Breaking Up


Breaking Up Essay, Research Paper

Some felt they were a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The reality,

however, is that they were a heartbreaking example of what can go wrong with


Christian Dalvia, 14 and Maryling Flores, 13 were sweethearts who

were forbidden by Flores? mother to see each other. In early November, 1995,

the young couple met one last time. Standing at the edge of a Florida canal,

they joined hands and jumped 15 feet into the cold, murky water to their


Their deaths may sound romantic to some love struck teenagers when,

in actuality, it?s just plain stupid. There were probably many other reasons for

their deaths, but ultimately, the thought of not being together tortured to the

point of wanting to take their own lives. This is a very extreme example of

what can go wrong with teenage heartbreak. One minute they?re inseperable -

sharing their most intimate thoughts and details – the next minute they are

faces across a crowded room or polite acquaintances at best. These are the

consequences that come along with a breakup.

We teens hear about love all around us, in music and movies, on TV,

in stories. If you look in the dictionary, they define love as a tender, warm

feeling; warm liking; affection; attachment. Love is simply a choice we make

when we find someone who makes us happy, and who we trust with our

innermost thoughts and feelings. We hear that love will make us happy. We

hear that single people are lonely. We are told that if we are not part of a

couple, we are not complete. We all want to be part of this thing called ?love?.

Okay, we get a boyfriend or girlfriend, now everything should be

perfect. But, it?s not perfect, because life never is. It is easy to become

disappointed. Feelings can change. One person may decide to say good-bye.

When that happens, the one left behind will feel rejected.

Rejection means someone choosing between one thing and another.

The one who doesn?t get chosen is rejected. This person who feels rejected

thinks as if they are not good enough. It hurts. When the person you love

decides to leave you, it is even more painful. Does rejection mean failure?

No. The end of a relationship means that the boyfriend or girlfriend decided

that s/he wanted a change in the path of their lives. The reasons for this are

within the ex – not within the rejected person. No one is a less valuable

person because their boyfriend or girlfriend?s feelings have changed.

What To Expect

According to the book, ?The Complete Idiots Guide To Dating?, there

are nine stages of rejection that almost all ?dumpees? must go through. The

pain may be awful, but each stage is part of the healing process. The stages

may not follow in an exact order, but they will all be experienced.

The Denial Phase: ?This can?t be happening.? During this stage, people may

find themselves waiting for the phone to ring and not believing that the

relationship is over. Some people may go through feelings of worthlessness

and obsession. These people are ones who lack coping skills.

Solution: Acknowledge your feelings about what has happened. Accept, but

do not dwell on shame and embarrassment, and all the


The Bargaining Phase: Driving yourself crazy, thinking that, ?If I get my hair

cut,? or ?If I don?t call her for a week,? s/he will change his/her mind.

Solution: Accept that it?s over.

The Loneliness Phase: Feeling as if no one understands or cares. Some people

will jump at the first person who shows the slightest interest in them, just for

the fact of proving that they can still get someone to want them.

Solution: Surround yourself with people who do care, and those who openly

say so. Remind yourself often that you are loved.

The Heartbreak Phase: Feeling like your heart is really breaking. You may even

feel pain in your chest, or want to throw up when you think of the person or

see the person with someone else.

Solution: You can go on. If you?re feeling really bad, snap your fingers to

interrupt the thought.

The Blame Phase: Pointing the finger at you or at your ex for what each of you

did wrong.

Solution: Decide that neither of you are at fault and both of you are

responsible for the breakup.

The Depression Phase: Feeling sad, worthless, and foolish. You have trouble

eating and sleeping and you may imagine you?ll never love again.

Solution: Allow yourself to feel pain but don?t wallow in self-pity. Keep busy

with exercise or projects.

The Anger Phase: Feeling furious for being rejected.

Solution: Experience the anger, but don?t exaggerate it. Don?t let yourself

become bitter.

The Acceptance Phase: Finally believing that it is over. You no longer expect

your ex to call and you begin to feel at peace.

The Healing Phase: Getting your life back. Ready to meet new people and

you?re no longer dwelling over your ex.

These phases are all healthy ways to recover from a breakup.

The Wrong Moves

Just as there are ways to properly cope with ending a relationship, there

are also unhealthy ways that some of us are drawn to do.

In trying to cope with a breakup, during the loneliness phase, many use

manipulative methods to require personal power (the freedom of choice and

movement). Some of these manipulative methods are by going through the

ex?s best friend and playing detective (is he seeing anyone? is she still upset?),

threatening incapacitation?s (I won?t be able to concentrate, do go or you?ll

make me depressed), making impossible promises (I?ll do whatever you ask, If

I ever lose my temper, just snap your fingers and I?ll calm down) – your ex

doesn?t believe these, you don?t believe these, so don?t say them. – and finally,

by threatening revenge like, showing up with another girl at a party, physical

violence, etc. A personal example of this is a friend who we?ll call Christine.

