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Breaking Up Is Even Harder To Do

Laura Richards, LPCC


“Don’t take your love away from me. Don’t you leave my heart in misery.  If you go then I’ll be blue

‘Cause breaking up is hard to do"


Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield co-wrote these lyrics, released in 1962, long before home computers and the internet changed our social landscape.  When we look at how communication has changed since then, it is no wonder that the act of separating, whether it be from a romantic or platonic partner, is even more difficult today. In 1962, a separation usually began with a face-to-face discussion, and breaking up by phone was considered a harshly delivered verdict. In today’s digital world, phrases like ghosting, orbiting, and breadcrumbing have become commonplace, making the navigation of relationships an often confusing and isolating experience.

Humans often have difficulty with good endings, but the way our relationships end, not only colors our entire memory of the relationship; it also sets the stage for how we approach the next relationship.  Rejection also triggers certain brain functions that facilitate learning, and helps people learn to assimilate loss into their life experiences.

Ghosting in the digital world, happens when a friend or lover simply disappears, refusing to respond to any form of communication.  When individuals experience ghosting in their lives, they are left with no sense of closure, and a reduced desire to invest in new relationships due to loss of trust.  To compound the matter, sometimes an ex will return to like a photo, post, or tweet, a phenomenon called orbiting.  which confuses the dumpee even more and keeps them holding out hope for a reconciliation.  Staying connected with an ex through social media (called breadcrumbing,) comes with a high emotional cost, leading to feelings of regret and sadness.

For a more in depth look into this subject, along with information about how technology has also changed the beginnings and maintenance of relationships, go to

If you are experiencing confusion and/or difficulty navigating your relationships, please reach out to one of our therapists  at Breckenridge Counseling Center.  We can help!  Call 502-509-7079, or send an email to

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