Going through a breakup isn’t easy for anyone; even if a split is amicable, the time immediately afterwards can be a whirlwind. Breakups are tough!
Strong neural pathways we’ve formed during the relationship that have resulted in expectations like support and nourishing touch from that person must now be reformed and rewired—and that can take a very long time.
Though painful, breakups can present a chance to learn, explore and grow. You might notice you’re making some big changes to help yourself recover and regain your footing. Let’s explore some of these changes you may experience.
Many of us are eager to transform ourselves with a new hairstyle or a few cute outfits in an effort to tell ourselves, “I’m still okay and I’m still attractive to others.” On one hand, this is a positive state to be in: you want to look and feel your best, and to bring your best self to the world. That’s totally ok. You’re worth it! However, this effort to reinvent ourselves may actually be an effort to shield ourselves from tough emotions, rather than address them head on.
Some questions to ask yourself: Am I transforming my appearance in an effort to self-regulate, move on, and represent the “me” I want to bring to the world? Am I trying to look good for me, or for other people? What about these image changes makes me feel great/makes me feel not-so-great? Asking these questions ensures you’re being honest with yourself about your mental state and where you are in the healing process.
After a breakup, try not to be too hasty or eager to grab onto someone else for emotional connection. Instead, ask yourself: What do I want my life to be and what kind of person do I really want to be with? What are my deal-breakers? Make an inventory on paper of what matters most to you in a relationship and then analyze it. Decide what matters most to you before looking for someone else.
But hey—it’s ok to date around! Your job isn’t to find a new relationship right away—it’s to date and discover yourself and other people. Take some time off for reflection and then get back out there. Find your best method for meeting a person with those qualities you desire. (There’s a big difference between hopping on Tinder and bumping into an interesting person at book club.)
Breakups can often feel frustrating because many people feel that they were “wasting time” by being with someone for a period of time—only to have the relationship come to an end. In addition, it’s also easy to question yourself and your future, asking the universe, “When will I finally meet ‘the one’?”
Well, there’s no such thing as wasting time in the romantic world. There’s something to be learned from each date and every relationship—regardless of how long it lasts. We learn about ourselves and what really matters to us in a life partner. These teachable moments are priceless in our growth and development.
You may already be emotionally vulnerable after your breakup—so don’t obsess over finding someone fast. Instead, allow yourself to heal, learn and grow and then focus on exploring just who’s out there. It could take one date or 50, but you’ll certainly learn and grow in the process.
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Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.
Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user jinterwas.
The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.