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The end of a romantic relationship can be a distressing and sad experience that may cause grief. When we enter romantic relationships, we give a part of ourselves to those individuals, we grow to depend on them for many of our emotional needs, and we learn to trust that person. It rarely occurs to us that the relationship will end, otherwise, we would not allow ourselves to be so vulnerable.

The loss of a romantic relationship can create a void in your life. The process of grieving that loss is similar to grieving the loss of a loved one through death. You may experience a range of emotions including numbness, sadness, despair, or anger. The numbness is our way of protecting ourselves from the overwhelming feelings that come along with such a loss. Depending on how much time you and your romantic partner spent together and how long the relationship lasted, your whole lifestyle may be shaken as you try to fill in the spaces of your life that were filled with that person. If they also attend Loyola, you may have constant reminders as you see them on campus, walk along familiar places that you traveled together, eat in the same place where you shared your meals, or spend time with the friends that you shared. Having mutual friends can be particularly awkward as you try to figure out how to maintain the friendships without running in to your ex.

Oftentimes, friends don't know how to handle the break-up either. You may feel that they are tired of hearing your feelings about the break-up. They may tell you that it is time for you to get over it. They may not understand your ambivalent feelings, of still caring for someone who may have hurt you. It is easy for an outsider to tell you what you should be feeling, but romantic relationships are very personal, and we each have our own way of dealing with their endings. We can never really tell another person how they should react.

What You Can Do

There are many things you can do to move through the grieving process as quickly as possible, including:

  • Openly discussing your feelings with trusted others,
  • Writing out your thoughts and feelings,
  • Prioritizing basic self-care,
  • Establishing a routine,
  • Indulging yourself,
  • Establishing distance from your ex, especially immediately following the breakup, and
  • When ready, start dating again.

When you need someone to talk to, to share the range of feelings that you have, to help you mourn the loss, to help you get back on the track of your life, attending classes, studying, socializing, just wanting to enjoy life again, you can come to the Counseling Center. Talk things over with a counselor who understands what you are going through and can help you work through the break-up. Remember, the break-up of a relationship does not have to mean the break-up of you.

Due to state licensing laws, students must be residing in Maryland to be eligible for Let’s Talk, assessment, and therapy services. Consider Togetherall, a 24/7 confidential peer to peer mental wellness resource, free to all enrolled Loyola students. Register here today. The Counseling Center located in Humanities 150 is open M-F from 8:30am until 5pm (EST) and closed when the university is closed.  If you would like to make an appointment with a counselor, schedule an appointment online, stop by our office, or call 410-617-2273.

Contact Us

Humanities, Room 150
One flight up the turret entrance
Phone: 410-617-CARE (2273)

Call to schedule an appointment
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


REACT Online

REACT is an online video that explains how to help yourself or someone you care about cope in healthy ways after a distressing life event (such as a trauma, assault, or loss).