Relationship Column: How to rebuild yourself after a breakup


Madison Wood

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, A&E Editor
Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, A&E Editor

Breaking up with someone can put you in an awkward and uncomfortable position. In order to keep things cordial and to end the relationship on a good note, make sure to set up a time in which you can speak with your former significant other in person. Do this to provide them closure and to answer any questions they may have. This is important because it will allow this chapter to come to a complete close without leaving any loose ends for the both of you.

If things do happen to go badly, always take the high road. When emotions run high, lots of meaningless words are uttered that can damage the relationship further. This is why it is important to keep a level head and empathize with what the other person is going through.

Whether the breakup ended on good or bad terms, the ending of a relationship is never easy. Moving from being partners into being single is a rough transition that is often met with the confusion of not knowing where to go next. However, the in-between can be a beneficial time for you to learn how to live independently and how to make yourself a priority again.

1. Closure. Arguably the most important step in moving on is gaining closure. Knowing why the relationship ended helps fill the void and provides a foundation for closing the door to the past and starting a new chapter of your life. Reflection, on both the good and the bad, is another crucial part of this phase. This is the time to think about the lessons learned and, if needed, a time to forgive and come to peace with whatever the circumstances may be.

2. Give yourself time. Often times, your first instinct is just to move on and not let yourself dwell on what just happened. But it is so important to give yourself time to come to terms with what just occurred. This is when you have to do whatever feels right for you. If you want to sit in bed and cry, or grab a bowl of ice cream and watch romantic movies, then do it! Breakups are never easy and the first step in moving on is allowing yourself to deal with the breakup however you see fit. Don’t force yourself into forgetting everything right off the bat.

3. Cleanse. Once you are ready to move on, you need to “cleanse” your environment of the other person. Take down the pictures and all of the mementos that include them. Putting all of it into a box or somewhere out of sight will help so that you can start fresh and not be constantly reminded of the break up that you just endured. Refraining from throwing away the tangible memories will allow for later reflection and serve as a record of what you’ve been through.

4. Focus on you. Relationships often involve a lot of activities and outings that were of interest to the person you were in a relationship with. Now is your time to focus on everything and anything that you want to do. Find out what makes you happy and incorporate that in your daily life. Being single lets you rediscover yourself as an individual, which you can build on to create a stronger, more certain you for the next relationship you’re in.