No one ever said breakups would be easy. In fact, they can be utterly grueling, debilitating, and confusing, even under somewhat amicable circumstances. Bittersweet breakup stories remind us of how devastating splitsville can be. When you dump someone you don’t totally hate or are on the fence about whether ending things was the right decision, it can make parting ways extra hard.

A breakup is a breakup, even if you uncouple consciously. In reality, choosing to cut ties with your sweet someone might feel like one of the hardest things you ever have to do. Many women are left wondering whether they made the right choice. Others know breaking up with their partner was inevitable, but they’re still left with an empty, lost feeling. As the cliche goes, "If you love someone, set them free." Well, that’s certainly easier said than done, am I right ladies? Time will certainly heal a broken heart, but that might be the last thing you want to hear if you’ve recently broken up with someone.

Before you reach for the ice cream and hit play on your breakup anthem, check out these bittersweet breakup stories. I spoke with nine women who shared their experiences about parting ways with someone they loved, and let’s just say they’re heartbreakingly relatable.

When Everything Lines Up But Your Goals

— Taylor, 30

No Fireworks, No Future

— Cierra, 24

Now Or Never

— Alex, 28

When The Friendzone Leads To A Bittersweet Breakup

— Stephanie, 25

Stay Together For The Cat

— Michelle, 28

When What Feels Right Isn’t What’s Best

— Elsie, 29

Don’t Drag It Out

— Lacey, 24*

The Business Of Breakups

— Emily, 29*

Long-Distance Despair

— Grace, 25*

Breakups are rough, especially the bittersweet kind. Many women experience the grueling process of ending things with someone they truly love at least once in their lives. If you’ve gone through a recent breakup, you might feel like there’s nothing that’ll make you feel better, but sometimes solidarity can help! Hopefully, these bittersweet breakup stories will make you feel a little less alone in the process. Keep your head up, and remember that things will get easier, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

*Names have been changed.

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