Whoever started saying, “You can’t die from a broken heart,” was obnoxiously optimistic, not to mention, wrong (it’s called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy if you don’t believe me). Not only does breaking up give your tear ducts a workout, but it may manifest itself through physical pain: tense chest muscles, headaches, stubbed toes from pacing anxiously, the list goes on. However, it’s important to remember that no matter how impossible it may seem to resume your normal routine while your insides feel like minced meat, it is in fact possible. Once you can manage a clear head, you’ll realize there are elements to a break up that are positive, and maybe in the long run, worth the day or two spent in bed.
1. It gives you perspective
Such a personal jolt to the gut certainly knocks you off your feet. You wonder, “What did I do?” or the number one worst question, “What’s wrong with me?” While assigning blame and analyzing what you could have or should have done is not healthy, you can use this period of self-awareness to your advantage. Realize that you may never make sense of the break up, and instead try to make sense of yourself. What about the relationship did you enjoy? What did you hate? What do you hope for in the future? A harsh break up can leave you raw, but make peace with yourself in raw form. Learn from it and embrace it. It may feel lonely now, but a period of solitude will make you a truer, more centered you.
2. It promotes change
Being one half of a couple can be great, but it may have caused you to lose touch with certain interests or goals that the two of you didn’t share. Use this time to check back in with yourself. The best medicine for feeling down in the dumps is not Ben and Jerry’s, contrary to popular belief, but is doing something that makes you feel accomplished. Write, draw, join a new club, make new friends, work out, make lists. Once you accomplish something that is completely your own, you will feel exponentially more confident.
3. It strengthens friendships
Sometimes it takes a difficult situation to notice how many people really love and care about you. Now is the time to get closer to them. Lean on them. Talk about how you feel, but don’t forget to listen, too. A tough break up is an opportunity to take advantage of these other avenues for love, affection and support. If you use this time to help strengthen this foundation of people, dependable family and friends, you will find it to be a much more reliable support system than any partner.
4. It gives you independence
Break ups are difficult because they knock you out on your own (which after being in a relationship, is terrifying). But try to think of it as a necessary period in your life that will teach you how to be a more mature, capable person. Don’t try to replace the former relationship with someone new; instead date yourself. Did Noodles forget to put olives in your salad? Don’t rely on anyone but yourself to go up and ask for some (hey, it happened to me). Want to go to a club meeting but no one wants to accompany you? Go yourself. Learning to depend on and trust in yourself is an invaluable lesson that will stick with you forever.
5. Now is the time for exploration
The common theme here is to use your break up as an opportunity for personal growth. I would never claim that a break up is easy, but it is a unique opportunity that inspires change and perseverance through pain. You are now you and only you, and all you have to worry about is making yourself happy and no one else. Take advantage of this time. Explore! Stay out late, talk to someone new, try a sport, get involved… the more you do now the more you will learn about yourself, and the healthier person you will be when you start a new relationship (which is just around the corner beautiful, even if it seems impossible). Most importantly, fall in love with yourself. If you can manage that, you will never feel alone again.
Sad Bear (photo): theBERRY.com,
Girl Leaning Back (photo): theBERRY.com,
Girls Jumping Off Bridge (photo): theBERRY.com,