Here’s The Real Reason You Feel More Motivated After A Breakup

October 3, 2019  |  

An African American woman does push ups on a set of bleachers in an outdoor park.

Source: Mireya Acierto / Getty

Earlier this week, a meme came across my timeline that made me chuckle. It read, “Two hours into a breakup, women be having three jobs, a scholarship to Harvard, and a down payment on a house. I be like, ‘Damn, was I blocking yo blessing?’” I laughed out loud when I saw it because there is something that feels particularly enlightening about emerging from the emotional turmoil of the wrong relationship. It often feels as though you are able to pursue your goals with a fervor that you didn’t previously have. However, if we’re being perfectly honest with ourselves, it’s not that we receive these superhuman powers that make us more effective at achieving our goals after a breakup. We’re simply more focused and less distracted by the wrong things. Nothing kills your ambition, your will to win, and your resources like the burden of being in the wrong relationship.

Recently, Kimberly “K. Michelle” Pate made headlines for her comments about men not being good people. You can read more about that here, but the gist of her statement was that most men are innately not good people because they do things like cheat — just to feed their fleeting fleshly desires — knowing how much the betrayal will hurt their partner. Though her statement was a bit broad and somewhat unfair, there was certainly some truth to the rationale she put behind it. Additionally, there was immense value in the commentary that followed, which was unfortunately overshadowed.

According to Pate, she is often a sounding board and shoulder to cry on for women who are in or have been in unhealthy relationships.

“To see girls come up to me. I’m the girl they come up to all day long crying. They tell me the most disgusting of stories that I couldn’t even believe,” the singer explained.

She went on to add that over the years she’s noticed a trend that makes these stories even more troubling and heartbreaking: so many women are not reaching their full potential because they’re tied to the wrong individual.

“Sometimes men, the wrong men, will stunt your growth as a woman. Women could be doctors, lawyers, everything, but they in the bed crying over what a man did to them,” she added.

Truer words have never been spoken. I’ve definitely had this play out in my life. When I started undergraduate school, I had a clear plan to finish in three years. After receiving guidance and sage advice from a teacher who recognized my ambition, I busted my behind in high school and took a heavy load of college-level courses that allowed me to enter undergrad with a full semester’s worth of credits. Somewhere around sophomore or junior year, I entered into a relationship with a serial cheater. By the time all was said and done, I was no longer on track to graduate early. In a matter of months, I had taken several years worth of planning and hard work and wasted it running behind someone who didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. When the dust settled, I was deeply irritated with myself for getting so caught up.

In the grand scheme of things graduating in three years instead of four might be considered small potatoes, but it was a goal that I had set for myself. In the end, I was able to make some sacrifices and enroll in a few speed courses that allowed me to finish a little early, but the window of opportunity to reach my original goal had passed. My inability to meet this goal taught me a valuable lesson about the undeniable link between the company we keep and wasted potential. The wrong partner will hold you back in ways you didn’t even think were possible. They don’t just break your heart, they can rob you of your future.

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