It may feel like the end of the world. Feelings of loneliness and resentment crowd your thoughts. It seems impossible to move on or think of anything else. Breakups are known to be one of life’s most difficult challenges. Each relationship is different and it is hard to take in overwhelming advice and support from people who might not understand the true struggle. Although breakups are extremely challenging and painful, they are an important experience of human life that develops and changes us to become our ideal selves.
Breakups may occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, things are just not working out anymore. FFeelings may have changed, or the relationship may have lost its spark. Breakups can be initiated by one person, or mutually, which may affect the way the process impacts both partners. Breakups that were initiated by one person often cause the other to experience more distress and a loss of self-worth or self-esteem. Said person may also experience more conflicting emotions, such as confusion and anger. Relationships provide dedicated love, friendship, and sometimes, promises for the future. It is easy to rely on relationships for happiness. This explains why the effects of a breakup can be so intense and draining. Along with negative feelings, breakups can lead to an overall decrease in well-being and an increased chance of developing things like depression and anxiety.
Relationships occupy a great extent of time and effort. Partners are expected to fill a role of support, dedication, and trust. Spending every day with someone or being in constant communication creates a routine that is difficult to suddenly break. Many struggle with the idea of being alone and returning to a life that was originally completely altered by someone else. We as humans desire to be loved and appreciated. We constantly search for validation from others and become comfortable with those we can easily connect with and those who we can rely on. In a study, The U.S. The National Library of Medicine stated, “Experiencing a break-up was associated with an increase in psychological distress and a decline in life satisfaction.” Breakups can be especially harder on youth and teens. IHS counselor Alan Waite shared that “developmentally, teens are moving away from reliance on their parents and forging their own identity and independent self.” Because teens are still developing and discovering different parts in life, relationships become more and more important. At young ages, with less experiences, breakups may have more of an impact since dependence on these relationships may be higher. Since relationships provide us with so much security and happiness, it is difficult to accept the need to find a new placeholder for these missing feelings.
Moving on from a breakup is a lengthy process full of ups and downs. There are different stages post-breakup that each person may move through at their own pace, depending on the length of the relationship, the reason for the breakup, or the type of partners involved. Many things can be implemented into daily life to slowly help those going through the process. It is important to initially grieve and express all feelings. Allowing yourself to experience true emotions will help your long-term ability to move on. Distracting yourself from the situation is highly suggested. Spending time with friends and participating in activities that you enjoy is beneficial and reminds you of a support system and the existence of things in life that provide you with happiness. Senior Michelle Kane shared that “the best way to cope with a breakup is to find a healthy distraction like art, working out, or hanging out with your friends.” During a relationship, you are in many ways responsible for your partner’s well-being and happiness. After a breakup, you are given the gift of time to work on yourself. Breakups give us a chance to improve on ourselves and to focus on what is most important for our own health and success.
In order to properly heal, it is important to give each other time and space after a breakup. Many are often tempted to reach out and keep communication, but a no contact rule is highly beneficial to the moving on process. Some people even find it necessary to block their ex to refrain from visiting their profiles or being tempted to make a quick text or call. With this ample time, some partners are able to become friends in the future. Junior Katie Aarrestad says that “it’s possible to be friends, but it takes a lot of time and both people must want it.” All relationships are different and future possibilities depend on the partners. Through breakups, we are also able to reconnect with friends and rediscover activities we love and enjoy. If you have a friend going through a breakup, make sure to be there to support them through their lonely times. Freshman Elan Bowman encourages friends to “listen to ranting and be there to hang out with them and cheer them up.”
There is no perfectly right way to heal from a breakup. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences that affect the way they acted during the relationship, the way it ended, and the ability to move forward post-breakup. The most important thing to remember when experiencing the loss of a partner is that it will be okay. The beauty of breakups is that we are one step closer to finding the right person for us. Through trial and error, we as humans are able to discover what we like and do not like in relationships, as well as the type of people we are and the ways to support ourselves on our own.