1. You’re constantly plagued with the idea of what if.
You don’t get anything concrete. Everything feels questionable. What would have happened? Would you have been happier if you actually got together? Was it a mistake never giving it a chance? There are far too many thoughts and no solid way to shut them out.
2. There’s no real sense of closure.
Break ups are terrible. But when something has a definitive beginning, middle, and end, at least you get a feeling of completeness. In almost relationships that crumble before starting, you don’t get the middle part. You have a murky, unlabeled beginning and then an ending. It’s abrupt and provides no clarity.
3. You don’t know if you’re allowed to mourn something that never truly happened.
Losing something you aren’t sure you ever really had is a tricky thing to tackle. Part of you is hurting and the other part wonders if you’re even supposed to be upset. There’s this weird self-loathing thing that comes in. It wasn’t a real break up, so can you have real feelings? (Yes, of course you can.)
4. It’s hard to explain to other people.
You don’t know how to tell people it hurts and why exactly it’s so painful. You might even be occasionally met with unhelpful sentiments like, “Were you guys even together?” It’s confusing to know how to start.
5. You aren’t totally sure what happened.
Maybe someone ghosted. Maybe things just fell apart and there was no true rhyme or reason. Regardless, you never get the security we humans crave. And that stings almost as badly as the actual ‘break up’ (or whatever it is you should call it).