That’s Why It’s So Hard To Get Over Someone You Weren’t In A Relationship With

Our brains are cruel at many things, but not always at distinguishing between relationships. That’s one reason it can be so hard to get over someone you were never in a real relationship with.

Taking the leap to get together with someone is big for many. Maybe you’re afraid of letting someone in completely, and thus risk getting really heartbroken if it ends. But being unofficially together, or dating someone for a very long time without putting a label on what you are, can actually be even harder to get over, than having been in an exclusive relationship with someone. Relationship expert Kathryn Mitchem talked to Elite Daily about why we mourn an unidentified relationship just as much as an official one.

Our brains are cruel at many things, but not always at distinguishing between relationships. That’s one reason it can be so hard to get over someone you were never in a real relationship with.

Taking the leap to get together with someone is big for many. Maybe you’re afraid of letting someone in completely, and thus risk getting really heartbroken if it ends. But being unofficially together, or dating someone for a very long time without putting a label on what you are, can actually be even harder to get over, than having been in an exclusive relationship with someone. Relationship expert Kathryn Mitchem talked to Elite Daily about why we mourn an unidentified relationship just as much as an official one.

Your brain doesn’t necessarily distinguish between relationships
Even if you and the person you had feelings for defined what you were to each other, a label doesn’t change how you emotionally handle the relationship you had. – The reason our brains psychologically have a hard time getting over this kind of relationship is because the brain doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. If you’ve spent hours and days imagining what your life could be like with this person, and then the ‘relationship’ ends, the brain registers the same amount of sadness as it would if an official relationship had ended, Mitchem explains.

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It often goes back to your childhood
Another reason why it feels so difficult may have to do with childhood. – It’s hard to get over them because they remind us of longings for love that we had, but never got, in our childhood. We are drawn to people and situations that reflect our unhealed wounds, so this is deeply embedded in all levels of our psyche,’ says Mitchem. You may think that your parents and other family were always there for you, but these patterns may come from smaller moments in your childhood where someone close to you wasn’t there for you. – It’s hard to get over chasing a fantasy love because it feels so familiar to us. We’re trying to fill an empty hole inside us that was never filled in childhood, so we chase fantasies or partners that aren’t available,’ Mitchem concludes. If you’re currently trying to get over someone you have feelings for, remember that time heals wounds. Enlist the help of friends and family, and handle this just as if you were in a real relationship.