Finding Yourself After a Breakup

I’m not quite sure what’s in the air this year, but it seems as though everyone I know (including myself) has been through some sort of break-up in 2019. Regardless of the magnitude, break-ups are tough. There is really no way to articulate the sense of loss, sadness or perhaps even betrayal. Similarly, there is no formula for how you deal with it, everyone is different.

Relationships are sort of like a mirror. 

They allow us to evaluate the way we work, or don’t work, with other people. A relationship allows us to see what we need from the other party– whether that’s validation, comfort, intimacy...and it also allows us to understand what we’re comfortable giving, and what we’re not. It’s a time of self-reflection–we learn so much about ourselves, so in a sense the relationship we are in mirrors the relationship that we have with ourselves.

At first, love fogs everything. We can’t see clearly because we are so overwhelmed by lust and passion that we lose sight of little things along the way. This is completely normal, and perhaps the most enticing part of falling in love in the first place. Yet overtime, the hormones wane, character defects become clear and the feeling that was once so pure and innocent fades. The mirror becomes increasingly clear. 

This is when it becomes critical to ask, do you like your reflection?

If you do, you’re likely very content with your relationship, but this isn’t always the case. The hardest but most important thing is being able to let go of a relationship you know deep down you are not happy in. On the other hand, it’s equally as hard dealing with being broken up with, especially knowing that the other person was not happy. It makes you wonder what you could have done differently or if it was in some way shape or form your fault. It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy, nor is it your job to make them happy. You have to be able to do it for yourself. 

When you first begin dating, everyone has a subconscious checklist of themselves. From superficial things like “I have great hair” to more character traits like “I’m funny and creative”– we draft a list in our minds of the things that we think make us attractive to other people. Then, when we find that person and settle down, we can very easily lose it, especially when we get our heads too wrapped up in the beautiful chaos of it all. Time chips away at this checklist, and we forget about the things we used to love or the things that made us feel good about ourselves. Afterwards, when you breakup, it’s almost like losing a piece of yourself.

When you seek happiness in another person, you will expect things, and resentment arises. Resentment brings anger and anger brings arguments. This explains one of the many reasons people jump from one relationship to another. They simply think that a person will “complete” them, but once the honeymoon phase is over, the needy partner sucks energy from the other trying to find fulfillment. You do not need another person to complete you. In healthy relationships, two people come together and complement each other’s lives in a way that they can still grow together, but also individually at the same time. If you have ever reached the point where you are worried about who you are without your significant other, almost everyone has been there.

Relationships and all the baggage that they come with (including breakups) are the most pivotal points where you have the ability to learn about yourself in ways that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Knowing that you can be independent in a relationship and be 100% yourself speaks a lot about who you are as a person, and that you don’t need someone else to complete you, you can do it for yourself.

So if you have recently gone through a breakup, take the time to find the importance in being your own best friend. Know what you are worth and surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Use your experience to guide you forwards, and equip yourself with the tools you need to successfully move on and let go. 

Losing someone isn’t easy, but knowing that you always have yourself is what matters most.