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Can A Post-Breakup Haircut Help Heal A Broken Heart?

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post breakup haircut
Can a new hairstyle really help you move on from an ex?
One Expert tackles the question: can changing your appearance help you get over your ex?

To ask Dr. Margaret Paul your love and relationship questions, join her on Facebook Tuesday 2/7 at 2pm eastern!

Many pop culture examples point to the external "breakovers" women engage in following a breakup (e.g. Gwyneth Paltrow's adorable hair chop in Sliding Doors, Britney Spears' infamous shaved head during the rough year that followed her divorce from Kevin Federline). Is there really something to this? Can cutting our hair or buying a new outfit help us get to a place of being "over" an ex? Break Up With Your Ex 2012: A User's Guide

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The results of a recent YourTango survey seem to answer "yes." Of the 1,329 people polled by YourTango between December 21, 2011 and January 9, 2012:

• 64% said they tend to change their appearance after a breakup, with the most common change being weight loss, as 35% said that breaking up motivates them to hit the gym or start a new diet.
• 30% said they buy new clothing or makeup after a breakup, and 26% rock a new hairstyle.
• Only 7% said they gain weight after a breakup, and 2% are likely to get tattoos after a split.
• 84% of respondents agree that breaking up with someone can be a good opportunity for self-improvement.
• The third most popular activity people recommend to someone getting over a breakup is to go shopping (first is "spend time with friends" and second is "exercise").

So what's behind this urge to revamp our appearance post-breakup?

When we break up a relationship, we want to change something because something hasn't worked. Our culture is very focused on externals, especially on looks, so it makes sense that the first thing we want to change is our looks—weight, hair, make-up, clothing. We want to convince ourselves that changing something external will make a difference next time around. There is certainly nothing wrong with making these changes, as they will likely make us feel better for the time being. But let's not kid ourselves—the relationship didn't end due to our hairstyle, and truly getting over a breakup requires some deeper, inner self-improvement. 10 Apps That'll Help You Forget Your Ex

What really needs to be changed? If you want to feel better and not repeat the same mistakes, then you need to examine your end of the relationship system. Relationships end for many reasons, but there is often one primary reason underlying all the others: self-abandonment. 3 Ways To Attract Your Mate Through Self Love

More from YourTango: "I Lose Myself Around Others"

Next: Examining and healing patterns of self-abandonment and control...

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Dr. Margaret Paul

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Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

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