The End of a Relationship, as the Beginning of a New You

Jon Hawkins

Allow your breakup to shape you into a stronger, healthier you.

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So you’ve been in a relationship with your best friend for a while. You’ve grown dependent upon them. And in an instant, it’s all come crashing down.

It happens to most of us at some point in our lives; the person we love dearly disappears out of the blue, for whatever reason, and we’re left trying to figure out how on earth to adapt.

It’s both normal and very easy to fall into a state of turmoil as a result. We all respond differently to bad news, but it is exactly these responses that can determine whether we learn from our experiences or simply drift through them.

If you’re going through a break-up right now, sit back and take a deep breath as I explain how to use this unique experience to shape you into a stronger, healthier, and ultimately a happier person.

1. Take Time Out to Grow

As someone who has recently finished University, relationship jumping is something I see far too often. (And it’s totally irrational.)

Relationship jumping is where a person looks to quickly fill their loneliness after a break-up by entering a new one — instead of allowing themselves time to actually deal with the end of the first.

This often happens when a person becomes overly-reliant on their previous partner, so much so that the prospect of being alone terrifies them. They lower their standards, forming a relationship or friendship with just about anybody they can find.

‘This has to be better than being alone,’ they tell themselves.

I agree, relationship jumping does appear extremely attractive. It allows you to get over your previous relationship extremely quickly, and for people who continue to do this as each of their relationships end, it also means you never have to deal with being alone.

But there’s a catch. Relationship jumping can be extremely detrimental to the quality of future partnerships for two reasons:

  1. It devalues any genuine relationships you do have. The person you have a close relationship with becomes a mere means to prevent you from being lonely — someone you’ve settled for. When you finally meet someone special, their companionship loses its sanctity: you can’t truly appreciate being with someone when you’ve never experienced being alone. It just becomes normality.
  2. Being in a relationship becomes a need, over a choice. If you continue to relationship jump over and over again, you’ll only end up in a vicious cycle where you keep searching for this short, quick fix. In reality, you can’t keep up that cycle forever. You’ll have to face up to your pain eventually.

It’s for these reasons that it is perhaps unwise to begin looking for a relationship as soon as your past one has ended. Instead, you need to face the root issue: being alone.

“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline toward the religion of solitude.” — Aldous Huxley.

Being alone is something that, when you’ve just come out of a long relationship, appears frightening and daunting. In reality, it’s something to be cherished — not feared.

To realize this truth, start taking time out just for yourself. Do the things you love doing: go for a run, drink your favorite coffee or watch all your favorite movies.

Re-establish your identity as an individual. You’ll find that the more you engage in activities or things you love, it no longer seems to matter whether you’re with somebody or not.

As well as keeping yourself busy, solitude is something you can learn to appreciate even when you’re completely still.

When I was experiencing a break-up, this is something I achieved through meditation — rather than concerning yourself with things you don’t have, learn to truly appreciate the sensations, thoughts, and emotions you do have.

Once you become content with being alone, then you will be in the correct mindset to look for future relationships, as a choice rather than a need. This will make your future relationships more valuable: because you will be in them because you really want to be!

2. Be Better, Not Bitter.

Another common trait I often see following the end of a relationship is an enormous change of character.

Two people that once loved each other dearly become completely hostile, shutting each other out from their lives completely.

This is something I recommend you refrain from doing. Instead of being negative, act in a positive, calm manner.

No, this isn’t in the hopes that your significant other will see you’re a good person and ask for the relationship to be rekindled. It’s not even to avoid burning bridges that you may one day come back to.

Positivity is something you should do because it’s good within itself. If you can remain calm and positive in times of extreme hostility, then it reflects a strong will and good character traits, which you can then extrapolate to other areas of your life.

Not only that, being positive toward another person helps you to move on. Telling an ex-partner during a break up that you appreciated your time together can be used as a form of closure — preventing you from feeling the need to return and clear things up in the future.

Alongside these benefits, remaining positive towards someone that’s being hostile towards you also allows you to find out things about yourself which you may not have known before.

It can reveal things you may have handled poorly or done wrong in the existent relationship that upset your partner. If you remain calm in times that would otherwise be full of emotion, a break-up becomes a means with which you can improve yourself.

“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” — Benjamin Franklin

3. Building a Stronger, Healthier You

If you’ve already followed steps one and two, you’re now in a powerful position. You feel more content with being alone, and probably have a better understanding of why the relationship ended.

These two things will allow you to take time out for yourself, not only to do the things you enjoy and build your identity as an individual; but also, to improve yourself.

Learning lessons from your past friendships or relationships allows you to change your character to become more rounded, stronger and healthier. It’ll take time, but it’ll also mean that your future relationships will be more meaningful and have a higher chance of success.

At this stage, you’ll be better equipped for future relationships, but again: you won’t feel desperate to find one.

Instead, when the right person reveals themselves to you, or when you decide that it’s time to start looking, you’ll appreciate their companionship — and that’s a beautiful thing.

The Takeaway

If you are feeling lost, alone or in turmoil because of a recent breakup:

  1. Don’t relationship jump. Instead, take time out for yourself and engage in activities that you enjoy. Re-establish your identity and train yourself to be content alone.
  2. Learn to control your emotions. Be positive to your ex. This will allow you to cultivate good habits and build character. It will also enable you to calmly take on board any negative feelings and give you a useful insight into how to improve.
  3. Use the information and lessons you have learned from the relationship to shape you into a healthier, stronger self.

Doing so will allow you to form relationships by choice, and only when they reveal themselves to you — rather in a desperate attempt to cure your loneliness.

And, in doing so, perhaps your future relationships shall be more meaningful, better appreciated, and have a higher chance of success.

I write about Self-Improvement, Life Lessons, Philosophy, Psychology & Business — to help you reach your full potential.

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Asking questions, seeking answers. I write articles that help you better understand the Universe. Durham University.

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