How To Find Yourself Again After A Tough Break-Up
Last updated on : November 02 2021
Finding Yourself Again After a Tough Breakup
Neil Sedaka may have said it best back in 1962 –" breaking up is hard to do."
While breakups often get stereotyped with sad songs and pints of Ben & Jerry's, going through one never really feels like a laughing matter. Whether it was amicable or unexpected, breakups are never easy, and you might feel like you've lost a part of yourself.
When you call it quits with someone you genuinely care about, it's not uncommon for a variety of negative thoughts to swirl around inside your head.
You might start to doubt your "worthiness" in a relationship, and your self-esteem could struggle. Loneliness can start to take over.
That Ben & Jerry's starts sounding better and better.
But, before you reach for a pint of Chunky Monkey, take a breath and focus instead on finding yourself again. It's an essential and intentional step in the healing process and will allow you to move forward on your own and take charge of your life.
If you're not sure how to get started or you're feeling too distressed to think of ideas, we've got you covered.
1. Letting Yourself Grieve
Whether your relationship ended on good terms or not, and no matter how long you were with your ex, a breakup is still a loss. Not only is it okay to grieve that loss, but it's necessary if you want to move on in a healthy, productive way.
Not everyone grieves the same way, and there isn't a set timeline in place for how long it takes to "get over" someone. But, it's essential to understand the stages of grief so you can acknowledge where you are and how you can move to the next one when you're ready. Those stages are:
- Denial – often used as a coping mechanism to stop the wave of emotions from taking over
- Bargaining – trying to "win" your ex back or promising changes to the relationship if you can work things out
- Anger – blaming your ex for everything, or feeling angry toward life, in general, for being unfair
- Depression – losing hope that you'll ever find anyone and struggling with loneliness
- Acceptance – finding freedom from the emotional lockdown of your breakup
Most grief stages aren't exactly "fun," and things like anger and depression can last quite a while before you're ready to move on.
The worst thing you can do is stay in "denial" or "bargaining" for long periods. Doing so will only make things harder on yourself. But, you can look at each stage as progress to a better future.
Thankfully, there's an effective way to get out of those damaging stages faster.
2. Remembering Why You Broke Up
Maybe both of you decided you weren't right for each other. Perhaps one of you was ready for a more substantial commitment than the other.
Or, maybe it didn't end on excellent terms. The most common reasons for breakups include:
- Bad behaviors
- Misdirected anger
- Being unsupportive
When you're in love with someone, it's often easy to look the other way, even if you know they aren't treating you well. That can lead to toxic relationships and, potentially, dangerous situations.
Maybe your partner was a narcissist who never met your needs. Thinking of how unappreciated and unworthy that made you feel will make it much easier to get through your breakup.
If they were emotionally or physically abusive, cheated, or lied to you consistently, that can be hard to "get over," even if you knew how damaging it was.
You might have catered to them so much that you lost sight of who you were, leaving you wondering what's next.
Remembering why you broke up can hurt. You might want to protect yourself from that pain by blocking out those memories, but that's just another aspect of denial.
By accepting what happened and what you had to go through, you'll be less tempted to get into another toxic relationship. You'll also be more motivated to find yourself and rebuild your identity again as a stronger individual.
3. Removing Yourself From Drama
One survey found that 58% of Americans say breakups are messy, dramatic, or both. While movies and songs might over-dramatize the heartache felt during a split, there's a seed of truth to all of it.
The longer you stay involved in that drama, even after the relationship is over, the harder it will be to recover and move on.
Things can be incredibly complicated if you live together or if you are married. Living together is excellent for committed couples. It can save money, bring you closer, and allow you to take the next step forward in your relationship. But, if you break up, it can make things messier.
You'll have to decide the best solution for both of you, which can force communication. Continuing to live with your partner after a breakup usually isn't a good idea. So, your best options are to sell the home and split the profits or move out. You might be giving up some money if you do, but if it's for your mental well-being, it's beyond worth it.
If you need extra motivation to move out, consider how freeing it can be to find a place for yourself. It's a great way to adopt a clean slate and claim a new space as your own. If you've never purchased a home on your own before, keep some of the following factors in mind:
- The size of the house
- Number of floors
- Number of bedrooms and baths
- Storage space
- Whether it's spacious or cozy
- Outside features
You don't necessarily need to find your "dream house." You might benefit from renting a property rather than buying. But, moving out of a shared home will take you further away from relationship drama and allow you to heal peacefully.
4. Practicing Self-Love
Self-care is a phrase that has gotten thrown around a lot lately. But, when it's done correctly, it's a vital component to maintaining your mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but it doesn't have to be something lavish and expensive. It could include journaling every day, exercising, reading a good book, or getting together with close friends.
While taking care of yourself is crucial, you should turn your self-care practices into self-love habits.
It's easy to feel down about yourself after a breakup, even if it wasn't your fault. Your self-esteem might be shot, you could be embarrassed, or you might start to see yourself in a negative light.
By making your well-being a priority, you'll learn to love yourself again and reclaim your identity. Keep the following tips in mind as you grow your self-love:
- Don't compare yourself to others
- Don't worry about people's opinions
- Let go of those who are dragging you down
- Process your fears
- Trust yourself
- Understand it's okay to make mistakes
If a close friend or family member was going through a bad breakup, consider how you would treat them. Chances are, you would be supportive and compassionate. You deserve the same grace and kindness from yourself.
5. Leaning On Your Support System
Breakups can be lonely, especially if you feel like a part of your identity is now missing.
While it can be tempting to shut yourself in and stay away from everyone, that's one of the worst things you can do. Now is the time to lean on those who love you.
Not only will it show you that you're not alone, but you'll have a support system to help you through anything "extra," like moving things out of your house.
Something as simple as going out for a cup of coffee with a friend can make a big difference in how you feel. You'll realize you're not alone. You'll realize that you don't have to keep your emotions inside.
However, there is a fine line between leaning on your friends and family for support and listening to everything they have to say. It's likely they'll say negative things about your ex or suggest you get back out into the dating world.
While they might have the best of intentions, those aren't necessarily the best nuggets of advice to take to heart right after a breakup.
Instead, spend your time with people who are willing to listen and offer long-term advice rather than those trying to make you feel better right away.
Remember, there is no shame in seeking out professional help, either. Talking to a therapist or counselor can be highly beneficial if you're struggling.
Remember the stages of grief? It's not easy to "get out" of depression on your own. Talking to a mental health professional will make it easier to get through those stages and move on with your life.
It's not always easy to find yourself again after a breakup, especially if it was a messy one. But, reclaiming your truth and establishing a new identity can be extremely rewarding.
Put some of these ideas into practice, and you can step into your newfound peace and freedom faster than you ever thought possible.
Don't Forget To Share On Pinterest
- How To Get Back Together With Your Ex And Deal With Your Heartbreak Fast
- Breakups: What To Do During No-Contact With An Ex
- The 5 Stages Of Breakup Grief For The Dumpee
- What To Do When Your Ex Contacts You Or Offers Breadcrumbs
- What Is The No Contact Rule, And Can It Get My Ex Back?
The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald