Self-Development: Finding Meaning After a Break Up

So you’ve just ended a relationship, and you feel miserable. Whether it was you or your partner who ended the relationship, you feel as though you failed at something that gave meaning and direction to your life. Perhaps your friends are advising you to look for those other proverbial fish in the sea, but being newly single may be a great opportunity to reassess your goals, improve your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.

According to Erich Fromm, a world-renowned social psychologist who penned the classic book, The Art of Loving, solid relationships are hard work, and in order to prepare for what he calls “mature love” one must first learn self-love. This notion of self-love, of course, is not the same thing as being egotistical and selfish. Self-love just means cultivating your natural abilities to their fullest potential. Before jumping into another relationship, consider taking some time to be by yourself, to reflect, and to seek new spaces for meaning and fulfillment. This way, once you do find a new partner, you’ll be more confident and better prepared to give a future relationship your all.

1. Improve your patience and concentration.

Fromm notes that patience and concentration are two faculties that are absolutely essential in developing a loving relationship with yourself and others. Although he wrote his book “The Art of Loving” in the 1950s, this advice has never been more salient than in today’s ADD world. Improving your ability to concentrate can be accomplished by engaging in relatively simple activities like reading, playing chess, or even taking half an hour each day to clear your mind, breathe deeply, and meditate.

2. Start a new hobby or renew your interest in an old one.

If you are the type who goes to work, comes home, then spends the rest of your evening watching TV or mindlessly surfing the Internet, consider the benefits of picking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one. Whether it’s playing an instrument, writing poetry, or cooking, having a creative outlet can light an inner spark, the energy of which can spill over into other aspects of your life, revitalizing it in new, unexpected ways.

3. Reassess your short- and long-term goals. Draft a plan that will help you achieve them.

Where are you going with your life? Do you need a career change? Does your physical health need improvement? Having goals and devising concrete ways to achieve them is what gives us direction and energy. By taking the time to figure out what you want from life and actively working to achieve it, you’ll gain a sense of self-satisfaction that heightens your mood and sense of self-worth.

Self-development, of course, has a thousand different meanings and methods, and these are only a few. Above all, remember that you can very easily turn a break-up into something positive a chance for you to explore new interests and seek meaning that isn’t dependent on one person.

Author Bio:

Vanessa Jones is a relationship writer, who writes on the topics of dating sites.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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