The 10 Things Strong Women Hate Most About Breakups

Going through a breakup is brutal no matter who you are. Regardless of how much of an jerk the guy was or how ready you were for things to end, it’s still a bit of a jolt to go from being in a relationship to being single so quickly. But when you’re a strong woman, ending a relationship comes with its own unique set of struggles. We face plenty of challenges in relationships thanks to our determined, independent nature, but this is why it doesn’t get any easier when we plunge back into singlehood:

  1. We feel dependent. We’ve always known that our happiness doesn’t depend on a man, but our horrible mood and broken heart are now suggesting that maybe we were wrong. Deep down, we know that this lousy feeling is temporary, but it still sucks to feel like we let one guy have such an impact on our emotions.
  2. Even if our hearts are breaking, we feel like we can’t show it.  We’re known for being strong, so even when we know our friends wouldn’t judge us in the slightest if we let our heartache show through, we still feel like we have to pretend like everything’s fine. Part of it is a matter of pride, but another part of it is that it’s just not in our nature to put our pain on display, no matter how badly we want to scream about how much we’re hurting.
  3. Everyone treats us like we’re fragile. Keeping a smile on our faces is that much harder when our friends and family are constantly giving us That Look and asking if we’re REALLY fine. Sure, the breakup pain hurts, but we know we could push it to the back of our minds if everyone would just stop looking at us like we’re wounded animals.
  4. We know all our bottled-up feelings will eventually come out at once. The same thing happens every time we go through something crappy: we push through it for what seems like forever, telling ourselves and everyone else that we’re okay, and then finally, all of that pent-up emotion explodes from within us. We have a miniature breakdown, sobbing our eyes out, screaming into a pillow, and allowing ourselves to be temporarily broken. Luckily, we somehow always manage to pull ourselves together pretty quickly, but it’s really the worst when we can feel that volcano of pain about to erupt.
  5. Our weaker side is always threatening to come through. All strong women have a fragile version of ourselves that we usually refuse to release. But when something as traumatic as a breakup happens, that side of us is constantly trying to get out. Now we have to worry about pretending like it doesn’t faze us when our ex’s name gets brought up at a party, and it takes a truly extraordinary demonstration of strength to keep ourselves from texting him on particularly lonely nights. That weak side is a bitch, especially when we don’t want to acknowledge that it even exists.
  6. We have to be strong for ourselves instead of someone else.  We’re pros at ignoring our own minor problems in order to help our loved ones deal with theirs, so we really get thrown for a loop when our own breakup becomes the center of attention. Suddenly, rather than telling our friends that it’ll be okay, we have to tell ourselves that everything will be all right and that we don’t need that guy anyway. When we’re used to making others’ problems your priority, it feels strange to give our own issues the attention they need.
  7. We know we have to continue life as normal even though we want to curl up and cry. Strong women aren’t the type to call off work for a week and shut ourselves in our rooms over a breakup — but damn, do we want to. Every day when we wake up, we have to fight off the urge to stay in bed and cry. We get up, take a shower, and go on with our daily routines no matter how difficult it may be. We might not always manage to do it with a smile on our faces, but we sure try.
  8. We tear ourselves apart wondering what we did wrong. Whether we try to or not, strong women always blame ourselves when things go awry. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves, so rather than seeing a breakup as something that just “happened” or was purely the other person’s fault, we tend to place the blame on ourselves. It might start out as a way to give ourselves constructive criticism, but it often turns into an overwhelming feeling of guilt… even when the demise of the relationship wasn’t our fault at all.
  9. We’re caught between knowing we’ll be fine and wanting permission to not be fine. We know that our hearts aren’t broken, just beat up a little bit. But man, it still hurts. We want to be able to just push past the pain, but at the same time, we want nothing more than to be told that it’s okay if we break down. It’s all very confusing, and honestly, that inner conflict is often more torturous than the breakup itself.
  10. We can’t believe we feel so crappy over a stupid boy. That’s the worst part about all this. Strong women know that there are tragedies happening all over the world that are so much worse than a silly breakup, and yet, we can’t help feeling so terrible over one guy. The rational side of us knows that it’s normal to feel like crap over something so personal, but we hate knowing that one single person has the ability to affect us so much just because he’s exited our lives.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.