Few events in life can be as earth-shattering as a bad breakup.
While some lucky people seem to have their soulmate dropped conveniently into their lap about the time that hormones start flying, most of us will go through at least one genuinely horrible breakup in our lives.
However, things are as dire as at the beginning, when you stare at the bottom of another carton of ice-cream.
The truth is, even bad breakups can make you more empowered.
Stages of a Breakup
Of course, people are not supposed to go from the breakup directly into self-help mode; there are a few stages to navigate first.
Stage #1: Falling Apart
The first stage involves crying your eyes out and sleepless nights of despair. When you manage to fall asleep, the once beautiful butterflies in your stomach, now turned moths, wake you up: “Did we really break up or was it just a nightmare?”
Stage #2: Going Postal
You feel visceral anger whenever someone mentions your ex by name.
You’re mad at them for not appreciating you, for taking you for granted, for all the fights you had. But you’re also outraged at yourself; you can’t believe you let them get away with it for so long.
In this stage, you get rid of everything reminding you of them, from their gifts to their number on your smartphone.
Your friends become collateral victims of your breakup, they have to listen to your rants every day.
Stage #3: Numbness
Now that you vented your anger, you start feeling an unusual sense of calm. You simply don’t care anymore and start realizing you’re better off without your ex.
You don’t feel the need to talk to them, and you’re pleasantly surprised when a whole day flies by without them even popping into your mind.
However, in this phase, there are still some residual feelings. If someone mentions them or if, God forbid, you see them, you get emotional and go back to venting or even crying.
Luckily, this doesn’t last long; the next morning, you’re as good as new.
Stage #4: Comfortable Numbness
You’re finally okay; there are no emotional outbursts, even in the situations mentioned above. You spend time with your friends without venting and get your life back on track.
But, bear in mind that this stage is crucial.
This stage is where you decide if you will lead a comfortably numb life or you will grow as a person. It takes just a little shift in your attitude to reach the fifth stage, empowerment.
Personal Growth Following the Breakup
After going through the first terrible stages, you will be able to see that there are (at least) five blessings in disguise of a bad breakup.
1. You become more focused
One of the most crucial steps to finding self-empowerment after a breakup is to regain your focus.
The chances are that the dying stages of a relationship took some of that focus away.
On the other hand, the shock of a sudden breakup might have caused you to lose sight of what is essential.
Now, you can put all that aside and concentrate on what is actually important. For many, that may mean work.
With no more distractions from your personal life, you’ll become more productive.
Thus, a breakup could be the catalyst for a promotion or a raise. You may even use the free time you now have on your hands to earn some extra money, save up, and go on that trip you had always dreamed of.
For others, it could mean more time with friends and family, especially if they love and value you even when you’re ranting. You can focus more on their problems and give them advice based on your experience.
2. You become a better version of yourself
Being rid of the dead weight of an unfulfilling relationship means that you get a lot more “you-time.” Use it to focus on what is important for you.
It does not necessarily have to be all about getting a job or learning a skill, although those certainly count. If it is valuable and worthwhile for you to take the time to go travel, then do it.
If not, find who you are and make peace with that person, even if it means looking at some uncomfortable memories from the past.
With detachment comes objectivity: you will be able to admit the mistakes you made in the relationship and learn what you have to work on.
On the other hand, you should also think about all the times you took the blame; was it truly your fault?
You will know what you (don’t) want from your next relationship.
3. You become healthier
For many people, finding time to get healthier is a significant component of finding time for themselves.
In the beginning, exercising can help you stress less about your relationship going splitsville.
After all, it is hard to hear the rest of the world when you are sprinting or spinning at full pace. Also, the law is much more understanding about taking out your post-breakup rage on a punching bag rather than on your ex.
Speaking of finding vengeance on your ex, everyone has that dream of ‘casually’ running into them after a major body transformation.
You can make yours, at least partially, a reality.
4. You become more confident
Working out and spending more time on yourself is also a vital key to empowerment in that you will find yourself more confident.
You could have all the skills and charm in the world, but if you lack confidence, it is for nothing.
After a breakup, you’ll have more time to do things on your own, which will make you more independent.
Stepping out of your comfort zone without being harmed, as well as going through a breakup without many bruises, makes you feel invincible.
You may soon find yourself believing in yourself more than ever.
This is crucial – when you start to base your self-worth on an internal motivation rather than what someone else thinks of you, you are not merely on the road to self-empowerment, but you are almost there.
5. You become happier
Above all else, finding self-empowerment after a breakup can lead to greater happiness.
No one wants to be unhappy, but so few people achieve real lasting happiness.
Being focused, self-aware, healthy, and confident is a winning recipe for success both in and out of the romance world.
Simply put, one of the primary purposes of a relationship is to help you find happiness. However, no one can perpetually provide that level of joy.
Instead, it can only come from you. Look for the person who uses it as fuel for an even brighter flame.
A Final Stage: Empowerment
Hopefully, now you can see that breakups are not the end of the world.
Sure, that high school flame may have been cute, but you left for college afterward without anyone tying you down.
While it may not seem like it at the moment, being able to push through and become empowered from a breakup can help make sure that you get the most of the relationship in the end.
This article is contributed by Michelle Laurey, a passionate wordsmith; blogger and translator, always interested in ways which can help individuals (especially younger women) reach their full potential in life. She enjoys producing stories on business, finance, entrepreneurship, productivity, lifestyle, and relationships. She counterfeits her sedentary life with rollerblading and window shopping.