loved me. And that hurts so bad, because I would do anything for him. I know I need to stop thinking like that, that it only hurts me worse, but I know if he were to call me right now and say he needed help, I would be there in a minute. It’s so hard to accept the idea that he never loved me, only the idea of me, and that I put all of my faith and love in the wrong person. Everybody keeps saying, ‘it’s ok, you’ll fall in love again’, but he was my first and only love. I can’t imagine myself with anybody else, ever. He’s the only person who’s asked me out in my entire life. The only guy I’ve dated. The only guy I’ve loved. By my age, most women have gone through at least two or three guys, and have casually dated in between, but for me he was it. I don’t know how I could ever open my heart up to anyone else and trust them again, especially since people keep telling me that this will happen two or three more times before I find the One. I know I should be focused on me right now, not anybody else, but I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t cheat, I was honest, open minded, accepting, trusting… Our breakup had nothing to do with me. I hate that he went through all the steps of a relationship without actually meaning it, and I hate that I believed him. I wish that I didn’t feel safe and comfortable the second he walks into the room, knowing that he wasn’t actually there to protect me. I hate knowing that I have to look out for myself, because he stopped caring enough to try. I know I can’t make him love me, and if I could he would resent me for taking away his free will, and I would be sad because it wasn’t real. Everyone says that if he was the One, it would have worked out, that there are more people out there, etc, and it never makes me feel better. I don’t want some other person, I want him. And I can’t have him, because he doesn’t want me back. He still texts me about church events, but it always seems like a date, and I have to say no. He’ll say, like ‘hey, you want to come see [whatever movie] at the church house and get dinner?’ and I know it’s because I’m a part of the bible study group and he’s obligated to ask me, but it still makes my heart soar every time. I just want to curl into a ball and die without him.

    • Kate,

      I felt the same way you did. My ex broke up with me (by text) in June of 2013. It was a hard road to recovery but I’m happy to say that I now have met the man of my dreams (at a church picnic no less).

      If it’ weren’t for ‘no contact’ I might still be missing the jerk. I finally realised – that was NOT love. I was in love with the idea of love and wanted it to fit so badly I didn’t see all the obvious flaws in our relationship.

      He ended up getting engaged (and I recently found out that they broke up – go figure). Don’t want him back EVER.

      You MUSTN’T give up hope that love exists for you.

      It does and it will – if you let it.

      Be good to yourself. Nurture yourself. Forget about love for now – it will come and find you when you are ready.

      God bless.

    • Williettep says:

      I am so sorry about how you feel now, but we here have all suffered from heartbreak.
      It takes time to heal, it is a process. Take care of you, stop focusing on him.

  • Thanks Eddie for this article!reading all of your articles makes me feel so strong!but then I realise I am not strong at all.i still don’t accept that I have been dumped because my ex is still around all the time.its very hard because sometimes he gets touchy feelings and emotional and I can’t cope with it.we have a child that’s why he’s here.hes going away now for a couple of weeks and hopefully I am strong enough to kick him out when he’s back as I cannot move on like this.
    Anyway I am scared to accept the fact that he is done with me coz I am so helpless and I still want to hope that we can go back to how it was.but then I think about all the things I did for him and what I got in return and I think ‘ what an a$$hole’.so my head knows it’s done and it’s probably a good thing but my bloody heart is not taking any of it!
    They say time is a healer – but when?so far for me it’s not true.i am still in the same shocked stage I was 16 days ago!

  • Agree! I absolutely agree with you. The best thing to do is not to contact him anymore. Past is past. Move on. You deserve better.

  • Eddie – I was on this blog all the time in early 2011. You helped me so much through the process. My ex at the time dumped me. I took all the blame … I thought I was worthless. But it was only when you told me that accepting finality is the only way to start healing. Kick you significant other off the pedestal. We deserve better.

    But now it’s a different situation today. I was the dumper this time. After 2.5 years, I didn’t know if she was the right one for me. I didn’t want to waste her time anymore. I broke it off. Then why do I feel like a piece of crap? I feel like I’m going through the brunt of the pain. I feel so guilty. I question myself everyday if I made the right decision … though in my heart in know I made the right decision. I’ve always done well financially … she depended on me. She put all her faith in me. But at some point I knew she wasn’t right. I broke her heart. I feel terrible. I feel like a terrible person. I feel like I let her down. Now she’s struggling financially. I’ve offered to help her financially … but the hurt I gave her was too much. Now I’m in this terrible cycle … am I a good person? Do I deserve anyone’s love. What kind of person does this kind of damage? Eddie – you do a great job explaining what to do how to get over someone when they are the dumpee. But there are good people who are dumpers who feel just as bad. Sometimes I wonder if I can ever forgive myself. I feel so empty … I feel like a terrible person.

