6 Steps To Reclaiming Your Independence After A Breakup

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How To Regain Independence After A Breakup

Breakups are one of the most excruciating life changes a person can experience. You’ve intertwined your life with someone and now you’re left feeling like you can’t stand up alone.

The emotional turmoil of a breakup is a lengthy process. Even after the initial stages of crying in bed or going partying with friends, the impact of a breakup continues to hit you in cruel and unusual ways.

All relationships cause us to become reliant on our partner in some way. So, when that support system is gone, you can feel lost.

But we are all independent beings with our own needs, our own goals, and our own lives.

Sure, a breakup feels like a setback, but this new beginning is your chance to reclaim your life. You just need a little guidance!

Here's how to get over a breakup by regaining your independence and finally moving on.

RELATED: 20 Crucial Things You Must Do After A Breakup

1. Set goals for yourself.

Dealing with heartbreak is about more than just missing your ex. You’re forced to grieve a whole life you saw with that person.

But instead of feeling like you’ve been knocked off your path, it’s important that you realize this is just a diversion. You’re taking a new, more scenic route.

Think of some goals you want to achieve outside of a relationship. Maybe you want to focus on your career, travel abroad, or meet some new people.

Anything is possible for you now that you don’t have another person to consider, so go after whatever you want. You’ve ended a relationship, not your life. 

2. Take it one step at a time.

Once you’ve set your goals, come up with practical ways to pursue them.

It’s important to have long-term aspirations but it’s even more important to be patient while pursuing them. Nothing happens overnight.

When you’re caught up in heartbreak just getting through the day is a struggle, so mapping out your plans will give you something to focus on the tough days. The last thing you want is to get overwhelmed before you even begin so take it slow.

Each day is a puzzle piece that makes the bigger picture clearer.  

3. Forgive yourself.

You’re going to have bad days and you're going to have absolutely awful days where you feel like your heart is being twisted in your chest. On these days (or weeks, or even months!), you’re probably going to veer away from your goals a little.

Don’t beat yourself up about it! This is all part of the process and will only make you stronger. You have to be kind to yourself and know that even the lowest of lows will eventually become the highest of highs. 

RELATED: The 5 Not-So-Pretty (But Totally Normal) Stages Of Breakup Grief

4. Try new things.

In a relationship, so many of your hobbies and pastimes become attached to your partner. When you’re newly single, it’s hard to remember what you, as an individual, like to do for fun.

It helps to reach back to your life before your relationship, no matter how long ago that was, and think about some of the things you used to do to pass the time. It’s also a good idea to find some new passions, so try everything.

Read a book a week, join a sports team, go rock climbing, take an art class, go to the theatre. This is a time to rediscover your own interests and not ones you share with your ex.

Finding some passions will help you reconnect with your sense of self and remember what makes you, you. 

5. Not everything has to change.

A breakup doesn’t have to be an entirely clean slate. A lot of people are inclined to switch up their whole lives when their relationship comes to an end.

But there are probably a lot of things you like about your life that don’t need to change just because you’re single now. Go have a coffee in your favorite spot and hold on the jewelry you got for Valentine’s Day (who wants to waste a good necklace anyway?). You might have some mutual friends, but they’re your friends, too.

It’s time to reclaim your life and stop associating your favorite things with your ex. Keep whatever serves you and let go of what doesn’t.

6. Remember that you're not alone. 

It might feel scary, but rediscovering your independence is liberating.

You’ll soon realize that being single does not mean being alone. It means having more space and time to make new bonds or solidify old ones.

Reach out to friends, family, colleagues, and strangers. Have fun in your relationships again, without the pressure of constantly having to be there for a partner. Become your own person when you don’t have others to hang out with 24/7.

And never be afraid to ask for support. You never know what kind of advice you could hear from your happily married coworker or perpetually single aunt. 

RELATED: How To Move On From A Painful Breakup When Your Ex Is Literally The Worst

Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.