Knowing Your Worth After a Break-Up

There’s a lot going on at this time of year: new resolutions, classes, roommates and other daily struggles as a college student. With these, people might change their values, lifestyles, how they want to spend their daily time and even life. You might not be actively seeking these changes, but the stress from exams, the holidays or even time off from a school environment has, in some way, changed you and someone very important to you. These changes, along with countless other reasons, may have caused a breakup between you and a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or best friend. If you’re going through one now, have had gone through one, or just want to know how to #dealandheal then keep reading.

Let’s be real: break-ups suck. They’re difficult, especially when the person you’ve fallen out with was involved almost every minute of your daily life. It hurts for a number of reasons: how things ended, the reasons for it, the fact that your friend group will become awkward, the mourning of a glorious era, and/or just missing their company.

The break-up could have been ugly, mutual, neutral or just random. It could have happened because your schedules don’t allow your usual weekly lunches at Southside anymore or because of other, growing issues that are too toxic to be worth fixing or resolving. Whatever the reason, there will be an empty spot in your heart and your life. So here are some things to remember in order to cope/deal, and eventually, heal from this breakup.

1. You are a strong individual

You are worth so much regardless of whether you’re with someone or not.

Maybe you two were a power couple or a dynamic duo that everyone associated together. People viewed you two as a set and you may have felt that way too. You mostly only hung out with them and moments where you could show kindness and care, which make you feel like a great person, were with them. Now without that person, you have no one to text good morning and goodnight to, no one to laugh and unwind with, and no one to “look after” and care for. You might feel purposeless, insanely lonely or embarrassed about being seen without your (former) other half: rumors can get annoying and ugly and can spread like wildfire.

Let me tell you, you are everything when you’re independent, regardless of whether you have broken up recently or not. You are capable of being amazing and achieving your goals without the other person and you are every amount a person without them. You do not need to feel embarrassed about being seen without them because you are an individual, and you have every right to grab lunch with a smile on your face alone. So, you’ve just read the above and you’re wondering how, exactly, to actually believe all that empowerment talk.

Here’s how: do something to make you feel like you have your life together: research grad schools, get ahead on homework, check your bank account and make a budget. Or complete smaller, but still important tasks, like hitting the gym. And make sure to prove to yourself that you can have fun alone- do something you would do with that person (but by yourself) and make an effort to enjoy it. When you do, you will feel empowered and like a strong individual, a feeling that everyone should have, even if you're not going through a breakup. Once you realize you can have a great, productive time alone, you might feel better and get rid of thoughts that say you can only have fun and have a purpose with the company of somebody else. Once that sense of loss is gone, you’ll feel invincible.

2. Know that only you can make your happiness

Maybe your happiness used to be made and broken by the other person. You were so close that if they did or did not do something that day, it would dictate your mood. Step back and realize that no one has any right to, “make you feel inferior without your consent” - Eleanor Roosevelt.

Maybe inferior is too strong of a word, but you get the idea: you and you alone should have control of your feelings. Realize that if you allow your heart to be so easily dealt with by others, you’re susceptible to hurt, and that’s going to get in the way of you living/becoming the ultimate #GirlBoss. Whether to prevent being hurt, or just so you can gain a little bit of a sense of strength, make sure to remind yourself that one person should not have that much control over your life, especially if they’ve done you dirty.

3. Tell yourself that relationships come and go, and short relationships are totally normal

Maybe that semester you spent with your friend is absolutely glorious in your memories, and you naturally associate that friend with amazing times and good things. You might then think that that friend was the cause of it or even that sticking with that friend will always assure good times. Step back and evaluate what really made those times great. Were they a bunch of different elements, like fun classes, the season, and your schedule or was it solely that person?

Also, consider why you two broke up: were they doing things that got on your nerves out of spite, talking bad behind your back, even using you? Were you both just on separate tracks that naturally went different directions? If they did you dirty, take that into consideration, and don't romanticize that era you spent with them that much. If you're neutrally going in different directions, try to take no hard feelings with you. You can't be friends with someone and expect them to stay stagnant forever, or change with and like you, so consider that and cherish what you had. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

4. Have a conversation if you have not already (with yourself or with them)

As mentioned above, a reason why you might fear the aftermath of this breakup is because your friend group/social circle might be dramatically split up. If you want to avoid this or just any awkward situations, tell your friend that you wish to keep the falling out private or if you think there’s tension or conflict between you two, make it clear that you do not want that and that it was not your intention to create any. Falling out because of bad causes can still be civil. Besides, breaking up mostly means you do not want to spend any more time with or over someone else, and having them constantly on your mind with drama or gossip is the exact opposite of that. Civility is always the way, for everyone’s sake.

Another reason to have a conversation with your former significant other or friend is because you want both your feelings out there for you to be able to look back on later. Sharing feelings or closing remarks over text or verbally (in depth) is healthy and creates something more or less concrete to look back on when you’re feeling upset. Or maybe so they/other people can’t twist your words later. You could also do it for closure: make your feelings known and know the other’s. The more you know, the more sense the other person makes, and something they did that was wrong might actually seem less hurtful if you're given context. You might even be able to get back together. And if not, you are wonderful and capable independent. Have a conversation with yourself about all that. Sort through your thoughts with yourself and create closure. Walk yourself through how to reach these tips and you’ll eventually heal. Be kind to yourself.

 

Eventually, you’ll make new relationships, or find yourself thriving when you’re independent. A break up can be beneficial and offer growth, so get that out of it instead of sadness and heartache, collegiettes.