  • Maybe Tomorrow – you are a kind soul. It’s so hard to cut someone completely out of our lives when they were so instrumental at some point.

    But let me tell you something … I went though the same thing 5 years ago as I am going through it again :(. Finality sucks! But it’s something we need to do. LOVE IS CRUEL sometimes. We just have to face it.

    Love is passion … Love is irrational. IF Eddie told me something years ago … HOPE is the worst thing in any breakup. We ALL want a “good” breakup. We want all want a mutual breakup. But ask yourself this … is LOVE rational? Absolutely not. The ultimate goal of a breakup is to break the bond … to break that emotional bond, no matter how cruel. So I ask you this question … the break ups you’ve had, were you in real love with them? Di you really mean it when you said that you hope that they find someone better than you? IF you really said that … were you really in love with them?

    LOVE is irrational. It’s impossible to control those emotions … because it’s irrational. To try to stay friends with your ex is almost impossible no matter how much you love them. Will you be okay if you saw your ex darting someone else? IF you are, then I question if you really loved them. Did you really commit to love?

    Years ago, Eddie said something really profound. The hardest part of ever breaking up is finality. Knowing you will probably never see them again … you will never share that emotional bond. But only when you accept finality … it’s when you can finally heal. That’s the premise of no contact. No contact is a symbol for accepting finality. That it will never be. Why do we need to keep in contact with someone when we know it’s over? There is no upside. We only keep contact to keep hope. And hope is what kills us. We need to accept there is no hope. Once we reach the goal of indifference, then we can become friends again. But why be friends when we do reach indifference. You don’t have to be mean … but when we breakup, it means we’re by ourselves. You only have responsibility to one person, yourself. Stop worrying about how they feel. Just worry about what you can control. Yourself!

    Maybe you are that rare person that can remain friends. But how do you think that makes you ex significant feel. LOVE is irrational. LOVE is cruel. After a breakup it’s all about survival. You don’t have a responsibility to help the along their process. You only have a responsibility to yourself. So stop feeling guilty about the breakup … start concentrating on your healing.

  • MaybeTomorrow says:

    I just realized that tomorrow will be the 6 month mark since my relationship ended. It was a blindsiding moment, where a debate became our first real heated fight and then he basically said he didn’t want to work it out, that it would be a waste of time to put effort in. Shocking stuff, since we had just been on a 2.5 wk vacation. Granted it was hexed with unforeseen complications and stress, and many areas of both our lives got hit during it, but we supported each other and all I wanted was to get home and return to what was good. Instead, it all blew up.

    What hurts the most, and what I resent, is that his judgement on our future was borne out of some insanely stressful circumstance during the trip – those weren’t representational of our past nor likely to be in our future. But he short-circuited and confused his past bad experiences with other women with me. He projected all those past hurts onto our relationship, I could sense the fear and pain in his voice and actions during our fight. I wasn’t myself on the trip(got sick, went to ER, lost job – lots of crazy stuff) and he was never like what I saw that last night. Talk about nightmares!

    Here’s my problem: I have a fairly strong history of remaining friends w my exes. Mostly because the relationships don’t end in a fury, but in a realization and mutually agreement. Sure, there are some men I will never allow back inmy life, but they did some pretty severe crap. The thing is, most guys I was involved with were friends foremost and that what drew me in. I really don’t understand having shared so much time and intimacy with someone only to cauterize the connection entirely because the romance is gone. Isn’t so much of the rest what really bonds people? To cut someone out just because the relationship of exclusive romance isn’t working seems rather petty and immature. Where’s the emotional maturity in avoidance and denial? How can no contact teach us anything but that the time together had no value, it’s easy to dismiss, walk away from, have no respect for? It really seems like a cheap out of whatever issues caused the breakup.

    So that’s what I struggle with-the idea that the person with whom you were most intimate, shared your mind and heart, would be the ONE person you should no longer have any contact with…seems backwards. The message it gives me is all the goodness and growth gained together can no longer have a record on those lives, erase it from memory, demote its relevance, convince yourself it was all done under the wrong motivation…. How often in life do we suddenly or completely cut out a best friend?!? Think of the reputation we’d have if that were our practice. People wouldn’t trust us and we’d probably not be too happy with ourselves, knowing we are really just hiding from something uncomfortable, yet manageable, true life lessons.

    I feel I’ve become a worse person having been forced into no contact, as that is his m.o. I’m not proactively communicating with him, but just know that this is NOT how I’d choose to manage the change in our relation. This treatment has done nothing to aid my recovery for loosing a friend and lover. It’s as if he died. And that would be sad. This has taxed my faith in people, relationships, and mentors of the human spirit. I’m uninspired to trust or share myself when all I feel is that people think its ok to just walk away from each other.

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