Sometimes, breakups feel like the end of the world. In a sense, it is an end, but it’s only the end of that particular relationship. It’s also the beginning of a new relationship, the most important relationship of all — the one with yourself.
Breaking up with someone is like moving out of an old house. It takes time and effort, and it requires you to let go of stuff. However, it also allows you to reevaluate some of your own personal baggage and belongings and decide whether or not they are serving any purpose.
If you’re going through a tough breakup, think of it as a grand opportunity. Here are 8 ways to become a better version of yourself after a painful breakup.
1. Remember your passions.
Relationships are time-consuming. The hours you used to spend practicing an instrument, reading, writing, playing a sport, or traveling suddenly turn into hours spent with your significant other. We often forget about what drove us or brought us real pleasure before falling in love.
This is a chance to remember what you’re passionate about and pursue it again. You never know where this pursuit might lead you.
2. Start a journal.
One of the best ways to learn about yourself is to start a journal. When in a relationship, we often lose sight of who we are because we’re so focused on our significant other. It’s important, especially during a breakup when you’re feeling vulnerable, to turn your attention inward.
Writing down your thoughts, fears, aspirations, and observations of the world is a great way to process and understand your own emotions.
Research shows that journaling not only decreases stress, it can also help you cope and heal after a traumatic experience.
3. Spend time with people you’ve neglected.
Be honest. You haven’t been as available to friends and family as you were before you got into a relationship. It happens to the best of us.
Like I said before, relationships are time-consuming. It’s easy to spend every available moment with your significant other, creating a distance between you and the other people in your life.
Breakups are a perfect time to mend those other relationships and remember who you are as a single individual.
4. Don’t rely on friends to cheer you up.
If they care about you, they’ll do it whether you’re depending on them to or not. It’s important to cheer yourself up first. Don’t be that friend who disappeared when they got tied down only to reappear as a total mess after the relationship abruptly ended.
Use your own sadness to reflect and relate to other people who are going through a tough experience. Inspire them with acceptance and positivity.
5. Don’t stalk your ex.
Nothing good has ever come from stalking. It will only make you pity yourself and seem creepy. The best revenge you could ever get on a painful breakup is not caring — or, at least, seeming like you don’t care.
You might have to pretend at first. Fake it until you make it. Eventually you’ll stop thinking about them. Eventually you’ll stop missing them and obsessively thinking how to get back together with them. You can’t do either of these things if you’re obsessing over their social media accounts or showing up at places where you know they’ll be. Let them go so that you can move on.
6. Practice forgiveness.
You should forgive your ex and yourself. Forgiveness is a virtue that doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. It is also a virtue that, when accomplished, engraves true character in a person.
Staying angry or holding a grudge only hurts yourself. Having the will and grace to forgive is true strength.
7. Embrace your freedom.
We all strive to be easy-going, free-spirited people. A tough breakup is the perfect test of this characteristic. Do you have what it takes to move on, to embrace your newfound freedom and take advantage of the situation?
When you have the right attitude, being single is actually pretty great. It’s a chance to be selfish and focus on yourself and nobody else. It’s an opportunity to open your eyes and work on self improvement.
When you’re ready, it’s a chance to meet other people, which will, in turn, introduce you to yourself again.
The worst thing you could do during a tough breakup is lock yourself in your room. Get out there! Explore. Travel. If you don’t have the funds to go on an actual trip, drive down the road to a local bar or café or park.
New experiences are waiting for you at every turn you take, and they will teach you about yourself and the type of people you attract.