Humans always have, and always will, need connection. Try as you might, being alone and isolated is not (thankfully) a natural inclination for us. Touch brings physiological changes to blood pressure, stress and mental wellbeing. In fact, studies have shown that premature babies that are isolated need touch in order to thrive. Without that connectivity, they have developmental delays and worse, even death. These needs do not dissipate as we mature to adulthood. We need attachment to provide homeostasis, emotional regulation and a sense of security. What happens when you believe your life has been blessed by a positive bond with another person, only to discover that what you had will no longer remain intact? What happens when love goes wrong?
Our bodies react strongly when loss takes place. Grieving happens in people physically when there is a death/life lost. The need to accept the finality that someone will never be a part of your sensory life again is very difficult to bear. Therefore, your body responds to this loss in the same Failure to Thrive (FTT) way that babies experience. The deprivation of having the shoulder to lean on, hand to hold or smile to greet you after a long day puts you in emotional distress. Emotional dysregulation leads to depression and even physical pain. To return to a functioning state, we must return to the attachment and care of another person. Do you have that friend that seeks to immediately get into another relationship after a breakup? Actually, it is normal to see people in a quick search for the next partner. It is our body’s way of telling us that we need to be connected.
The sense of disappointment in losing your partner can feel overwhelming. Hopes are built on sharing your life with someone. Relationships, even unhealthy ones, evoke hope and build a sense of belonging and purpose. It doesn’t matter why things did not last a lifetime. What matters is that the loss affects every fiber of your being. To return to emotional wholeness, find ways to reconnect to others. That doesn’t mean jumping into the next relationship right away. Give yourself the space to heal before attempting to begin again with someone new. What it can mean is finding ways to share your life again. Friends, family, even adopting a pet, can keep you from isolating and starving your humanity by remaining alone. Convincing yourself that you can “go it alone” is a decision that will affect every part of your life. Connect so you can heal and become whole.