When school started, Christine was dating Tom who eventually left her to

date their mutual friend, Megan. Christine was extremely upset and she told

Tom she would get back at him. She told him she would tell his mom he?d

been doing drugs. Obviously, Tom got angry and told Christine to stay away

from his family.

As it turned out, Christine never followed through on her threats.

They were just an underhanded ploy to make Tom upset. This is not a

mature way of handling a breakup, which is true for most teenage heartbreak.

Another incorrect method of recovery is harassment due to obsession.

The harasser is the person who, for example, is obsessed with driving by the

ex?s house or place of work, calls the other just to hear his or her voice and

tries to cover it up with lies like, ?I was just in the neighborhood,? and ?I

think I dialed the wrong number..?. The severity of the obsession is measured

by the time that is spent on it, the degree of stress it causes, lack of control,

and interference in one?s life and responsibilities. In severe cases, medications

can help. As many as one in forty Americans have some sort of obsessive

compulsive disorder.

Along with harassment, physical abuse is yet another extremely wrong

way to handle rejection. Physical abuse occurs in more than one quarter of all

teen relationships. It includes such things as slapping, kicking, hair pulling,

shaking, and arm twisting.

You may be at risk if your partner:

? is jealous and possessive

? controls you by giving orders

? scares you (or if you?re unsure of his/her reactions to certain things)

? threatens you

? pressures you for sex

? gets too serious about the relationship too fast

? abuses drugs or alcohol

? has done things your friends and family warn you about

People who are being abused are advised to avoid all possible contact

with their furious ex. They are advised to leave at once, no matter what their

partner says. The abusees should talk to someone outside the situation, and

definitely get the help they need. People who are abusing are urged to seek

help and break off all contact with the person they?re abusing.

Extreme depression cases due to heartbreak may also lead to physical

violence towards oneself. The teenage suicide rate is up nearly 200% in the

past twenty years. Teens seem to jump into their relationship too fast, and

often mistake infatuation for love. When a breakup occurs, some teens feel

their world is caving in on them and don?t know what to do. Teens must

realize that no matter how bad things seem, everyone goes through it and

everyone gets over it.

All of the above methods are completely wrong ways to regain personal

power. When attempting to let go, one should break contact and avoid

hanging around places where you know he or she will be. You should accept

that it?s over, stop asking why, realize and accept your emotions, decide to let

go of the past by staying away from emotional traps, by learning from your

mistakes and by looking forward to the future.

Repairing The Hurt

What makes breaking up so traumatic? Often, there are many

unresolved emotions, unfinished business, and unanswered questions. If you

see an ex too soon, you risk triggering those unresolved feelings and fantasies,

which will prevent you from moving on. This may not be easy if you attend

the same school. In which case you should try your best to avoid the places

you know s/he?ll be and don?t purposely meet up with them. But when the

time is right, such reunions can also be a valuable opportunity to work

through the unfinished business. Sometimes you?ll discover that all of the

feelings of unworthiness or rejection that you?ve been harbouring are

overblown. Such realizations allow you to move on to new relationships.

Don?t rush a reunion with your ex – give yourself plenty of time for the

wounds to heal. When you are both ready, get together and review what

happened. Explain the things that hurt you, what you wanted, what you

feared, and what you miss. With distance and a fresh perspective, any

lingering pain may ease, and a new love may emerge.

Many of us entertain the fantasy of seeing an ex and having him or her

say, ? You were right all along, take me back!? This would restore your feeling

that you and your love mattered, but it actually only happens in a few cases so

you shouldn?t let your hopes skyrocket.

If all of these steps are both followed and avoided, the dumped

individual would?ve gone through all the tearful, sorrowful, raging,

self-blaming and forgiving feelings that surface depending on one?s coping

skills and compromise the emotional progression of ending a relationship,

and they?ve come a long way towards their emotional healing.

On The Other Hand…

Now, we?ve concluded that teens can sometimes overreact when they?ve

been dumped (suicide, depression, obsession, etc). As compared to adult

breakups which tend to be more civilized on average, teens really have no

reason to be severely depressed due to the fact that they have their whole life

ahead of them. Adults on the other hand, have much more to worry about

than teenagers. For example, adults have to worry about taking care of

finances that were previously shared, the effect the breakup will have on their

career, and how their children will react. In most cases, they know what love is

(most cases) and aren?t so immature about things. Sure, they?ll be upset, but

not to the suicidal point as teens too often are.

Because children look to their parents to keep them safe, the lack of a

family member could heighten their sense of vulnerability. The parent who

remains with the child or children has to assume the role of the other parent

in the financial, physical, and emotional aspects.

From a personal viewpoint, adults have a lot more to worry about than

teenagers do so logically, they should be the ones overreacting, but they?re not.

It definitely all boils down to the teenage self-esteem issue. It?s way up when

they?ve got a boyfriend and when a breakup occurs, it plummets down and

they lose control of their emotions. This is when the ?wrong moves? come

into play. If there was only a way to ensure high self-esteem in all of today?s

teenagers we wouldn?t have to worry about teen?s being pushed to the limit by

their overwhelming emotions.

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