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Why Do Breakups Hurt Even When You Wanted It? (17 Heartbreaking Reasons)

February 4, 2023

Breaking up with someone is hard, and can leave you more distressed than you ever thought. If you called off the relationship, or perhaps silently desired it, then it’s only normal that you don’t feel any emotions after the break up. However, in a similar scenario, there are still many people that feel hurt even though they wanted the breakup. 

If you’re amongst this category of people, then you’re probably wondering why you feel this way. Thankfully, this article narrows down to 17 possible reasons for this, with hopes that you get some closure to what you’re feeling. 

17 Reasons Why Breakups Hurt Even When You Wanted It

1. You’re not over your ex yet

If you’re thinking the pain of breaking up is too much, know that it’s most likely because you’re not over your ex yet. This also indicates that he meant more to you than you acknowledged while dating. When there was a void of his presence, you began to miss all the perks of being with that person.

Surprisingly, this tends to happen to a lot of individuals. In life, many people only acknowledge the importance of someone, when their absence brings it to light. In like manner, many don’t realize the importance of their partners, until after a breakup. After this process, feelings of regret flood their conscience, making them feel they should have given their all, instead of giving up. 

2. It’s difficult to accept

The truth is, life comes with its own unpredictability. Everyone has their goals and ambitions laid out in front of them – and having an idea of how everything will go, makes you prepared. However, preparing for something doesn’t mean you know exactly how everything will happen. 

This is why it’s understandable why breaking up is painful although it was desired. The truth is, wanting something to happen, doesn’t always guarantee that we have the mental capacity to handle the situation when it comes. The reason why breakups hurt is that you’re still finding it hard to accept the reality, although you prepared for it. 

3. You desire to be chased

This happens quite often and is one reason why break ups hurt. It also revolves around not having an expectation met. You desired to make a statement with your ex, and show how valuable you are. You decided a separation was going to shed light on your importance and keep your ex running back. 

On the contrary, things didn’t happen that way. You found yourself waiting for someone who never showed up. This probably hurt you more than you expected. You couldn’t fathom why your ex didn’t realize your worth, and why he didn’t come running back. Therefore, despite wanting the separation, you felt more broken than you had planned. 

4. You regret your decision

You regret your decision

There’s a difference between wanting something, saying it, and actually meaning it. Perhaps you were in the midst of an argument and started ranting about breaking up with your ex due to the intensity of the situation. At that point, that was probably what you desired, but not necessarily what you meant, or intended to happen. 

You may have used this sentence in previous fights to make your partner succumb to the fear of you leaving – but on that significant day, your ex took your statements quite seriously. The relationship ended, but you knew that you were trying to prove a point with what you said, and you truly didn’t want the relationship to end. This only made you regret your decision even more.

5. They’re happy without you

You’re the one that initiated the break up, so why is your ex doing so much better than you now? This is a question most people ask themselves, which only validates the question, “Why do breakups hurt even when you wanted it?” The truth is, you didn’t expect your ex to be doing so much better after the separation, and that’s why you feel the way you do.

You expected him or her to spend their time getting over you, and probably even try to make amends. On the contrary, they’re living their best life and recovering quickly, while you’re still trying to process everything. This will definitely make you feel bad longer than you expected.  

6. You’re lonely

Being around a person makes you think less unlike being all by yourself. You have a lot of distractions and can do lots of entertaining activities when you’re with someone. On the other hand, when this person you used to hang out with, is no longer present, it brings a surreal fact to life that you’re all alone. 

This might even lead to depression because you’re finding it hard to cope with the void that was created when the person left. Since you’ve already gotten used to the patterns and schedules that took most of your time, after the separation, you found yourself struggling. This is why breakups hurt although you desired it.   

7. You can’t discard the memories

Memories are often the hardest things to let go of. Though you crave to forget them, it’s more or less, an impossible task. This is what makes any separation more painful than expected. Though you want to let go of the memories of your ex, it’s not working like you intended. 

More so, everywhere you go is constantly reminding you of the things you did with your ex; more so, the memories the both of you shared. Changing things up a bit, or moving to a different location might help a bit, but all this proves that you’re not over your ex yet, although you wanted the separation.  

8. You wanted to avoid grief

Most times, relationships end before anybody calls it quits. Reading your partner’s body language and attitude can easily make anyone realize that things aren’t just the same, and your partner might be over you. Sometimes, you can even predict a separation coming your way. Therefore, in order to avoid the grief that follows, you decided to end things first. 

You felt doing this will lessen the hurt involved in a separation. On the contrary, your partner’s reaction to the breakup only worsened things. Without hesitation, they walked out, making you feel like you feel bad about your decision, and therefore, hurting you more.

9. You still get jealous

Jealousy is a feeling that can fuel a lot of unreasonable thoughts and actions. This can occur while dating, but surprisingly, can also occur outside one. You were with your ex for quite some time, and it was easy for you to get protective of him. You didn’t want anyone else to come near your partner, especially to try to take him away from you. 

