Divorce, separation, conscious uncoupling, breakups, even ghosting can cause you to feel grief. It doesn't matter what gender you are, or what type of relationship you had, from marriage to having dated a few times, or even just having spent time getting to know each other online...when the hopes you have tied to the relationship end, you can experience intense grief.
We all understand the grief that comes with divorce or the ending of a long-term relationship. The recognition from friends and family of your grief for the end of the relationship and the end of love is very comforting, but what most people who are not online dating don't recognize is that you can experience intense feelings of grief from just a brief encounter with someone because your grief is connected to the loss of hope...and hope can be one of the most powerful emotions you can experience.
I believe the loss of hope is what makes dating so hard.
You get excited about the other person. Your mind envisions the other person and you together, but then your hopes can burst like a balloon. Either because they were not who you thought they were or you're rejected by them for thier own reasons.
Unless you are the one-in-a-billion couple that met each other off of the first match, you can get your hopes up and get let down time and time again. Sometimes it's easy to brush off and move on, but then, like the straw that broke the camel's back, one messy encounter later and it's like a dam burst.
You are not just grieving this one breakup, but all the other hurtful comments, ghosting behaviors and disappointing dates that have accumulated during your dating life.
Call it grief, call it a meltdown, call it whatever you want but dating is emotionally tough. You get hurt by people who don't respect your feelings, your time, and your energy. Or you disconnect from your feelings and go on autopilot dates and don't really connect with anyone then the rejection adds up.
If you need help talk to friends, family, or a mental health professional if you are feeling overwhelmed. Feeling a terrible sense of loss while you are in the dating world can be a very normal and understandable thing. When you get your hopes up over and over again, only to have them dashed, over and over again, you can have really intense emotions.
Always remember, you can take a break any time from dating and if you've been hurt one too many times and need to talk to a professional, it's totally normal.
I've written previously about how tough it is to bounce back after being hurt. When you feel grief, it's ok to take the time you need to grieve. Honour your feelings and know that your feelings are very valid. You are loved.