7 Questions To Ask Yourself After A Breakup

November 3, 2011  |  
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Your most powerful tool during a breakup is your head. Your heart is probably barely muttering some jibber jabber in between sobs. Or it’s saying some BS like “I’ll never be happy.” If you can, try to understand exactly what happened. Not so that you can get the person back, but so that you can avoid the same problem from happening again. And that is going to require a combination of you behaving differently, and you choosing someone who is just different from the last guy. Here’s how you’ll identify how to do that:

Who changed?

Think about when you two first hit it off. Those first couple of weeks or months when you could not wait to see each other. Remember the types of things you did together, did for each other and said to each other. Who, realistically, changed? Did you stop doing as many nice things for him, was it the other way around, was it reciprocal? Two people who like or even love each other, and don’t change, don’t just stop liking or loving each other.

Why did that change occur?

If the change was him, there wasn’t much you could do about that. But, if it was you, why? Did you become more stressed at work and not put in that extra effort to pay attention to your partner and to put time aside for the two of you? Did some of your friends move to another country to follow their dreams and you began to wonder if you were living the entirely wrong life and should have taken more risks before settling down? Figure out if that change occurred because you have some changes you need to make on your own, as a single woman, or if this was something you could have remedied in a relationship.

Could you see yourself spending forever with this person?

Oftentimes, we wallow and cry because that’s what we’re supposed to do after a breakup. Yes, we are sad that someone just exited our life. But, if you ask yourself—I mean really visualize—“would I be happy spending the rest of my life with that person,” oftentimes the answer will be “no” and you’ll realize, you were going to break up anyways down the line. I’ve done this and my tears literally dried up that second and I got dressed and went out to party. I realized there was nothing to cry about.


Could I have actually done anything differently?

Relationships always require a give and take. Even if you feel that your ex totally messed up, be honest with yourself and think about the areas that you could have put more effort into, too. It won’t do you any harm to think about it now—after all, the guy is gone and you won’t actually have to put in that effort any time soon.

What could I have not done differently?

Know what you did wrong but at the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself. Do you think you were too sensitive? Or that you over reacted too often? Were you always the one taking the lead? To some extent, those traits are who you are. And you will find someone who compliments them. Work on what you can work on, but know which qualities are just you – traits that woud’ve felt like pulling teeth to try and change them. The fact that those traits didn’t mesh well with the ex means it wasn’t meant to be.

What did I like about this person?

You’ll probably tear up a little when you ask yourself this one—that’s okay. You liked this guy for some reason. As we move from relationship to relationship, we improve those relationships. We pick progressively more suitable partners. Pinpoint the traits you liked about the guy—write them down if you need to—and carry them with you onto your next relationship. Look for them in future partners. This is something you take away from the relationship—knowing more of what you want.

What didn’t you like about this person?

Good news! You don’t ever have to put up with it again if you don’t want to! So don’t. Pinpoint some of the traits that you couldn’t stand about this person—traits that constantly caused tension—and remember them. Keep an eye out for them in future partners and avoid them.


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