After the separation, you still found yourself having this type of feeling towards your ex. Seeing him with someone new made you feel jealous more than you expected. Although you wanted the separation, there’s still a part of you that feels no one can have what was yours. 

10. You’re still talking about the breakup

This is a common tactic used to feel good about one’s self especially after separation. You rant about all the mistakes your partner made, leading up to the breakup. You will also reminisce this to a loved one, friends, or even try to explain to anyone seeking clarity about what really happened. 

Though this is common, it will easily keep your ex’s bad memories with you for a long time. After a while, what they did would eventually start affecting you, making you feel angry and betrayed. The more you revolve your thoughts around what they did, the more you will feel bad in the long run. This is why it’s best to forget about the event and move on.

11. You've been stalking your ex

There is always an intense desire to know what’s happening with an ex, especially after a separation. Every little detail counts because it sheds light on how they are coping after the separation, as opposed to you. If you’re still wondering, "Why do breakups hurt even when you wanted it?" know that it’s probably because you’re still keeping tabs on your ex. 

The more positive information you find out about them, the sadder you will feel, which will prolong your recovery process. This is why it’s quite important to avoid stalking your ex and focus on yourself in the meantime.  

12. Your ex doesn’t want to interact

Your ex doesn’t want to interact

Though many try to maintain a healthy association with their ex after a separation, some don’t believe in the ideology – and your ex might be one of them. If the time frame after the breakup is too short, it’s only natural that they wouldn’t want to interact with you. This is all part of a healing process. 

To you, this could come off as standoffish and arrogant, making you feel even worse – perhaps you tried to reach out to your ex, but got turned down, or dismissed. This highlights what makes breakups so hurtful, although you desired it to happen. However, simply give your ex some time to heal, before trying to interact.

13. Your ex doesn’t want to be friends

After waiting for a significant amount of time, you find out that your ex doesn’t even want to be friends with you. This is the best way they can cope with the situation. On the contrary, you feel that being friends with your ex will make you feel better about wanting the relationship to end. You feel like it will make you heal faster, and probably help you get over them faster. 

You want to change the memories of being intimate, to being a casual friendship; however, your ex wants nothing to do with you. This can easily make you feel bad, and make the separation seem like the most painful experience. 

14. You have physical reminders

Having physical reminders is a common mistake most people make when they end a relationship. They feel they can handle holding on to these items, but in the long run, they’re met with painful memories that keep lingering in their minds. 

When the memories of an ex pop up spontaneously and more frequently, you will start to reminisce on all the good and bad times you had with your ex. Along the line, you will feel bad for ending things, which will only make you feel more hurt. This is why it’s best to discard physical reminders as soon as the separation happens.   

15. You’re idle

The breakup pain hurts so badly especially when a person is idle. Not having work, schedules, or any form of activity, will definitely make you more aware of the pain from breakup, although you desired it to happen. 

This is because being idle makes you think, and allows your mind to explore. If the only big event that has happened recently is leaving your ex, then there’s a high chance that your mind is going to spend its time trying to evaluate the situation.

16. You feel you’ve wasted time

Dating is all about investing your time into someone. When everything started, you probably had high hopes that it would end beautifully, with a strong feeling that the relationship would stand the test of time. 

After calling off the relationship, there’s a probability that you started reminiscing on all the times you spent making plans and building a future with your partner. You weren’t missing your ex, but you most likely hated that you wasted and invested your time into something that failed. 

17. You’ve lost your confidence

Most times, irrespective of whether you got dumped or did the dumping, when a relationship ends, the thought of failing at something, can affect one’s self-esteem. If you’re thinking, "Why do breakups hurt even when you wanted it?" then it’s probably because, at one point in time or the other, you were quite invested in the relationship, and when it broke, you lost your confidence.  

Despite wanting things to end, there was still a point you desired it to succeed. Watching the relationship fail is what got to you the most. 


Why do breakups hurt physically?

Breakups may actually seem like physical pain when it’s not. This is because the brain responds to social rejection in the same way it responds to the hurt we feel physically. This is what makes the process of leaving your partner hurt so much.  

Why do breakups hit guys later?

Breakups hit guys immediately, but they consciously prevent it from breaking them down. They would rather focus on other things going on in their lives than dwelling on the fact that the association has ended. 

Why are breakups so devastating?

Breakups are devastating because the area of the brain that responds to pain is also responsible for rewarding you when you accomplish something. Therefore breakups hurt because you’re not being rewarded for anything – you’re just feeling pain

How do I get over the pain of a break up?

The best way to get over the hurt of a break up is by focusing on new goals. The more preoccupied you are, the faster your road to recovery will be. It’s also important to remove all forms of reminders that can bring back painful memories. 

Who hurts more after a breakup?

Both parties hurt equally after a separation, but this is dependent on the amount of love they had – or probably still have – for one another. Getting past that love is what makes the process painful.

To Summarize

Did you enjoy this article on why you’re hurting although you desired the separation? Remember to focus more on getting over your ex than dwelling on what has already happened. Kindly leave a comment below and share it with friends that need to see it. 


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