Reclaiming Your Identity After a Breakup

So you’re single now.

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my first year of college, it’s that life is a wild ride. Friends come and go, opportunities are lost and new ones found, relationships are made and broken. Upon a series of events (whether fortunate or unfortunate only you can say), you’ve found yourself out of another relationship. Maybe it was for the best. Maybe you feel lost and really, really confused. Maybe you don’t feel anything.

It doesn’t matter whether the relationship was long term or only a brief romantic encounter–each one hurts in its own unique way. You may be reading this on your phone at the grocery store, thinking, “I’ve read this post a thousand times. What makes you think you have anything new to say about break ups?” Well curious reader, as the saying goes, originality is nothing more than undetected plagiarism. That being said, I do have motive for opening up this overplayed dialogue once more.

I’ve seen far too many people I care about spiral into a twister of angst and turmoil after breaking up with someone. What I want most of all is to speak directly to each one of my friends who I’ve seen go through this very thing. I would tell them the only way to truly move on from this is to stop thinking about the person they’ve broken up with and start thinking about themselves.

I’m making this personal, single people. Remember that scene in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling shows Rachel McAdams the studio he made for her and she remembers how much she loves painting? Well, you don’t need a hot guy to build you a house in order to rediscover what you love. You can do it all on your own.

Think back to the things you used to do by yourself before you got into the relationship. The kind of things you did out of self love, that are meant to be done alone. Those activities are the building blocks of your identity, but all too often disappear in an overly dependent relationship. Starting those things again will help you rediscover yourself, whether it’s playing more guitar, playing a sport, writing poetry or pursuing some other hobby.

It’s essential during a breakup period not to agonize over the other person too much. Take this time to reassess who you are as a person and what your goals are. The healthiest relationships don’t involve either partner depending on the other. Your happiness should come from within yourself–you are responsible for it.

It’s time to reclaim yourself and grab hold of who you are. Listen to what your body and your mind need. Practice self-love and be mindful of what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. Use this time to do the things you said you never had time for before–they will be your life raft to sanity and the key to being happy on your own again.

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