Finding Value in Yourself Post Break Up

Finding Value in Yourself Post Break Up

After graduating from university and reaching the grand old age of twenty-two, I began to realise a few big changes in my girlfriends and I. One was obviously the early onset of grey hair due to the stress of trying to find a grad job, and another was a growing infatuation with avocados and chai tea lattes (we are the worst, I know.) But another main one was that suddenly all my friends in relationships were reaching one of two extremes: they were all either breaking up or settling down. It felt like every week if one of my friends was having a Kim K ugly cry on my sofa, another one was telling me they were engaged (I have three weddings to go to… THREE.) Leaving full time education and/or being comfortably in our early to mid-twenties had sent us into some kind of relationship purge.

On reflection, this was inevitable. We are at a stage in life where you realise you are very much out of the education safety net and suddenly have the reigns to shape your life. For myself and a lot of my friends, we had worked really hard for four years and finally had degrees. For others, they had been at their jobs for a couple of years and were getting pretty good at adult-ing. Some, fresh out of university, were desperate to experience some of what the world had to offer before settling down, and others realised that actually it was time to take control of their life. This age and stage is an important and significant one, and consequently it appeared to be having a big impact not only on our lives, but specifically our relationships.

For my friends on the breaking up end of the spectrum, there was one thing that stood out in many of them, and this was the lack of value they had for themselves post break-up. After being in a relationship for such a long time, you become used to asking someone their opinion, basing your plans around theirs, letting someone know where you are and what you are up to. Not only this, you also have someone to tell you how fab you are. Despite the love all your friends give you, when you don’t have this anymore, you can feel really lonely and find yourself paddling in a pool of self-doubt. When you are with someone, you become half of the whole thing that is your relationship, and when you become single, you have to learn to be whole on your own again. This can be hard to become accustomed to, and as much as we all like to sing Beyoncé and preach like Samantha Jones, it’s okay that we end up doubting ourselves a little.  

 

 

What is not okay, however, is the place we often look to gain this value back: in the form of talking to new boys. I’m not talking about going on that date with the boy you know you could never take to your Gran’s for Sunday lunch, or kissing a boy in a club for fun.  What I mean is that we start dropping our standards and looking for validation from boys we would never have given the time of day before. Once you are over the initial upset of the break up, we can very easily lose ourselves and end up being drawn in by messages from gross boys who send “you up?” Snapchat messages at 2am on a Thursday, or craving attention from the guy you used to chat to but stopped because he was a sleaze. Disclaimer: he is still a sleaze. It can be hard, but we need to remember how great we are and that settling for some cretin is not going to make us happy.  

 

One of my best friends said to me recently, “I would always think first, not if a boy liked me, but do I actually like him?”, and it hit the nail on the head. We can very easily start to accept or even be grateful for the attention we get from boys who, let’s face it, have probably sent the same message to every girl in his contacts. We forget to think about what we value in a person and most importantly, what we deserve from someone.

Chatting to guys is obviously a fun part of being single, but the point is that you do not NEED to be dating or chatting to a boy to find value in yourself. If his chat is bad and he is only conveniently free at 11pm at night, cut it off. We need to remember that we are not less of a person because someone isn’t sending us a goodnight text or paying us attention. Being single is the best time to find out about yourself and remind yourself of the kind of person you are and would like to be. You get to be this whole person all by yourself, and we would do well to remember that we are enough on our own.

 

 

All Photos: Google Images

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