18 Signs Your Breakup Was a Mistake

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By Darryl Henderson

Choosing to end a relationship is never easy, even when it’s the right thing to do. However, what about when you begin to regret whether you did the right thing? To help, we’ve listed 18 signs to watch out for to indicate your breakup might have been a mistake.

There are Lingering Feelings

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Heightened emotions are common after a breakup, but frequent resurfacing of fond thoughts could mean you want them back. Lingering feelings can include still thinking fondly of your ex and still feeling affection for them, even after time has passed.

Moving On Has Become Impossible

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Moving on from a relationship takes time, but it does eventually happen. However, if moving on feels almost impossible, it could be because you want them back in your life. If you can’t find happiness no matter what you do, it might be a sign.

Changes in Your Physical Health

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Deterioration of physical health after a breakup can indicate that emotional stress is negatively impacting you. Mayo Clinic explains that symptoms of broken heart syndrome can even mimic the symptoms of a heart attack! If physical changes are extreme, it can suggest that regret over breaking up is manifesting physically.

You Have Second Thoughts

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Having second thoughts and feelings of regret are clear indicators that you might have made a mistake. While breakups are painful, most people remain firm in their conviction that it is the right thing to do. Meanwhile, having second thoughts suggests that, deep down, you might be doubting the decision.

You’re Still in Touch with Your Ex

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If you have persistent communication with your ex, it could suggest that you want to stay in touch with them romantically. Particularly if you both reminisce about your time together, it could indicate that neither of you wants to let it go. Maintaining communication can often be an underlying hope for things to rekindle.

Seeing Signs of Regret in Your Ex

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Whether through physical signs or through written communication, you might notice signs of regret in your ex. They might give lingering looks, or they might reach out for comfort. You may even hear that they’ve been speaking about you to their friends, all of which can indicate they still have feelings for you.

Having Dreams About Reconciliation

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The Sleep Foundation provides one possible explanation for why you might be dreaming about your ex: unresolved feelings. Of course, unresolved doesn’t necessarily mean good feelings, but if you frequently dream about getting back together, it could be a deep-seated longing for them. 

Comparing Them to Past Relationships

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You might have spent time thinking about how every other relationship has been worse than your most recent, coming to the conclusion that, despite its flaws, your relationship with them was the best you’ve ever had. You might now be questioning whether you’ll ever find anything better, so it could be worth reconsidering. 

Constantly Seeking Validation from Others

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Constantly seeking validation that the breakup was the right thing to do can be a sign that you’re severely doubting it yourself. If you’re always asking friends and family whether you made the right decision, it could be because, deep down, you want them to say you made a mistake.

Experiencing Intense Emotional Triggers

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Overwhelming feelings and memories associated with your ex can form intense emotional triggers prompted by places or even pieces of music. If you’re having these non-stop, it might be because you’re still emotionally connected to them. You long for them back, sadly.

You Can’t Find Closure Due to Unresolved Issues

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Breaking up is often not the final step in gaining closure if there are many lingering issues you never worked through. It might have been a mistake to break up if you never tried to fix any problems, leaving you wondering if the relationship might have worked if you’d only worked through everything.

Changes in Self-Perception

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Psychology Today cites loss of self-esteem as “the most disruptive aspect of a breakup.” If you now feel seriously insecure and unworthy of love, it could be a sign that you only really felt value with your ex-partner. You might now find difficulty imagining yourself as a confident person with anybody else.

Changes in Social Circle

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Changes in social circles are inevitable after a breakup if you have mutual friends, but drastic social changes can be a sign that the breakup was a mistake. You may now be wishing that you’d stayed together to keep the positive social dynamic that you shared as a couple.

Constantly Revisiting Past Conversations or Arguments

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After a breakup, you may find yourself replaying past exchanges to try and better understand what went wrong. Going over and over things in your head could be a sign that you’re looking for a reason why you might have made a mistake or something that can still be fixed.

You’re Receiving Mixed Signals

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You might be getting both positive and negative reactions from your ex during your exchanges. They might be affectionate to you one moment and a little distant the next, and these mixed reactions may be because your ex is confused about the breakup, too.

An Unwillingness to Let Go

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If your breakup was a mistake, you will refuse to let go of any memories, past messages, or even keepsakes. You’re finding it impossible to part with anything that reminds you of them, as getting rid of reminders is akin to eliminating them from your life. Ultimately, you don’t want to let them go.

Changes in Career or Ambitions

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Speaking to the Huffington Post, psychologist Tara Quinn-Cirillo explains you don’t have to have equal ambitions for a successful relationship. Career changes can often mean a change of outlook in love, so if you were in a different career phase when your relationship ended, you might now be considering giving it another go.

You Have a Gut Feeling

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Ultimately, your gut feeling is the best indicator of a poorly thought-out breakup. Sometimes, your intuition simply tells you whether it was a mistake or not. If your gut feeling since the breakup has been that it was a mistake, and you’re wondering whether to give it another go, this could be the only sign you need.