Whether you’re new to the dating world or a seasoned pro, breakups are the most dreaded part about dating. Once you’re past the tears, heartbreak, and discomfort of being alone, you may come to realize that breakups are more empowering than detrimental.
You have more time for friends and family
While in a relationship, I know first-hand it can be easy to become consumed by your significant other. Only wanting to spend time with them, their friends and sometimes even drifting from your own friends are common behaviors. I remember feeling empty and alone without the simple act of my boyfriend constantly texting me or wanting to hang out. Entering the single life may seem lonely and depressing, but don’t forget about your friends and family who have cared for you through it all. I’ve found that breakups are the perfect time to lean on your family for support and spend more time with friends! I could not have made it through any of my breakups without the support and comfort of my best friends and family members. Despite how much time has passed, or how things ended, everyone understands how painful and testing a breakup can be.
After my first breakup, I feared to tell my family and friends that I was struggling immensely and needed help. One of the biggest lessons that experience has taught me is that not asking for help when you need it does much more harm than good. Revealing to friends that I was feeling negatively about my self and questioning everything led to them reminding me who I am, and bringing me the empowerment I needed. It’s also important to try to see this new-found alone time as an opportunity to spend time with those you may not see as often. I have become much closer and reconnected with old friends during the hardest of times, and have that I can still count on people I may not see often. Breakups always remind me that I have so many other great people in my life, who care about me much more than I may realize and give them credit for. I could not have made it through any breakups without the kindness and support of my friends, so don’t be afraid to lean on yours and feel their love and support to regain your post-breakup empowerment. You may even find that your friends and even your parents can relate to how you’re feeling and give you helpful advice in this tough time.
It’s the time to focus on your career
Relationships require attention to someone else’s needs- sometimes more than your own. While this is not always a bad thing, your new single life will allow you to spend more time focusing on your professional life. My parents never fail to remind me that my academics and career plans are much more important than any boy who has broken my heart. Although this is probably not what you want to hear, it’s crucial to remember your own goals are more important. And, if you’re looking for another distraction, leaning into your career is probably the healthiest one. As college students, it can be easy to forget that the real world is awaiting us outside of all of this homework, classes, and parties.
If you’re newly single, this is the perfect reminder that you have so much more awaiting you outside of college relationships. When you focus on your career, you’ll remember how smart and talented you are if you had forgotten. I know I tend to become caught up in my love life and forget the real reason I’m attending college- to further my career and do something positive for my future. Focusing on your academics and professional life will give you the empowerment and confidence you’re searching for. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time on your homework, take on a new job, or even join an academic club to boost your resume!
Use this time to lean into a hobby or try a new one
If you’ve been neglecting a hobby or wanting to start a new one, breakups are the perfect opportunity to do so. Activities like exercising, painting or writing can all be great outlets to express your emotions as well as to boost your confidence. Exercising is my favorite hobby, especially after a breakup. Getting back into or starting to work out will give you a sense of assurance in yourself, physically and mentally. When I’m fresh out of a breakup and tired of feeling consumed by my emotions, I love to throw on a confidence-boosting playlist and sweat it all out at the gym.
Working out is the perfect escape from reality and will bring you closer to your fitness goals you may have neglected while in a relationship. Whether it’s a strenuous 2-hour workout, or a quick few miles running in the park, I can guarantee your mood will be improved and your confidence will be through the roof after completing a workout. Exercising or participating in any other hobby you enjoy can bring a sense of empowerment, which you’ll likely need.
You’ll learn more about yourself
It can be scary being alone, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship. You should be much more excited than scared though. This break in a relationship will allow you to learn more about yourself- what you like to do, how you handle unfortunate situations, dealing with conflict, etc. Although my past breakups were seemingly a headache and immensely upsetting, I have become much more proficient when it comes to resolving conflicts. I’ve always been one to bottle my emotions and do anything else necessary to avoid confrontation. Through navigating my love life, I’ve been forced to endure confrontation and now I’m not sure how I managed to live without it. Even if the situation doesn’t end in your favor, learning to calmly talk through conflicts is a crucial skill to have in life.
Breakups also give you endless freedom to confront your emotions or avoid them. After enduring my first breakup, I learned that talking out my feelings and dealing with them is not a strength of mine. Although it’s not always easy to announce that you’re upset or struggling, venting to others can relieve some of the stress your feeling and serve as a reminder that you don’t have to endure this alone. Being more introverted, I’ve also found ways around talking to deal with my emotions- whether it be putting my energy into a workout, getting back into my abandoned art projects, or writing about it- it’s crucial to find a way to confront these feelings head-first. In navigating breakups, I’ve also learned I’m much stronger than I had given myself credit for. I’ve realized that although I may feel helpless, I’m relatively independent and don’t need anyone to validate my self-worth or create my happiness. Whether it be learning how to deal with my emotions, realizing a new hobby, or reminding me of my strength, breakups have always been the perfect opportunity to learn more about myself and to embrace my talents. Use this time to remind yourself how great you are, and feel immense empowerment doing so.
It’s a great time to meet new people
Even if you’re not looking to jump right back into a relationship, the single life allows you to meet more people and expand your social horizons. You no longer have to shut down social invitations to stay at home with your significant other. Now that you’re single, you have the opportunity to branch out and meet new friends you may have not met before. Being newly single, I have met numerous people who I may not have while in a relationship. I don’t regret the time I’ve spent with ex-boyfriends, but I’m thankful for my new-found free time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
It can be tempting to stay in and weep over your supposed loss, I encourage you to defy your comfort zone and reach out to your friends and even try to make new ones. Meeting new people without your partner can bring you empowerment in ways you will not know. Since becoming single, I’ve been forced to make more of my own friends and am so glad that I had to do so. Making new friends and spending time networking has definitely been a positive aspect of breakups, bringing me genuine friends I may not have had met, and feelings of empowerment I would not have experienced.
You’ll be less stressed
It wasn’t until I was almost fully healed from a breakup when I realized a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Don’t forget that when you remove yourself from a stressful and conflicting relationship, you’re also removing yourself from all of the drama that came with it. I remember my best friend reminding me of everything I used to complain about the old relationship or the ways in which it was not working. I always dismissed her and urged that I was experiencing a loss, but now that I am not blinded by my emotions, I realize that I am better off and some relationships are meant to be learning experiences, instead of your end game.
It seems silly, but I found it helpful and healing to make lists of the reasons the relationship would never work and of the good things that will come of my new lifestyle. Despite whether you want your ex back or not, there’s a reason it did not work out and there’s no use crying over someone willing to let you go. You will no longer come home crying over fights with your ex or have to stress about solutions to make the relationship work. Enjoy your new drama-free life and appreciate the empowerment that results from this.