You're not alone

You're not alone

It's easy to feel completely alone after you've suffered a breakup. The emotions, the rejection, the pain... it all combines to make it feel like no one in the world can understand you because no has ever suffered like you're suffering.

Here's a page to see that you're not alone.

Many others are suffering right now and have come to this site seeking help just as you have. Real people with real breakup problems.

No one knows their full story, of course, but the search terms they used to find this site can give some small insight into what's concerning them... and help you see that these concerns are universal.

Take a look and you'll realize that you truly are not alone right now. The feelings you're experiencing are completely normal.

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About this page

The goal of this page is to help you see that you truly are not alone in the pain you're feeling right now after a breakup.

We all feel an incredible sense of loneliness after being rejected and we all end up thinking that we're the only ones who are suffering like this. In the 2 years of this site, I've received hundreds of messages from people who believe that the pain they feel after a breakup is unique to them: abnormal, bizarre, a sign of weakness. And unfortunately, that thinking leads to a negative spiral of self-doubt and further sadness, worsening their pain and further delaying their eventual recovery.

I've found that the best cure is simply to understand that your pain and your feelings are normal: it's a physical reaction which affects us all similarly. Of course the circumstances of the breakup matter and there are indeed differences between individuals, but the fundamental effects are very universal: our brains and our hormones all affect us in similar ways after a romantic rejection, and we all have similar pain.

That's the message of every page of this guide. And based on letters from many readers, I know that it definitely helps to understand this.

But I also know that even after reading all the evidence, it's still hard to truly believe it.

Of course, intellectually you know that others have suffered in similar ways and you know you're not alone.

In your own life, you personally know people who've suffered from breakups.

With a few clicks, you can find posts on dozens of internet forums from people who have written their stories.

Or take a look through the thousands of messages on the Comments page of this site, together with my response to each person: you're definitely not alone. There's a custom search function, so you can quickly go through messages and search by details such as age, gender, length of relationship, or how long after the breakup the message was written. You can also search by dozens of issues including a breakup out of the blue, first love, a broken engagement, divorce, a cycle of break-up/make-up, unexpected contact from your ex, closure, false hope, someone else / infidelity. You'll find many messages you can relate to.

If you'd like, you too can share your story on the Comments page of this site. I would love to hear from you and I guarantee a personal response.

But I know from the web use stats that the people who share their stories here represent less than 0.1% of all visitors. Most people are tired, busy, don't want to share their story, don't want to bother, and I very much understand that it's extremely hard to make the effort to write to someone when you're feeling so down. And it's not just one-time visitors; each month, there are hundreds of people who read through the entire site several times a week from the first page to the last but never share their stories.

Some of these people have contacted me months after they've healed. Many have said they just couldn't write at the time, but that reading the comments section, particularly comments which they could directly relate to, definitely helped them feel less alone. And they suggested different ways to try to communicate even more strongly the idea there really are others - thousands of others - who are feeling what you're feeling, suffering what you're suffering, right now at this moment. They really thought it'd help to realize that it's not just the small percent of people who are willing and able to share their stories, but also the thousands of others who don't.

Some volunteers took that idea and put together this page to show you in the most direct way that many others are suffering right now and have come to this site seeking help just as you have.

No one knows the full story of any anonymous reader of a website, of course, but it's sometimes possible to see what search terms helped them find this site and get some small understanding from that into what's concerning them.

The search terms are filtered to eliminate extremely frequent search terms (such as searching for "breakup recovery guide"), obvious profanity, or topics that can be automatically identified as not actually related to this site (for example, there are pretty frequently people looking for information on "international relations", i.e. diplomacy, who end up on this site; a small number of people looking for porn also somehow end up here). Languages other than English are also eliminated (this site is also available in Spanish, Portuguese and Russian, so many search queries are in those languages). All that helps keep the search terms which appear here relevant and (hopefully) something you can relate to, but some random ones do slip through occasionally. Note that the search terms are completely anonymous and can't be identified to any user. Also note that there are technical limitations depending on the country, device and search engine, so information isn't available in many cases.

It's a fascinating insight. Many of the ideas which concern people tend to fall in very similar areas:

  • disbelief at the severity of breakup pain
  • desire to understand how long the breakup pain lasts and how to make it end sooner
  • extreme sadness and loneliness
  • self-doubt
  • obsession about the ex-
  • intense pain, jealousy, and shattered self-confidence in cases of cheating
  • questions about no contact
  • countless difficulties in maintaining no contact
  • desperate longing for reconciliation
  • questions about how to interpret and react to communication from the ex- after the breakup
  • revenge fantasies against ex-

It's very noticeable that the themes are very similar across all countries and regions; the pain of romantic rejection truly is universal.

When you first load the page, you'll see some of the most recent queries. Leave the page open on your device, and new queries will appear automatically at the top of the list.

You really aren't alone.