Lessons in Breaking Up

Zoe Crook of The Uncuffed shares her lessons on ending relationships and why a break up can actually be a good thing.

“The only thing you need to focus on is yourself, and I promise everything will fall into place.”

breaking up

Breaking up is like skydiving. Leading up to the jump you feel anxiety, uncertainty and fear. The moment the door opens you ask yourself, “What the fuck am I doing jumping out of a perfectly safe plane?!” Suddenly you want to take off your parachute, climb back in, and chomp on some complimentary nuts.

But you don’t. Instead, you jump. Suddenly you’re free and it’s exhilarating. And look at that, you landed safely with both feet on the ground in a completely different place than where you started. Sure, you may have a scrape or two and your head might be spinning but those things heal, just like a broken heart.

Whether you’re doing the breaking or you’re being broken, neither role is easy, and both people generally known deep down when the relationship has ended. What’s scary about a relationship ending is the unknown but even scarier is knowing that if you don’t jump you’re going to miss out on new experiences that are critical to your personal growth.

I’ve just gone through a breakup of my own and come out on the other side better for it.  Though it has been an emotional roller coaster, I’ve figured out how to ride it out and want to share the lessons I’ve learned about moving on.

Be open to the truth.

We all want the person we are with to be ‘the one,’ and it’s a hard slap in the face when we are proved wrong over and over again.


Ask yourself what those feelings of ‘love’ really were.

It’s easy to have mistaken need for love. The need to be taken care of, the need to not feel alone, the need to have someone by your side—the need to be loved. Only once you make the jump will you be able to look back objectively and see all the signs that you may have mistaken need for love.


Take a step back and figure out who you are.

In an ideal relationship your partner is a reflection of who you are and vice versa. But what if you don’t know who you are? What if you both don’t know who you are? Who reflects whom? If you don’t like who you are, if you don’t know who you are, or both, then you’re going to waste energy attracting people who are just as confused and unsure as you are. The only thing you need to focus on is yourself, and I promise everything will fall into place.


Forgive yourself

If you don’t know and love yourself first, you’ll start taking blame for the other person’s faults on top of hating yourself for your own. Yes, take responsibility for your actions but then forgive yourself and move on. You don’t need to make excuses for the way someone treated you.


Stop looking to others to fulfill you.

When we are incomplete, we have the tendency to search for someone else to complete us. Relationship after relationship still feeling unfulfilled, we move onto more promising ones. Only you can fulfill yourself, and expecting this from others is only setting yourself up for failure and unhappiness. Once you’ve digested this truth and have come to terms with the fact that you actually don’t need anything from anyone to fulfill your body, mind, soul and heart, you will feel happiness and be at peace with yourself and those who enter your life.


Love yourself first.

You demonstrate love by giving it to yourself, first. Only when you choose to love yourself unconditionally will you receive love from others unconditionally. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you’ll have so take some time to work on it.


Sometimes, there is that special person in our life who sees our potential before we see it and can show us the door, but they can never act as a crutch as we walk through it. No matter how much they love us, we still need to learn to love ourselves without their support and reassurance. If it’s meant to be, they will be waiting on the other side. Not there? That’s okay! There are six billion people on this planet waiting to meet you. The best part is you’re now ready to be kind to yourself and kind to others, to love unconditionally and to be loved unconditionally.

Confucius said, “No matter where you go, there you are.” So make sure whether you’re walking down the aisle, on a first date, five years into a relationship, fighting, hugging, kissing, or loving, you know who you are outside of the relationship. Trust me; you’re worth getting to know.


-Zoe Crook

Originally from New York, Zoe moved to L.A. two years ago to pursue acting and film production. She works as a creative writer with a non-profit group based in Venice and is founder of The Uncuffed, a sex and relationship site that provides a safe place for women to anonymously share their most intimate thoughts and experiences without being scrutinized.

To read an extended version of the article and more from Zoe’s head on over to The Uncuffed.

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