If you’ve recently been liberated from the grip of a relationship that stifled you from doing the kinds of things that brought you joy and fulfillment, then you might want to take a cue from this Reddit thread. In it, it’s suggested that after a particularly bad breakup, you should do 10 things your former partner wouldn’t do with you, so you can reclaim a real stake in who you are.
Though it might seem crazy to lose sight of what makes you you, it’s possible that untangling your life from a former significant other’s leaves you feeling a bit lost. Here’s how you can actively try to recapture that sense of self.
Start out small
In a bad relationship, it can feel like you’re walking on egg shells around your partner, sometimes sparking their ire for seemingly small infractions. If you’ve gotten over the emotional hump and want to start reveling in your newfound independence, you can express it in subtle ways. Did you partner insist on making the bed every morning? Leave it messy, if you want. Would they scold you for burping during lunch? Belch with abandon. Were they a stickler for socks on the ground? Leave them where you please.
It’s important to articulate your individuality in small ways, so you can start feeling comfortable enough to consider making bigger leaps down the line. Of course, there’s no reason to start falling back on bad, self-destructive habits just because there’s no one there to keep you in check. But it’s true that exercising your freedom, in defiance of your former partner’s wishes, can make you feel empowered.
While it’s also true that people in healthy relationships can still grate each other, it’s well known that toxic relationships don’t allow people to be their most authentic selves.
The filmmaker, producer, and comedy show runner Tyler Perry has never really been a lifestyle influencer. He’s wildly successful — a show-business tycoon worth a billion dollars — but the public has never looked to Perry for personal wellness, beauty, or anything that might fall under the remit of a...Read more
Do things they would never do
Would your former partner never go on that big outdoor vacation, because they were too busy with work? Plan a trip solo, if you feel so inclined. If you had a partner who wouldn’t indulge your love of roller coasters, go to a theme park after the pandemic calms down.
Bad partners tend to sabotage their significant other’s attempts to claim joy from life. Plus, it’s possible that what makes you happy makes them uncomfortable or nervous. As long as this disconnect stems from normal and healthy activities, go out and do whatever it was your ex refused to do with you. This isn’t a symbolic act of revenge, but a way to remember what makes you feel good about yourself.
Reclaim that sense of self to be a better partner in the future
It’s widely known, even to the point of being redundant and annoying, that confidence is attractive. If you’ve been held back from articulating a sense of self due to an oppressive relationship, it’s likely that your confidence has suffered.
Starting to do things that make you happy and allow you to feel like your best self will only feed into a greater sense of confidence, which will in turn make you more magnetic to the next special person you meet. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, you should do the things that bring you joy — and no partner should be stopping you in that pursuit.