We’ve all felt that sicky feeling in the pit of our stomach. The moment someone tells you they don’t want to be with you anymore, that they’ve found someone else or that they’ve cheated on you. At the time it seems like pure devastation – how will you possibly rebuild your life without that significant other? How will you fill that gaping hole?
Now, I don’t want this to sound like an advice column. I’m not here to say that relationships are a waste of time or love isn’t real, in fact I believe the complete opposite. I only want to reiterate what I have discovered during my short time on this planet (19 years – yikes); that breakups can actually be incredibly positive. Regardless of how out-of-the blue the breakup, or how healthy the relationship appeared to be, a breakup is an open door. This is an outstanding opportunity to focus on what my Pa would call ‘Project You’.
Recently a good friend of mine was dumped by his 2 year-long girlfriend. A life experience that in 10 years will seem rather insignificant but during our adolescence can be soul-crushing; she is his first love no doubt. When we went out for a smoke to discuss it, I couldn’t lie to him – “to be honest, I’m gassed for you mate”. Although he failed to see it in that moment, I saw the opportunities that this meant for him – to go and live in any city in the country, go to gigs, get drunk, meet exciting people and to pursue his dream career in photography. I too was recently dumped a few months ago, and I can wholeheartedly say it is one of the best things that happened to me last year. No, not one of the most fun or easiest or most pleasant, but one of the best.
When my ex-boyfriend left me, being in already a low place, I couldn’t help but do anything but cry on the bus listening to Build Me Up Buttercup – yeah, it was really that bad. It took hitting rock bottom to bounce back. During that purgatory period it truly highlighted who my true friends were, and trust me, it will really surprise you who stands by you. If someone lets you down during this period, know that by cutting them loose you are saving both of you deadweight, it’s a win-win situation. Breakups are a great opportunity to filter out all the unworthy relationships in your life.
Having less people to constantly keep contact with, worry about or miss frees up a mass of time to do new things; cook new recipes, go out with friends, read, play sport. For me the biggest change was pursuing my interest in fashion; I completed an online course, I started going to life drawing (which I was surprisingly pretty alright at) and started making clothes in my spare time. The more breakups that you experience, the easier it becomes to realise this potential. Each time there are less tears, less negativity and greater self-love, because, if more and more people are unwilling to love you, you have to do it harder. So, to anyone who may have just been dumped, or perhaps you did the dumping, good for you! How exciting! Good luck with all of your single-life endeavours.