Relationships

5 reasons why breakups are so hard during the pandemic

Why are breakups so hard?

If you’re struggling in your relationship and wondering how you could possibly let go of love during the pandemic, you’re not alone.

Times are incredibly difficult right now. Making a big move in any direction seems daunting.

Letting go of love is difficult in the best of times. Now, here you are, miserable and wanting to let go but struggling to do so.

Understanding why might help you get the strength to make a move so that you can be happy!

So, why are breakups so hard during a pandemic? Here are 5 reasons why.
1. Relationships make you feel grounded.

When we’re in a relationship, we know that we have someone who’s always there for us, even if it’s not in the way we want, sometimes.

I have a client who was very unhappy in her marriage but was happy about being part of a pair, because she didn’t come home to an empty house, there was someone to cook for, and there was someone to talk about her day with.

Not having that has made her feel a little bit like she’s floating around in the world without a purpose and without something tethering her to the Earth.

In these crazy times, when we’re all feeling ungrounded because our lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out, being in a relationship — even an unhappy one — gives us a sense of feeling that you can be stronger together to take on what’s happening right now.

2. You’re questioning yourself.

Almost without exception, people are struggling in a big way. We are in month seven of the pandemic, and our patience is wearing thin.

We all want to get back to “normal,” and that doesn’t seem like it’s happening anytime soon.

Interestingly, this uncertainty and frustration are causing many people to question themselves, the choices they’re are making (and have made in the past), who they are in the world, and those who love them.

They doubt that they have the strength to get through all of this.

This personalization of what’s happening in the world is making it so people aren’t sure of how to make smart choices. They are questioning their ability to see clearly.

They wonder if perhaps they’re wrong to think that their person isn’t for them.

People are questioning literally everything in their lives and, as a result, deciding whether to let go of love during the pandemic is incredibly difficult.

3. The future is uncertain.

From where you’re sitting right now, you’re probably wondering what the future holds.

Who will win the election? When will our kids be safe at school? Will we be able to travel for the holidays? When will there be a vaccine — and will we feel comfortable getting it?

Will we be able to still pay our mortgage without a stimulus check? Will we ever be able to date again?

This uncertainty about what the future holds makes it harder for us to let go of love. In better times, if we got out of a relationship, there were certain things that we always did to recover.

We would go out with friends, go on a trip, work out at the gym, and start dating again.

All those things are not readily available to us right now, so we wonder how we’ll get past the breakup if we leave our relationship.

Furthermore, not knowing what the future holds makes it scary to walk away from a partner.

Facing the future alone can be way scarier than facing it with someone else, even if you are unhappy!

4. You fear being alone.

I have a client who’s been dating during the pandemic. While she has met some men with whom she enjoyed spending time with, none of them have stuck.

She isn’t in the relationship that she hoped she would be in, one year after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. And, as a result, she’s scared.

Winter is coming, schools are opening, and Covid cases are spreading. It seems to many of us, particularly those of us who are about to get hit with cold weather and flu season, feel like the world is going on lockdown again.

We’re going to go back to the way things were in March when we had to hoard groceries and stay home 24/7.

And she doesn’t want to do it alone. Again.

For many people who are struggling to let go of love during the pandemic, this fear of riding out the winter alone is a big one.

Winters are hard enough, and they will be even harder this year. And the holidays are coming and being alone during them is going to be a whole different thing this year with travel being limited.

So, if you’re struggling to let go of love during the pandemic, know that part of it might be your fear of being alone, both in the short and long term.

5. You’re bored.

This might seem like a silly one, but it’s really important. Many people are staying in relationships that they shouldn’t because they are bored.

Being in a relationship means having someone to do things with, even if you aren’t getting along particularly well. During my unhappy marriage, we still did things together and were somewhat happy.

Being in a relationship means having someone to eat dinner with, to binge-watch The Boys, to wake up in the morning with, or to take walks with when staying home gets to be too much.

I have another client who finds herself creating drama in her relationship to break the boredom. Things that might not have bothered her before might bother her now, and she makes a big deal about it with her boyfriend.

They have a fight, emotions are aroused, and then they have make-up sex. For a short or long period, something else is going on other than the long stretches of nothingness that are happening right now.

For many of us, being alone and bored with no one to interact with — either positively or negatively — is untenable, and that makes letting go of a relationship that isn’t working even more difficult.

Knowing why it’s so hard to let go of love during the pandemic is a very important part of making the decision about whether to let go or not.

You need to be aware that you’re not struggling because you should be with this person but because things are so crazy right now.

You might be questioning yourself across the board, because you’re unsure about the future. You’re bored and scared of being alone.

Think about where you are at in the world.

How do you feel about yourself and those around you? See if you’re choosing to stay with your person because of any of the above reasons or because you know that you truly aren’t meant to be together.

You can do it!

You must do it, so that you can be happy!